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'Animal House' Actress Verna Bloom Dead at 80

'Animal House' Actress Verna Bloom Dead at 80
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Verna Bloom, the versatile actress who made a sensational debut in the docu-style classic "Medium Cool" and is best-remembered as Dean Wormer's cougar wife in "Animal House," died January 9 in Bar Harbor, Maine, Variety reports. She was 80.

The cause was complications of dementia.

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Bloom is seen with "Animal House" co-stars Mark Metcalf and the late John Vernon during a 25th-anniversary celebration of the film in 2003.

The stage, TV, and film actress made a stunning impression in Haskell Wexler's "Medium Cool" (1969), playing a single mother who, in the film's climax, is seen in an iconic yellow dress searching for her missing son amid the real-life riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. The film was chosen in 2003 for preservation in the United States Film Registry by the Library of Congress.

Bloom also appeared in the films "High Plains Drifter (1973), "Honkytonk Man" (1982), "After Hours" (1985), and "The Last Temptation of Christ" (1988), but it was her comic turn as Marion Wormer — who gamely allows a student (played by Tim Matheson) to seduce her — in "Animal House" (1978) for which she is popularly known.

On TV, Bloom starred with Frank Sinatra in the movie "Contract on Cherry Street" (1977), among many other appearances.

Bloom is survived by her husband of 49 years, screenwriter Jay Cocks, and by their son, Sam. The family asks that donations be made in her memory to Bonaparte's Retreat Dog Rescue.