Blakley, a country-and-western singer, was indelible as Barbara Jean in "Nashville" (1975). In this role, her acting debut, she played an adored and infantilized singer, victimized by both her own childlike fragility and by stardom itself. After this brilliantly attuned performance, Blakley appeared in Nicholas Ray's last screen effort "Lightning Over Water" (1979) and in numerous other roles. Her later credits tended toward low budget genre and independent fare including an early Walter Hill effort, "The Driver" (1978), Wes Craven's original "A Nightmare on Elm Street" (1984), and Henry Jaglom's "Someone to Love" (1987). She wrote, directed, produced, scored and acted in the docudrama "I Played It For You" (1985).