Remembering the Sad Story of Elizabeth Hartman


Freckle-faced beauty Elizabeth Hartman debuted in 1965’s A Patch of Blue, earning an Oscar nomination as the blind girl who’s tortured by her mother (Shelley Winters) but learns about the brighter side of human nature when she’s befriended by the nice black man in the park, Sidney Poitier.

Hartman went on to play diverse roles in films like Sidney Lumet’s The Group and Coppola’s You’re a Big Boy, Now, but fame (and more importantly creative options) didn’t stick around.

According to

“Plagued by acute depression and insecurity as she saw her once promising career decline sharply within a decade, Elizabeth turned into a virtual recluse.

“Her last work was a voiceover job in the animated film The Secret of NIMH (1982).

“Nothing had been heard of Elizabeth for years until June 10, 1987, when it was reported that she had thrown herself out of a fifth-floor apartment window.

“Divorced for three years at the time of her death, it was learned that she had been an outpatient at a psychiatric hospital in Pittsburgh and had called her doctor earlier that fateful day informing him that she was despondent.

“A sad, sad end to an extremely bright and beautiful talent.”