Lisa Banes, an adaptable performer who came to fame on the Nyc stage throughout the 1980s and ended up going on to have a busy professional life which included roles on television and in movies such as “Cocktail” and “Gone Girl,” died Monday of head trauma she sustained 10 days earlier as she was hit by just a scooter in Manhattan. She was 65 years old.

The New York City Police department verified her death at Mount Sinai Morningside Hospital on June 4, after she was hit by a scooter while walking Amsterdam Boulevard near The west 64th Street in Manhattan.

lisa banes dies at 65

According to Sgt. Edward Riley, a police spokeswoman, the user of the bike ran a stop sign before colliding into Banes and fleeing. Riley stated on Tuesday that no arrest had taken place.

Banes resided in Los Angeles and had visited friends in New York, according to her spouse, Kathryn Kranhold.

Banes, renowned for her caustic wit and confident, graceful demeanour, featured in over 80 TV and film appearances, as well as several stage performances, including one on Broadway.

After moving east from Colorado Springs, Colorado, in the mid-1970s and enrolling at The Juilliard School in New York, she achieved immediate success in the theatre.

When the Roundabout Theater staged John Osborne’s “Look Back in Anger” in 1980, she portrayed the overworked wife of the furious Jimmy Porter, played by Malcolm McDowell.

lisa banes fashion

“On her knees in misery, face soiled with defeat, arms clumsily groping for form and repose,” Walter Kerr wrote in The New York Times, “Lisa Banes has a wonderfully powerful last moment.”

The next year, she appeared in a performance of James Barrie’s comedy “The Admirable Crichton” at the Long Wharf Theater in New Haven, Connecticut, portraying the child of even an upper-crust Family friend who falls shipwrecked on even a deserted island.

Off-Broadway roles continued to come in. Later same year, at Second Stage Theater, she with Elizabeth McGovern played the major parts in Wendy Kesselman’s “My Sister in This House.” She starred as Olga in Chekhov’s “Three Sisters” at the Manhattan Theater Club in 1982, with Dianne Wiest, Mia Dillon, Jeff Daniels, Christine Ebersol, and Sam Waterston.

When Banes was performing in Wendy Wasserstein’s comedy “Isn’t It Romantic” at Playwrights Horizons in 1984, The New York Times called her one of 15 theatre actresses to see. For her performances in that piece, she was shortlisted for a Drama Desk Prize.

Her Broadway debut was in the Neil Simon comedy “Rumors” in 1988, and she returned to the stage in Tom Stoppard’s “Arcadia” (1995), Cole Porter’s “High Society” (1998), and a revival of Noel Coward’s “Present Laughter” (1999). (2010).

Her most recent theatrical performance was in 2018 just at Huntington Theater Company in Boston, where she played one of two major parts in Eleanor Burgess’ “The Niceties,” a drama that contrasted her supposedly progressive lesbian professor vs a young Black college student, played by Jordan Boatman.

In The Boston Globe, Don Aucoin commended their performances, writing, “both discover the subtleties in their characters, revealing the rare fractures inside their seeming certitude.”

lisa banes old

Hollywood began knocking as Banes distinguished herself in the theatre. Her first movie role had been in Tony Richardson’s 1984 adjustment of John Irving’s novel “The Hotel New Hampshire,” and she began appearing commonly on television, such as platform provides on “The Trials of Rosie O’Neill” in the early 1990s and, more lately, “Royal Pains,” “Nashville,” and the deep space comedy “The Orville.”

“Her stage presence, charisma, brilliance, and brilliance were only equaled by her unshakable kindness and graciousness,” stated Seth MacFarlane, writer and star of “The Orville.”

She portrayed Tom Cruise’s haughty older girlfriend in “Cocktail” in 1988 and the caustic mother of a missing lady in David Fincher’s “Gone Girl” (2014), co-starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike.

Lisa Lou Banes was born in Cleveland on July 9, 1955. Ken Banes, her dad, worked in marketing, and Mary Lou (Shalenhamer) Banes was a model.

Lisa grew up in Colorado Springs, where she began her acting career at a young age. In 2014, she informed The Gazette of Colorado Springs that her first paid employment was as a cast member at a dinner theatre in neighbouring Manitou Springs.

“They had booze,” she explained. “I’m quite sure I lied about my age because you had to be 16 and I was only 15.”

Banes is accompanied by a brother, Evan Sinclair, and her stepmother, Joan Banes, in addition to Kranhold.

In the ten days following her accident, performers and writers who had collaborated with Banes showed their support as well as their horror at what had occurred.

Burgess, the author of “The Niceties,” characterised Banes as a “bright, vivacious, lovely woman” who she had been with soon before she was hit by the scooter.


Cramer, Maria, and Neil Genzlinger. “Lisa Banes, ‘Gone Girl’ Actress, Dies at 65 After Hit-and-Run.” The New York Times, 15 June 2021,

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