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Louise Lasser

Louise Lasser

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: April 11, 1939 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: actor, screenwriter, acting teacher

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A dizzy comic presence in films and television in the early 1970s, actress Louise Lasser came to fame in "Take the Money and Run" (1969) and other early films by her then-husband Woody Allen before achieving stardom as a bewildered housewife on Norman Lear's controversial "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" (syndicated, 1976-77). Lasser's distracted, slightly anesthetized persona was perfect as the frazzled Mary, but the pressures of television soon drove her to abandon the series and plunge into an apparent psychological funk for several years. When she rebounded in the 1980s, an older, heavier Lasser segued into a string of neurotic matriarch roles, the best of which was as Ben Gazzara's damaged wife in Todd Solondz's "Happiness." Though she never resumed the heights of her popularity in the 1970s, Lasser remained one of Hollywood's most eclectic personas.

A dizzy comic presence in films and television in the early 1970s, actress Louise Lasser came to fame in "Take the Money and Run" (1969) and other early films by her then-husband Woody Allen before achieving stardom as a bewildered housewife on Norman Lear's controversial "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" (syndicated, 1976-77). Lasser's distracted, slightly anesthetized persona was perfect as the frazzled Mary, but the pressures of television soon drove her to abandon the series and plunge into an apparent psychological funk for several years. When she rebounded in the 1980s, an older, heavier Lasser segued into a string of neurotic matriarch roles, the best of which was as Ben Gazzara's damaged wife in Todd Solondz's "Happiness." Though she never resumed the heights of her popularity in the 1970s, Lasser remained one of Hollywood's most eclectic personas.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Queenie in Love (2001) Martha
3.
 Club Land (2001) Frieda
4.
 Fast Food, Fast Women (2000) Emily
5.
 Requiem for a Dream (2000) Ada
6.
 Mystery Men (1999) Violet
7.
 Layin' Low (1996) Mrs Muckler
8.
 Sudden Manhattan (1996) Dominga
9.
 Happiness (1995) Mona Jordan
10.
 Night We Never Met, The (1993) Mrs Winkler
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1962:
Made Broadway debut in "I Can Get It For You Wholesale" replacing Barbra Streisand in the role of Miss Marmelstein
1964:
Appeared in Elaine May's "The Third Ear" improvisational revue
1964:
Appeared on the NBC daytime drama "The Doctors"
1965:
Made film debut in "What's New Pussycat?" scripted by and co-starring Woody Allen; first of seven screen collaborations with Allen
1966:
With Allen, wrote the English dialogue for "What's Up Tiger Lily?"
1967:
Cast as one of the leads in the short-lived Broadway musical "Henry Sweet Henry"
1971:
First film not in collaboration with Allen, "Such Good Friends"
1972:
Last screen collaboration with Allen for eight years, "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*but were afraid to ask)"
1973:
Starred in "Slither"
1973:
Made TV-movie debut in "Coffee, Tea or Me?" (CBS)
1976:
Had greatest moment of fame in the title role of syndicated TV series "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman"
1978:
Played Judd Hirsch's ex-wife on "Taxi" (ABC)
1978:
Wrote and starred in the NBC TV-movie "Just Me and You"
1980:
Landed bit role in Allen's "Stardust Memories"
1981:
Briefly returned to series TV on the ABC sitcom "It's a Living"
1982:
Made memorable guest appearance on "St. Elsewhere" (NBC)
1989:
Cast in featured roles in "Sing" and "Rude Awakening"
:
Began to teach acting classes
1992:
Made memorable guest appearance on episode of "Empty Nest" (NBC)
1997:
Returned to feature films in "Sudden Manhattan"
1998:
Played an unhappily married retiree in "Happiness"
2000:
Cast as widow who places a personal ad in Amos Kollek's "Fast Food, Fast Women"; screened at Cannes
2000:
Cast in Darren Aronofsky's "Requiem for a Dream," starring Ellen Burstyn and Jared Leto
2004:
Starred in the comedy "National Lampoon's Gold Diggers"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Brandeis University: Waltham , Massachusetts -
New School for Social Research: New York , New York -

Notes

"I think we all go through cycles of getting knocked down to our knees and getting up again. But one day, you get knocked down and you can't get up." --Louise Lasser in NEW YORK POST, March 5, 1997

Louise Lasser on her marriage to Woody Allen and his publicized troubles with Mia Farrow: "When you fall in love with somebody and marry them, are you all of a sudden going to stop loving them? Something went awry or you wouldn't be apart, but you still care about them, and always will. . . . Who knows if anybody's right? But when you're close to someone, you'll stand by them through thick or thin. And I stand by Woody Allen." --quoted in NEW YORK POST, March 5, 1997

"I hated how I looked, like a whale. And I am still dieting, because I want to do more and more acting. For that, you have to look as good as you possibly can." --Lasser to NEW YORK POST, March 5, 1997.

On her "Mary Hartman" year: "I could go into anyone's kitchen in America and have dinner. It was the best and worst of times."

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Woody Allen. Director, actor, screenwriter, comedian. Married in February 1966; divorced in 1970.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Sol Lasser. Author. Famed writer of annual guide to income tax; committed suicide.

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