Actress Karen Black, who's been battling cancer for more than two years, has turned to the public for help to pay for an experimental treatment in Europe — and as of Monday afternoon, the crowdfunding plea was working.
The 73-year-old, Oscar-nominated as supporting actress in 1970's "Five Easy Pieces" with Jack Nicholson, has worked steadily for more than 40 years but is best known for her work in 1970s films including "Airport 1975," "The Day of the Locust" and "Nashville."
Diagnosed with ampullary cancer in November 2010, she immediately had a third of her pancreas removed, her husband, Stephen Eckelberry, said on the "Help Karen Beat Cancer" GoFundMe webpage, launched on March 14. After chemo, she was declared disease-free in mid-2011.
It didn't last, he said. Surgery removed a small tumor in December of that year, but by the middle of last year the cancer had returned. She had two operations this year to minimize the cancer and is now "mostly bed-bound" and down to 96 pounds from 156. Eckelberry said they expect the disease to return, especially because his wife is too frail for chemo.