Shirley Maclaine


Actor
Shirley Maclaine

About

Also Known As
Shirley Maclean Beaty
Birth Place
Richmond, Virginia, USA
Born
April 24, 1934

Biography

Broadway hoofer, dramatic talent, spiritual eccentric, activist, Oscar winner... Over the course of a varied and distinguished career, actress Shirley MacLaine earned these titles many times over. A former ballerina hopeful-turned-chorus girl, she rose to fame in the early 1950s after Hollywood producers noticed her in Broadway's "Pajama Game." She made the transition to features in a se...

Photos & Videos

Artists and Models (1955) - Publicity Stills
The Apartment - Lobby Card Set
Irma La Douce - Movie Posters

Family & Companions

Steve Parker
Husband
Producer. Married in 1954; divorced in 1983.
Andrew Peacock
Companion
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs for Australia; Australian Parliament Member. Together on and off since 1978.

Bibliography

"The Camino: A Journey of the Spirit"
Shirley MacLaine, Pocket Books (2000)
"My Lucky Stars"
Shirley MacLaine (1994)
"Dance While You Can"
Shirley MacLaine, Bantam Books (1991)
"Shirley and Warren"
James Spada, Macmillan (1985)

Notes

"I think in my 40s, right around the time of "The Turning Point," that I began to address myself more to the future," she says, explaining her coming to terms with aging. "See, I wasn't afraid of getting old, because I never had the problems the other actresses my age had. I was never a great beauty. I was never a sex symbol. I did, however, have great legs, because I was a dancer. But I didn't have that baggage. I wasn't interested in my stature as a star. Ever. I was just interested in good parts." --From "Pouring on the Old Charm" by Ryan Murphy in the DAILY NEWS, January 6, 1993

Received an honorary degree from Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC in 1999

Biography

Broadway hoofer, dramatic talent, spiritual eccentric, activist, Oscar winner... Over the course of a varied and distinguished career, actress Shirley MacLaine earned these titles many times over. A former ballerina hopeful-turned-chorus girl, she rose to fame in the early 1950s after Hollywood producers noticed her in Broadway's "Pajama Game." She made the transition to features in a series of roles that emphasized her quirkiness and heartbreaking vulnerability, most notably in "Some Came Running" (1960), "The Apartment" (1960) and "Irma La Douce" (1963). The redheaded pixie dropped out of features in the late 1960s - watching her brother Warren Beatty rise to fame at that time -but reemerged in the late 1970s with several acclaimed performances in such films as "The Turning Point" (1977), "Being There" (1979) and "Terms of Endearment" (1983), the latter of which brought her a long-overdue Oscar for Best Actress. She remained a vital presence in efforts like "Steel Magnolias" (1989), "Postcards from the Edge" (1990) and "Guarding Tess" (1994), while extolling alternative beliefs in reincarnation and extraterrestrials that occasionally earned derision from pundits. Well into her seventies, the actress continued to command attention in acclaimed projects, ranging from the biopic "Coco Chanel" (Lifetime, 2008) to the black comedy "Bernie" (2012). Not that the validation was necessary, but an AFI Life Achievement Award merely punctuated the fact that MacLaine remained among the most gifted of Hollywood and stage performers for over 40 years - a distinction that she continued to earn well into the new millennium.

Born Shirley MacLaine Beaty on April 24, 1934, she was the daughter of teachers Ira Owen Beaty and Kathrine Corrine MacLean, who also raised a son, Warren, later a major Hollywood talent in his own right. MacLaine was born in Richmond, VA, but the family moved to several locations in the state throughout her childhood before settling in Waverly. MacLaine's most fervent desire was to become a dancer, which she had begun to train for at the age of two; by four, she had made her public debut and would appear on the professional stage just eight years later. So great was her desire to dance that while warming up before a performance of "Cinderella," she snapped her ankle. Not wishing to bow out, she bound her feet and went through with the production, after which she was dispatched in an ambulance. Eventually, the rigors of ballet proved too great for MacLaine to pursue in earnest, so she shifted her attention to acting. Just one summer shy of high school graduation, she lit out for New York in 1950 to audition for musicals and landed a part in the chorus for a revival of "Oklahoma!" She went back to Virginia to earn her diploma, after which she returned to the Great White Way to seek her fortune. Billed as Shirley MacLaine, she worked as a model while auditioning for musicals, eventually serving as Carol Haney's understudy in the Broadway production of "The Pajama Game."

