Shirley MacLaine was born Shirley MacLean Beaty to Virginia native Ira Owens Beaty, an American, and Kathlyn Corinne MacLean, from Nova Scotia, Canada. Her brother, Warren Beatty, was born on March 30, 1937.
Shirley was the tallest in her ballet classes at the Washington School of Ballet. Just after she graduated from Washington-Lee High School, she packed her bags and headed for New York. While auditioning for Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II's "Me and Juliet", the producer kept mispronouncing her name. She then changed her name from Shirley MacLean Beaty to Shirley MacLaine. She later had a role in "The Pajama Game", as a member of the chorus and understudy to Carol Haney. A few months into the run, Shirley was going to leave the show for the lead role in "Can-Can" but ended up filling in for Haney, who had broken her ankle and could not perform. She would fill in for Carol, again, three months later, following another injury, the very night that movie producer Hal B. Wallis was in the audience. Wallis signed MacLaine to a five-year contract to Paramount Pictures. Three months later, she was off to shoot The Trouble with Harry (1955). She then took roles in Hot Spell (1958) and Around the World in Eighty Days (1956), completed not too long before her daughter, Sachi Parker (born Stephanie), was born. With Shirley's career on track, she played one of her most challenging roles: "Ginny Moorhead" in Some Came Running (1958), for which she received her first Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. She went on to do The Sheepman (1958) and The Matchmaker (1958). In 1960, she got her second Academy Award nomination for The Apartment (1960). Three years later, she received a third nomination for Irma la Douce (1963). In 1969, she brought her friend Bob Fosse from Broadway to direct her in Sweet Charity (1969), from which she got her "signature" song, "If My Friends Could See Me Now". After a five-year hiatus, Shirley made a documentary on China called The Other Half of the Sky: A China Memoir (1975), for which she received an Oscr nomination for best documentary.
In 1977, she got her fourth Best Actress Oscar nomination for The Turning Point (1977). In 1979, she worked with Peter Sellers in Being There (1979), made shortly before his death. After 20 years in the film industry, she finally took home the Best Actress Oscar for Terms of Endearment (1983). After a five-year hiatus, Shirley made Madame Sousatzka (1988), a critical and financial hit that took top prize at the Venice Film Festival. In 1989, she starred with Dolly Parton, Sally Field and Julia Roberts in Steel Magnolias (1989). She received rave reviews playing Meryl Streep's mother in Postcards from the Edge (1990) and for Guarding Tess (1994). In 1996, she reprised her role from "Terms of Endearment" as "Aurora Greenway" in The Evening Star (1996), which didn't repeat its predecessor's success at the box office. In mid-1998, she directed Bruno (2000), which starred Alex D. Linz. In February 2001, Shirley worked with close friends once again in These Old Broads (2001) (TV), and co-starred with Julia Stiles in Carolina (2003/I) and with Kirstie Alley in Salem Witch Trials (2002) (TV).
MacLaine as her own website which includes her own radio show and interviews, the Encounter Board, and Independent Expression, a members-only section of the site. In the past few years, Shirley starred in a CBS miniseries based on the life of cosmetics queen Mary Kay Ash--Hell on Heels: The Battle of Mary Kay (2002) (TV), and wrote two more books, "The Camino" in 2001, and "Out On A Leash" in 2003. After taking a slight hiatus from motion pictures, Shirley returned with roles in the movies that were small, but wonderfully scene-stealing: Bewitched (2005) with Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell, In Her Shoes (2005) with Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette, in which Shirley was nominated for a Golden Globe in the best supporting actress category, and Rumor Has It... (2005) with Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Costner. Shirley completed filming of Closing the Ring (2007), directed by Sir Richard Attenborough, in 2007. Her latest book is entitled "Sage-ing While Ag-ing"; Shirley's latest film is Valentine's Day (2010/I), which debuted in theaters on February 12, 2010.
|Steve Parker||(17 September 1954 - 9 December 1982) (divorced) 1 child|
Her trademark theme song, taken from the movie, Sweet Charity (1969), is "If My Friends Could See Me Now". It is usually the music that accompanies her when she makes entrances on talk shows.
