Her sensitive portrayal of the emotionally abused blind girl in love with a black man brought her short lived celebrity which soon after turned into permanent obscurity. It's a road traveled by many on this blog, but the fact that she suffered from the mental illness of depression most likely was a factor in her downfall.
She followed her success in A Patch of Blue with equally compelling leading roles in The Group and You're a Big Boy Now, but after a supporting role in The Fixer she seemed to fade from the limelight, returning a few years later in the Clint Eastwood vehicle, The Beguiled. From there it was sporadic work in television and lesser known films with her last being the animated feature The Secret of NIMH, where she voiced one of the leading roles.
What happened? One's guess would be that Hollywood reared her ugly head and being an actress suffering from depression during a time when it was rarely discussed must have been a heavy burden to carry, making her final act a sad one. If there is a silver lining, it's in the work she left behind. Check out her first few films and discover why Elizabeth Hartman is Not Very Famous...but should be.