Actress Louisa Moritz passed away at the age of 72 last week, Deadline is reporting. Moritz is said to have died of a heart ailment. Mortiz is best known for her roles in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Match Game, and Love, American Style. She also made appearances in The Man from O.R.G.Y., Death Race 2000 with Sylvester Stallone, Cheech and Chong hit Up in Smoke, The Last American Virgin, Chained Heat, The Leslie Uggams Show, The Joe Namath Show, Ironside, Happy Days, M*A*S*H, Chico and the Man, The Rockford Files, The Incredible Hulk, and The Associates.
While Moritz certainly had an astounding resume, she recently only came back into the public eye in 2014 as one of the first seven women to accuse Bill Cosby of sexual assault. Moritz said that Cosby assaulted her in a dressing room after she was booked on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Cosby claimed Moritz (and all of his other accusers) were liars. In response, Moritz sued Cosby for defamation. Joseph Cammarata, the Washington, D.C., lead attorney in the defamation lawsuit against Cosby, released a statement calling Moritz a “brave woman.”
“Despite her death, her claim against Mr. Cosby will continue in a Federal court in Massachusetts,” said Cammarata. “We look forward to a resolution of the case that will establish that Louisa was a truth teller, so that her legacy will live forever untarnished.”
Moritz was born Louisa Castro on September 25, 1946, in Havana, Cuba, before moving to New York City in the 1950s. According to her longtime friend and publicist Edward Lozzi, who was the one to announce her passing, Moritz decided to change her last name upon seeing the St. Moritz Hotel in New York City. Aside from acting, Moritz sold real estate and later went to law school and became a lawyer. She eventually bought a Beverly Hills hotel which she renamed the Beverly Hills St. Moritz.
Lozzi, who knew Moritz for 38 years, notes that while Moritz was often cast as a “dumb blonde,” she was actually far from dumb. Aside from law school, where she made the dean’s list, she won the American Jurisprudence Bancroft Whitney Prize for Contracts. At the time of her death, she was working on two books: one about a Cuban cook and another about “how to get out of traffic tickets.”
“Her hundreds of TV and film roles will keep her memory alive with her fans forever,” said Lozzi. “Her support of other women who accused Bill Cosby of rape will keep her with us for years to come.”