Shirley MacLaine (1934 -      )


Name at birth: Shirley MacLean Beaty



Born: 24 April 1934
Birthplace: Richmond, Virginia
Best Known As: Oscar-winning star of Terms of Endearment

Biography

outspoken American actress and dancer known for her deft
portrayal of charmingly eccentric characters and for her interest
in mysticism and reincarnation. After graduating from high
school, MacLaine, who had studied ballet since age three, moved to New York City, where she worked
as a dancer and model. In 1954 she was hired as a chorus girl and understudy to the second lead,
Carol Haney, in the hit Broadway musical The Pajama Game. When Haney broke her ankle, MacLaine
took over the role and was “discovered” by film producer Hal Wallis, who put her under contract.

MacLaine made her movie debut in Alfred Hitchcock's The Trouble with Harry (1955). Her unique,
sexy, tomboyish looks and her ability to combine worldly experience with an offbeat innocence caused
her to be frequently cast as a good-hearted hooker or waif in such films as Some Came Running
(1958), The Apartment (1960), Irma la Douce (1963), and Sweet Charity (1968).

As MacLaine aged, her characters grew more cantankerous, and she often played a spirited, sharp-
tongued, frustrated, slightly over-the-top woman. Rather than reduce these characters to a cliché,
however, MacLaine managed to humanize them and make them believable. Her more successful later
roles were as a former ballerina questioning her decision to give up her career for her family in The
Turning Point (1977), a strong-willed, compulsive mother in Terms of Endearment (1983), for which
she received an Academy Award for best actress, and a feisty former First Lady in Guarding Tess
(1994).

Rarely able to exercise her considerable dancing talent on film, MacLaine often appeared on
television variety specials, winning several Emmy Awards, and in 1976 and 1984 she returned to
Broadway in, respectively, A Gypsy in My Soul and Shirley MacLaine on Broadway.

In 1970 MacLaine published Don't Fall off the Mountain, which turned out to be the first in a series of
best-selling memoirs describing not only her life in movies and her personal relationships (including
that with her younger brother, actor-director Warren Beatty) but also her search for spiritual
fulfillment. In 1987 she cowrote, produced, directed, and starred in a television adaptation of one of
her autobiographies, Out on a Limb, which had been published in 1983.

Shirley MacLaine won a best actress Oscar for playing quirky matriarch Aurora Greenway in the
tearjerker Terms of Endearment (1983, with Deborah Winger and Jack Nicholson). MacLaine got her
start as a Broadway chorine in the 1950s, eventually moving to Hollywood to began a film career. She
was most active in the 1960s, with roles ranging from a charming Parisian prostitute in Irma la Douce
(1963, with Jack Lemmon) to a faux-nun in Two Mules for Sister Sara (1969, with Clint Eastwood). In
the 1980s MacLaine became known for her faith in reincarnation, angels, the power of crystals and
other unorthodox "New Age" beliefs. (As MacLaine has stated on her own website, "I believe that when
we have shed a physical body, our spirit can re-visit the physical plane of existence.") She addressed
these topics at length in her books Out On a Limb (1983) and Dancing in the Light (1986). In all she
has been nominated five times for acting Academy Awards, for Some Came Running (1958), The
Apartment (1960), Irma la Douce, The Turning Point (1977, with Anne Bancroft) and Terms of
Endearment (her only win).

MacLaine was nominated for a best documentary Oscar as a producer and star of The Other Half of
the Sky, her memoir of a trip to China... She is the older sister of actor Warren Beatty; their family
name is spelled 'Beaty' with one 't'... MacLaine's Oscar acceptance speech for Terms of Endearment
ended with the famously cheerful declaration: "I deserve this!"... The 1996 sequel to Terms of
Endearment was titled The Evening Star... Among her other films is the 1969 Bob Fosse film Sweet
Charity, with MacLaine in the role that Fosse's wife Gwen Verdon originated on Broadway... It's true:
MacLaine has suggested that in a past life she had a love affair with the emperor Charlemagne.
Shirley MacLaine

A dancer, singer, highly regarded actress and
metaphysical time traveler, Shirley MacLaine is
certainly among Hollywood's most unique stars. Born
Shirley MacLane Beaty on April 24, 1934 in
Richmond, Virginia, MacLaine was the daughter of
drama coach and former actress Kathlyn MacLean
Beaty and Ira O. Beaty, a professor of psychology
and philosophy. Her younger brother, Warren Beatty,
also grew up to be an important Hollywood figure as
an actor/director/ producer and screenwriter.
MacLaine's mother, who gave up her own dreams of
stardom for her young family, greatly motivated her
daughter to become an actress and dancer.
MacLaine took dance lessons from age two, first
performed publicly at age four, and at 16 went to New
York, making her Broadway debut as a chorus girl in
Me and Juliet (1953). When not scrambling for
theatrical work, MacLaine worked as a model.