Strong-willed characters who fluctuate between endearing and abrasive
Her eternally red hair
Named after Shirley Temple.
Led a series of weekend-long higher-self seminars in the late 1980s teaching people about her views on many aspects of New Age practices and techniques.
Attended Washington-Lee H.S. in Arlington, VA.
Older sister of Warren Beatty.
A frequent visitor to Houston, Texas, where she starred in Terms of Endearment (1983) and The Evening Star (1996). At each visit, she goes to Tony's Restaurant, where she orders a complete soufflé just for herself.
Born at 3:57 PM EST.
Sister-in-law of actress Annette Bening.
Is a horse lover.
Her childhood dinner for many years consisted of tabasco and saltine crackers (which often resulted in bad dreams--her missing the bus to ballet class).
Took ballet as a child and always played the boy's role due to being the tallest in her class.
As of 2009, she is only one of six performers who won a Golden Globe Award as Best Lead Actor/Actress in a Motion Picture Drama without being nominated for an Oscar for that same role (hers for Madame Sousatzka (1988)). The others are Spencer Tracy in The Actress (1953), Anthony Franciosa in Career (1959), Omar Sharif in Doctor Zhivago (1965), Jim Carrey in The Truman Show (1998) and Kate Winslet in Revolutionary Road (2008).
Right before a performance of "Cinderella" with the Washington School of Ballet (she was dancing the role of the Fairy Godmother), she was warming up backstage when she broke her ankle. Instead of bowing out, she simply tied the ribbon on her toe shoes tighter and danced the role through. After the show was over, she called for an ambulance.
Was close friends with the members of the Rat Pack. She starred with all of them in Ocean's Eleven (1960). Other works with Rat Pack members include: Some Came Running (1958), Cannonball Run II (1984) and Can-Can (1960).
Member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1967.
Columbia originally wanted to cast her as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl (1968). However, producer Ray Stark--who produced the Broadway show and was Brice's son-in-law--insisted on Barbra Streisand repeating her Broadway role.
Her performance as Aurora Greenway in Terms of Endearment (1983) is ranked #81 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.
She and Barbra Streisand celebrate their joint birthday together every year.
Dropped out of the The Blue Bird (1976) before shooting began.
Father was a professor, then a real estate agent. Mother was a teacher.
About 1975, while starring in a special musical show that played at Chrysler Hall in Norfolk, VA, she walked out on the show because of the poor acoustics and sound system. Chrysler Hall was well known for this problem at the time, and Miss MacLaine was not the only performer to complain about it. Years later, the theatre closed for a while and underwent extensive renovations to improve the acoustics, thanks in part to the star's vigorously vocal objections.
Close friend of British star Julie Christie.
Grandmother to Frank Murray Jr. (born 1996) and Arin Murray (born 1998); the son and daughter of her daughter Sachi Parker.
In her book, "My Lucky Stars", MacLaine wrote that before production on My Geisha (1962) began, Yves Montand bet her husband, Steve Parker, that he could seduce her. Parker, whom MacLaine learned later, was having an affair at the time, took Montand up on the bet; Montand won.
Will receive the American Film Institute's Life Achievement award on June 7, 2012, in Los Angeles [October 9, 2011].
In her memoir "I'm Over That And Other Confessions", she claims to have been intimate with Danny Kaye, and Robert Mitchum, among others. She told Oprah Winfrey in an April 2011 TV appearance that she was not attracted to Jack Lemmon because he was not "dangerous" and "complicated".
Some people think I look like a sweet potato, I consider myself a spud with a heart of gold.
It is useless to hold a person to anything he says while he's in love, drunk, or running for office.
I had a video made of my recent knee operation. The doctor said it was the best movie I ever starred in.
I think in my 40s, right around the time of The Turning Point (1977), that I began to address myself more to the future. See, I wasn't afraid of getting old, because I never had the problems the other actresses my age had. I was never a great beauty. I was never a sex symbol. I did, however, have great legs, because I was a dancer. But I didn't have that baggage. I wasn't interested in my stature as a star. Ever. I was just interested in good parts.
