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'Titanic' and 'Back to the Future' Actress Elsa Raven Dies at 91 — inside Her Life

Junie Sihlangu
Nov 05, 2020
04:57 A.M.
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On Tuesday, November 3, 2020, actress Elsa Raven passed away at the age of 91. The news of her sudden death was reported and confirmed by her agent, David Shaul.


Elsa Raven sadly passed away this week at her Los Angeles home, according to her agent David Shaul. Some people will recognize the actress as the “Save the Clock Tower” woman on “Back to the Future.”

The late star was born on September 21, 1929, in Charleston, South Carolina, as Elsa Rabinowitz before changing to her stage name. The future actress was the fourth child of Louis and Rosalie Rabinowitz.

Elsa Raven at The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Oscars outdoors screening of "Back To The Future" on August 11, 2012, in Hollywood, California | Photo: Angela Weiss/Getty Images


Raven began her acting career by taking to the stage in New York City and her first film role was in the 1970’s “The Honeymoon Killers.” In the same city, she was instrumental in helping Joseph Papp to bring the Free Shakespeare Festival to Central Park.

She also had many character actress roles in her long-spanning career. One of her many roles included playing a realtor who sold the house in the scary film, “The Amityville Horror.”


In her role on “In the Line of Fire,” she featured as John Malkovich’s landlady, and in “The Moderns” she appeared as Gertrude Stein. She was also the mother who lost her son in “Fearless.”

Raven also had the pleasure of starring in “Titanic” as Ida Strauss although most of her scenes were cut out. The star also had a starring role in Celine Dion’s music video for “My Heart Will Go On,” where she was half of the older couple in the stateroom where water was seen pouring in.


Besides her film roles, she also had regular features on television shows. The late actress appeared on “Amen” as Inga the Swedish maid, Lucille on “Days of Our Lives,” in “Wiseguy” as Vinnie Terranova’s mother Carlotta, and on “General Hospital” as Tugboat Tessie.

Raven also starred in “Murphy Brown,” “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “ER,” “Seinfeld,” and many more. She had her final film acting role in 2011 on “Answers to Nothing,” as Mrs. Harrison.


In 2006, the late star appeared as herself in the documentary, “Looking Back to the Future.” Raven was a voting member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences where she watched several films throughout each year.

She is survived by her sister-in-law Lynne Rabinowitz and fifteen nieces and nephews. There currently isn’t any information on the funeral plans for the late actress as yet, or how fans can honor her.

In the summer of 1985, fans were left in awe when a teenager went back to 1955 in a plutonium-powered DeLorean. At the time, the young boy was trying to get his parents to meet and fall in love.

“Back to the Future” was one of the shows Raven starred in alongside Michael J. Fox who had the main role as Marty McFly. The series was directed by both Fox and Robert Zemeckis.