Interestingly, MacLaine's big break was the result of
another actress's bad luck. In 1954, MacLaine was
understudying Broadway actress Carol Haney The
Pajama Game when Haney fractured her ankle.
Movie Credits
FILM DEBUT The Trouble With Harry - 1955
Artists and Models - 1955
Around the World in 80 Days - 1956
The Sheepman - 1958
The Matchmaker - 1958
Hot Spell - 1958
Some Came Running - 1958
Ask Any Girl - 1959
Career - 1959
The Apartment - 1960
Ocean's Eleven - 1960
Can-Can - 1960
Two Loves - 1961
All in a Night's Work - 1961  
The Children's Hour/The Loudest Whisper - 1962   
My Geisha - 1962  
Two for the Seesaw - 1962  
Irma la Douce - 1963   
What a Way to Go! - 1964  
John Goldfarb, Please Come Home - 1964
The Yellow Rolls-Royce - 1965  
Gambit - 1966  
Woman Times Seven - 1967
The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom - 1968  
Sweet Charity - 1969  
Two Mules for Sister Sara - 1970  
Desparate Characters - 1971
The Possession of Joel Delaney - 1972
The Turning Point - 1977
Being There - 1979  
A Change of Seasons - 1980
Loving Couples - 1980
Terms of Endearment - 1983  
Cannonball Run II - 1984
Out On A Limb - 1987
Madame Sousatzka - 1988
Steel Magnolias - 1989  
Postcards from the Edge - 1990  
Waiting for the Light - 1990  
Defending Your Life - 1991
Used People - 1992
Wrestling Ernest Hemingway - 1993
A Century of Cinema - 1994
Guarding Tess - 1994  
The Celluloid Closet - 1996
Mrs. Winterbourne - 1996  
The Evening Star - 1996  
A Smile Like Yours - 1997
Get Bruce - 1999
These Old Broads - 2000  
Bruno/The Dress Code - 2000  
Carolina - 2001
Hell on Heels: The Battle of Mary Kay - 2003  
Salem Witch Trials - 2003
In Her Shoes - 2004
Bewitched - 2005
Rumor Has It - 2005
Ant Bully - 2006
MacLaine replaced her and was spotted and offered a movie contract by producer Hal Wallis. With
her auburn hair cut impishly short, the young actress made her film debut in Hitchock's black comedy
The Trouble With Harry (1955). Later that year, she co-starred opposite Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis
in the comedy Artists and Models. In her next feature, Around the World in 80 Days (1956), she
appeared as an Indian princess.

MacLaine earned her first Oscar nomination for her portrayal of a pathetic tart who shocks a
conservative town by showing up on the arm of young war hero Frank Sinatra in Some Came Running
(1959). She then got the opportunity to show off her long legs and dancing talents in Can-Can
(1960). Prior to that, she appeared with Rat Packers Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr.
and Peter Lawford in Oceans Eleven (1960). MacLaine, the only female member of the famed group,
would later recount her experiences with them in her seventh book My Lucky Stars. In 1960, she won
her second Oscar nomination for Billy Wilder's comedy/drama The Apartment, and a third nomination
for Irma La Douce (1963). MacLaine's career was in high gear during the '60s, with her appearing in
everything from dramas to madcap comedies to musicals such as What a Way to Go! (1964) and Bob
Fosse's Sweet Charity! (1969). In addition to her screen work, she actively participated in Robert
Kennedy's 1968 presidential campaign and served as a Democratic Convention delegate. She was
similarly involved in George McGovern's 1972 campaign.

Bored by sitting around on movie sets all day awaiting her scenes, MacLaine started writing down her
thoughts and was thus inspired to add writing to her list of talents. She published her first book, Don't
Fall Off the Mountain in 1970. She next tried her hand at series television in 1971, starring in the
comedy Shirley's World (1971-72) as a globe-trotting photographer. The role reflected her real-life
reputation as a world traveler, and these experiences resulted in her second book Don't Fall Off the
Mountain and the documentary The Other Half of the Sky -- A China Memoir (1975) which she
scripted, produced and co-directed with Claudia Weill. MacLaine returned to Broadway in 1976 with a
spectacular one-woman show A Gypsy in My Soul, and the following year entered a new phase in her
career playing a middle-aged former ballerina who regrets leaving dance to live a middle-class life in
The Turning Point. MacLaine was memorable starring as a lonely political wife opposite Peter Sellers'
simple-minded gardener in Being There (1979), but did not again attract too much attention until she
played the over-protective, eccentric widow Aurora Greenway in James L. Brooks' Terms of
Endearment (1983), a role that finally won MacLaine an Academy Award. That same year, she
published the candid Out on a Limb, bravely risking public ridicule by describing her experiences and
theories concerning out-of-body travel and reincarnation.

