Dorothy Tristan Dead: ‘Klute,’ ‘Scarecrow’ Actress Was 88

Dorothy Tristan, an actress, known for her roles in “Klute” and “Scarecrow,” and wife to film director John D. Hancock, died Jan. 7 in La Porte, Ind. after a decade-long battle against Alzheimer’s disease. She was 88 years old.

Tristan’s death was confirmed by her representation. She died surrounded by her husband and her caretaker, Marcia Brodhacker.

Tristan made her film acting debut in 1970’s X-rated “End of the Road” before appearing alongside Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland in the Oscar-nominated “Klute” the next year. Her follow-up came in 1973 with a role in the road movie “Scarecrow.” She later became somewhat of a local legend in the town of Michiana, Mich. after shooting the 1989 Christmas film “Prancer” on location.

Tristan shifted to working behind the camera for a stretch, assisting her husband on films like “Prancer,” “A Piece of Eden,” “Suspended Animation” and “Girls of Summer.”

Tristan continued acting for the majority of her life, appearing in a series of independent films later in a career that included “A Piece of Eden,” “Suspended Animation” and “Girls of Summer.” In 2015, she starred in and co-wrote the drama “The Looking Glass,” playing a grandmother struggling with symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. The film was directed by her husband, her longtime creative partner and collaborator.

Born in Yorkville Heights on Jan. 1, 1942, Tristan’s career began in modeling before transitioning to screen acting.

Tristan is survived by her husband, John; her two children, Alex Avakian and Tristan Avakian; her three grandchildren, Sebastian, Chloe and Aram; and her great-grandson, Elijah.

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