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Swoosie Kurtz

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: September 6, 1944 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Omaha, Nebraska, USA Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

The title of playwright Wendy Wasserstein's 1977 off-Broadway hit, "Uncommon Women and Others," accurately described the roles which brought original cast member Swoosie Kurtz several awards and universal renown as a character actress par excellence. In the years since she first caught theatergoers' attention with her quirky performance as a sex-obsessed Mount Holyoke graduate in Wasserstein's semi-autobiographical ensemble drama, Kurtz demonstrated her formidable range on stage, screen and television for decades to come. She made a memorable impression in a brief appearance as a world-weary prostitute in "The World According to Garp" (1982) before hitting the stage for a number of roles, including her Tony-winning performance in "The House of Blue Leaves" (1986). After several years bouncing around various mediums, Kurtz started making a name for herself as one of four "Sisters" (NBC, 1991-96) and in notable supporting roles in major features like "Liar Liar" (1997). Following rather thankless parts in "Bubble Boy" (2001) and "Rules of Attraction" (2002), she played a grieving mother confronting her daughter's killer in Broadway's "Frozen" (2004) before landing a regular series role as an...

The title of playwright Wendy Wasserstein's 1977 off-Broadway hit, "Uncommon Women and Others," accurately described the roles which brought original cast member Swoosie Kurtz several awards and universal renown as a character actress par excellence. In the years since she first caught theatergoers' attention with her quirky performance as a sex-obsessed Mount Holyoke graduate in Wasserstein's semi-autobiographical ensemble drama, Kurtz demonstrated her formidable range on stage, screen and television for decades to come. She made a memorable impression in a brief appearance as a world-weary prostitute in "The World According to Garp" (1982) before hitting the stage for a number of roles, including her Tony-winning performance in "The House of Blue Leaves" (1986). After several years bouncing around various mediums, Kurtz started making a name for herself as one of four "Sisters" (NBC, 1991-96) and in notable supporting roles in major features like "Liar Liar" (1997). Following rather thankless parts in "Bubble Boy" (2001) and "Rules of Attraction" (2002), she played a grieving mother confronting her daughter's killer in Broadway's "Frozen" (2004) before landing a regular series role as an ex-synchronized swimmer on "Pushing Daisies" (ABC, 2007-09) respectively. Even as she slummed by taking recurring roles in rather mediocre sitcoms like "Suddenly Susan" (NBC, 1996-2000) and "Still Standing"(CBS, 2002-06), Kurtz maintained her reputation as a critical darling and one of the finest character actresses working in the business.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Living Proof (2008)
3.
 Duplex (2003) Jean
4.
 Rules of Attraction, The (2002) Mrs. Jared
5.
 Get Over It (2001) Beverly Landers
6.
 Sleep Easy, Hutch Rimes (2001) Binny Redwine
7.
 Wilde Girls, The (2001) Sierra
8.
 Bubble Boy (2001) Mrs Livingston
9.
 White River Kid, The (2001) Mummy Weed
10.
 Harvey (1999) Veta
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1966:
Worked in regional theater
1971:
TV acting debut in the CBS daytime drama "As the World Turns"
1976:
TV movie debut in "Ah! Wilderness"
1977:
Film acting debut in "Slap Shot"
1978:
Primetime series debut, part of the ensemble cast of the short lived variety series "Mary" (CBS)
1981:
Appeared as the female lead in the NBC series "Love, Sydney"
1991:
Played wealthy divorcee Alex Reed Halsey on the NBC drama "Sisters"; earned Lead Actress Emmy nominations in 1993 and 1994
1996:
Cast as a librarian in the FOX series "Party Girl"
1996:
Cast in a recurring role as Brooke Shields' mother in "Suddenly Susan" (NBC)
1999:
Returned to the NY stage as star of Paula Vogel's "The Mineola Twins"
1999:
Co-starred in the CBS sitcom "Love & Money"
1999:
Cast opposite Ryan Phillippe in "Cruel Intentions," a modern re-telling of Dangerous Liasons
2001:
Starred opposite Jake Gyllenhaal in the comedy "Bubble Boy"
2002:
Appeared in "Rules of Attraction," based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis
2004:
Starred in Doug Hughes's play "Frozen"; received a Tony nomination
2004:
Cast as Madeleine Sullivan on the Showtime series "Huff"; received Emmy nominations in 2005 and 2006
2006:
Cast in a revival of "Heartbreak House"; earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Actress
2007:
Cast as Lily Charles in the ABC series "Pushing Daisies"
2010:
Cast in the CBS sitcom "Mike & Molly"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of Southern California: Los Angeles , California - 1962 - 1964
London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art: - 1964 - 1966

Notes

"When I was in my 20s, women were career-oriented. It's only lately 'you can have it all' came into being. At the time I had tunnel vision about my career. I thought it would take time and energy away from my passion, which was acting. But it's healthier to try to do it all." --Kurtz on why she never married, quoted by Kay Gardella in New York DAILY NEWS, May 9, 1991

She has been nominated eight times for an Emmy Award.

On why she accepts the roles she does, Kurtz told syndicated columnist Liz Smith, "You should always want to challenge the gods. What's the point, otherwise?" --From Smith's January 21, 1999 column

Family close complete family listing

father:
Frank Kurtz Jr. Won Olympic bronze medal in diving in 1932; retired colonel; was won of the highest decorated American bomber pilots during WWII; died in November 1996 at age 85.
father:
Frank Kurtz Jr. Divorced; Sampson gained custody of his son.
mother:
Margo Kurtz. Born c. 1915.
mother:
Margo Kurtz. Laboratory technician.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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