Susan Anspach

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Susan Anspach
Susan Anspach 1979.jpg
Anspach in 1979
Susan Florence Anspach

(1942-11-23)November 23, 1942
Queens, New York City, U.S.
DiedApril 2, 2018(2018-04-02) (aged 75)
Years active1961–2009
Mark Goddard
(m. 1970; div. 1978)

Susan Florence Anspach (November 23, 1942 – April 2, 2018) was an American stage, film and television actress, who was best known for her roles in films during the 1970s such as Five Easy Pieces (1970), Play It Again, Sam (1972), Blume in Love (1973), and during the 1980s such as Montenegro.

Early life[edit]

Anspach was born and raised in Queens, New York City, the daughter of Gertrude (née Kehoe), a secretary and singer, and Renald Anspach, a factory worker.[1][2]

She graduated from William Cullen Bryant High School in Long Island City in 1960. Paul Simon was a neighbor.[citation needed] She enrolled in the music department at the Catholic University of America. For her sophomore year she transferred to the drama department, where she appeared in the annual musical All Systems Are Go.[citation needed]


Anspach starred in several Broadway and off-Broadway shows, including as the female lead in the musical Hair and an Actors Studio play with Al Pacino. She first came to prominence in the 1970 film Five Easy Pieces. Vincent Canby of The New York Times called her "one of America's most charming and talented actresses".[3]

Anspach originally was cast in the role of country singer Barbara Jean in the 1975 film Nashville, but her salary requirements exceeded the ensemble film's budget; she was replaced by Ronee Blakley.[4]

She starred off-Broadway in A View from the Bridge with Robert Duvall, Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman.

In her film career, Anspach starred in 19 features and eight television movies and also was featured in two series, The Yellow Rose and The Slap Maxwell Story (with Dabney Coleman). She starred in the episode "All My Tomorrows" of the NBC romantic anthology series Love Story in 1973.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Ansbach was Roman Catholic. She said that the church and her psychoanalyst were her "parents" for close to ten years of her youth.[6]

She had a daughter, Catherine Goddard (born October 15, 1968) with fellow late '60s musical Hair cast member Steve Curry, according to his October 6, 2014 obituary in the New York Times.[7] She had a son, Caleb Goddard, in 1970, whom she claims was fathered by actor Jack Nicholson.[8] She was married to actor Mark Goddard (1970-1978).

Anspach died from heart failure on April 2, 2018, aged 75, in Los Angeles, California.[9]


Year Title Role Notes
1970 The Landlord Susan Enders
1970 Five Easy Pieces Catherine Van Oost
1972 Play It Again, Sam Nancy
1973 Blume in Love Nina Blume
1976 McMillan & Wife Lt. Kit Boone 1 episode
1978 The Big Fix Lila
1979 Running Janet
1981 The Devil and Max Devlin Penny Hart
1981 Gas Jane Beardsley
1981 Montenegro Marilyn Jordan
1984 Misunderstood Lily
1987 Blue Monkey Dr. Judith Glass
1987 Heaven and Earth Karen McKeon
1988 Into the Fire Rosalind Winfield
1989 The Rutanga Tapes Kate Simpson
1989 Blood Red Widow
1989 Back to Back Madeline Hix
1989 Murder, She Wrote Lois Fricksey 1 episode
2002 Dancing at the Harvest Moon Julia TV Movie
2009 Wild About Harry Martha
2011 Inversion Edna Boswell (final film role)


  1. ^ "It's Easier to Pull a Rabbit Than a Career Out of a Hat—Unless You're Susan Anspach".
  2. ^ Gates, Anita (5 April 2018). "Susan Anspach, 75, Dies; Daring Actress in Maverick Films" – via
  3. ^ Canby, Vincent (1981-11-08). "Makavejev'S 'Montenegro,' Set In Sweden". Retrieved 2017-01-05.
  4. ^ Robert Altman in his DVD commentary to Nashville, Paramount DVD, 2000 release
  5. ^ "Love Story". CBS Interactive. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ Steve Curry obituary,, October 7, 2014.
  8. ^ von Strunckel, Shelley (June 23, 2006). "What the stars say about them — Jack Nicholson and Susan Anspach". The Sunday Times (UK): p. 36.
  9. ^ Gates, Anita (April 5, 2018). "Susan Anspach, 75, Dies; Daring Actress in Maverick Films". The New York Times. Retrieved April 6, 2018.

External links[edit]