“Footloose” Actress Lynne Marta Dead at 78: 'We Lost a Beautiful Light'

"A wonderfully talented actress and a beautiful singer whose voice was of the angels," wrote her friend Joan Sobel on Facebook

<p>Everett</p> Lynne Marta circa 1978


Lynne Marta circa 1978

Lynne Marta, a film and television actress who appeared in the musical classic Footloose, has died. She was 78.

Marta's friend Chris Saint-Hillaire confirmed her death to The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday, sharing that she died on Thursday, Jan. 11, from cancer at her home in Los Angeles. PEOPLE is out to Saint-Hillaire for further comment.

Another friend of Marta's, Joan Sobel, addressed her death on Facebook, writing: “We lost a beautiful light today. My friend, Lynne Marta lost her good fight. A wonderfully talented actress and a beautiful singer whose voice was of the angels. A dear heart who adored her friends both human and furry. I will miss her terribly.”

Marta was born in New Jersey on Oct. 30, 1945, and began performing as a dancer on the syndicated The Lloyd Thaxton Show, as THR reported. She earned her first onscreen credits in episodes of Gidget and The Monkees at age 19 in 1966, kicking off an acting career that spanned more than three decades.

She took several guest roles on television shows like Then Came Bronson, The Man and the City and The F.B.I. in the late '60s and early '70s, on top of appearances in films like Red Sky at Morning (1971) and Joe Kidd (1972). Her tendency to appear on television for short periods of time continued throughout her career, including stints on Starsky and Hutch and Charlie's Angels in the late '70s.

In 1983, Marta held a season-long role on Days of Our Lives as Charlene Higgins. She later returned to the series for appearances as different characters in 1993 and 2003, per her IMDb page. She memorably appeared alongside Kevin Bacon, Sarah Jessica Parker and John Lithgow in 1984's Footloose as Lulu Warnicker.

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<p>Everett</p> Lynne Marta, circa 1973


Lynne Marta, circa 1973

Following Footloose, Marta held roles in the 1990 movies The First Power andThree Men and a Little Lady. She also made an appearance on Law & Order in 1993 and several made-for-television movies through the '90s. Her final onscreen credits came in the early 2000s for episodes of ER, Crossing Jordan, the movieTime of Fear (2002) and a 2004 episode of American Dreams.

Lynne, who never married, held an "open relationship" with Starsky and Hutch star David Soul during the show's run in the 1970s, PEOPLE previously reported. Soul himself died at 80 on Jan. 4.

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<p>Stanley Bielecki Movie Collection/Getty</p> Lynne Marta and David Soul in 1977

Stanley Bielecki Movie Collection/Getty

Lynne Marta and David Soul in 1977

Outside of her acting career, Marta made news in 1989 when she testified regarding the murder of murder of actress Rebecca Schaeffer by Robert John Bardo, who was convicted in 1991. Marta testified that she heard the shooting from her apartment and called 911, as the Los Angeles Times reported at the time.

“She was still screaming while I was talking to 911,” she testified, per the outlet. “By the time I got to the door, she was wailing. I opened the small hatch in my door. There was a smell I’ll never forget: the smell of gunfire. It was quiet except for light moaning.”

Marta is survived by her sister MJ and cat, Mr. Peaches, per THR.

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