Star Trek Actress Camille Saviola Dead at 71

Camille Saviola
Camille Saviola

Cliff Lipson/CBS

Camille Saviola, known for her role as Kai Opaka in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, has died. She was 71.

The actress' death was confirmed by several of her friends and colleagues on social media on Thursday. The news was first reported by the Star Trek website

Details about Saviola's cause of death were not immediately clear.

"She was a friend for 40 years who could always be counted on for a laugh, a shoulder or a kick in the ass," Saviola's longtime friend, actor Harvey Fierstein, wrote on Twitter. "The Italian Godmother of Soul! Farewell."

Actor Wilson Cruz retweeted the news of Saviola's death, writing: "What a presence this woman was! My heart is heavy. My love to Camille's family and family of friends throughout the industry. She will be missed."

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Saviola began her career on Broadway. In 1982, she made her debut as Mama Maddelena in the Tommy Tune-directed musical Nine. She joined the cast of Chicago in 2003.

Shortly after she hit the stage for Nine, she made an appearance in Woody Allen's 1984 film Broadway Danny Rose. Over the next decade, she worked with Allen twice more for Shadows and Fog and The Purple Rose of Cairo.

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Some of her other films included Addams Family Values, Last Exit to Brooklyn, Penn & Teller Get Killed, and Betsy's Wedding.

Saviola also starred in several television shows, including First Monday, Entourage, and Judging Amy. She was perhaps best known for her role as Kai Opaka in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, appearing in four episodes from 1993 to 1996.