In 1952, MacLaine had her big break in an amusingly showbiz way; Haney, who had garnered a reputation for never missing a performance, broke her ankle before curtain call. MacLaine was called in to replace her. The debut was a rough one, but MacLaine held her own. Three months later, Haney was again forced to miss a show, and MacLaine - now more familiar with the intricacies of the part - stepped in again. This time, director-producer Hal B. Wallis was in the audience and was charmed by her boundless energy. The veteran showman signed her to a five-year contract at Warner Bros., which commenced with "The Trouble with Harry" (1955) for no less than legendary director, Alfred Hitchcock. Though not one of the great filmmaker's biggest hits, the black comedy helped to establish MacLaine's screen persona: bubbly, irreverent and unquestionably alluring. She later belied that perception by showing a feistier side while engaging in and winning a highly publicized contract dispute with Wallis. She soon balanced light features like "Artists and Models" (1955) and "Around the World in Eighty Days" (1956) with more dramatic fare, which proved her to be among the more versatile actresses of the period. Most notable among the latter was "Some Came Running" (1960), in which she captivated as a small-town girl who overcomes her bad reputation in an attempt to find true love with Frank Sinatra's cynical war vet. Critics and audiences responded favorably to the turn, which netted MacLaine Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations. Her participation in the film, which co-starred Dean Martin, made her an unofficial member - some said, sole female mascot - of Sinatra's Rat Pack, an allegiance that was solidified with her uncredited cameo as a tipsy woman in the group's iconic heist film, "Ocean's Eleven" (1960).

MacLaine hit her stride in movies during the early 1960s, where she divided her time equally between straight drama, light comedies, and her roots in musical theater. She received perhaps her best early showcase as the vulnerable young elevator operator who beguiles Jack Lemmon's salary man in Billy Wilder's "The Apartment" (1960). Her performance, alternately winning and heartbreaking, earned her a second Oscar nod and wins from BAFTA and the Golden Globes. She played variations on that role in "Two for the Seesaw" (1962) with Robert Mitchum, "The Yellow Rolls-Royce" (1964) as a moll for gangster George C. Scott, and "What a Way to Go" (1964), as the seemingly "cursed" widow of Dean Martin, Dick Van Dyke, Paul Newman and Robert Mitchum, among others. She also reunited with Wilder to once again entice Jack Lemmon as the French prostitute "Irma La Douce" (1963), which brought her a third Academy Award nomination and second Golden Globe. However, by the mid-1960s, MacLaine's career seemed to be in a rut. Musicals had faded as a money-making genre for studios, and executives seemed to have little idea of how to cast MacLaine as anything but the offbeat romantic lead in such largely unremarkable efforts as "Gambit" (1966) and "Woman Times Seven" (1967), in which director Vittorio De Sica had her tackle seven different roles. She continued to land Golden Globe nominations for her work, but the projects were simply not up to the standards of her past projects. She managed to land one final musical with 1969's "Sweet Charity" for director Bob Fosse. The project turned out to be a miserable failure, though it did leave MacLaine with a signature song, "If They Could See Me Now," which would later become a highlight of her singing engagements and TV specials.

MacLaine was largely off the screen for much of the late 1960s and early 1970s, preferring instead to work in other capacities. She was frequently on television during the decade, both as the star of her own short-lived sitcom "Shirley's World" (ABC, 1971-72) and as the star of several well-received TV specials that highlighted her song and dance talents, beginning with 1974's Emmy-winning "Shirley MacLaine: If They Could See Me Now" for CBS. MacLaine also defied her "kooky" screen persona by becoming deeply involved in politics; first as a delegate from California for Robert F. Kennedy and later, as a campaigner for George McGovern in 1972. The following year, MacLaine toured mainland China and recounted her experiences in a book, You Can Get There from Here, as well as in a documentary, "The Other Half of the Sky: A China Memoir" (1975), which earned her an Oscar nomination (shared with Claudia Weill) for Best Documentary. MacLaine also penned the first of several candid memoirs, Don't Fall Off the Mountain in 1973, and mounted an impressive return to Broadway with a one-woman show, "Gypsy in My Soul" in 1976.