[about her considering ballet as a profession) I was never good enough to be a soloist. Quatre ballet was about all I could handle. I didn't have those beautifully constructed feet [high arches, high insteps]. My extension on my left leg was pretty good, but I didn't point my foot with that grace that suggests true beauty.
An actor has many lives and many people within him. I know there are lots of people inside me. No one ever said I'm dull.
I can't define longevity. I don't know what it means.
[New York Times interview, Oct. 16, 2005]: I regret turning down the lead role in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974) which Ellen Burstyn deservedly won an Oscar for. I said to myself: "Who is this Martin Scorsese person?".
[on Oscars] I love to win those things. Love it. The only part about it I don't like is the red carpet and getting a dress and walking around in high heels and holding in my stomach. I hate that.
[on accepting her Oscar, 1983] I am going to cry because this show has been as long as my career! I have wondered for 26 years what this would feel like! Thank you for terminating the suspense.
I'm not unaware of how I'm perceived, I just don't care about it. Unless I really hurt someone's feelings. I care about that.
...I was always a character actress and never a sex symbol. Even when I was the leading lady, I was a character actor.
I've made so many movies playing a hooker that they don't pay me in the regular way anymore. They leave it on the dresser.
My first few weeks in New York were an initiation into the kingdom of guts.
On personal power: You are the architect of your personal experience.
[on Warren Beatty] The difference between us is sex. I can take it or leave it. But my kid brother ... well, now, he enjoys his reputation. Sex is the most important thing in his life. It's his hobby, you could say.
[on Mia Farrow] All turned in and vulnerable, a child with a highly energetic brain. From the neck up she's eighty.
On mothering: If we can genuinely honor our mother and father we are not only at peace with ourselves but we can give them birth to our future.
I'm very interested in how insane everybody is. That's why I write.
I don't know what the norm is. The latest evaluations on human sexuality say that we are one-third monogamous, one-third serially monogamous and one-third polygamous. I would say there should be some kind of form to fill out before you promise monogamy.
[on planning a scene in 'Downton Abbey' which involved a conversation with Maggie Smith]I told her I was going to sing it, and first she said to me, 'You know, dear, when you do that, I'm going to fall off my chair'. I said, OK. And then she said, 'No, I think not. I think I'll fall asleep'. I said, OK, that's good too. And then she said, 'No, I think I will cry'. I said, I don't know what you'd do that for, but whatever. What she did instead was flirt back. I was so surprised.
I do miss the stage. There's nothing like it, nothing. When I did my one-woman show and played the Palace and played the Gershwin and all that, I did - what? - eight shows or maybe more a week. Of course you can't do anything else, and you can't run quickly for a cab in the rain, and you can't have a drunken love affair. You can't do any of that. Because you've got to be perfectly healthy. And I guess I value enjoying my life a little bit more than the discipline these days.
|Around the World in Eighty Days (1956)||$6,000|
|Some Came Running (1958)||$37,500|
|The Apartment (1960)||$175,000|
|Irma la Douce (1963)||$350,000 + 7.5% of the profits.|
|Sweet Charity (1969)||$800,000 + percentage of profits|
|Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970)||$800,000 + 10% of the profits.|
(June 2006) Completing filming for Closing the Ring (2007) in Northern Ireland and Canada.
(1975) Release of book, "You Can Get There From Here".
(1970) Release of book, "Don't Fall Off the Mountain".
(1983) Release of book, "Out on a Limb".
(1985) Release of book, "Shirley and Warren" by James Spada.
(1985) Release of book, "Dancing in the Light".
(1987) Release of the book, "It's All in the Playing".
(1991) Release of the book, "Dance While You Can".
(1995) Release of the book, "My Lucky Stars: A Hollywood Memoir".
(2003) Release of the book, "Out on a Leash: Exploring the Nature of Reality and Love".
(2007) Release of her book, "Sage-ing While Age-ing".
(January 2012) Starred in Award winning British Drama Downton Abbey played Hugh Bonneville's character's Mother-In-Law.
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