Country music icon Loretta Lynn died today, prompting plenty of memorials from friends and admirers. One such friend and admirer is Sissy Spacek, who won an Academy Award for playing Lynn in Michael Apted’s 1980 biopic Coal Miner’s Daughter. In a statement published by Deadline, Spacek says she’s “heartbroken” and that “the world lost a magnificent human being.” Here’s the statement in full:
Today is a sad day. The world lost a magnificent human being. Loretta Lynn was a great artist, a strong and resilient country music pioneer, and a precious friend. I am heartbroken. I send my deepest sympathies to her wonderful family, her friends, and her loyal fans.
The Deadline story goes on to note that Lynn personally chose Spacek to play her in Coal Miner’s Daughter (which was based on Lynn and George Vecsey’s book of the same name), and though Spacek wasn’t sure about accepting the job at first—given that she’d have to approximate Lynn’s real accent and do her own singing—but she felt obligated to take it after Lynn announced on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show that Spacek would be playing her in the movie. Lynn was also very hands-on with teaching Spacek how to play her, covering not just her accent and singing style, but her guitar-playing and specific speech patterns.
Coal Miner’s Daughter also starred Tommy Lee Jones as Lynn’s husband Oliver “Doolittle” Lynn, Beverly D’Angelo as Patsy Cline (D’Angelo also appeared in the Simpsons episode “Colonel Homer,” which was partially an homage to Coal Miner’s Daughter), and The Band’s Levon Helm (he played Tedd Webb, Loretta Lynn’s father). The movie earned seven nominations for the Academy Awards in 1981, including Best Picture, but its only win was Spacek for Best Actress.