Her feature film career began to rebuild itself in the mid-1970s with an Oscar-nominated turn as a former ballerina who locks horns with a longtime competitor (Anne Bancroft) in "The Turning Point" (1977). She matched this success with a sexually charged turn as the long-neglected wife of a powerful businessman who attempts to find relief from Peter Sellers' kindly gardener in Hal Ashby's "Being There" (1979). Both films helped to put an older but no less spunky MacLaine back on the Hollywood map. But her greatest screen triumph would come four years later with James Brooks' "Terms of Endearment" (1983). MacLaine unleashed the full brunt of her dramatic talents as the high-maintenance Aurora Greenway, who puts aside her differences with daughter Emma (Debra Winger) to care for her while she endures a terminal illness. The performance was hard-fought; MacLaine quit the production midway through, only to return for its completion, and reports from the set detailed numerous squabbles between the veteran actress and up-and-comer Winger, but it ultimately yielded her an Oscar which she famously won over her onscreen daughter.

Some of the goodwill and buzz generated by the Academy Award win was deflated by the release of MacLaine's memoir Out on a Limb (1983). The bestseller detailed her ongoing fascination with spirituality, including out-of-body experiences and multiple reincarnations. The decidedly unusual subject matter helped to brand MacLaine as a bit of an eccentric, a label she handled with remarkable good humor, as noted by her appearance as an afterlife version of herself in Albert Brooks' comedy "Defending Your Life" (1991). MacLaine was off the big screen for about four years after the release of Out on a Limb, during which she appeared as herself in an Emmy-nominated TV adaptation of the book for ABC in 1987. She also penned three similarly-themed follow-ups, Dancing in the Light (1986), It's All in the Playing (1987) and Going Within (1989), even releasing her own spiritual workout video, "Shirley MacLaine's Inner Workout" in 1989. She also played to adoring crowds in her second one-woman show on Broadway, "Shirley MacLaine on Broadway," in 1984.

MacLaine returned to movies with a vengeance in the late 1980s, starting with her Golden Globe win as an eccentric piano teacher in John Schlesinger's "Madame Sousatzska" (1988). She essayed numerous formidable matrons during this period, most notably Ouiser Boudreaux in the all-star adaptation of "Steel Magnolias" (1989), and a thinly veiled version of Debbie Reynolds in Mike Nichols' adaptation of Carrie Fisher's "Postcards from the Edge" (1990), both of which earned BAFTA nominations. Less acclaimed, but no less well played, were Golden Globe-nominated turns as a Jewish mother in "Used People" (1992) and as a flinty First Lady in "Guarding Tess" (1994). MacLaine also returned to Aurora Greenway for "The Evening Star" (1997), the long-awaited sequel to "Terms of Endearment," but the results paled by comparison to its predecessor, largely due to the absence of Debra Winger and their unique onscreen rapport. In 1998, her considerable body of work in film, television and stage was honored by the Academy with the Cecil B. DeMille Award. MacLaine's busy schedule in the late 1990s and early 2000s included several returns to made-for-TV efforts; among the most high-profile of these was the Carrie Fisher-penned "These Old Broads" (ABC, 2001), which pitted her against the equally iconic lineup of Elizabeth Taylor, Debbie Reynolds and Joan Collins. MacLaine also tackled makeup maven Mary Kay Ash in "The Battle of Mary Kay" (CBS, 2002) and lent her star power to a supporting role in Joseph Sargeant's "Salem Witch Trials" (CBS, 2003). She also made her solo directorial debut with "Bruno" (2000), an unusual indie drama about a young boy with a taste for cross-dressing.

As she approached her seventh decade, MacLaine's rarefied talents remained in demand for features, and she was showcased in a trio of high-profile supporting performances in 2005. She offered a deliciously arch Endora to rival even Agnes Moorhead's original in Nora Ephron's big-screen version of "Bewitched," then dropped the glam to play the sympathetic grandmother to rival sisters Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette in Curtis Hanson's "In Her Shoes." Her comic skills were also given a workout as Jennifer Aniston's grandmother, who may have been the inspiration for Mrs. Robinson in "The Graduate" (1967), in Rob Reiner's "Rumor Has It." MacLaine received strong notices for each picture, earning her umpteenth Golden Globe nomination for "In Her Sh s." She then starred in "Coco Chanel" (Lifetime, 2008), delivering an icy turn as the notorious French fashion maven, which earned her yet another Golden Globe nomination; this time in the Best Actress in a miniseries or movie category. She also earned an Emmy Award nomination for the role in 2009. In her personal life, she continued to explore her spiritual interests in a flurry of books throughout the new millennium, including Out on a Leash: Exploring the Nature of Reality and Love (2003) and Sage-ing While Age-ing (2007).

