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Shirley MacLaine (born April 24, 1934) is an American film and theater actress, dancer, activist, and author, well-known for her beliefs in new age spirituality and reincarnation. She has written a large number of autobiographical work, many dealing with her spiritual beliefs as well as her Hollywoodmarker career. In 1983, she won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in Terms of Endearment. She is the elder sister of actor Warren Beatty.

Early life

Named after Shirley Temple, MacLaine was born Shirley MacLean Beaty in Richmondmarker, Virginia. Her father, Ira Owens Beaty, was a professor of psychology, public school administrator and real estate agent, and her mother, Kathlyn Corinne (née MacLean), was a Nova Scotiamarker-born drama teacher; her grandparents were also teachers. Through her mother she is descended from the Scottish Clan Maclean. The family was devoutly Baptist. MacLaine's father moved the family from Richmond to Norfolkmarker, and then to Arlington, Virginiamarker, while she was still a child, then to Waverleymarker, eventually taking a position at Arlington's Jefferson Middle School. The Beaty family lived in a house in the Western part of the county off Wilson Boulevard where it was said that Shirley and brother, Warren were known around their neighborhood as troublemakers in their pre-adolescent days.

Shirley had very weak ankles as a child, so her mother decided to enroll her in ballet class. It was such a nourishing and inspiring artistic environment for her. "My imagination took anchor." And so her childhood dream soon became to be a professional ballerina. Strongly motivated by ballet throughout her youth, she never missed a class. When a piece was performed, she would play the boy's role, being the tallest participant. She was so determined and so set on being a dancer that her recurring childhood nightmare was that she missed the bus to class. She finally landed a solid female role in a ballet, the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella; but, while warming up backstage, she snapped her ankle. Despite the injury, she remained determined to make it through the show. She simply tied the ankle ribbon on her toe shoes extra tight and went "on with the show". After it was over, she called for an ambulance.

Eventually, MacLaine decided that professional ballet wasn't for her. She said that she did not really have the right body type and that she did not want to starve herself. Also, she didn't have "beautifully constructed" feet (high arches and insteps). Nor was she of "exquisite beauty" and felt emotionally stifled much of the time. After leaving ballet, MacLaine turned to acting. She attended Washington-Lee High Schoolmarker, where she was on the cheerleading squad and acted in the school's productions. The summer before her senior year, she was in New York to try acting on Broadway with some success. After she graduated, she returned and within a year she achieved her goal of becoming a star when she became an understudy to actress Carol Haney in The Pajama Game; Haney broke her ankle, and MacLaine replaced her. A few months after, with Haney still out of commission, film producer Hal B. Wallis was in the audience, took note of MacLaine, and signed her to work for Paramount Pictures. She would later sue Wallis over a contractual dispute, a suit that is credited with having ended the old-style studio system of actor management.

Career

She made her debut in the Alfred Hitchcock's film The Trouble with Harry (1955), which won her the Golden Globe Award for New Star Of The Year - Actress. In 1956, she took parts in Hot Spell and Around the World in Eighty Days. At the same time, she starred in Some Came Running; this film gave her her first Academy Award nomination - one of five that the film received - and a Golden Globe nomination.

She got her second nomination two years later for The Apartment, starring with Jack Lemmon. The film won 5 Oscars, including Best Director for Billy Wilder. She later said, "I thought I would win for The Apartment, but then Elizabeth Taylor had a tracheotomy". She starred in The Children's Hour (1961) also starring Audrey Hepburn, based on the play by Lillian Hellman. She was again nominated for Irma la Douce (1963), for which she reunited with Wilder and Lemmon.

In 1975, she received a nomination for Best Documentary Feature for her documentary film The Other Half of the Sky: A China Memoir. Two years later, she was once again nominated for The Turning Point she was able to portray a retired ballerina much like herself, along with co-star Anne Bancroft. In 1983 she won her first Oscar for Terms of Endearment. The film won five Oscars; one for Jack Nicholson and three for director James L. Brooks. In the awards season for films of 1988, she became the first actress since the inception of the Golden Globe Awards to win a Golden Globe for Best Actress —for Madame Sousatzka—without getting an Oscar nomination for the same performance (Kate Winslet became the second for her performance in Revolutionary Road (2008)). MacLaine won her award for Madame Sousatzka in a three-way tie with Jodie Foster (The Accused) and Sigourney Weaver (Gorillas in the Mist).

She continued to star in major films, like Steel Magnolias with Julia Roberts. She made her feature-film directorial debut in the quirky film Bruno, written by then new-comer David Ciminello in his Disney-Meets-David Lynch style. MacLaine starred as Helen in this film, which was released to video as The Dress Code. In 2007 she completed Closing the Ring, directed by Richard Attenborough and starring Christopher Plummer. Other notable films in which MacLaine has starred include Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970) with Clint Eastwood, Being There (1979) with Peter Sellers, Used People with Jessica Tandy and Kathy Bates, Guarding Tess with Nicholas Cage, Sweet Charity (1968), Rumor Has It with Kevin Costner and Jennifer Aniston and In Her Shoes with Cameron Diaz.

MacLaine is also set to star in Poor Things, a drama. The production has been delayed due to Lindsay Lohan's period in rehab.

MacLaine has also appeared in numerous television projects including an autobiographical miniseries based upon the book Out on a Limb, The Salem Witch Trials, These Old Broads written by Carrie Fisher and co-starring Elizabeth Taylor, Debbie Reynolds, and Joan Collins, and Coco, a Lifetime production based on the life of Coco Chanel. She also had a short-lived sit-com called Shirley's World.

MacLaine has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Famemarker at 1165 Vine Street.

