Sylvia Miles, the lively actress in Midnight Cowboy and Farewell, My Lovely, has died. She was 94.
Miles passed away on Wednesday in Manhattan in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, her publicist Mauricio Padilha told The New York Times.
She began her career in off-Broadway plays in 1947 and later segued into TV and film. She played the role of Sally Rogers in the pilot episode of what became The Dick Van Dyke Show, but the role was taken over by Rose Marie.
The actress earned her first Oscar nomination for her brief performance as Cass, a hooker, in the 1969 film Midnight Cowboy.
She earned her second nomination in 1975’s Farewell, My Lovely in which she acted opposite Robert Mitchum for five minutes as an alcoholic, according to the Times.
In 1972, Miles played a fading movie star in Heat, which was produced by Andy Warhol and conceived by the artist as a parody of Sunset Boulevard (1950). In 1989, she starred in She-Devil as the mother of Meryl Streep’s character.
Miles also had a career in TV, guest-starring in several shows such as Sex & the City, NYPD, One Life to Live and All My Children.
Her last major film role was in 2010’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, in which she reprised her role as an aggressive realtor from the original Wall Street.
When she wasn’t acting in films, Miles was earning a reputation as a bawdy partygoer.
Comedian Wayland Flowers even joked she would “attend the opening of an envelope” if she could, according to the Times.
“I’m always thought of as controversial or avant-garde or erotic or salacious,” Miles told PEOPLE in 1976. “But there isn’t anybody I know who wouldn’t live my life if they could.”
She continued, “I’m not one of those people that hire a press agent to get invited placed. I get invited because I’m fun. I have a good sense of humor. I look good. I’m not bad to have at a party.”
Miles also wasn’t afraid to show her more outrageous behavior, famously dumping a plate of food over the head of theater critic John Simon at the New York Film Festival in 1973 after he called her a “party girl and gate-crasher” in a review.
“I have always had the temperament of an actress,” Miles told PEOPLE. “Which is just an excuse for volatile behavior.”
But she never regretted her social life as it served her well due to the connections she made.
“That’s my life — going out, working, getting laid,” she said. “And, you know, going to a party with me is a lot of fun ‘cause I move fast.”
She was married and divorced three times, first to William Miles from 1948 to 1950. She was later married to actor Gerald Price from 1952 to 1958 and later to New York City radio talk show host Ted Brown from 1963 to 1970. Miles had no children, but is survived by a sister.
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