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Anita Morris

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Also Known As: Died: March 3, 1994
Born: March 14, 1943 Cause of Death: ovarian cancer
Birth Place: Durham, North Carolina, USA Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A lush, full-bodied, redheaded hoofer and actress of stage and screen, Anita Morris is most famous for her role as the robustly erotic mistress who sang and writhed in a transparent body suit in the Broadway musical "Nine" (1982). Her tour-de-force performance was censored by CBS for the airing of the 1982 Tony Awards. Morris enhanced the NYC productions of "Seesaw" (1973), "The Magic Show" (1974, staged by her husband Grover Dale) "Sugar Babies" (1979, succeeding Ann Jillian) and "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" (1981, playing Miss Mona, the brothel owner). In her glam showgirl incarnation, she graced such features as "Absolute Beginners" (1986), "Aria" (1987) and Tony Richardson's "The Hotel New Hampshire" (1984). Morris provided cameos on several timely series of the moment like "Cheers" (1987), "Miami Vice" (1987) and "Melrose Place" (1992), often as sexy single ladies and moms. She starred in the TV version of "Down and Out in Beverly Hills" (Fox, 1987), taking over the role once held by Bette Midler and was cast as a sultry matriarch on the soapy miniseries "Trade Winds" (NBC, 1993). Perhaps her most remembered film role was playing the mistress of Danny De Vito in "Ruthless People"...

A lush, full-bodied, redheaded hoofer and actress of stage and screen, Anita Morris is most famous for her role as the robustly erotic mistress who sang and writhed in a transparent body suit in the Broadway musical "Nine" (1982). Her tour-de-force performance was censored by CBS for the airing of the 1982 Tony Awards. Morris enhanced the NYC productions of "Seesaw" (1973), "The Magic Show" (1974, staged by her husband Grover Dale) "Sugar Babies" (1979, succeeding Ann Jillian) and "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" (1981, playing Miss Mona, the brothel owner). In her glam showgirl incarnation, she graced such features as "Absolute Beginners" (1986), "Aria" (1987) and Tony Richardson's "The Hotel New Hampshire" (1984). Morris provided cameos on several timely series of the moment like "Cheers" (1987), "Miami Vice" (1987) and "Melrose Place" (1992), often as sexy single ladies and moms. She starred in the TV version of "Down and Out in Beverly Hills" (Fox, 1987), taking over the role once held by Bette Midler and was cast as a sultry matriarch on the soapy miniseries "Trade Winds" (NBC, 1993). Perhaps her most remembered film role was playing the mistress of Danny De Vito in "Ruthless People" (1986).

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Radioland Murders (1994) Claudette
2.
 Me and the Kid (1993) Mrs. Feldman
3.
4.
 Matlock: The Legacy (1992) Elaine Genrich
5.
 Off and Running (1992) Florence
6.
 Bloodhounds of Broadway (1989) Miss Missouri Martin
7.
 Sinful Life, A (1989) Clair Vin Blanc
8.
 Martians Go Home (1989) Dr Jane Buchanan
9.
 18 Again! (1988) Madelyn
10.
 Aria (1987) Phoebe ("Rigoletto")
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Began performing with the American Mime Theater
1971:
Broadway debut, chorus member of "Jesus Christ Superstar"
1972:
Feature debut, "The Broad Coalition"
1973:
First speaking role on Broadway, "Seesaw"; initial collaboration with Tommy Tune
1974:
Appeared in "The Magic Show", directed by her husband Grover Dale
1979:
Replaced Ann Jillian in the Broadway musical "Sugar Babies"
1980:
Diagnosed with ovarian cancer
1981:
Assumed the leading role of Miss Mona, the brothel owner, in the stage musical "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas", staged by Tune
1981:
Played a dancer in "So Fine"
1982:
Breakthrough stage role, cast as Carla, the mistress of film director Guido Contini, in "Nine", a Broadway musical directed by Tommy Tune and based on Fellini's "8 1/2"; created controversy with her costume (a black lace body stocking) as well as her gyrations during her showstopping number "A Phone Call From the Vatican"; received Tony nomination as Best Featured Actress in a Musical; number banned from being performed as originally staged during the annual telecast of the Tony Awards by CBS
1985:
Played Babs Berrenger-DeGava on the short-lived series "Berrenger's" (NBC)
1986:
Offered a memorable supporting turn as Danny De Vito's sexy mistress in the comedy "Ruthless People"
1987:
Had recurring role as Barbara Whiteman in the Fox TV series version of "Down and Out in Beverly Hills"
1993:
Last TV appearance in the NBC miniseries "Trade Winds"
1994:
Final film, "Radioland Murders"; released posthumously
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

American Academy of Dramatic Arts: New York , New York -

Notes

"The spirit od Marilyn Monroe resides in the body and soul of Anita Morris." --author Norman Mailer in 1982 after seeing Morris in "Nine"

"The truth is, you really don't direct Anita; you just watch and marvel at her. Because she did all of that herself [create the gyrations for "A Phone Call From the Vatican" in "Nine"]. I got a lot of credit for [the number], but all I did was get Maury [Yeston] to write it. Anita had unfailing taste; as shocking as things were that she did, they wer never vulgar. She was always right on the money." --Tommy Tune quoted in InTheater, July 12-19, 1999.

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Grover Dale. Actor, director. Met when they worked together on "Seesaw".

Family close complete family listing

father:
J B Morris. Survived her.
mother:
Eloise Morris. Survived her.
brother:
Byron Morris. Survived her.
brother:
Douglas Morris. Survived her.
son:
James Dale.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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