Elizabeth Ashley


Actor
Elizabeth Ashley

About

Also Known As
Elizabeth Cole
Birth Place
Ocala, Florida, USA
Born
August 30, 1939

Biography

A gifted, spirited Broadway lead of the early 1960s ("Take Her She's Mine" 1961, "Barefoot in the Park" 1963), Elizabeth Ashley has also proven popular on talk shows where she has become a quick-talking raconteur with the edge of someone fraught, wrought and distraught.Ashley spent more than two decades as a Broadway star before becoming known to TV audiences playing the eccentric Aunt F...

Family & Companions

Richard Mathews
Husband
First husband; divorced.
James Farentino
Husband
Actor. Married on September 4, 1962; divorced in 1966.
George Peppard
Husband
Actor. Married on April 18, 1966; divorced in 1972; father of Ashley's son Christopher.
James Michael McCarthy
Husband
Married in 1975; divorced.

Bibliography

"Postcards from the Road"
Elizabeth Ashley (1978)

Notes

Appointed to the President's first National Council on the Arts (1965-69).

On "Evening Shade": "I liked the series. Working with Charles Durning and Ossie Davis and such. We'd all been in the theatre so long, we'd done our Moliere, our Shakespeare. But when I'm in Los Angeles, I just tell myself I'm on location--a really long location." --Elizabeth Ashley in Daily News, October 10, 1995.

Biography

A gifted, spirited Broadway lead of the early 1960s ("Take Her She's Mine" 1961, "Barefoot in the Park" 1963), Elizabeth Ashley has also proven popular on talk shows where she has become a quick-talking raconteur with the edge of someone fraught, wrought and distraught.

Ashley spent more than two decades as a Broadway star before becoming known to TV audiences playing the eccentric Aunt Frieda on "Evening Shade" (CBS, 1990-94). While still a teen-ager when she made her Broadway debut in 1959 in "The Highest Tree," she was a mere 22 when she won a Tony for "Take Her, She's Mine." A nervous breakdown, about which she later wrote in her book, "Postcards From the Road" (1978), almost derailed her career, but she bounced back, starring on Broadway as the idealistic young bride to Robert Redford's slightly stuffy groom in Neil Simon's "Barefoot in the Park" and has since gone on to shine as Maggie in the 1974 revival of Tennessee Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," the chain-smoking psychiatrist in "Agnes of God" and in revivals of "The Skin of Our Teeth" and "Caesar and Cleopatra." In 1995, she returned once again to Broadway (and Williams) portraying Violet Venable in "Suddenly Last Summer."

Ashley made her screen debut in "The Carpetbaggers" (1964), as the second of the women George Peppard loves and leaves on his way up the ladder. (They subsequently married after meeting on the film). In "Ship of Fools" (1965), she was a young married woman taking guidance from Vivien Leigh. Subsequent roles have been sporadic and decidedly supporting, including "The Great Scout and Cathouse Thursday" (1976), "Paternity" (1981), and even "Dragnet" (1987).

Ashley first appeared on TV in a 1960 episode of "The Dupont Show of the Month" and appeared in numerous episodics during the decade, as well as doing celebrity player turns on such game shows as "Password." She even guest hosted NBC's "Saturday Night Live" in 1982. Ashley made her TV-movie debut "Harpy" (CBS, 1971) and has occasionally participated in the genre. She also appeared on the NBC soap opera "Another World" for a short period in 1990, but her most extensive TV work was the four seasons she was a member of the ensemble of "Evening Shade," alongside her "Paternity" co-star Burt Reynolds. In 1996, she was cast as the eccentric romantic novelist with whom Brooke Shield must contend on the NBC sitcom pilot "Suddenly Susan." It was later announced, however, that the show would be completely overhauled and taken in a new direction, and Ashley's character was dropped.

