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‘The Virginian’ actor Sara Lane dies at 73 after long battle with breast cancer


Sarah Lane, the former actor best known for playing horse-loving teen Elizabeth Grainger on the long-running western series “The Virginian,” has passed away after a six-year battle with breast cancer. She turned 73.

Lane died Friday at her home in Napa, California, her husband of 43, Jon Scott, confirmed the Hollywood reporter. She made her “Virginian” debut as Charles Bickford’s John Grainger’s granddaughter in the show’s fifth season, appearing in over 100 episodes of the period drama.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Lane — daughter of actors Rusty Lane and Sara Anderson — got her part in “The Virginian” in part because she was already skilled at horseback riding.

Prior to joining the cast of ‘The Virginian’, Lane starred opposite the legendary Joan Crawford in the 1965 thriller ‘I Saw What You Did’. Lane and Crawford later reunited for a 1970 episode of ‘The Virginian’ .

After leaving “The Virginian”, Lane also appeared in a handful of movies under the stage name Russell Lane. Rounding out her big screen credits are 1973’s ‘Schoolgirls in Chains’, 1974’s ‘The Trial of Billy Jack’ and 1977’s ‘Billy Jack Goes to Washington’. According to the Hollywood Reporter, she retired from acting in the late 1970s.

She is survived by her husband, as well as their children, Sara and James; their granddaughter, Olivia; and her sister, Margretha.

Times news researcher Jennifer Arcand contributed to this report.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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