BAR HARBOR — With a career in film and theater that spanned nearly 30 years, Verna Bloom’s roles, like her smile, were memorable.
A long-time seasonal resident of Mount Desert Island, Bloom died on Jan. 9, at the age of 80.
Upon release of the information, her family said Bloom’s death was due to complications of dementia.
She is survived by her husband of 49 years, screenwriter Jay Cocks, and a son.
Although most of her work was in theater, Bloom was a notable film actress who worked with Martin Scorsese, Haskell Wexler and Clint Eastwood. With Scorcese, she had roles in “Street Scenes 1970,” “The Last Temptation of Christ” and “After Hours”.
One of her more popular roles was as the drunken, debauched wife of Dean Wormer in the 1978 comedy “Animal House.”
Bloom was born in Lynn, Mass. in 1938 and attended Boston University. After graduating college, she moved to Denver and started a local theater. In the mid-1960s, after moving to New York, Bloom starred as Charlotte Corday in the Broadway revival of “Marat/Sade.” She was then recommended by writer historian Studs Terkel to Wexler for a role is his film “Medium Cool,” released in 1969. In it she portrayed a young Appalachian mother caught up in the street violence of the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago.
That performance earned her a nomination for both lead and supporting actress by the National Society of Film Critics.
Donations may be made in Bloom’s memory to Bonaparte’s Retreat Dog Rescue based in Nashville.