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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lorna Thayer
Lorna Patricia Casey

(1919-08-16)August 16, 1919
DiedJune 4, 2005(2005-06-04) (aged 85)
Resting placeValhalla Memorial Park Cemetery
Years active1952–1991

Lorna Thayer (born Lorna Patricia Casey; August 16, 1919 – June 4, 2005) was an American character actress.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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    1 244
  • "Five Easy Pieces" behind the scenes, Eugene, Oregon 1969



Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Thayer was the daughter of silent screen actress Louise Gibney. She appeared often in theatre and on television.

In 1955, she played in The Beast with a Million Eyes with Paul Birch. She played minor roles in The Lusty Men, Texas City and Frankie and Johnny.

She is most likely to be remembered for her role in the iconic 1970 film Five Easy Pieces as the waitress who refuses to allow Jack Nicholson's character to order a side of wheat toast.[1] The scene has come to be known as the "chicken salad sandwich scene".

Thayer was cast in an historical role as Jessie Benton Frémont, loyal wife of John C. Frémont (Roy Engel), in the 1960 episode "The Gentle Sword" of the anthology series Death Valley Days. In the story, the Frémonts are in California during the gold rush. The couple becomes involved in a mining claim dispute; Mrs. Frémont stares down organized claim jumpers.[2]

On January 2, 1960, in season 3, episode 16 "The Prophet" of Have Gun - Will Travel, Thayer was cast as Serafina, wife of Colonel Benjamin Nunez (Shepperd Studrick).[3] She also appeared as Doris in the November 21, 1959, episode titled "The Golden Toad", written by Gene Roddenberry.[4] Also, Season 5, Episode 36 "Pandora's Box", as Hanna

Personal life

Thayer was married to actor George N. Neise, and they had two daughters.[5]


After battling Alzheimer's disease for five years, Thayer died at the Motion Picture and Television Fund Retirement Home in Woodland Hills, California, aged 85.[6]


Year Title Role Notes
1952 Texas City Aunt Harriet Upton uncredited
1952 Just Across the Street Girl uncredited
1952 The Lusty Men Grace Burgess
1953 Jennifer Molly, Grocery Clerk
1955 Women's Prison Deputy Sheriff Green uncredited
1955 The Beast with a Million Eyes Carol Kelley
1956 I've Lived Before Mrs. Fred Bolan uncredited
1956 The Women of Pitcairn Island Moa'tua, weeping woman
1958 I Want to Live! Corona Guard uncredited
1960 Freckles Alice Cooper
1963 Police Nurse
1966 Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round Passenger on Mexico Flight uncredited
1968 The Shakiest Gun in the West Saloon Girl uncredited
1970 Five Easy Pieces Waitress
1970 The Traveling Executioner Madam uncredited
1971 The Andromeda Strain Woman uncredited
1972 Glass Houses
1972 Cisco Pike Swimming Lady
1972 Skyjacked Weber's Mother
1974 Rhinoceros Restaurant Owner
1974 The Gravy Train TV Interviewer uncredited
1974 Alice Goodbody Yvonne
1975 Smoke in the Wind Ma Mondier
1976 Revenge of the Cheerleaders Lilly Downs
1981 Buddy Buddy Lady
1986 Nothing in Common Auditioning Grandma
1991 Frankie and Johnny Flower Vendor


  1. ^ Wilson, Scott (2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons (3rd ed.). McFarland. ISBN 9781476625997. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  2. ^ "The Gentle Sword on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  3. ^ "The Prophet on Have Gun Will Travel". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
  4. ^ Aired on H&I Network July 9, 2019
  5. ^ Aaker, Everett (2017). Television Western Players, 1960–1975: A Biographical Dictionary. McFarland. p. 318. ISBN 9781476628561. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  6. ^ McLellan, Dennis (17 June 2005). "Lorna Thayer, 85; Character Actress Played Memorable Waitress in 'Five Easy Pieces'". Los Angeles Times.

External links

This page was last edited on 8 July 2023, at 22:57
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