Showing absolutely no signs of slowing down, MacLaine co-starred with Barbara Hershey in "Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning" (CTV, 2008), the fourth entry in the film series based on the characters of Lucy Maud Montgomery, in which an adult Anne (Hershey) recalls her childhood in the days before she arrived at the iconic Prince Edward Island farm. Two years later, she returned to theater screens as part of the ensemble cast of director Garry Marshall's romantic comedy "Valentine's Day" (2010) as a wife struggling with a secret she had kept from her husband (H├ęctor Elizondo) for many years. After another two-year respite, she co-starred with Jack Black in Richard Linklater's based-on-fact dark comedy "Bernie" (2012), in which she played a lonely, bitter widow whose intense relationship with a younger, well-liked local mortician (Black) takes a deadly turn. In June of that year, MacLaine was honored with the 40th American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award in a ceremony that was later broadcast on the TV Land cable network. Rather than rest on her laurels, MacLaine further demonstrated her artistic vitality when she joined the cast of the critically-acclaimed British period drama "Downton Abbey" (PBS, 2010-16) as Martha Levinson, the widowed American mother of Lady Grantham (Elizabeth McGovern).

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

Bruno (2000)
Director
The Other Half of the Sky: A China Memoir (1974)
Director

Cast (Feature Film)

Noelle (2019)
The Last Word (2017)
A Heavenly Christmas (2016)
Men of Granite (2016)
Elsa and Fred (2014)
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)
Bernie (2011)
Valentine's Day (2010)
Coco Chanel (2008)
Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning (2008)
Closing the Ring (2007)
Carolina (2005)
Bewitched (2005)
In Her Shoes (2005)
Cast
Rumor Has It... (2005)
Hell on Heels: The Battle of Mary Kay (2002)
Mary Kay Ash
These Old Broads (2001)
Kate Westburn
Bruno (2000)
Get Bruce (1999)
Herself
Forever Hollywood (1999)
Herself
A Smile Like Yours (1997)
Mrs. Winterbourne (1996)
The Evening Star (1996)
The West Side Waltz (1995)
The Celluloid Closet (1995)
Herself
Guarding Tess (1994)
Wrestling Ernest Hemingway (1993)
Helen
Used People (1992)
Defending Your Life (1991)
Postcards From The Edge (1990)
Doris Mann
Waiting For the Light (1990)
Aunt Zena
Steel Magnolias (1989)
Madame Sousatzka (1988)
Cannonball Run II (1984)
Terms Of Endearment (1983)
A Change of Seasons (1980)
Loving Couples (1980)
Being There (1979)
Sois belle et tais-toi (1977)
Herself
The Turning Point (1977)
Deedee Rogers
The Other Half of the Sky: A China Memoir (1974)
Herself
The Year of the Woman (1973)
Herself
The Possession of Joel Delaney (1972)
Norah Benson
Desperate Characters (1971)
Sophie Bentwood
Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970)
Sister Sara
Sweet Charity (1969)
Charity Hope Valentine
The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom (1968)
Harriet Blossom
Woman Times Seven (1967)
Edith
Woman Times Seven (1967)
Linda
Woman Times Seven (1967)
Paulette
Woman Times Seven (1967)
Maria Terese
Woman Times Seven (1967)
Eve Minou
Woman Times Seven (1967)
Jeanne
Woman Times Seven (1967)
Marie
Gambit (1966)
Nicole
John Goldfarb, Please Come Home! (1965)
Jenny Ericson
The Yellow Rolls-Royce (1965)
Mae Jenkins
What a Way To Go! (1964)
Louisa
Irma La Douce (1963)
Irma La Douce
Two for the Seesaw (1962)
Gittel Mosca
My Geisha (1962)
Lucy Dell/Yoko Mori
All in a Night's Work (1961)
Katie Robbins
The Children's Hour (1961)
Martha Dobie
Two Loves (1961)
Anna Vorontosov
Can-Can (1960)
Simone Pistache
Ocean's Eleven (1960)
Inebriated woman
The Apartment (1960)
Fran Kubelik
Ask Any Girl (1959)
Meg Wheeler
Some Came Running (1959)
Ginny Moorhead
Career (1959)
Sharon Kensington
Hot Spell (1958)
Virginia Duval
The Matchmaker (1958)
Irene Molloy
The Sheepman (1958)
Dell Payton
Artists and Models (1956)
Bessie Sparrowbush
Around the World in 80 Days (1956)
Princess Aouda
The Trouble with Harry (1955)
Jennifer Rogers

