Oscar-winner, Fayetteville Native Lisa Blount Dies at 53

by Gwen Moritz, Amanda Holezeman and Lance Turner  on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010 4:29 pm  

Oscar-winning actress Lisa Blount, seen here in a cover shot for Little Rock Soiree magazine, has died. The Fayetteville native was 53.

Lisa Blount, the Oscar-winning Fayetteville native and actress most famous as Debra Winger's best friend in the film "An Officer and a Gentleman," has died. She was 53.

Blount's mother, Louise Blount, found her in her Little Rock home on Wednesday. The cause of death is not known.

(Photos: Click here for a slideshow of photos from Blount's career and 2009 Little Rock Soiree photo shoot.)

Blount was married to actor and screenwriter Ray McKinnon, who appeared on HBO's "Deadwood" and most recently as a high school football coach in the Sandra Bullock film, "The Blind Side." She and McKinnon won a 2002 best short feature Oscar for the film "The Accountant." She had recently shot the pilot for a new FX television series, "Outlaw Country," starring John Hawkes and fellow Arkansan Mary Steenbergen.

McKinnon had been in Atlanta for the past month but had been notified of his wife's death and was set to return on Wednesday.

On Sept. 9, Blount was inducted into the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame.

According to a police report released Thursday, Louise Blount went to her daughter's home at 300 N. Woodrow St. after phone calls to her daughter went unanswered. Inside, she found Lisa lying face up in her bed, blood seeping from her nose and a cell phone in her hand.

Louise told police that her daughter had suffered for 17 years from a condition similar to multiple sclerosis, and that Lisa had recently complained of pain to her neck and back. Four prescription pill bottles were on the bedside table containing Triamcinolone paste, Hydroxyzine Pamoate, Tramadol and Benzonatate. Each bottle had pills remaining, the police report said.

Triamcinolone is used to treat several conditions, including eczema, arthritis, lupus and the prevention of asthma attacks. Hydroxyzine Pamoate is used to treat itchiness and allergies, as well as anxiety. Tramadol is used to treat moderate to moderately severe pain. And Benzonatate is used for coughs due to cold, bronchitis, pneumonia, or other lung infections.

Determined to Act

Lisa Blount was born in Fayetteville in 1957 and raised near Pine Bluff. She grew up in Jacksonville and graduated from Jacksonville High School in 1975.

Smart and determined to act, she left high school at an early age to begin college at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. Although she didn’t have a high school diploma, she says she "acted" her way in, claiming her diploma must have gotten lost in the mail. By the time school officials caught on to her, she was on the dean's list.



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