Marsha Mason


Actor
Marsha Mason

About

Birth Place
St Louis, Missouri, USA
Born
April 03, 1942

Biography

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'...

Family & Companions

Gary Campbell
Husband
Divorced in 1964.
Neil Simon
Husband
Playwright, screenwriter. Married on October 25, 1973; divorced October 1983.
Lewis Smith
Companion
Actor. Dated in the mid-1980s.

Bibliography

"Journey: A Personal Odyssey"
Marsha Mason, Simon & Schuster (2000)

Notes

"Neil [Simon] was considered our greatest [living playwright] at the time [of their marriage]. Maybe he still is; I don't know. But anyway, he was hugely successful, and I just kind of got folded into that. And in some ways, he protected me, but in other ways, I wasn't fully able to step out, you know? He didn't want me to go away so much. The work that we did together was great, and I don't regret it, but what I am saying is that I didn't get an opportunity to explore some other areas that were offered to me early on. I took what I might call a U-turn." --Marsha Mason quoted in In Theater, March 20, 1998.

A racing aficionado, Mason finished second in her division in 1993 in her car of choice--a Mazda RX-7. Asked "What's the highest speed you ever clocked?", she replied: "Well, in one instance, not a regular race but a special race--where we were on more or less a straightaway in a real big souped-up Mustang--we were in excess of 200 mph. In a normal type of race, it was about 180 mph." --Marsha Mason to Daily News, March 17, 1996.

Biography

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.

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Bride and Prejudice (2004)
Restless Spirits (1999)
2 Days in the Valley (1996)
Nick of Time (1995)
Broken Trust (1995)
Ruth Fraser
I Love Trouble (1994)
Clint Eastwood: The Man From Malpaso (1993)
Drop Dead Fred (1991)
Stella (1990)
The Image (1990)
Dinner At Eight (1989)
Trapped in Silence (1986)
Jennifer Hubbell
Heartbreak Ridge (1986)
Aggie
Surviving (1985)
Max Dugan Returns (1983)
Nora Mcphee
Lois Gibbs and the Love Canal (1982)
Lois Gibbs
Only When I Laugh (1981)
Chapter Two (1979)
Promises In The Dark (1979)
Dr Alexandra Kendall
The Cheap Detective (1978)
The Goodbye Girl (1977)
Audrey Rose (1977)
Blume in Love (1973)
Cinderella Liberty (1973)
Hot Rod Hullabaloo (1966)

Director (Special)

Little Miss Perfect (1987)
Director

Cast (Special)

Matthew Broderick (2001)
Shirley MacLaine: This Time Around (2000)
The AFI's 100 Years... 100 Stars (1999)
Intimate Portrait: Jane Alexander (1999)
Narrator
Neil Simon: The People's Playwright (1999)
The Power of Water (1993)
Narrator
TGIF Comedy Preview (1991)
Neil Simon: Not Just For Laughs (1989)
The 3rd Annual American Comedy Awards (1989)
Performer
From the Heart... The First International Very Special Arts Festival (1989)
Golden Globe Awards (1987)
Performer
The 58th Annual Academy Awards Presentation (1986)
Presenter
All Star Party for Clint Eastwood (1986)
Cyrano de Bergerac (1974)
Roxanne

Cast (Short)

The Amazing Miss Cummings An Actress at Work and Play (1975)
Herself

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

The Long Shot (2004)
Life With Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows (2001)
Ethel Gumm

Life Events

1965

Broadway debut, "Cactus Flower"

1966

Film debut in "Hot Rod Hullabaloo"

1967

Landed role in Norman Mailer's Off-Broadway play "The Deer Park"

1972

Portrayed Nurse Marsha Lord in syndicated TV series "Young Dr Kildaire"

1973

Received first of four Best Actress Oscar nominations for "Cinderella Liberty", co-starring James Caan

1973

Appeared on Broadway in Neil Simon's "The Good Doctor"; later married the playwright

1974

Appeared in the PBS "Great Performances" production of "Cyrano de Bergerac"

1977

Starred in Robert Wise's reincarnation thriller "Audrey Rose"

1977

First feature role in a film with a Neil Simon screenplay, "The Goodbye Girl"; earned Best Actress Oscar nomination

1979

Reunited with James Caan in "Chapter Two", adapted by Simon from his stage play; third Academy Award nomination as Best Actress

1981

Earned fourth Best Actress Oscar nomination as an alcoholic actress in "Only When I Laugh"

1982

Last of five feature film collaborations with husband-screenwriter Neil Simon, "Max Dugan Returns"

1982

Network TV movie debut in "Lois Gibbs and the Love Canal" (CSB)

1986

Directed "Juno's Swans" at NYC's Second Stage Theatre

1986

Acted opposite Clint Eastwood, playing his foul-mouthed ex-wife struggling to survive by pushing drinks in a town bar, in "Heartbreak Ridge"

1987

TV directorial debut, the "CBS Schoolbreak Special" entitled "Little Miss Perfect"

1989

Appeared in the TNT remake of "Dinner at Eight"; cast opposite John Mahoney

1991

Starred in short-lived ABC-TV series, "Sibs" (also known as "Grown-Ups")

