Jill Clayburgh (April 30, 1944 – November 5, 2010) was an American actress.
Clayburgh was born in New York City, the daughter of Julia Louise (née Dorr), a theatrical production secretary for David Merrick, and Albert Henry "Bill" Clayburgh, a manufacturing executive. Her paternal grandmother was concert and opera singer Alma Lachenbruch Clayburgh.
Clayburgh's father's family was Jewish and wealthy; she was raised in a "fashionable" neighborhood on Manhattan's Upper East Side, where she attended the prestigious Brearley School. Clayburgh attended Sarah Lawrence College, where she decided that she wanted to be an actress.
Clayburgh married screenwriter and playwright David Rabe in 1979. They had one son, Michael Rabe and one daughter, actress Lily Rabe.
Clayburgh joined the Charles Street Repertory Theater in Boston. She appeared in numerous Broadway productions in the 1960s and 1970s, including The Rothschilds and Pippin. Clayburgh made her screen debut in The Wedding Party, filmed in 1963 but not released until six years later, and gained attention with roles such as that of Gene Wilder's love interest in the 1976 comedy-mystery Silver Streak, co-starring Richard Pryor.
She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for 1978's An Unmarried Woman, for which she won the "Best Actress Award" at the Cannes Film Festival, and for 1979's Starting Over, a comedy with Burt Reynolds. She also received strong notices for a dramatic performance in I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can (which co-starred Geraldine Page).
Her other films include Portnoy's Complaint, Gable and Lombard (in which she portrayed screen legend Carole Lombard), as a pro football team owner's daughter in Semi-Tough, as a mathematician in It's My Turn (in which she teaches the proof of the snake lemma), as a conservative Supreme Court justice in First Monday in October and in Bernardo Bertolucci's controversial La Luna, a role in which her character masturbates her son in an attempt to ease his withdrawal from heroin.
Television audiences know Clayburgh from numerous roles in series and movies including Law and Order, The Practice and as Ally McBeal's mother. She received Emmy Award nominations for her work in the made-for-television movie Hustling in 1975 and for guest appearances in the series Nip/Tuck in 2005.
In 2006, she appeared on Broadway in Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park with Patrick Wilson and Amanda Peet; she played Peet's mother, a role originated by Mildred Natwick. She also returned to the screen as a therapist's eccentric wife in the all-star ensemble dramedy Running With Scissors, an autobiographical tale of teenage angst and dysfunction based on the book by Augusten Burroughs. During 2007, Clayburgh appeared in the ABC television series Dirty Sexy Money, playing Letitia Darling.
Jill Clayburgh survived chronic lymphocytic leukemia for more than two decades. She died at her home during the morning hours of November 5, 2010, surrounded by her family.