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Laurie Bird
American film actorress, photographer

Laurie Bird

Laurie Bird
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American film actorress, photographer
Was Photographer Actor Film actor
From United States of America
Field Arts Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender female
Birth 26 September 1953, Glen Cove, Nassau County, New York, USA
Death 15 June 1979, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA (aged 25 years)
Star sign Libra
Education
Jamaica High School
The details (from wikipedia)

Biography

Laurie Bird (September 26, 1952 – June 15, 1979) was an American film actress and photographer. She appeared in three films during the 1970s. Two of them were directed by Monte Hellman. She was romantically involved with Hellman and Art Garfunkel, committing suicide in the latter's apartment by taking an overdose of Valium. Bird inspired one of Tim Kinsella's novels.

Early life

Bird's mother died by suicide at the age of 26 when Bird was only three years old. Her father was an electrical engineer. She had two elder brothers. Her strict father restricted her social life and she fled home multiple times. In response, her father had an arrest warrant issued in her name and she was put in an institution for neglected girls. She attended Jamaica High School until she was 15.

Career

Described by Hollywood columnist Dick Kleiner as "look[ing] like an innocent Hayley Mills," Bird appeared in just three films: Two-Lane Blacktop (1971), Cockfighter (1974), and a small role as girlfriend to Paul Simon's character in the romantic comedy Annie Hall (1977), from Woody Allen. While researching for Two-Lane Blacktop, screenwriter Rudolph Wurlitzer met her and recommended her name to Hellman while he was looking for actresses for the same movie. In Two-Lane Blacktop she played a hitchhiker to whom the film's characters are initially attracted, but runs off with a motorcyclist near the end of the film. Her second release, Cockfighter, had her paired opposite Warren Oates. He loses her in a bet. In 2012, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. Film critic Michael Atkinson wrote in his book Exile Hollywood (2008) "In two films, she made more of an impression, left more of a synaesthetic presence, than many actors do in a career".

Bird was the still photographer on Cockfighter and shot the cover photo for Art Garfunkel's 1977 album Watermark. She also appeared on the cover of Garfunkel's 1975 album Breakaway.

Personal life

She was romantically involved with her Blacktop and Cockfighter director Monte Hellman. From 1974 until her death in 1979, Bird was in a serious romantic relationship with Art Garfunkel.

Suicide

In 1979, Bird died by suicide by taking an overdose of Valium in the apartment she shared with Garfunkel in New York, who was deeply affected by her death. Garfunkel said, "She was beautiful, in a lonesome, haunted way, and I adored her. But I wasn't ready for marriage and she was not very comfortable being Laurie. She wasn't happy with herself. Her mother died by suicide at 26, and so did she."

Legacy

Garfunkel's 1981 album Scissors Cut stated in its credits that it was "dedicated to you, Bird", and carried a partial photograph of her on its back cover.

Bird's relationship with Garfunkel was referred to in the liner notes of the latter's 1988 album Lefty and his collection of prose poems Still Water. Hellman dedicated his 2010 film Road to Nowhere to Laurie Bird.

Tim Kinsella's novel Let Go and Go On and On (2014) is subtitled Based on the roles of Laurie Bird. In the foreword, he writes, "This book by no means intends to convey any truth beyond one possible solution to the puzzles of her life and work."

Credits

Title Year Role Director(s) Notes Ref(s)
Two-Lane Blacktop 1971 The Girl Monte Hellman also uncredited performer: "Stealin'", "Satisfaction"
Cockfighter 1974 Dody White Monte Hellman Also credited as still photographer
Annie Hall 1977 Tony Lacey's Girlfriend Woody Allen Credited as Lauri Bird

Bibliography

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 15 May 2021. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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