1995

Played Governor Eleanor Grant, the target of assassination, in "Nick of Time", starring Johnny Depp

1996

Appeared in the feature film "2 Days in the Valley"

1996

Returned to NYC stage in Tennessee Williams' "Night of the Iguana"

1997

Had recurring role of Sherry, the blowsy girlfriend of Martin Crane (John Mahoney), on NBC sitcom "Frasier"

1998

Reteamed with Richard Dreyfuss on stage in "House", produced on Long Island, New York

1999

Co-starred with Dreyfuss in London production of Neil Simon's play "The Prisoner of Second Avenue"

2001

Cast as Ethel Gumm in the ABC miniseries "Me and My Shadows: Life With Judy Garland", based on Lorna Luft's memoir

2005

Cast as Mr. Darcy's mother in "Bride and Prejudice" Gurinder Chadha's Bollywood update of Jane Austen's classic tale

Photo Collections

The Goodbye Girl - Movie Posters
The Goodbye Girl - Movie Posters

Videos

Movie Clip

Cinderella Liberty (1973) - The Ship Is Under Way After opening with his ship arriving in Seattle, Navy Boatswain Dobbs (James Caan), having just learned he’ll have to stay behind for a medical test, wishes his mates farewell and learns (from nurse Diane Schenker) that he has liberty until midnight, thus the title, cueing the credits, in Mark Rydell’s film from Darryl Ponsican’s novel and screenplay, Cinderella Liberty, 1973, also starring Marsha Mason.
Cinderella Liberty (1973) - I Get Favors From Sailors After a quick liaison in her Seattle apartment, sailor Dobbs (James Caan) and cordial hooker Maggie, who owed him after losing at pool, conversing, and parting before he’s due back at the ship, meeting her supposedly sleeping son (Kirk Calloway), early in Cinderella Liberty, 1973.
Cinderella Liberty (1973) - What Are You Willie Mosconi? With time to kill before his official “liberty” expires, Navy sailor Dobbs (James Caan) in a Seattle barroom meets Marsha Mason, unusually skimpily attired, as working-girl Maggie, shooting pool, her first scene, in director Mark Rydell’s Cinderella Liberty, 1973.
Goodbye Girl, The (1977) - You're So Young Paula (Marsha Mason) destroys evidence of boyfriend Tony upon learning he has sublet the apartment, and later is awakened, with daughter Lucy (Quinn Cummings), when Elliott (Richard Dreyfuss) arrives, early in The Goodbye Girl, 1977.
Goodbye Girl, The (1977) - Nothing From Kansas? Actor Elliott (Richard Dreyfuss) has bumped into unwilling new roommate Paula (Marsha Mason), whose apartment has been sublet to him, shopping in Manhattan, in The Goodbye Girl, 1977, original screenplay by Mason's then-husband Neil Simon.
Goodbye Girl, The (1977) - Am I Nervous? Paula (Marsha Mason) and Lucy (Quinn Cummings) are awakened by yoga, performed by actor Elliott (Richard Dreyfuss), on the first morning after they've agreed to share the apartment her boyfriend sublet to him, in Neil Simon's The Goodbye Girl, 1977.
Chapter Two (1980) - She's A Librarian Writer George (James Caan) means to phone a librarian but accidentally reaches Jennie (Marsha Mason), whom he's supposed to call for a date, in Neil Simon's Chapter Two, 1980.
Chapter Two (1980) - Outside Help Tormented scene from screenwriter Neil Simon's autobiographical Chapter Two, 1980, as Jennie (Marsha Mason, the author's wife) insists that her new husband George (James Caan) talk about his late wife.

Trailer

Family

James Joseph Mason
Father
Jacquelina Helena Mason
Mother
Ellen Simon
Step-Daughter
Playwright, screenwriter. Born in 1957; wrote screenplay for "Moonlight and Valentino" (1995), adapted from her play.
Nancy Simon
Step-Daughter
Writer. Born c. 1963.

Companions

Gary Campbell
Husband
Divorced in 1964.
Neil Simon
Husband
Playwright, screenwriter. Married on October 25, 1973; divorced October 1983.
Lewis Smith
Companion
Actor. Dated in the mid-1980s.

Bibliography

"Journey: A Personal Odyssey"
Marsha Mason, Simon & Schuster (2000)

Notes

"Neil [Simon] was considered our greatest [living playwright] at the time [of their marriage]. Maybe he still is; I don't know. But anyway, he was hugely successful, and I just kind of got folded into that. And in some ways, he protected me, but in other ways, I wasn't fully able to step out, you know? He didn't want me to go away so much. The work that we did together was great, and I don't regret it, but what I am saying is that I didn't get an opportunity to explore some other areas that were offered to me early on. I took what I might call a U-turn." --Marsha Mason quoted in In Theater, March 20, 1998.

A racing aficionado, Mason finished second in her division in 1993 in her car of choice--a Mazda RX-7. Asked "What's the highest speed you ever clocked?", she replied: "Well, in one instance, not a regular race but a special race--where we were on more or less a straightaway in a real big souped-up Mustang--we were in excess of 200 mph. In a normal type of race, it was about 180 mph." --Marsha Mason to Daily News, March 17, 1996.