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Ocean's Eight (2018)
Villa Capri (2017)
Cake Eaters (2007)
Labor Pains (1999)
Just the Ticket (1998)
Mrs, Paliski
Happiness (1998)
In the Best Interest of the Children (1992)
Reason for Living: The Jill Ireland Story (1991)
Love and Curses... And All That Jazz (1991)
Blue Bayou (1990)
A Man of Passion (1989)
Blues For Buder (1989)
Althea Campbell
Vampire's Kiss (1988)
Dangerous Curves (1988)
Dragnet (1987)
Warm Hearts, Cold Feet (1987)
Blanche Webster
Stagecoach (1986)
Dallas
He's Fired, She's Hired (1984)
Svengali (1983)
Split Image (1982)
Paternity (1981)
Windows (1980)
Coma (1978)
A Fire In The Sky (1978)
The War Between the Tates (1977)
Erica Tate
One of My Wives Is Missing (1976)
Elizabeth Corban
The Great Scout And Cathouse Thursday (1976)
Nancy Sue
92 In The Shade (1975)
Rancho Deluxe (1975)
Golden Needles (1974)
Paperback Hero (1973)
Loretta
The Magician (1973)
Sallie Baker
When Michael Calls (1972)
Helen Connelly
The Heist (1972)
Your Money or Your Wife (1972)
Second Chance (1972)
The Marriage of a Young Stockbroker (1971)
Nan
The Face Of Fear (1971)
Sally Dillman
Ship of Fools (1965)
Jenny
The Third Day (1965)
Alexandria Mallory
The Carpetbaggers (1964)
Monica Winthrop
Sullivan's Travels (1942)
Churchgoer

Cast (Special)

NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT (2000)
The Buccaneers (1995)
The Golden Globe's 50th Anniversary Celebration (1994)
The 7th Annual American Comedy Awards (1993)
Performer
The Rope (1989)
Annie
Blondes vs. Brunettes (1984)
Broadway Plays Washington! (1982)
Tom and Joann (1978)

Producer (Special)

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1984)
Associate Producer

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

The Two Mrs. Grenvilles (1987)

Life Events

1959

Off-Broadway debut (as Elizabeth Cole) in "Dirty Hands"

1959

Broadway debut (as Elizabeth Cole), "The Highest Tree"

1960

Made TV debut in "Dupont Show of the Month"

1961

Became Broadway star in "Take Her, She's Mine"; won Tony Award

1964

Film acting debut in "The Carpetbaggers"

1965

Temporarily retired from acting

1971

Made TV-movie debut in "Harpy" (CBS)

1971

Returned to films in "Marriage of a Young Stockbroker"

1972

Co-starred in the TV thriller "When Michael Calls" (ABC)

1974

Acted in "Rancho Deluxe", directed by Thomas McGuane

1974

Starred as Maggie in revival of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" on Broadway

1977

Starred opposite Richard Crenna in the NBC movie "The War Between the Tates"

1978

Cast opposite Joel Fabiani in "Tom & Joanne" (CBS)

1981

Had supporting role in "Paternity", starring Burt Reynolds

1983

Portrayed a former lover of Peter O'Toole's titular "Svengali" (CBS)

1986

Acted in the loose remake of "Stagecoach" (CBS)

1987

Played the police commissioner in the film version of "Dragnet"

1989

Last major film for almost a decade "Vampire's Kiss"

1989

Acted in "Blues for Buder", a segment of ABC's "B.L. Stryker" starring Reynolds

1990

Had role as Emma Frame Ordway on the NBC daytime serial "Another World"

1995

Returned to Broadway in revival of "Suddenly Last Summer"

1998

Resumed film career in the role of a divorcee chasing after the unhappily married Ben Gazzara in "Happiness", directed by Todd Solondz

2000

Co-starred in the stage revival of Gore Vidal's "The Best Man"

2001

Portrayed Amanda Wingfield in the Hartford Stage revival of "The Glass Menagerie"; reprised role with slightly different cast at Houston's Alley Theatre

