Joan Hackett Cause of Death: American Actress Died at 49!

She was an American actress in cinema, theatre, and television who died on October 8th, 1983. A western she starred in, Will Penny, was released in 1967.

She was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance. Christine Mannon in the 1978 PBS miniseries Mourning Becomes Electra, in which she also starred as Christine Mannon,

Early Life

On her way to becoming a fashion model and dropping out of high school in Queens, she was born in the East Harlem district of New York City to John and Mary Hackett and was raised in Elmhurst, Queens.

There were Theresa and John in her family. Having been reared by a mother from Naples and a father from Ireland, she was educated in the Catholic faith and was baptized.


Gail Prentiss was Hackett’s first on-screen role when she appeared in Young Doctor Malone in 1959.

In 1961, for her Off-Broadway performance as Chris in Michael Shurtleff’s play Call Me By My Rightful Name, she earned a Theatre World Award, an Obie Award for Best Actress, and a Drama Desk Award for her acting.

“The Defenders” (1961–1965) featured her as Kenneth Preston’s fiancée and partner in the father-and-son law practice managed by patriarch Lawrence Preston (Robert Reed) (E.G. Marshall).

Joan Hackett Cause of Death

She was frequently seen in sequences with both of the film’s leading actors. “A Piano in the House” was one of her many roles on The Twilight Zone. She appeared as a guest star on ABC’s Channing, a college-themed drama starring Jason Evers and Henry Jones in the 1963–64 season.

Hackett starred alongside Candice Bergen, Larry Hagman, Richard Mulligan, Joanna Pettet, and others in the 1966 Sidney Lumet picture The Group.

One of her best-known roles was that of a frontier mother in the 1968 Western Will Penny, featuring Charlton Heston as the titular character. With James Garner, he appeared in Support Your Local Sheriff!, a Western comedy, and The Last of Sheila, a murder thriller. As a result, she was cast mostly in television movies and special episodes of long-running television programs.

Dr Janet Ross, a bright psychiatrist, precisely predicts her patient’s destructive conduct in the 1974 film adaptation of Michael Crichton’s novel The Terminal Man, alongside actors George Segal, Donald Moffat, and Richard Dysart.

PBS aired an adaptation of Mourning Becomes Electra in 1978, and she acted as Christine Mannon. Her performance in that show received some of the most favorable reviews of her career.

Clive James referred to her as a “wonderful actress” because of her performance. Another Day, a CBS situation comedy that ran for only one season, had her as Ginny Gardner as a regular cast member the same year.

As Julie McCoy’s old student from the cruise line’s cruise director training, she appears in the September 22, 1979, episode of The Love Boat.

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Personal Sphere

Joan Hackett Cause of Death

She was married to The Group actor Richard Mulligan from 1966 to 1973.


In 1981, Hackett was found to have cancer. At Encino Hospital in Encino, California, she died of ovarian cancer on October 8, 1983.

In Los Angeles, California, on Wednesday, October 12, 1983, a funeral liturgy was celebrated at St. Victor Catholic Church to celebrate the life of the deceased.

An epitaph on her tombstone says, “Go Away – I am Asleep” at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery; her remains are buried there.


As the final picture she made before her death, Only When I Laugh, Hackett received the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

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In Paul Simon’s One Trick Pony, she appeared.

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