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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

79 Groovy Things about Shirley MacLaine



Shirley MacLaine will be returning to Downton Abbey in Season 4 - and this fabulous news came straight from the lovely lady herself during an appearance this past Friday at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, Illinois. For two glorious hours she held court on stage, showing us a slideshow of personal pics and a video of memorable scenes from her many films and television specials. The legendary actress also took questions from the audience, and she couldn't have been more warm and funny and down-to-earth. So to celebrate her fascinating life of almost 79 years, I thought I would share some groovy things about her - as well as a few of her comments from our evening together:

1. Named after Shirley Temple, she was born Shirley MacLean Beaty on April 24, 1934, in Richmond, Virginia.

2. Her younger brother is actor Warren Beatty (and she thinks his wife, Annette Bening, is good for him).

3. She was in the dancing ensemble of the 1953 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, Me and Juliet, on Broadway.

4. In 1954 she became Carol Haney's understudy in the Broadway musical, The Pajama Game. After Haney broke her ankle, Shirley replaced her in the role of Gladys Hotchkiss, and one night film producer Hal B. Wallis saw the show and signed her as a contract player for Paramount Pictures.

5. She made her film debut in Alfred Hitchcock's The Trouble with Harry (1955), for which she won the Golden Globe for Most Promising Female Newcomer - along with Kim Novak and Karen Sharpe (Shirley briefly mentioned that her co-star John Forsythe had an affair with a local girl while shooting the movie).



6. She appeared with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis in the 1955 film, Artists and Models (Shirley said that Dean was the funny one and that Jerry didn't like her stealing a scene from him).



7. She appeared in the 1956 film, Around the World in 80 Days (apparently her co-star David Niven wasn't that thrilled initially with her being cast as an Indian princess).

8. She received her first Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for her performance in the 1958 film, Some Came Running (Shirley credits her co-star Frank Sinatra for this recognition because he insisted on changing the ending so that her character would be fatally shot).

9. She played Shirley Booth and Anthony Quinn's daughter in the 1958 drama, Hot Spell.

10. She played Irene Molloy in the 1958 film, The Matchmaker.

11. She posed with her two-year-old daughter Sachi on the cover of the February 9, 1959 issue of Life magazine.

12. She appeared on Edward R. Murrow's TV series, Person to Person, on March 6, 1959.

13. She was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in the 1959 romantic comedy, Ask Any Girl.

14. She co-starred with Dean Martin in the 1959 drama, Career, and the 1961 romantic comedy, All in a Night's Work.



15. She made an uncredited cameo appearance as a tipsy girl in the 1960 "Rat Pack" film, Ocean's 11.

16. She co-starred with Frank Sinatra in the 1960 musical, Can-Can.

17. She starred in the 1961 drama, Two Loves, with Laurence Harvey (whom she said she did not enjoy working with).

18. She received her second Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for her performance in The Apartment (1960). Shirley later said, "I thought I would win for The Apartment, but then Elizabeth Taylor had a tracheotomy" (she did win a Golden Globe).



19. She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on February 8, 1960.

20. She was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in the 1961 drama, The Children's Hour (Shirley revealed that Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra dropped by the set and shot spit wads at her and Audrey Hepburn while they were filming a scene).



21. She co-starred with Robert Mitchum in the 1962 romantic drama, Two for the Seesaw, and in 2011, she revealed to Oprah that she and the actor began a relationship during this film that lasted until his death in 1997.

22. She starred in two films that her husband, Steve Parker, produced - My Geisha (1962) and John Goldfarb, Please Come Home! (1965). They had an open marriage for 28 years (1954-82), and in her 1995 autobiography, My Lucky Stars: A Hollywood Memoir, she revealed that before filming on My Geisha began, her leading man, Yves Montand, bet Parker that he could seduce her. Parker, whom MacLaine later learned was having an affair at the time, took Montand up on the bet - and Montand won.



23. She received her third Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for her performance in the 1963 romantic comedy, Irma la Douce (she also won a Golden Globe).

24. She starred in the 1964 comedy, What a Way to Go!, with Paul Newman, Robert Mitchum, Dean Martin, Dick Van Dyke and Gene Kelly (Shirley said that her feet were bleeding during her dance number with Kelly).



25. She co-starred with Michael Caine in the 1966 comedy, Gambit.

26. She was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in the 1967 film, Woman Times Seven, with Peter Sellers and Michael Caine (Shirley revealed that she and Sophia Loren used to compare notes because Sellers enjoyed talking dirty to both of them on the phone).

27. She starred in the 1968 British comedy, The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom.

28. Columbia Pictures originally wanted to cast Shirley as Fanny Brice in the 1968 musical, Funny Girl, because they felt Barbra, who originated the role on Broadway, was too much of an unknown. But Ray Stark, who produced the Broadway show and was Brice's son-in-law, insisted on Streisand. Shirley and Barbra now celebrate their joint birthday together every year.

