Joan Hotchkis, who was an actress, writer, screenwriter and playwright died of congestive heart failure her daughter confirmed. The star, who was best known for her roles in The Odd Couple and Legacy, died in Los Angeles on September 27.
Joan was the last surviving child of Preston Hotchkis and Katharine Bixby, who were civic leaders in Los Angeles with statewide and national influence throughout the last century, who led everything from the Metropolitan Water District to the California Historical Society, according to reports.
The late star’s career took off when she landed the leading role of Lizzie in The Rainmaker at Hollywood’s Players Ring theatre.
Shortly after, she became a member of The Actors Studio when she returned to New York.
There, she landed a number of TV commercials and guest spots and met director Bob Foster. The pair married in 1958 and had daughter Paula.
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Joan also secured roles on the big screen with appearances in films The Late Liz and Old Boyfriends before she starred alongside William Holden in Clint Eastwood’s Breezy.
She also featured in Ode to Billie Joe in 1976, where she co-starred with Robby Benson and Glynnis O’Connor as Anna Hartley.
Away from the camera, Joan wrote the acting handbook Not Acting Please before becoming a playwright in 1974. She created Legacy, which later was adapted into a film.
Shortly after finishing Legacy, Joan was diagnosed with meningioma -a non-cancerous brain tumour – and had it successfully surgically removed.
Following the operation, Joan admitted her priorities changed and she gave up television and film but did return to the stage.
She was always very interested in social justice, supporting progressive nonprofits and mentoring bright young women from underprivileged backgrounds.
She took time to mentor young women from underprivileged backgrounds and proved to be a huge support to several activists.
Joan is survived by her daughter, Paula.