Sally Kellerman, Oscar-Nominated ‘MASH’ Actress, Is Dead at 84


The actress, who broke via as Margaret (Hot Lips) Houlihan in “MASH,” modified into once identified for her self-effacing comedy, a velvety command and an skill to toggle between sultry and silly. Credit…20th Century Fox / Ronald Grant Archive by process of Alamy Stock

Sally Kellerman, the willowy, sultry-voiced actress and singer whose portrayal of Maj. Margaret (Hot Lips) Houlihan in the 1970 sad comedy “MASH” earned her an Oscar nomination, died on Thursday at an assisted-residing facility in Los Angeles. She modified into once 84.

Her son, Jack Krane, said the cause modified into once coronary heart failure.

In her an extended time-long profession in film and television, she modified into once most effective identified for her feature as the strait-laced but alluring Military nurse in “MASH,” which also landed Ms. Kellerman rave critiques and a Golden Globe Award.

The film, directed by Robert Altman, broke floor with its irreverence and graphic depiction of a group of hotshot surgeons struggling to place horribly wounded soldiers at an Military surgical unit all the draw via the Korean Battle. (When “MASH” modified into once tailored correct into a TV series, Ms. Kellerman’s character modified into once performed by Loretta Swit.)

Ms. Kellerman went on to appear in numerous different motion photos directed by Mr. Altman, including “Brewster McCloud” (1970) and “Welcome to L.A.” (1976). Admire different actors, she modified into once attracted to working with Mr. Altman as a consequence of the leeway he allowed in interpreting scripts and improvising scenes.

After her enormous identify-making feature in “MASH,” Ms. Kellerman sought to revive her profession as a singer, performing her cabaret act at nightclubs fancy the Colossal Finale in Fresh York City.

On the nightclub circuit, her performances garnered mixed critiques. Although she had “an intriguingly husky command” and “the makings of an efficient pop singer,” as The Fresh York Cases said in 1977, she modified into once criticized for one of the crucial an identical qualities she modified into once identified for as an actor, such as her “breezy superficiality.”

In an interview with The Cases in 1981, Ms. Kellerman mirrored on the spoil she took to focal level on singing, calling it a “mountainous expertise” that made her return to performing feel “original.”

Sally Kellerman modified into once born on June 2, 1937, in Lengthy Shoreline, Calif., to John Helm Kellerman and Edith Kellerman.

In Ms. Kellerman’s 2013 memoir, “Learn My Lips: Tales of a Hollywood Existence,” she described seeking to be a performer from an early age, when she modified into once a “skinny minute child rising up in Granada Hills in the San Fernando Valley.”

“I’ve to have approach out of the womb singing and performing,” she wrote.

As a colossal, plump teen, she harbored dreams of performing onstage that she held secret till she modified into once a senior in excessive college, performing in Hollywood Excessive’s manufacturing of “Meet Me in St. Louis.”

At 18, then a self-described “jazz groupie,” she modified into once supplied a singing contract with the essential jazz observe Verve Files, Ms. Kellerman suggested The Cases in 1981. It modified into once severed by her debilitating stage dismay.

Her performing profession started in musical comedy in productions fancy the Broadway musical “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1966).

Apart from her son, she is survived by a daughter, Claire Kellerman Krane. One more daughter, Hannah Krane, died in 2016. Ms. Kellerman’s husband, Jonathan Krane, also died in 2016. A earlier marriage to Rick Edelstein resulted in divorce.

Jesus Jiménez contributed reporting.

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