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Joan Hackett (March 1, 1934 – October 8, 1983) was an American actress who appeared on stage, in films, and on television.

Early life

Born in New York City of Irish and Italian extraction, her immigrant parents raised her Roman Catholic and sent her to Catholic schools.

Acting career

Hackett debuted with the role of Gail Prentiss in the TV series Young Doctor Malone in 1959. In 1961 she won a Theatre World Award, an Obie Award, and a Drama Desk Award for her portrayal of Chris in Michael Shurtleff's play Call Me By My Rightful Name. She performed a recurring role on the CBS legal drama The Defenders (1961-1965) as fiance to Kenneth Preston, played by Robert Reed, partner in the father and son law firm led by patriarch Lawrence Preston (E.G. Marshall), appearing regularly in scenes with both lead actors. She had a leading role in The Twilight Zone episode "A Piano in the House" (1962). In the 1963-1964 season, she guest starred on the ABC drama about college life, Channing starring Jason Evers and Henry Jones. She had one of the starring roles in the 1966 Sidney Lumet film The Group along with Candice Bergen, Larry Hagman, Richard Mulligan, Joanna Pettet, and others.

One of her notable performances was the role of Catherine Allen in the 1968 Western Will Penny, with Charlton Heston. Hackett also had notable parts in the classic Western comedy Support Your Local Sheriff! (1969), with James Garner, and the 1973 murder mystery The Last of Sheila. After this she primarily had parts in TV movies and on episodes of TV series.

Hackett won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the 1981 movie Only When I Laugh, the last movie she made before her death. She could also be seen in Paul Simon's film One Trick Pony, in which she did a nude scene.

Personal life

From 1965 to 1973 she was married to actor Richard Mulligan, who also appeared in The Group.


Hackett died of ovarian cancer at Encinomarker Hospital in Californiamarker in 1983. Both of her parents had also died of cancer. She is interred in Hollywood Forever Cemeterymarker, where her epitaph reads "Go Away - I'm Asleep", a reference to her love of beauty sleep.

Partial filmography

Selected TV guest appearances

  • 1962 The Twilight Zone (1959) playing "Esther Fortune" in episode: "A Piano in the House" (episode # 3.22) February 16
  • 1962 Gunsmoke (1955) playing "Mady Arthur" in episode: "The Widow" (episode # 7.25) 24 March
  • 1963 Combat! (1962) playing "Gabrille" in episode: "The Chateau" (episode # 1.19) February 12
  • 1964 The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (1962) playing "Helen Clarvoe" in episode: "Beast in View" (episode # 2.21) March 20
  • 1965 Bonanza (1959) playing "Margarita Miguel" in episode: "Woman of Fire" (episode # 6.17) January 17
  • 1979 Trapper John, M.D. (1979) playing "Wilma" in episode: "The Surrogate" (episode # 1.10) December 23
  • 1979 Taxi playing "Charlotte", the sister of "Alex Reiger" in episode: "Honor Thy Father" (season 2, episode 2) aired on 18 September 1979

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