Fresh from Broadway, Elizabeth Hartman made a stunningly brilliant screen debut as the blind, embittered young heroine of A Patch of Blue (1965). This maiden movie effort won Hartman an Oscar nomination -- and at the same time typed her in high-strung, sensitive roles. She continued impressing the critics with choice assignments in The Group (1966) and You're a Big Boy Now (1968), but by 1971 her once-promising career was in the doldrums. There was a chance for a comeback in the box-office smash Walking Tall (1973), but Hartman's character, the wife of sheriff Buford Pusser (Joe Don Baker), was little more than a plot gimmick; she is killed off before the film is two-thirds over, prompting Pusser's final, violent vengeance spree. Hartman also provided a voice for the Don Bluth cartoon feature The Secret of Nimh (1982), Elizabeth Hartman was killed in a fall from her apartment window in 1987.