Born Elsa Rabinowitz, she chose Raven as her stage name and began her career performing in New York City. She went on to find a successful career in both television and film, landing her first movie role in 1970’s “The Honeymoon Killers,” where she played a matron.
Raven had small but memorable parts such as the woman advocating to save the clocktower in “Back to the Future” and the realtor who sold the house in “Amityville Horror.” Her final film role came in 2011 when she took on the character of Mrs. Harrison in “Answers to Nothing.”
Though most of the scenes she filmed as Ida Strauss in “Titanic” were cut, she was featured in the Celine Dion video as part of the couple in the stateroom where water poured in.
Raven’s television credits include many one-off performances and recurring roles. In 1992 she appeared in an episode of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” and in 1994 she took on a character for “Seinfeld.”
But her most notable roles came in “Amen” and “Wiseguy,” both of which she featured in throughout multiple seasons. She played a maid named Inga in 17 episodes of “Amen” between 1988 and 1990 and took on the character of Carlotta Terranova, Vinnie’s mother, from 1987 to 1990 for “Wiseguy.”
Shortly after, she found a recurring role in “Days of Our Lives,” which she acted in until 1999. She appeared as herself in the “Looking Back to the Future” documentary in 2006.
Raven was part of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, where she actively watched films and engaged in voting each year. She is survived by her sister-in-law Lynne Rabinowitz and her 15 nieces and nephews.
(Pictured: Elsa Raven in “Back to the Future”)
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