Kim McGuire, a New Orleans native whose film career wasn’t long, but was certainly memorable, has died. She was admitted to a Florida hospital on Tuesday with pneumonia; she did not respond to treatment, and died yesterday of cardiac arrest. Her husband, TV graphic and sound designer Gene Piotrowsky, broke the news on Twitter, saying, “Today is a very sad day. Kim “hatchet face” McGuire my best friend, and the love of my life [passed] away this afternoon. I love you so much.” She was 60.
As Piotrowsky mentioned in his tweet, McGuire was most famous for her role in John Waters’ Cry-Baby, where she dramatically exaggerated her features with makeup to play Mona “Hatchet-Face” Malnorowski, a tough-as-nails girl gang member who The New York Times described as “a hideously contorted floozy” in its review of the film. The character of Hatchet-Face became a breakout hit, and McGuire began frequenting Hollywood parties and premieres. Her film career didn’t have much longevity, though, and aside from a role opposite Malcom McDowell in the revenge thriller Disturbed, her only other significant role was as a TV executive on Mark Frost and David Lynch’s short-lived sitcom On The Air.
After leaving Hollywood in the late ‘90s, McGuire became an entertainment and appellate lawyer in Los Angeles. She and Piotrowsky were living in New York on 9/11, and when the attack left them both unemployed, they decided to move to Biloxi, Mississippi, where McGuire’s parents had a vacation home. Tragedy struck the couple once again when Hurricane Katrina completely destroyed their home; in the years following Katrina, they moved around the South—McGuire ended up becoming a licensed attorney in Alabama as well—until finally settling in Florida.
As well as a lawyer, McGuire was apparently also a fairly prolific author. You can buy digital copies of her books, on topics ranging from her experience during Hurricane Katrina to dealing with the loss of a child, on Amazon. A GoFundMe has also been set up to help Piotrowsky with her final expenses.