Lynne Marta, Actress in ‘Footloose,’ ‘Joe Kidd, And ‘Love, American Style,’ Dies at 78

Lynne Marta, the actress known for her roles in films like Footloose and Joe Kidd, as well as her regular appearances on Love, American Style, and numerous guest roles on TV shows, hashas died. She was 78.

Marta, died Thursday in her Los Angeles home after a battle with cancer, According to information provided by her friend Chris Saint-Hilaire to usnewsdaily.

Her career included appearances on Aaron Spelling-produced series such as The Mod Squad, The Rookies, Starsky & Hutch, Charlie’s Angels, Vega$, and Matt Houston. She also featured in Quinn Martin productions, including The F.B.I., Dan August, Cannon, The Streets of San Francisco, Barnaby Jones, The Manhunter, and Caribe.

Lynne Marta, recognized for her roles as the companion of a wealthy landowner alongside Robert Duvall in Joe Kidd (1972) and as Lulu Warnicker, Kevin Bacon’s character’s aunt in Footloose (1984),

The younger of two daughters, Marta was born on Oct. 30, 1945, in Somerville, New Jersey, Marta began her career on The Lloyd Thaxton Show and later appeared in shows like Gidget and The Monkees in 1966. She was a prominent figure on the first season of Love, American Style (1969-70), contributing to 18 episodes.

Marta starred in a 1973 pilot for the ABC sci-fi series Genesis II, created by Gene Roddenberry, though the show wasn’t picked up. Her extensive television career encompassed shows such as Then Came Bronson, Gunsmoke, Kojak, Medical Center, Marcus Welby, M.D., The Rockford Files, Knight Rider, Designing Women, and Law & Order. She also appeared in soap operas like Passions, The Young and the Restless, and Days of Our Lives.

In addition to her television work, Marta featured in films like Red Sky at Morning (1971), Help Me … I’m Possessed (1974), Blood Beach (1980), and Three Men and a Little Lady (1990). People magazine described her relationship with Starsky & Hutch star David Soul in 1983 as an “open relationship” during his marriage to actress Karen Carlson. “All through the Starsky & Hutch years, David and Lynne lived together but spent time with other people,”the magazine noted.

American singer and actor David Soul performs a duet with actress Lynne Marta, 17th March 1977. PHOTO: Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty

She joined David Soul on his David Soul and Friends TV special in 1977.

Survivors of Lynne Marta include her sister, MJ, and her cat, Mr. Peaches.

In July 1989, Marta was in her apartment, just a few feet away from where actress Rebecca Schaeffer was tragically shot by an obsessed fan, Robert John Bardo.

“The door shook, the wall shook,”
According to her statements documented by the Los Angeles Times during her testimony. “The cat went up into the air. I fell to my knees and crawled into the bedroom. Then, I heard Rebecca’s first scream.

“She was still screaming while I was talking to 911,” she continued. “By the time I got to the door, she was wailing. I opened the small hatch in my door. There was a smell I’ll never forget: the smell of gunfire. It was quiet except for light moaning.”

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