It has been announced that actress Darlanne Fluegel passed away last month from complications of Alzheimer's disease at terribly premature age. She began her career as a model before deciding to branch out into acting, winning a small role in The Eyes of Laura Mars before Roger Corman cast her in cult Star Wars rip-off Battle Beyond the Stars, where she won the hearts of many a sci-fi fan.
After that it seemed she would go on to a top flight career, yet cult movies was what she was mostly cast in, not blockbusters: as Robert De Niro's girlfriend in Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in America, in William Friedkin's heavily stylish To Live and Die in L.A., as Billy Crystal's wife in buddy movie Running Scared, as Kirk Douglas' love interest in Tough Guys, and so on, as television beckoned - Crime Story was probably her highest profile gig. After that there were flops like Lock Up with Sylvester Stallone and increasingly lower-profile work in low budget genre movies before she retired from the screen in the mid-nineties to teach acting and look after her family. A striking-looking woman, she maybe didn't enjoy the opportunities she deserved, but made a strong impression nevertheless.