Many moviegoers got their first striking glimpse of Karen Black in Dennis Hopper’s 1969 Easy Rider, playing an employee of a New Orleans brothel who goes on a wild LSD trip with “Captain America” and Billy. This breakout role would mark the beginning of an extraordinary run of collaborations with the most innovative directors of so-called New Hollywood, including Robert Altman, Bob Rafelson, and Ivan Passer. Whether playing a Bakersfield hash-slinger, a glamorous Nashville diva, or a transwoman returning to her Texas hometown, Black was a potent, piquant, and unforgettable presence in most every film she appeared in, earning her an ardent cult following who will have reason to rejoice with our selection of some of Black’s finest roles.

In Theater