Videos

Movie Clip

Coma (1978) - I Don't Need A Shrink Maybe they had to cast Tom Selleck for sheer handsomeness, as a knee-surgery patient, when Genevieve Bujold as resident Dr. Wheeler is summoned to meet chief surgeon Harris (Richard Widmark, his first scene), after getting caught accessing confidential records, after her friend went into a coma during a routine procedure, in Coma, 1978.
Coma (1978) - Open, It's All Politics Opening in Boston, Genevieve Bujold is surgical resident Susan Wheeler, Harvard-trained MD turned novelist Michael Crichton in his third film as a director, shooting exteriors at Boston City Hospital where he did clinical rotations, and we learn Michael Douglas as Dr. Bellows is also her love interest, in the hit medical thriller Coma, 1978.
Coma (1978) - To Prevent Bedsores Partial SPOILER, as it’s now clear that Boston surgical resident Susan Wheeler has uncovered a conspiracy involving patients being put into comas, and she’s joined a tour (Betty McGuire the guide) at the facility where they’ve developed a cheap way to store patients, in one of the most remarked-upon scenes in director Michael Crichton’s medical thriller, Coma, 1978.
Carpetbaggers, The (1964) - We're Known As A Liberal Newspaper Further exposition as Jonas (George Peppard), a Howard Hughes-like figure in 1920’s aviation is shown to have a more extensive relationship than we knew with Monica (Elizabeth Ashley), daughter of industrial friendly-rival Winthrop (Tom Tully) who, unsuspecting, calls from downstairs, in the 1964 feature from the Harold Robbins novel, The Carpetbaggers.
Third Day, The (1965) - She Was A Free Soul Escorted home after a car crash by his aunt (Mona Washbourne), who hasn’t decided whether she buys his claim of amnesia, Steve (George Peppard) encounters his cousin and rival Oliver (Roddy McDowall) and lawyer Conway (Charles Drake), early in The Third Day, 1965, from a novel by Joseph Hayes.
Third Day, The (1965) - My Memory's On A Vacation? Steve (George Peppard) winding up his first visit with the family/company doctor (Arthur O’Connell), who’s satisfied that his amnesia is real, before releasing him to his wife (Elizabeth Ashley), crafty cousin Oliver (Roddy McDowall), and worried lawyer Conway (Charles Drake), in the little-noted The Third Day, 1965.
Third Day, The (1965) - Did She Dance For You? At the fancy horse show with wife Alexandria (Elizabeth Ashley) executive Steve (George Peppard) shows the first signs of coming out of his amnesia, leading him to visit Holly (Sally Kellerman), injured in his car crash, but not recognizing her husband (Arte Johnson) in the hospital waiting room, in The Third Day, 1965.

Trailer

Family

Arthur Kingman Cole
Father
Lucille Cole
Mother
Christopher Moore Peppard
Son
Born in 1968; co-directed and co-wrote first short film "Rex Justice" (1991); graduated from NYU film school.

Companions

Richard Mathews
Husband
First husband; divorced.
James Farentino
Husband
Actor. Married on September 4, 1962; divorced in 1966.
George Peppard
Husband
Actor. Married on April 18, 1966; divorced in 1972; father of Ashley's son Christopher.
James Michael McCarthy
Husband
Married in 1975; divorced.
Tom McGuane
Companion
Novelist, screenwriter.

Bibliography

"Postcards from the Road"
Elizabeth Ashley (1978)

Notes

Appointed to the President's first National Council on the Arts (1965-69).

On "Evening Shade": "I liked the series. Working with Charles Durning and Ossie Davis and such. We'd all been in the theatre so long, we'd done our Moliere, our Shakespeare. But when I'm in Los Angeles, I just tell myself I'm on location--a really long location." --Elizabeth Ashley in Daily News, October 10, 1995.

"I know most American girls grow up wanting to be movie stars. I grew up wanting to be 'a lady of the stage', whatever that was. But that's what I wanted to be. I'm not a guy so I can't become a wide receiver for the Raiders, but I like team sports. Competition frightens me. I like knowing what someone wants from me." --Ashley in Daily News, October 10, 1995.

"And then there's the theatre gossip, and I don't know who they're talking about. I'm a journeyman. I don't go out. I go to work. I don't go to restaurants. I've never understood the lure of voluntarily going out. In the night. Voluntarily submitting to imprisonment at a small table on an upright chair, and either the other people are too loud or else you are." --Elizabeth Ashley in The New York Times, October 8, 1995.