He established a second profession as an actor, starting with his role as country singer Loretta Lynn's father in the 1980 Oscar-winning biopic "Coal Miner's Daughter," and put his Arkansas drawl to work as narrator of the 1983 film adaptation of Tom Wolfe's book about the U.S. space program, "The Right Stuff."
"Levon Helm will always hold a special place in my heart," Lynn said Thursday in a statement. "He was as great of an actor as a musician. ... For me, watching him play the role of my daddy in 'Coal Miner's Daughter' is a memory I will always treasure."
Minus Robertson, the remaining members of the Band reconvened in 1983 and began touring, but three years into their career revival, Manuel hanged himself after a club performance. Helm, Danko and Hudson continued and recorded three new studio albums — "Jericho," in 1993, "High on the Hog" in 1995 and "Jubilation" in 1998. In 1999, Danko died of a drug-related heart attack.
And there were other problems along the way. In his 1993 autobiography "This Wheel's on Fire," Helm charged that Robertson unfairly claimed sole songwriting credits, and therefore publishing revenues, on songs he said were often the result of collaboration among several or all of the Band's members.