Writer (Feature Film)

The Other Half of the Sky: A China Memoir (1974)
Screenplay

Producer (Feature Film)

The Last Word (2017)
Executive Producer
The Other Half of the Sky: A China Memoir (1974)
Executive Producer

Music (Feature Film)

Postcards From The Edge (1990)
Song Performer ("I'M Still Here")

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Forever Hollywood (1999)
Other
Get Bruce (1999)
Other
The Celluloid Closet (1995)
Other
Sois belle et tais-toi (1977)
Other
The Other Half of the Sky: A China Memoir (1974)
Other
The Year of the Woman (1973)
Other

Cast (Special)

AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Meryl Streep (2004)
Elizabeth Taylor: England's Other Elizabeth (2001)
AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Barbra Streisand (2001)
Performer
Intimate Portrait: Marlo Thomas (2000)
Narrator
Siegfried & Roy: The E! True Hollywood Story (2000)
Interviewee
Reel Models: The First Women of Film (2000)
Narrator
Edith Head: Designing Woman (2000)
Interviewee
The 57th Annual Golden Globe Awards (2000)
Presenter
The AFI's 100 Years... 100 Stars (1999)
Robert F Kennedy: A Memoir (1998)
Billy Wilder: The Human Comedy (1998)
Louise Brooks: Looking for Lulu (1998)
Narrator
The 55th Annual Golden Globe Awards (1998)
Happy Birthday Elizabeth -- A Celebration of Life (1997)
The 54th Annual Golden Globe Awards (1997)
Presenter
Intimate Portrait: Shirley MacLaine (1996)
Jack Lemmon (1996)
Narrator
The 66th Annual Academy Awards Presentation (1994)
Presenter
The Second Annual Comedy Hall of Fame (1994)
Performer
The American Film Institute Salute to Jack Nicholson (1994)
Performer
What Is This Thing Called Love? (1993)
The 65th Annual Academy Awards Presentation (1993)
Performer
The 64th Annual Academy Awards Presentation (1992)
Presenter
In a New Light (1992)
The 45th Annual Tony Awards (1991)
Performer
The 48th Annual Golden Globe Awards (1991)
Presenter
Sinatra 75: The Best Is Yet to Come (1990)
Sammy Davis Jr.'s 60th Anniversary Celebration (1990)
MDA Jerry Lewis Telethon (1990)
America's Dance Honors (1990)
The American Film Institute Salute to Jack Lemmon (1988)
Performer
Irving Berlin's 100th Birthday Celebration (1988)
The 1st Annual American Comedy Awards (1987)
Performer
The American Film Institute Salute to Barbara Stanwyck (1987)
Performer
The 59th Annual Academy Awards Presentation (1987)
Performer
Liberty Weekend (1986)
The Shirley MacLaine Show (1985)
The American Film Institute Salute to Gene Kelly (1985)
Host
The 38th Annual Tony Awards (1984)
Performer
Shirley MacLaine: Illusions (1982)
Host
Baryshnikov in Hollywood (1982)
The Sensational, Shocking, Wonderful, Wacky '70s (1980)
Shirley MacLaine: Every Little Movement (1980)
Host
Shirley MacLaine at the Lido (1979)
Host
The Shirley MacLaine Special: Where Do We Go From Here? (1977)
Host
Celebration: The American Spirit (1976)
Shirley MacLaine: If They Could See Me Now (1974)
Host

Cinematography (Special)

The Second Annual Comedy Hall of Fame (1994)
Video

Music (Special)

The Second Annual Comedy Hall of Fame (1994)
Song Performer
Sammy Davis Jr.'s 60th Anniversary Celebration (1990)
Song Performer
The American Film Institute Salute to Jack Lemmon (1988)
Song Performer
Irving Berlin's 100th Birthday Celebration (1988)
Song Performer

