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'M*A*S*H' Star Sally Kellerman Passes Away at 84 — She Is Survived by 2 of Her 3 Children

Edduin Carvajal
Feb 25, 2022
02:20 P.M.
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Multi-awarded actress Sally Kellerman dealt with challenging final years and mental illness before passing away at 84. Only two of her three children survived her.

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Although "M*A*S*H" star Sally Kellerman had a long and successful career in Hollywood and a loving relationship with her second husband, Jonathan D. Krane, things took a tragic turn in 2016.

Born in California in 1937, Kellerman grew up with her mom, a piano teacher, and dad, an oil executive. When she was a child, her family moved from Long Beach to Los Angeles, where Kellerman began singing jazz. 

Sally Kellerman, her husband Jonathan D. Krane, and their twin children Jack and Hanna on May 10, 2000 in California [left]. Kellerman filming "M*A*S*H" in the 1970s [right] | Source: Getty Images |

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SALLY KELLERMAN PASSED AWAY

Although Verve Records signed her at 18, she studied acting at Los Angeles City College and worked in stage productions with some future Hollywood stars, including Jack Nicholson.

After landing guest roles in "The Twilight Zone," "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour," "Bonanza," and the original "Star Trek" pilot, Kellerman shot to stardom as Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan in the 1970's film "M*A*S*H."

Sally Kellerman circa 1973 | Source: Getty Images

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Kellerman had two husbands and three children, but her life wasn't always a walk in the park. She even had dementia during her final years before passing on February 24, 2022. 

Her manager and publicist, Alan Eichler, announced her death and explained it resulted from heart failure. She died at her Woodland Hills home in Los Angeles aged 84, and two of her three children survived her. More about them later.

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SALLY KELLERMAN'S HUSBANDS

Kellerman's Hollywood career was as remarkable as her relationship with her husband Jonathan D. Krane. However, she had to kiss some frogs – and even marry one – to find her prince.

Sally Kellerman's first husband was writer Rick Edelstein. Born and raised in the Bronx, Edelstein began his career writing stage plays for off-Broadway productions in New York City. 

Unfortunately, 2016 was arguably the worst year in Kellerman's life.

Sally Kellerman on November 21, 2015 in Westwood, California | Source: Getty Images

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He eventually moved to Los Angeles and worked as a writer and director of popular TV series, including "Charlie's Angels," "Starsky & Hutch," and "Chicago." Later in life, Edelstein published short stories and novellas.

Kellerman and Edelstein tied the knot in 1970. It was the first marriage for the actress and the second for the Hollywood producer. They parted ways after only two years, with Kellerman citing "irreconcilable differences." 

Sally Kellerman and Jonathan D. Krane began dating after she left Edelstein. Krane was a producer best known for working in "Face/Off," "Look Who's Talking," and "Primary Colors," and Kellerman wouldn't stop gushing about him. 

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She described him as a smart, supportive, "drop-dead gorgeous" man with incredible confidence. Kellerman confessed they were crazy about each other during their first year together.

Still, she kept things "as light as possible" and didn't jump into love or marriage. Even when Krane would tell her he loved her, she would change the topic.

In 1980, Sally Kellerman and Jonathan D. Krane married at Jennifer Jones' Malibu home in a private ceremony. For over three decades, the couple stayed together and had three kids, Hanna, Jack, and Claire. 

Sally Kellerman on August 4, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada | Source: Getty Images

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SALLY KELLERMAN'S CHILDREN

Speaking of their children, they were all adopted. Claire, their eldest, is the biological daughter of Kellerman's older sister, Diana. The actress legally made Claire part of her life in the 1970s, and Krane adopted her after marrying Kellerman. 

Kellerman and Krane still wanted to enlarge their family, so they began an adoption process in the late 1980s. The actress revealed many details about it in her 2013 memoir "Read My Lips." 

She explained she contacted her friend Burt Reynolds and his wife, Loni Anderson, and told them about her adoption plans after two failed meetings with adoption lawyers.

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Reynolds and Anderson had adopted successfully, so they referred Mary Hinton to Kellerman. Hinton eventually called with news of a pregnant woman willing to give her child up for adoption, but the couple needed to accept right away.

Hinton told them about the parents' background and other general information, including that the mother might have twins. Kellerman accepted anyway, and she confirmed it was twins a few weeks later. Kellerman explained

"In the ultrasound image, they had their backs to the camera, so it wasn't clear yet what sex they were. But [Krane] and I were sure that they were two boys. Jack and Joe."

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They ended up welcoming a boy and a girl: Jack and Hanna. Kellerman's friends were sure she was crazy for adopting twins at 52, but it felt "like a miracle" because her twins provided joy and happiness. 

Unfortunately, 2016 was arguably the worst year in Kellerman's life. That August, she announced on Facebook the "sudden passing" of Jonathan D. Crane. He died at their Hollywood Hills home aged 65. 

The actress confessed she was devastated but grateful her twin children supported her during the grieving process. Only two months later, things took a tragic twist.

On October 22, 2016, Hanna died from a heroin and methamphetamine overdose. She was 27. Now, Sally Kellerman probably reunited with her husband and daughter in heaven. Rest in peace, legend. 

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