'Death Race 2000' Actress Louisa Moritz Dies at 72

Legendary actress Louisa Moritz, whose work included One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Death Race 2000, has passed away at the age of 72.

According to her longtime friend and publicist Edward Lozzi (as reported by Deadline), Moritz died at her Los Angeles home last week of natural causes, as related to a longstanding heart ailment.

Moritz began acting in 1966, and became a star of the big and small screen in the decades to come. One of her most notable roles was in 1975's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, in which she played Rose. Her filmography also included appearances in Death Race 2000, Up in Smoke, 1982’s The Last American Virgin, and 1983’s Chained Heat.

Mortiz also starred in a number of TV series, such as The Incredible Hulk, The Leslie Uggams Show, The Joe Namath Show, Ironside, Happy Days, M*A*S*H, Chico and the Man, The Rockford Files, and The Associates.

After her last acting role in 2000'sThe Independent, Moritz went on to sell real estate, become a lawyer, and produce self help TV shows about self defense. She was reportedly writing two books prior to her death, which covered Cuban cooking and "how to get out of traffic tickets".

“Although often cast as the generic dumb blonde in many films and TV shows (a part which she has always played with great spirit and infectiously sweet good humor),” Edward Lozzi said in the wake of Moritz's passing. “in real life is the total radical opposite of this particular persona: She not only made the Deans List while studying for her law degree at the University of West Los Angeles, but also won the American Jurisprudence Bancroft Whitney Prize for Contracts as well.“

In 2015, Moritz garnered attention in 2015 joined several other women in accusing Bill Cosby of sexual assault. Moritz, who alleged that she was forced to perform oral sex on Cosby in 1971, later filed a lawsuit against the actor, which will continue on despite her passing.

0comments

“Louisa Moritz was a brave woman who stood up against a powerful Hollywood icon, Bill Cosby, in an effort to restore her good name and reputation, after he publicly branded her a liar when she made public her allegations of sexual abuse and assault by Mr. Cosby." Moritz's attorney, Joseph Cammarata, said in a statement. "Ms. Moritz was one of seven women who sued Bill Cosby for defamation. Despite her death, her claim against Mr. Cosby will continue in a Federal court in Massachusetts. We look forward to a resolution of the case that will establish that Louisa was a ‘truth teller’, so that her legacy will live forever untarnished.”

"Louisa Moritz was so full of life, talent, and she was a genius with a sixth sense for making money." Lozzi added. "Her parties in Mt. Olympus in the 1980’s were wild and most popular with actors, producers, models, makeup artists, set directors, stuntmen…all of the categories. Her support of the Motion Picture Home and animal rights groups was heavy. Her hundreds of TV and film roles will keep her memory alive with her fans forever. Her support of other women who accused Bill Cosby of rape will keep her with us for years to come."