Elsa Raven Wiki – Biography
Elsa Raven, an actress who was perhaps best known for her appearances in Titanic and Back to the Future has died, her agent confirmed to Deadline.
Although Raven had numerous television and film roles, she was perhaps best known for her small role in the classic movie Back to the Future, in which she played the “Save the Clock Tower” lady gathering donations to preserve the town’s clock. She also appeared for two years on the sitcom Amen from 1988 to 1990 and on Wiseguy from 1987 to 1990, her IMDB profile points out.
In Titanic, she appeared as Ida Straus, the wife of Isidor Straus played by Lew Palter. Although most of Raven’s scenes were cut from the final movie, she famously appeared in Celine Dion’s music video for “My Heart Will Go On” as the woman in the couple lying in their stateroom as it floods (see the clip of the moment in the movie below).
Raven is survived by her 15 nieces and nephews, according to Deadline.
Raven was born Elsa Rabinowitz on September 21, 1929, in Charleston, South Carolina. She was the fourth child of Louis and Rosalie Rabinowitz, Deadline reported, and first began acting on stage in New York City.
Elsa Raven Age
Elsa Raven has died at the age of 91-years-old.
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Her first film role was in The Honeymoon Killers in 1970, where she played the matron. Raven appeared in numerous films as a character actress, including as the realtor in The Amityville Horror, the landlady in In the Line of Fire and as Gertrude Stein in The Moderns, as IMDB points out. Her final on-screen appearance came in 2011 when she appeared as Mrs. Harrison in Answers to Nothing.
She had many small television roles as well in well-known shows, such as playing “Mom” in the 1994 Seinfeld episode “The Mom and Pop Store.” She appeared in an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in 1992 and on The A-Team in the early 1980s. Raven also had a recurring role in Days of Our Lives from 1994 to 1999, her IMDB profile shows.
Raven was also a voting member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, according to Deadline.
In 2015, Raven spoke to Uproxx about her experience filming Back to the Future and working with Michael J. Fox. She said:
I was in my car ready to drive off when Michael J. Fox came running up to the car and stuck his head into the car and said, ‘I just wanted to say goodbye and what a pleasure it was to work with you.” And I said, ‘Thank you! You’re gonna get that pleasure again cause I have to come back Monday to do reverse shots!” For him to come running to the parking lot to catch me before I drove away – I was so pleased and touched by that.
She also said that she was shocked when she saw that fans would pay for cast members’ autographs at fairs but said she never charged for her autograph. However, Raven said she would put a donation container like her famous one in the movie and if people contributed, the money would go to Fox’s charity.
Cause of Death
Elsa Raven, an actress who was perhaps best known for her appearances in Titanic and Back to the Future, died on November 3 at her home in Los Angeles, her agent confirmed to Deadline. The character actress, whose cause of death has not yet been publicly revealed, was 91.
Fans Posted Tributes
Raven’s fans took to Twitter to post tributes to the prolific actress and took the opportunity to highlight the iconic roles she played during her career. One person wrote, “SAVE THE CLOCKTOWER! @BacktotheFuture fans mourn the passing of actress Elsa Raven. Small role, big impact. Without her, Marty would have been stuck in 1955.”
— Danny Arroyo (@DannyArroyo) November 5, 2020
Film reviewer Rhett Bartlett wrote, “RIP Elsa Raven, 91. A memorable small role as ‘Save The Clock Tower’ fundraiser in BACK TO THE FUTURE. Sells the house in THE AMITYVILLE HORROR. And ever so briefly she appears in a memorable shot in TITANIC.”
Another person posted: “BREAKING: Very sad to hear about the passing of @BacktotheFuture actress Elsa Raven aka The Clock Tower Lady. I was lucky to have met her last December at the Hollywood Museum Gala. She laughed when I asked her if I could borrow a quarter? #BTTF #SaveTheClockTower.”