Elsa Raven, famously known as the Clock Tower Lady in “Back to the Future,” has passed away at age 91.
On Thursday, Deadline confirmed with her agent David Shaul that the actress died this week at her home in Los Angeles.
Raven, whose real name was Elsa Rabinowitz, was born September 21, 1929, in Charleston, South Carolina, and began her acting career onstage in New York City.
She went on to appear in over 75 television shows and movies, including 1970’s “The Honeymoon Killers,” 1979’s “The Amityville Horror,” 1988’s “The Moderns,” and 1993’s “In the Line of Fire.”
Raven also appeared in 1997’s “Titanic” as Ida Strauss, one half of the older couple who is seen lying in bed together as water pours into their room while the ship sinks.
However, Raven is most known for her role in the first “Back to the Future” film. In her iconic scene, Raven’s character approaches Marty McFly just as he is about to kiss his girlfriend, Jennifer, and shoves a collection can in their faces.
On Thursday, “Back to the Future” co-screenwriter Bob Gale spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about Raven’s legacy.
“She was one of those A-list performers who could turn a small role into a memorable one,” Gale said. “Although she is on screen for probably less than a minute, everyone remembers her. And casting her is an example of director [and co-screenwriter Robert] Zemeckis’ philosophy that every role is important and can be made memorable.”
“[Robert] would never save money by hiring a cheaper performer in a small role, a lesson we learned on our first movie: a mediocre day player can ruin a film,” Gale continued.
Per Deadline, Raven is survived by her 15 nieces and nephews. No memorial plans have been announced.
Our condolences go out to Elsa’s family and loved ones for their loss.