Obituaries
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    Besedka Johnson; had first movie role after turning 85

    Besedka Johnson and Dree Hemingway in a scene from “Starlet.”
    Augusta Quirk/Music Box Films via Associated Press
    Besedka Johnson and Dree Hemingway in a scene from “Starlet.”

    LOS ANGELES — Besedka Johnson, who became an actress at age 85 and won praise for last year’s movie “Starlet,” has died. She was 87.

    Ms. Johnson died April 4 at Glendale Memorial Hospital of complications following surgery for a bacterial infection, her son, Jim, told the Los Angeles Times.

    Ms. Johnson played the cranky widow Sadie who befriended Dree Hemingway in last year’s movie. It was her only role.

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    “Besedka showed that no age is too old to do what you dream. I loved her dearly,’’ Hemingway said in a statement.

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    Ms. Johnson got the part when an executive producer for the movie saw her in the locker room at a YMCA gym in Los Angeles and asked her to audition.

    “I thought it has got to be a great big joke,” Ms. Johnson later said, but “when you’re this old, it’s like, let’s just go along with it and see what happens.”