MacLaine's film appearances were sporadic through the mid '80s, although she did appear in a few
television specials. In 1988, she came back strong with three great roles in Madame Sousatzka
(1988), Steel Magnolias (1989) and particularly Postcards from the Edge (1990), in which she played
a fading star clinging to her own career while helping her daughter Meryl Streep, a drug addicted,
self-destructive actress. Through the '90s, MacLaine specialized in playing rather crusty and
strong-willed eccentrics, such as her title character in the 1994 comedy Guarding Tess. In 1997,
MacLaine stole scenes as a wise grande dame who helps pregnant, homeless Ricki Lake in Mrs.
Winterbourne, and the same year revived Aurora Greenway in The Evening Star, the critically
maligned sequel to Terms of Endearment.

MacLaine's onscreen performances were few and far between in the first half of the next decade, but
in 2005 she returned in relatively full force, appearing in three features. She took on a pair of
grandmother roles in the comedy-dramas In Her Shoes and Rumor Has It..., and was a perfect fit for
the part of Endora in the bigscreen take on the classic sitcom Bewitched.
     Awards
2008
inducted into the Delta films Hall of Fame - Actress

Date Unknown
Walk of Fame - Star on the Walk of Fame Motion Picture   At 1615 Vine Street.
2006
Palm Springs International Film Festival - Lifetime Achievement Award   
2005
Chicago International Film Festival - Career Achievement Award   
2002
GLAAD Media Awards - Vanguard Award   
2000
Denver International Film Festival - Lifetime Achievement Award  
1999  
Berlin International Film Festival - Honorary Golden Berlin Bear
1998
Golden Globes, USA - Cecil B. DeMille Award
                                    For outstanding contribution to the entertainment field.
1997
Golden Camera, Germany - Golden Camera  For lifetime achievement.
Lone Star Film & Television Awards - Lone Star Film & Television Award Best Actress
                                                               for: The Evening Star (1996)
1995
Film Society of Lincoln Center - Gala Tribute   
1993
American Comedy Awards, USA - Lifetime Achievement Award in Comedy  
1989
Golden Globes, USA - Golden Globe Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama
                                     for: Madame Sousatzka
1988
Venice Film Festival - Volpi Cup Best Actress   for: Madame Sousatzka
1984
Academy Awards, USA - Oscar Best Actress in a Leading Role   for: Terms of Endearment
Golden Globes, USA - Golden Globe Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama
                                     for: Terms of Endearment
David di Donatello Awards - David Best Foreign Actress   for: Terms of Endearment
1983
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards - LAFCA Award Best Actress   
                                                                              for: Terms of Endearment
National Board of Review, USA - NBR Award Best Actress   for: Terms of Endearment
New York Film Critics Circle Awards - NYFCC Award Best Actress   for: Terms of Endearment  
1978
Women in Film Crystal Awards - Crystal Award
1976
Emmy Awards - Emmy Outstanding Special - Comedy-Variety or Music   for: Gypsy in My Soul
1971
Berlin International Film Festival - Silver Berlin Bear Best Actress   for: Desperate Characters
1964
Laurel Awards - Golden Laurel Top Female Comedy Performance   for: Irma la Douce
Golden Globes, USA - Golden Globe Best Motion Picture Actress - Musical/Comedy   
                                     for: Irma la Douce
Hasty Pudding Theatricals, USA - Woman of the Year
1962
Laurel Awards - Golden Laurel Top Female Dramatic Performance   for: The Children's Hour
Cinema Writers Circle Awards, Spain - CEC Award Best Foreign Actress   for: Can-Can
1961
Laurel Awards - Golden Laurel Female Dramatic Performance   for: The Apartment
BAFTA Awards - BAFTA Film Award Best Foreign Actress   for: The Apartment
Golden Globes, USA - Golden Globe Best Motion Picture Actress - Musical/Comedy   
                                     for: The Apartment
1960
Laurel Awards - Golden Laurel Top Female Musical Performance   for: Can-Can
Venice Film Festival - Volpi Cup Best Actress   for: The Apartment
BAFTA Awards - BAFTA Film Award Best Foreign Actress   for: Ask Any Girl
1959
Berlin International Film Festival - Silver Berlin Bear Best Actress   for: Ask Any Girl
Golden Apple Awards - Golden Apple Most Cooperative Actress
Golden Globes, USA - Special Award    For the most versatile actress.
1955
Golden Globes, USA  - Golden Globe Most Promising Newcomer - Female