Tootsie (1982) - Plot Summary Poster


Plot Summary

  • Michael Dorsey is an unemployed actor with an impossible reputation. In order to find work and fund his friend's play he dresses as a woman, Dorothy Michaels, and lands the part in a daytime drama. Dorsey loses himself in this woman role and essentially becomes Dorothy Michaels, captivating women all around the city and inspiring them to break free from the control of men and become more like Dorsey's initial identity. This newfound role, however, lands Dorsey in a hot spot between a female friend/'lover,' a female co-star he falls in love with, that co-star's father who falls in love with him, and a male co-star who yearns for his affection.

    - Written by Bryan Kuniyoshi
  • New York actor Michael Dorsey is a talented perfectionist who is so hard on himself and others that his agent can no longer find work for him. After a soap opera audition goes poorly, Michael reinvents himself as actress Dorothy Michaels and wins the part. What was supposed to be a short-lived role turns into a long-term contract, but when Michael falls for his castmate Julie, complications develop that could wreck everything.

    - Written by Jwelch5742
  • Michael Dorsey is desperate; he can't find a job. That is, until he gets a female role in a soap opera and becomes very famous. Of course, nobody knows that this new television star is a man... But, after a while, he falls in love with the leading actress of the series, and here is the big problem: how can he express his feelings, since she thinks that Michael is a woman?

    - Written by Chris Makrozahopoulos <makzax@hotmail.com>
  • Michael Dorsey is renowned in the entertainment field for being a good but difficult and temperamental actor. He is informed by his agent, George Fields, that no one will hire him because of his bad reputation. In his personal life, Michael is a bit of a cad who treats women poorly, especially his long term friend and fellow actor Sandy Lester, a doormat of a woman who already has self-esteem issues. Both to prove George wrong and to raise money to finance a play written by his roommate Jeff Slater so that he and Sandy can star in it, Michael, incognito as female Dorothy Michaels, auditions for a role in Southwest General, a daytime serial. The role is of Emily Kimberley, the tough, no-nonsense administrator of the hospital. As Dorothy, Michael injects into his audition his own sensibilities, which lands him the short term role. As Michael progresses in the role, only George and Jeff know Dorothy's true identity. As Dorothy, Michael continues to play the role as he himself would, often ad libbing. He detests his director, Ron Carlisle, for the way he treats him and women in general (much the way Michael treated women himself), including Ron's girlfriend, lead Southwest General actress Julie Nichols. Dorothy treats Julie with care and respect, and begins to fall in love with her. However, two men fall for Dorothy, namely Southwest General's long time Lothario lead actor John Van Horn, and Julie's father Les. Michael has to find a way to let Julie know his feelings as a man without ruining their friendship. Worse problems arise for Michael when Dorothy's no-exit clause contract on Southwest General is extended, meaning Michael may have to pretend to be Dorothy for much longer than he was originally intending.

    - Written by Huggo
  • Michael Dorsey, an unsuccessful actor, disguises himself as a woman in order to get a role on a trashy hospital soap.


Michael Dorsey is an actor living and working in New York City. Most of his work seems to be on the stage; he is adept at disguises...

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