Cast (Short)

The Car That Became a Star (1964)
Herself

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

Salem Witch Trials (2003)
Joan of Arc (1999)
Out on a Limb (1987)
Herself

Writer (TV Mini-Series)

Out on a Limb (1987)
Book As Source Material
Out on a Limb (1987)
Screenplay

Misc. Crew (TV Mini-Series)

Out on a Limb (1987)
Other

Life Events

1937

Began taking ballet at age three

1938

First public appearance as a dancer at age four

1946

Professional dance debut at age 12 with National Symphony Orchestra

1950

Appeared for a brief time in the NYC revival of "Oklahoma!"

1952

Moved to New York; adopted professional name Shirley MacLaine; worked as model and appeared in commercials

1954

Received big break when she became an understudy to actress Carol Haney in "The Pajama Game"; Haney suffered an ankle injury in the first week and MacLaine replaced her

1955

Film acting debut in Alfred Hitchcock's "The Trouble with Harry"

1958

Garnered first Academy Award nomination as Best Actress for "Some Came Running"

1960

Earned second Academy Award nomination for "The Apartment," starring with Jack Lemmon and directed by Billy Wilder

1963

Re-teamed with Wilder and Lemmon for "Irma la Douce," which earned her a third Academy Award nomination

1966

Co-starred with Michael Caine as criminals in "Gambit"; earned a Best Actress Golden Globe nomination

1969

Last musical feature, "Sweet Charity"; directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse and written by Neil Simon

1971

Starred in the short-lived ABC sitcom "Shirley's World"

1974

Co-directed (Claudia Weill) the documentary feature about her travels through China called "The Other Half of the Sky: A China Memoir"; received an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Feature

1976

Returned to the stage in the one-woman show, "A Gypsy in My Soul"

1977

Once again nominated for an Academy Award for "The Turning Point"

1983

Received her first Academy Award starring opposite Debra Winger and Jack Nicholson in James L. Brooks' "Terms of Endearment"

1987

Played herself in the autogiographical ABC miniseries, "Out on a Limb"

1988

Earned critical acclaim for her role in "Madame Sousatzka"

1989

Offered a memorable performace as Ouiser in the ensemble female drama "Steel Magnolias"

1990

Cast as Meryl Streep's mother in "Postcards from the Edge," a semi-autobiographical novel written by Carrie Fisher and directed by Mike Nichols

1994

Played a fictional former First Lady, opposite Nicolas Cage, in "Guarding Tess"

1996

Reprised Academy Award-winning role of Aurora Greenway in "Evening Star"

2000

Feature directorial debut, "Bruno" (aired on Starz!), also co-starred

2001

Acted in the TV-movie "These Old Broads" (ABC)

2002

Co-starred in the CBS TV-Movie "Hell on Heels: The Battle of Mary Kay"; received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress

2005

Co-starred with Michael Caine as Samantha's (Nicole Kidman) meddling parents in the big screen adaptation of "Bewitched"

2005

Cast as the inspiration for the book and film "The Graduate" in the Rob Reiner comedy "Rumor Has It..."

2005

Co-starred with Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette, as their long-lost grandmother in Curtis Hanson's "In Her Shoes"; earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress

2006

Cast in "The Ant Bully," a computer-animated film directed by John Davis

2008

Portrayed the title role of the French fashion designer in the Lifetime movie "Coco Chanel"; earned Golden Globe, SAG and Emmy nominations for Best Actress in a Television Movie

2010

Joined an ensemble cast for the Garry Marshall directed romantic comedy, "Valentine's Day"

2012

Began appearing as grandmother Martha Levinson on "Downton Abbey."

2013

Had a small role as Edna Mitty, mother of Walter Mitty, in the Ben Stiller-starring remake "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"

2014

Appeared in a pair of episodes of the popular TV musical "Glee"

2016

Co-starred in the comedy "Wild Oats"

2017

Appeared as Harriet in "The Last Word"

Photo Collections

Artists and Models (1955) - Publicity Stills
Artists and Models (1955) - Publicity Stills
The Apartment - Lobby Card Set
The Apartment - Lobby Card Set
Irma La Douce - Movie Posters
Here are a variety of American movie posters for Billy Wilder's Irma La Douce (1963), starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine.
The Sheepman - Publicity Stills
Here are a few publicity stills from MGM's The Sheepman (1958), starring Glenn Ford and Shirley MacLaine. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
Some Came Running - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are several photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of Some Came Running (1959), directed by Vincente Minnelli and starring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Shirley MacLaine.
Some Came Running - Publicity Stills
Here are a number of Publicity Stills from Some Came Running (1958). Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
The Children's Hour - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for The Children's Hour (1962), directed by William Wyler. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.

