Sally Kellerman, the willowy, sultry-voiced actress and singer whose portrayal of Maj. Margaret (Sizzling Lips) Houlihan within the 1970 darkish comedy “MASH” earned her an Oscar nomination, died on Thursday at an assisted-living facility in Los Angeles. She was 84.
Her son, Jack Krane, stated the trigger was coronary heart failure.
In her decades-long profession in movie and tv, she was greatest recognized for her function because the strait-laced however alluring Military nurse in “MASH,” which additionally landed Ms. Kellerman rave critiques and a Golden Globe Award.
The movie, directed by Robert Altman, broke floor with its irreverence and graphic depiction of a bunch of hotshot surgeons struggling to avoid wasting horribly wounded troopers at an Military surgical unit throughout the Korean Struggle. (When “MASH” was tailored right into a TV collection, Ms. Kellerman’s character was performed by Loretta Swit.)
Ms. Kellerman went on to seem in a number of different movies directed by Mr. Altman, together with “Brewster McCloud” (1970) and “Welcome to L.A.” (1976). Like different actors, she was drawn to working with Mr. Altman due to the leeway he allowed in deciphering scripts and improvising scenes.
After her star-making function in “MASH,” Ms. Kellerman sought to revive her profession as a singer, performing her cabaret act at nightclubs just like the Grand Finale in New York Metropolis.
On the nightclub circuit, her performances garnered combined critiques. Although she had “an intriguingly husky voice” and “the makings of an efficient pop singer,” as The New York Occasions stated in 1977, she was criticized for among the identical qualities she was recognized for as an actor, akin to her “breezy superficiality.”
In an interview with The Occasions in 1981, Ms. Kellerman mirrored on the break she took to concentrate on singing, calling it a “nice expertise” that made her return to appearing really feel “contemporary.”
Sally Kellerman was born on June 2, 1937, in Lengthy Seashore, Calif., to John Helm Kellerman and Edith Kellerman.
In Ms. Kellerman’s 2013 memoir, “Learn My Lips: Tales of a Hollywood Life,” she described desirous to be a performer from an early age, when she was a “skinny little child rising up in Granada Hills within the San Fernando Valley.”
“I should have come out of the womb singing and appearing,” she wrote.
As a tall, chubby teenager, she harbored goals of performing onstage that she held secret till she was a senior in highschool, appearing in Hollywood Excessive’s manufacturing of “Meet Me in St. Louis.”
At 18, then a self-described “jazz groupie,” she was provided a singing contract with the outstanding jazz label Verve Information, Ms. Kellerman advised The Occasions in 1981. It was severed by her debilitating stage fright.
Her appearing profession started in musical comedy in productions just like the Broadway musical “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1966).
Along with her son, she is survived by a daughter, Claire Kellerman Krane. One other daughter, Hannah Krane, died in 2016. Ms. Kellerman’s husband, Jonathan Krane, additionally died in 2016. A earlier marriage to Rick Edelstein led to divorce.
Jesus Jiménez contributed reporting.