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More Shirley MacLaine Bios & Profiles


The most recent Shirley MacLaine biography is published on the main page.

Biography #2 (for In Her Shoes)

Shirley MacLaine has starred in almost 50 motion pictures, countless television specials, her own mini-series and on the Broadway stage. She received an Academy Award for Best Actress in 1984 for Terms of Endearment, after receiving nominations for Some Came Running, The Apartment, Irma La Douce, Turning Point, and, as a producer of The Other Half of the Sky: A China Memoir, which she also co-directed. Among her numerous international accolades, she has received 10 Golden Globe Awards, two Venice Film Festival Awards, two Silver Bear Awards from the Berlin Film Festival and in 1999, was presented with Berlin's Golden Bear Award for Lifetime Achievement. Her television appearances have brought her five Emmy Awards, among many nominations for her six musical television specials. The Shirley MacLaine Special won her the Golden Rose in Montreaux.

MacLaine made her motion picture debut in 1955 in Alfred Hitchcock's The Trouble with Harry, followed by Around the World in 80 Days, The Matchmaker, Ask Any Girl, Ocean's Eleven, Can-Can, Two Loves, The Children's Hour, Two for the Seesaw, What a Way to Go!, John Goldfarb, Please Come Home, The Yellow Rolls-Royce, Gambit, Woman Times Seven, Sweet Charity, Two Mules for Sister Sara, The Possession of Joel Delaney, Being There, A Change of Seasons, Madame Sousatzka, Steel Magnolias, Postcards from the Edge, Used People, Wrestling Ernest Hemingway, Guarding Tess, Mrs. Winterbourne and Evening Star, among others. More recently, she starred in the Miramax film, Carolina.

In 1999, she made her directo­rial debut and starred in the critically-acclaimed independent film Bruno with Kathy Bates, Gary Sinese, Jennifer Tilly, Brett Butler and 10-year old Alex Linz in the title role of a boy whose sense of individuality wins him the respect of his peers.

MacLaine starred in her first motion picture for television in 1995, pairing with Liza Minnelli in the Ernest Thompson screenplay based on his hit play, West Side Waltz. Among her additional television credits, she played a key cameo in the lavish CBS mini-series Joan of Arc, and in 2001, she united with three other icons of the screen, Elizabeth Taylor, Debbie Reynolds and Joan Collins, in the comedy entitled These Old Broads, written by Carrie Fisher which aired on ABC. In 2002, she starred in the CBS mini-series The True Story of the Salem Witch Trials. Most recently, she starred in the title role of famed cosmetics queen Mary Kay Ash in the CBS telefilm Hell on Heels: the Battle of Mary Kay.

Shirley MacLaine was born in Richmond, Virginia, and was raised in Arlington, Virginia, by her real estate broker/musician father and housewife-painter-actress mother. A dancer at heart, she was taking ballet lessons at the age of two-and-a-half and by the time she was a student in high school, she was spending her summers dancing in New York chorus lines.

MacLaine was thrust into stardom when she was the understudy for Carol Haney on Broadway in The Pajama Game. When Haney broke her ankle, MacLaine went on, drawing the attention of legendary film producer Hal Wallis who was in the audience and immediately signed her to a Paramount Pictures contract.

In l974 she returned to the stage starring in a one-woman musical revue If They Could See Me Now, which played to sold-out audiences in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Atlantic City and theatres throughout the country as well as highly successful tours of major cities throughout the world. The show was later adapted into an Emmy-winning CBS television special. She subse­quently starred in two additional television specials: The American Spirit and Gypsy in My Soul which also received an Emmy.

In 1995, MacLaine's dancing and singing revue, Out There Tonight, was sold-out during its American tour. She later took the show to Japan, Australia and England as well as a two-and-a-half month tour of Europe. As well as touring in her own musical stage vehicle she headlined with Frank Sinatra in several critically-praised engagements, including shows at Radio City Music Hall in New York and The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles.

An internationally best-selling author, MacLaine has ten popular published books, including Out On A Limb, which she also co-wrote as a successful mini-series starring Shirley as herself, on ABC Television. Among her other books are the autobiographical Don't Fall Off the Mountain; You Can Get There From Here; Dancing in the Light; It's All in the Playing; Going Within: A Guide for Inner Transformation; Dance While You Can; My Lucky Stars.

More recently, she wrote Out on a Leash, a unique story of her relationship with her canine friend, and Terry and the Camino, which chronicles her 30-day journey on foot on the historic Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage through Northern Spain.

Following her role as Ella Hirsch, MacLaine starred with Jennifer Aniston, Mark Ruffalo and Kevin Costner in Rob Reiner's Rumor Has It, and with Nicole Kidman, Will Ferrell and Michael Caine in director Nora Ephron's Bewitched.

Bio courtesy Fox for "In Her Shoes" (16-Oct-2005)

Biography #3 (for Evening Star)

Shirley MacLaine is an award-winning actress whose performances on screen, stage and television have earned her world-wide acclaim for many years. Cutting a unique swath across the American scene, she is also the author of eight best-selling books, an Oscar-nominated documentarian, and a political and civil rights activist. Shirley MacLaine won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1984 for her indelible performance as Aurora Greenway in Terms of Endearment. She has been nominated for an Academy Award six times in all, for the films Turning Point, The Apartment, Some Came Running, and Irma La Douce, and for producing and co-directing The Other Half of the Sky: A China Memoir.

The most recent of her 40 starring roles in motion pictures include Guarding Tess, Steel Magnolias, Postcards From the Edge, Used People, and Madame Sousatzka. Notable among her earlier films are Being There, Sweet Charity, Two for the Seesaw, The Children's Hour, Around the world in 80 Days, and her film debut in Alfred Hitchcock's The Trouble with Harry.

MacLaine's honors include two Golden Globe Awards, five Emmy Awards and many international prizes. She has received the Best Actress award from the British Film Academy, twice from the Venice Film Festival, the Berlin Festival's Silver Bear and two Donatello awards, Italy's Oscar. Non-acting tributes include being named woman of achievement by the Anti-Defamation League and woman of the Year by Harvard's Hasty Pudding Club.

Returning often to her first love of dance in one-woman musical shows like If They Could See Me Now (which also became an Emmy winning television special), MacLaine appears in Las Vegas, London and all over the world. Stage shows such as Gypsy in My Soul and Shirley MacLaine at the Lido also became television specials, and the recent Out There Tonight easily sold-out as a world tour.

From the autobiographical Don't Fall Off the Mountain in 1970 to her recently published book, My Lucky Stars, a reminiscence of her 40 years in Hollywood, MacLaine's writing reflects her professional journey, world travels and inquisitive mind.

Born in Virginia, Shirley MacLaine became a Broadway musical star at 19 when, prepared to understudy the lead, she took over the show when Carol Haney broke her ankle. The newcomer was seen by Hollywood producer Hal Wallis who immediately signed her to her first movie contract.

Bio courtesy Paramount for "Evening Star" (24-Aug-2002)