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Elizabeth Norment, the veteran actress who played the loyal executive secretary to Kevin Spacey’s wicked politician Frank Underwood on House of Cards, has died. She was 61.
Norment, who appeared as Nancy Kaufberger on the Netflix series, died Oct. 13 at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, her sister, Kate, told The Hollywood Reporter.
Her character worked for Underwood from the time he was a member of the House of Representatives from South Carolina through his recent career upturns.
“RIP Elizabeth Norment. We all loved her and she leaves a void in all of us here at HoC’s,” Spacey said on Twitter.
“Everyone at House of Cards is deeply saddened by Elizabeth’s passing. She was a talented actress, a warm soul and a good friend to us all,” series showrunner Beau Willimon said in a statement.
“Elizabeth Norment was a talented actress with a beautiful spirit who touched the entire House of Cards family,” execs at MRC, the production company behind the show, added.
Read more Hollywood’s Notable Deaths of 2014
Norment also played Judge Arlene Brewer on three episodes over a six-year span on Law & Order and appeared in guest roles on such shows as St. Elsewhere, Party of Five, ER, Mad About You and Blue Bloods.
Earlier, she showed up on the Steven Bochco series L.A. Law, Hooperman and Doogie Howser, M.D.
Norment had small roles in the films The Woman in Red (1984), Runaway (1984) and Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (1997) and played Eunice Kennedy in the 1985 CBS miniseries Robert Kennedy and His Times.
A native of Washington, D.C., whose father was an administrator in the CIA, Norment received a master’s degree from the Yale School of Drama in 1979 and joined Robert Brustein’s American Repertory Theatre as a founding member.
She headed to Southern California in 1983 to play an ingenue opposite Peter Ustinov in Beethoven’s Tenth at the Ahmanson Theatre.
In 1990, Norment’s career took off after she starred as Rosalind and Beatrice, respectively, in As You Like It and Much Ado About Nothing at the Grove Shakespeare Festival in Garden Grove, Calif.
“A lot of people in the business either saw them or heard about [those performances],” she told the Los Angeles Times in 1991 as she prepared to play Portia in another Shakespeare classic, The Merchant of Venice. “I’ve been working steadily ever since.”
In addition to her sister, survivors include her mother, Nancy; her other sisters, Sarah and Martha; her brother, Clarence; and six nieces and nephews.
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Thomas Brodie Sangster