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|Also Known As:||Died:|
|Born:||April 3, 1942||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||St Louis, Missouri, USA||Profession:||Cast ... actor director go-go dancer clerk race car driver waitress|
Brunette leading lady Marsha Mason made her Broadway debut in "Cactus Flower" (1965) and soon after landed in her first feature film, the low-budget actioner "Hot Rod Hullabaloo" (1966). For the next several years, she appeared in stage productions on and off Broadway as well as played a recurring role on the daytime drama "Love of Life" (CBS). The early 1970s found her at San Francisco's American Conservatory Theatre, where she acted in such classics as "The Merchant of Venice," "Cyrano de Bergerac" and "A Doll's House" (all 1972) before coming into her own as a film actress in 1973. That watershed year saw her first as one of George Segal's girlfriends in "Blume in Love" and then opposite James Caan as a hooker with an illegitimate black son in the earthy but touching "Cinderella Liberty," for which she earned her first Best Actress Oscar nomination. She also returned to Broadway that year in Neil Simon's "The Good Doctor." Although the show was not successful, Mason won the playwright's heart and they married.
Mason starred in Robert Wise's supernatural thriller "Audrey Rose" (1977) before beginning to act almost exclusively in movies with Simon scripts (five in all). Three of them ("The Goodbye Girl" 1977, "Chapter Two" 1979 and "Only When I Laugh" 1981) brought Best Actress Oscar nods for her somewhat harried, defensive but ultimately vulnerable urban "Everywoman" persona and they remain her best-known work. Since the break-up of their marriage, Mason has kept a lower profile, preferring to exercise her passion for racing cars in national competitions. Although she did star opposite Clint Eastwood in "Heartbreak Ridge" (1986), she has done mostly supporting turns in movies like "I Love Trouble" (1994) and "Nick of Time" (1995). In addition to NYC stage appearances in "Night of the Iguana" (1996) and as a convicted murderer facing death in Michael Cristofer's "Amazing Grace" (1998), Mason had the recurring role as the blowzy, declasse girlfriend of Martin Crane on NBC's "Frasier," reuniting her with her "Dinner at Eight" (TNT, 1989) co-star John Mahoney.
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