Videos

Movie Clip

Gambit (1966) - Will She Cooperate? In the opening we followed Michael Caine, as English Harry, into a Hong Kong club where Shirley MacLaine performs in the revue, and now after the show he reveals to friend Emile (John Abbott) the scheme, and we meet Roger C. Carmel as obsequious Ram, in director Ronald Neame’s Gambit, 1966.
Gambit (1967) - I Had To Have Her We don’t know at this point that we’re seeing the caper only as it plays out in the imagination of thief Harry (Michael Caine), in which Arab potentate Shabandar (Herbert Lom) is wholly entranced by the resemblance of Shirley MacLaine, as taxi-dancer Nicole, to his late wife, in Gambit, 1966.
Gambit (1966) - You Weren't Being Tricky Enough Thief Harry (Michael Caine), now in the dicier real-life version of his imagined heist, in fictional Dammuz with troublesome Nicole (Shirley MacLaine, whom he recruited because she’s a dead-ringer for a rich Arab’s deceased wife), trying to find find another accomplice, and forced to evade goons, in director Ronald Neame’s Gambit, 1966.
Terms Of Endearment (1983) -- (Original Trailer) Original trailer for the celebrated feature from writer-director James L. Brooks, winner of five Academy Awards, from the Larry McMurtry novel, Terms Of Endearment, 1983, with Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger, Jack Nicholson and Jeff Daniels.
Steel Magnolias (1989) - Serve Him On Toast Amid bedlam preparing the house for the small-town Louisiana wedding reception for Shelby (Julia Roberts, not seen here), the first scene for Shirley MacLaine as nutty neighbor Ouizer, enraged with father-of-the-bride Tom Skerritt, who’s frightened her dog by using gunshots to scare away birds, early in Steel Magnolias, 1989, from Robert Harling’s play.
Steel Magnolias (1989) - Dearly Beloved About 30 minutes in, the Louisiana wedding of Julia Roberts as Shelby (the credited singer is Gale. J. Odom), Sally Field her mom, Shirley MacLaine as cranky Ouizer, Dolly Parton as stylist Truvy, Olympia Dukakis the widow Belcher, Tom Skerritt the father, his hearing compromised by earlier efforts to scare off birds, and Dylan McDermott the groom, in Steel Magnolias, 1989.
Steel Magnolias (1989) - My Colors Are Blush And Bashful The first ensemble scene in the Louisiana hair salon (where Robert Harling’s whole original play took place), on the day of the wedding of Julia Roberts (as Shelby), Sally Field her mother, Dolly Parton the proprietor Truvy, Daryl Hannah the new gal Annelle, Olympia Dukakis the widow Belcher, Herbert Ross directing, in Steel Magnolias, 1989.
Irma La Douce (1963) - Stomach Of Paris A portion of Louis Jourdan's opening narration from the Billy Wilder-I.A.L. Diamond script, introducing the Rue Casanova, Shirley MacLaine (title character) and her "Mec" Hippolyte (Bruce Yarnell), in Wilder's Irma La Douce, 1963.
Irma La Douce (1963) - Green Underwear Introduced by narration as an honest policeman, first scene for Nestor (Jack Lemmon), discovering the red-light district and it's leading citizen Shirley MacLaine (title character), in Billy Wilder's Irma La Douce, 1963.
Irma La Douce (1963) - He Can Take Care Of Himself New-on-the-beat Paris cop Nestor (Jack Lemmon) has herded all the girls into the paddy wagon, unaware of the police sanction for prostitution, only Shirley MacLaine (title character) showing any sympathy, in Billy Wilder's Irma La Douce, 1963.
Irma La Douce (1963) - Can I Take Your Stockings Off? Having bested her pimp in a comic fistfight, newly-fired ingenue policeman Nestor (Jack Lemmon) is invited by Shirley MacLaine (tite character) to her non-work Paris address, in Billy Wilder's Irma La Douce, 1963.
Being There (1979) - Chauncey Gardiner Aimless gardener Chance (Peter Sellers) fascinated by a Washington, D.C. shop window TV display, meets well-to-do Eve (Shirley MacLaine) who surmises a name for him, in Hal Ashby's Being There, 1979.

