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Lynne Marta, Actress in ‘Footloose’ and ‘Joe Kidd,’ Dies at 78

Lynne Marta, whose films included the 1972 Clint Eastwood western “Joe Kidd” and 1984’s “Footloose,” has died at 78 after a battle with cancer.

She died on Jan. 11, her friend Joan Sobel wrote on Facebook: “We lost a beautiful light today. My friend, Lynne Marta lost her good fight. A wonderfully talented actress and a beautiful singer whose voice was of the angels. A dear heart who adored her friends both human and furry. I will miss her terribly.”

Marta’s death follows the Jan. 4 passing of her former boyfriend, “Starsky & Hutch” star David Soul. The two lived together for several years, as People reported in 1983. They also dueted on the song “Black Bean Soup” the B-side to Soul’s 1977 hit “Don’t Give Up on Us.” She also appeared with him in his 1997 TV special “David Soul and Friends.”

Marta guest starred on numerous TV shows in the ’70s, including “The Mod Squad, “Charlie’s Angels,” the Robert-Urich-led “Vega$,” “The Streets of San Francisco” and “Barnaby Jones.” In 1983, she played Charlene Higgins in 22 episodes of “Days of Our Lives.”

On the big screen, she portrayed Elma, the companion to Robert Duvall’s character, in “Joe Kidd.” In 1984’s “Footloose” she played Lulu Warnicker, the aunt of Kevin Bacon’s character. She was also cast as a teacher in 1990’s “Three Men and a Little Lady.”

The actress and singer was also a witness in the case of the 1989 murder of “My Sister Sam” star Rebecca Schaeffer by obsessed fan Robert John Bardo. The two actresses lived in the same building in West Hollywood’s Fairfax District.

Lynne Marta and David Soul at Heathrow Airport in 1977
Lynne Marta and David Soul at Heathrow Airport in 1977 (CREDIT: John Minihan/Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Marta testified at a preliminary hearing, “The door shook, the wall shook… I fell to my knees and crawled into the bedroom. Then, I heard Rebecca’s first scream,’ the LA Times reported.

“She was still screaming while I was talking to 911. 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,” Marta added at the time.

Marta was born on October 31, 1948, in Somerville, New Jersey. Her first acting roles were guest spots on “Gidget” and “The Monkees”in 1966. She was previously married to fellow TV actor Brick Huston, who died in 2018.

Her final credited project was in a 2002 episode of NBC’s TV series “American Dreams,” which was set in the 1960s.

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