Personal life

Shirley MacLaine (1987)
MacLaine was married to businessman Steve Parker until they divorced in 1982. They had a daughter, Sachi Parker (born 1956).

MacLaine's interest in spirituality is very strong and long-lived. Many of her best-selling books, such as Out on a Limb and Dancing in the Light have it as their central theme. Her beliefs have compelled her to explore herself and the world. This includes walking El Camino de Santiagomarker and working with Chris Griscom. MacLaine was also a practitioner of Transcendental Meditation.

Her well-known interest in new-age spirituality has made its way into several films in which MacLaine has been featured. In Albert Brooks' 1991 romantic comedy Defending Your Life, the recently-deceased lead characters, played by Albert Brooks and Meryl Streep, are astonished when, upon visiting the "Past Lives Pavilion," they find the introduction to their past lives to be provided by MacLaine. In the 2001 made-for-television movie, These Old Broads, starring MacLaine along with Debbie Reynolds, Joan Collins and Elizabeth Taylor and written by Debbie Reynolds' daughter, Carrie Fisher, the character played by MacLaine is portrayed as a devotee of new-age spirituality.

MacLaine found her way into many law school casebooks when she sued Twentieth Century-Fox for breach of contract. She was to play a role in a film titled Bloomer Girl, but the production was cancelled.

Twentieth Century-Fox offered her a role in another film, Big Country, Big Man, in hope of getting out of its contractual obligation to pay her for the cancelled film. MacLaine's refusal led to an appeal by Twentieth Century-Fox to the Supreme Court of Californiamarker in 1970, where the Court ruled against Fox. Parker v. Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp., 474 P.2d 689 (Cal. 1970).

Filmography

Year Film Role Notes
1955 The Trouble with Harry Jennifer Rogers Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress
Artists and Models Bessie Sparrowbrush
1956 Around the World in 80 Days Princess Aouda
1958 Some Came Running Ginnie Moorehead Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
The Sheepman Dell Payton
Hot Spell Virginia Duval
The Matchmaker Irene Molloy
Ask Any Girl Meg Wheeler BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actress
Silver Bear for Best Actress
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy

1959 Career Sharon Kensington
1960 Ocean's Eleven Tipsy girl uncredited cameo
Can-Can Simone Pistache
The Apartment Fran Kubelik BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actress
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Volpi Cup
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actress


1961 The Children's Hour Martha Dobie Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
All in a Night's Work Katie Robbins
Two Loves Anna Vorontosov
1962 Two for the Seesaw Gittel Mosca
My Geisha Lucy Dell/Yoko Mori
1963 Irma la Douce Irma la Douce Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actress

1964 The Yellow Rolls-Royce Mae Jenkins
What a Way to Go! Louisa May Foster Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actress
1965 John Goldfarb, Please Come Home Jenny Erichson
1966 Gambit Nicole Chang Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1967 Woman Times Seven Paulette/Maria Teresa/Linda/Edith/Eve Minou/Marie/Jeanne Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1968 The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom Harriet Blossom
1969 Sweet Charity Charity Hope Valentine Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1970 Two Mules for Sister Sara Sara
1971 Desperate Characters Sophie Bentwood Silver Bear for Best Actress
1972 The Possession of Joel Delaney Norah Benson
1975 The Other Half of the Sky: A China Memoir Herself Documentary
Writer, direct, producer
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary

1977 The Turning Point Deedee Rodgers Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actress
1979 Being There Eve Rand Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1980 A Change of Seasons Karyn Evans
Loving Couples Evelyn
1983 Terms of Endearment Aurora Greenway Academy Award for Best Actress
David di Donatello for Best Foreign Actress
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
National Board of Review Award for Best Actress
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role





1984 Cannonball Run II Veronica
1987 Out on a Limb Herself Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
1988 Madame Sousatzka Madame Yuvline Sousatzka Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
Volpi Cup
1989 Steel Magnolias Ouiser Boudreaux Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
1990 Postcards from the Edge Doris Mann Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Waiting for the Light Aunt Zena
1991 Defending Your Life "Past Lives Pavilion" host
1992 Used People Pearl Berman Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1993 Wrestling Ernest Hemingway Helen Cooney
1994 Guarding Tess Tess Carlisle Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1995 The West Side Waltz Margaret Mary Elderdice
1996 The Evening Star Aurora Greenway
Mrs. Winterbourne Grace Winterbourne Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1997 A Smile Like Yours Martha uncredited
1999 Joan of Arc Madame de Beaurevoir
2000 Bruno Helen Directed by Shirley MacLaine
2001 These Old Broads Kate Westbourne
2002 Salem Witch Trials Rebecca Nurse
Hell on Heels: The Battle of Mary Kay Mary Kay Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
2003 Carolina Grandma Millicent Mirabeau
2005 Rumor Has It Katharine Richelieu
Bewitched Iris Smythson/Endora
In Her Shoes Ella Hirsch Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture
2007 Closing the Ring Ethel Ann
2008 Coco Chanel Coco Chanel Nominated — Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie

Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning Amelia Thomas
2010 Valentine's Day Estelle (Filming)


TV work

  • Shirley's World (1971 – 1972) and a 1977 one hour special.
  • Where Do We Go From Here? (1978) Winner of the Rose D'Or
  • Out on a Limb (1987)


References

  1. New England Historic Genealogical Society
  2. The religion of Warren Beatty, actor, director
  3. Actor Warren Beatty gives public-policy graduates — and Gov. Schwarzenegger — some advice on power
  4. Hanrihan v. Parker, 19 Misc. 2d 467, 469 (N.Y. Misc. 1959)
  5. LA Times, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi


Bibliography



External links




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