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.

Her film career included 1982's memorable "An Officer and a Gentleman," co-starring Richard Gere. She also acted in a number of thrillers and action movies that required a great deal of physical strength.

"At that time in my life, I was very fit," she told Little Rock Soiree in a June 2009 cover story. "I was looking for something new to do, and I started boxing. I got into it, and I really enjoyed it."

It was one of those horror films that she injured herself.

"I hurt myself, and I didn't pay much attention to it. I just thought, 'That’s life, and that’s just how it is with athletics. You do hurt, and that’s just part of it.'"

But when she finally saw a doctor, he discovered that her body had begun an auto immune response to injury, creating internal scar tissue that squeezed against her nerves and left her with immense chronic pain. The condition was only made worse by surgeries, which caused the development of more scar tissue.

"Initially, I was still able to work, but I could see that unless I got better, this was going to diminish my ability to work as an actress," she said.

It was on another horror film, 1993's "Needful Things," based on the Stephen King novel, that she met her future husband, McKinnon. They married in 1998.

After living 28 years in Los Angeles, Blount and McKinnon had recently moved back to Arkansas. One reason: to make great Southern movies.

"They think the accents are right, but we all know different," she said.

Among the films the two collaborated on and shot in Arkansas was 2004's "Chrystal," in which she starred with McKinnon and fellow Arkansan Billy Bob Thornton.

The immersion in Arkansas culture and community allowed Blount and McKinnon both to step away from the spotlight a bit and focus on their writing and producing.

"You can only rely on memories for so long. You need life experiences that are current if you're going to tell stories about what you know," she said. "This is where we need to be."



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