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Misty Upham Found Dead: Family Of 'Frozen River' Actress Says Police Uncooperative In Search
By SP_COP on October 17, 2014 | From deadline.com
Misty Upham Found Dead: Family Of 'Frozen River' Actress Says Police Uncooperative In Search Misty Upham, who was nominated for an Indie Spirit Award in 2009 for her role in the feature film Frozen River, was found dead in the woods in Auburn, WA, today after going missing earlier this month. She was 32. Filmmaker friend Tracy Rector, speaking on behalf of the family, confirmed that the Native American actress was found by a search party led by uncle Robert Upham. She was later identified by family members. “The main thing her family wants people to know is that the Auburn Police Department would not cooperate in looking for Misty,” Rector told Deadline. “There’s a long history of police harassment and friction between the police and the Muckleshoot community here, and her family feels they dropped the ball and Misty perhaps would have been found if the police had taken it seriously.”

“Misty was a talented and kind soul who will be greatly missed,” said Upham’s manager Richard Kerner. “My deepest condolences to her family and friends.”

Upham, whose recent credits included the Oscar-nominated August: Osage County and Django Unchained, was reported missing by her family October 6. Her body was found this afternoon near the White River less than an hour outside Seattle, according to that city’s KIRO-TV. A search party of three found Upham’s purse and ID and later discovered her body at the bottom of a 150-foot ravine, the Seattle Times reported. The body was not immediately ID’d but the paper quoted a police spokesman as saying there was a “good chance” it was Upham. The King County Coroner’s office is expected to make a statement tomorrow.

Upham truly broke through with Frozen River, an indie drama written and directed by Courtney Hunt. A standout at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival where it premiered, it starred Upham and Melissa Leo as two single, desperate moms who become part of a smuggling operation across the St. Lawrence River separating the U.S. and Canada on a Mohawk reservation. Leo was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar and Hunt for Original Screenplay.

Two years earlier, in a poignant essay for the Native American Indigenous Cinema and Arts, she described the struggles of a minority actress in Hollywood, where at the time she had been “in and out of Hollywood looking for work for the past seven years.”

She wrote: “In a business that has exploited and ignored our people I have only found dead-ends. We need romantic comedies, gross-out and mockery comedies, horror and thrillers, teen movies and love-stories. All these and more will be a positive step towards the future of Native Americans in the world and film industry; an industry that that offers us not only the chance to play the parts of heroes, love interests and warriors, but also of villains, dorks and dangerous, brokenhearted products of circumstance.”...
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