Angela McEwan, 81, who became a professional actress in her 70s and drew acclaim for her role in Alexander Payne's film

Nebraska,

has died.

A publicist for Ms. McEwan confirmed Tuesday that she died Sunday in New York from complications of lung cancer.

The Los Angeles-born Ms. McEwan set out early in life to become an actor, but largely gave it up to raise a family and work as a criminal-court Spanish interpreter.

But after her gastroenterologist husband, Guillermo McEwan, retired, Ms. McEwan took up acting lessons and landed roles in a handful of TV shows, including Parks and Recreation, New Girl, and HBO's Getting On.

But it was her role as a small-town newspaper editor in 2013's Nebraska that captured the most attention. The New Yorker called her scene "the loveliest, most poignant scene in the film."

Ms. McEwan is survived by two sons and three grandchildren. - AP