Trailer

Artists And Models (1955) -- Original Trailer Original trailer for Paramount’s Martin & Lewis hit Artists And Models 1955, the third-to-last feature starring Jerry and Dean, featuring Shirley MacLaine, Dorothy Malone and Eva Gabor, directed by Frank Tashlin.
Wrestling Ernest Hemingway (1993) -- Original Trailer Original trailer for director Randa Haines’ 1993 sleeper hit Wrestling Ernest Hemingway.
Sweet Charity - (Original Trailer) A taxi dancer (Shirley MacLaine) is unlucky in love in Bob Fosse's musical Sweet Charity(1969).
Gambit - (Original Trailer) A man (Michael Caine) dreams of the perfect robbery but can't seem to pull it off in Gambit (1966) co-starring Shirley MacLaine.
Two Mules For Sister Sara - (Pan-and-scan Trailer) Clint Eastwood, pretending to be a simple cowboy, leads Shirley MacLaine, pretending to be a nun, through revolutionary Mexico in Two Mules For Sister Sara (1970).
Can-Can - (Wide-release trailer) An ambitious judge tries to put a stop to the "forbidden dance" at a nightclub despite the protest of its owner in Can-Can (1960).
Being There - (Original Trailer) Peter Sellers gave perhaps his greatest performance in Hal Ashby's wicked satire Being There (1979).
Two Loves - (British Trailer) Shirley MacLaine stars as an American teacher who struggles with her values while teaching natives in New Zealand in Two Loves (1961), released in England as Spinster.
Trouble With Harry, The - (Original Trailer) Shirley MacLaine stars in Alfred Hitchcock's comedy about death and a corpse that won't stay buried, The Trouble With Harry (1955).
Some Came Running - (Original Trailer) A veteran returns home to deal with family secrets and small-town scandals in Some Came Running (1958) starring Frank Sinatra.
Yellow Rolls-Royce, The - (Original Trailer) A classic car changes the lives of three sets of owners in The Yellow Rolls-Royce (1964) starring Rex Harrison, Shirley MacLaine and Ingrid Bergman.
Two For The Seesaw -- (Original Trailer) A conservative attorney (Robert Mitchum) considering a divorce gets involved with an emotionally fragile dancer (Shirley MacLaine) in New York, in Two For The Seesaw, 1962, from the play by William Gibson.

Family

Ira O Beaty
Father
Died c. 1987.
Kathlyn Beaty
Mother
Died c. 1994.
Warren Beatty
Brother
Actor, director, producer.
Annette Bening
Sister-In-Law
Actor.
Stephanie Sachiko Parker
Daughter
Actor. Born c. 1956.

Companions

Steve Parker
Husband
Producer. Married in 1954; divorced in 1983.
Andrew Peacock
Companion
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs for Australia; Australian Parliament Member. Together on and off since 1978.

Bibliography

"The Camino: A Journey of the Spirit"
Shirley MacLaine, Pocket Books (2000)
"My Lucky Stars"
Shirley MacLaine (1994)
"Dance While You Can"
Shirley MacLaine, Bantam Books (1991)
"Shirley and Warren"
James Spada, Macmillan (1985)
"Out On a Limb"
Shirley MacLaine (1983)
"Don't Fall Off the Mountain"
Shirley MacLaine (1970)
"You Can Get There From Here"
Shirley MacLaine

Notes

"I think in my 40s, right around the time of "The Turning Point," that I began to address myself more to the future," she says, explaining her coming to terms with aging. "See, I wasn't afraid of getting old, because I never had the problems the other actresses my age had. I was never a great beauty. I was never a sex symbol. I did, however, have great legs, because I was a dancer. But I didn't have that baggage. I wasn't interested in my stature as a star. Ever. I was just interested in good parts." --From "Pouring on the Old Charm" by Ryan Murphy in the DAILY NEWS, January 6, 1993

Received an honorary degree from Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC in 1999