Verna Bloom, 'Animal House' actress, dies at the age of 80

Bloom appeared as the drunken debauched wife of the Dean Wormer in 'Animal House' and worked with the likes of Martin Scorsese and Clint Eastwood


                            Verna Bloom, 'Animal House' actress, dies at the age of 80

Verna Bloom, the actress who appeared in 'Animal House' as the alcoholic wife of Dean Wormer, and worked with the likes of Martin Scorsese and Clint Eastwood, died on January 9 in Bar Harbor, Maine. She was 80 years old. The cause of her death is reported to be complications of dementia. 

Actress Verna Bloom arrives at a screening of the newly restored 'The Hired Hand', marking the 1971 directorial debut of Peter Fonda, at the Egyptian Theatre on October 22, 2003 in Los Angeles, California. (Source:Getty Images)
Actress Verna Bloom arrives at a screening of the newly restored 'The Hired Hand', marking the 1971 directorial debut of Peter Fonda, at the Egyptian Theatre on October 22, 2003 in Los Angeles, California. (Source:Getty Images)

Bloom has a number of credits under her name in theater and television, but she is most noted for her film appearances. One of her most memorable roles came in John Landis’ 1978 comedy 'Animal House.' The actress also appeared in three films by Martin Scorsese — 'Street Scenes' (1970), 'The Last Temptation of Christ' (1988), and 'After Hours' (1985) — as well as two by Clint Eastwood; 'High Plains Drifter' (1973) and 'Honkytonk Man' (1982).



In 1977, Bloom fulfilled a lifelong dream by starring with Frank Sinatra in the two-part television film 'Contract on Cherry Street' and then appearing in Peter Fonda’s elegiac Western 'The Hired Hand' in 1981.

Born in Lynn, Massachusetts, in 1938, she graduated from Boston University and moved to Denver to start a local theater. In the mid-1960s she moved to New York and starred as Charlotte Corday in the Broadway revival of 'Marat/Sade' and, shortly after, made her film debut in Haskell Wexler’s 'Medium Cool' (1969), where she played a young Appalachian mother caught up in the street violence of the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. She was nominated for both lead and supporting actress by the National Society of Film Critics following her stellar performance.

She is survived by her husband of 49 years, screenwriter Jay Cocks (Gangs of New York), and her son Sam.