Actress known for her performances in Five Easy Pieces and Nashville has dies in Los Angeles after battle with cancer.

Actress Karen Black, star of iconic films such as Easy Rider, Nashville and Five Easy Pieces, has died in Los Angeles aged 74 after a three-year battle with cancer.

The prolific actress appeared in more than 100 films over a career spanning 40 years.

Illinois-born Black’s breakthrough role came as a prostitute in 1960s classic Easy Rider.

The actress, known for playing temperamental and neurotic characters, earned an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe award for her memorable turn as a waitress opposite Jack Nicholson in Bob Rafelson’s Five Easy Pieces.

Black won a best supporting actress Golden Globe for her performance in the 1974 version of The Great Gatsby and she was nominated for a Grammy Award for playing a country singer in the ensemble cast of 1975 musical drama Nashville.

Her successful career during the 1970s also saw her in a leading role in John Schlesinger’s The Day of the Locust and as a kidnapper in Alfred Hitchcock’s last film Family Plot.

Experimental mystery The Being Experience, in which Black features among an ensemble cast including Terence Howard and Famke Janssen, is currently in post-production.

Black and husband Stephen Eckelberry turned to the public through an online funding appeal to help with the actress’ medical costs during her recent illness. The online appeal raised more than £38,000.