29. She nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance as Charity Hope Valentine in the 1969 musical, Sweet Charity (Shirley said that she, Chita Rivera and Paula Kelly had to film their number, "There's Gotta Be Something Better Than This", right after they learned that Robert F. Kennedy had been shot in June 1968).



30. She played a nun opposite Clint Eastwood in the 1970 western, Two Mules for Sister Sara.

31. She starred in the 1971 drama, Desperate Characters, with Kenneth Mars and Sada Thompson.

32. She played photojournalist Shirley Logan in the 1971-72 ABC sitcom, Shirley's World.



33. She starred in the 1972 horror film, The Possession of Joel Delaney. Below you can watch her discuss the movie on The Dick Cavett Show.



34. She was a fundraiser and organizer for George McGovern's 1972 presidential campaign. She also wrote the 1972 book, McGovern: The Man and His Beliefs.

35. She regretted turning down the lead role in the 1974 Martin Scorsese film, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, which Ellen Burstyn won an Oscar for.

36. She appeared in the 1974 TV special, Shirley MacLaine: If They Could See Me Now.



37. She received an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Feature for The Other Half of the Sky: A China Memoir, a 1975 film that she co-directed about the first delegation of US women to China in 1973.

38. She was a guest star on The Carol Burnett Show on October 4, 1975.



39. Her 1976 TV special, Gypsy in My Soul - with guest star Lucille Ball - won an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy/Variety/Music Special.

40. She performed on the 1977 TV special, America Salutes the Queen, a Royal Variety Performance that was taped at the London Palladium to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's Silver Jubilee.



41. She received her fourth Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for her performance in The Turning Point (1977).



42. She was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in the 1979 film, Being There, with Peter Sellers.



43. Her 1979 TV special, Shirley MacLaine at the Lido, featured guest stars Tom Jones and Charles Aznavour.

44. Her 1980 TV special, Shirley MacLaine... 'Every Little Movement', featured guest stars Dean Martin and Olympic gymnast Kurt Thomas.

45. She co-starred with Anthony Hopkins and Bo Derek in the 1980 film, A Change of Seasons (apparently she and Hopkins did not get along).

46. She starred in the 1980 romantic comedy, Loving Couples, with James Coburn, Stephen Collins and Susan Sarandon.

47. She is godmother to Jackie Kucinich - the daughter of former U.S. Representative and Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich - who was born in 1981.

48. She appeared in the 1982 TV special, Shirley MacLaine... Illusions, with her guest star Gregory Hines.

49. She was a guest star on the 1982 TV special, Baryshnikov in Hollywood.

50. She turned down the role of the mother in 1982's Poltergeist to play another mother - Aurora Greenway - in the 1983 drama, Terms of Endearment, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress and a Golden Globe (Shirley said this was the most difficult film that she's made, but she did not elaborate any further. She also said that she did not know that Jack Nicholson was going to grab her breast in one of their scenes together).




51. She appeared on Broadway in two solo shows in 1976 and 1984, and she was nominated for a 1984 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical.

52. She received a Razzie Award nomination for Worst Actress for her performance in the 1984 comedy, Cannonball Run II, but Bo Derek deservedly won for Bolero.

53. She made a Diet Pepsi commercial with her daughter Sachi in 1986.



54. She was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in Out on a Limb, the 1987 ABC miniseries based upon her 1983 autobiographical book about her journeys through New Age spirituality.

55. During an appearance on Late Night with David Letterman on October 4, 1988, she was offended by the talk show host, telling him "Maybe Cher was right - maybe you are an asshole."




56. She won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama for her performance in Madame Sousatzka (1988).

57. She sang Jack Lemmon's favorite Gershwin tune during the 1988 TV special, AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Jack Lemmon (with the actor's son Chris on the piano).



58. She played Ouiser Boudreaux in the beloved 1989 film, Steel Magnolias.



59. She was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance as Meryl Streep's mother in the 1990 film, Postcards from the Edge, in which she sang a special version of Stephen Sondheim's "I'm Still Here".



60. She played Teri Garr's Aunt Zena in the 1990 film, Waiting for the Light.

61. She had a cameo appearance as the holographic host of the "Past Lives Pavilion" in Albert Brooks' 1991 film, Defending Your Life.

62. She was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in the 1992 romantic comedy, Used People.

63. She appeared in the 1993 film, Wrestling Ernest Hemingway, with Richard Harris, Robert Duvall and Sandra Bullock.

64. She was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance as a former First Lady in the 1994 film, Guarding Tess.

65. She appeared in the 1995 TV movie, The West Side Waltz, with Liza Minnelli.

66. She reprised her role of Aurora Greenway in The Evening Star, the 1996 sequel to Terms of Endearment.

67. She directed her first and only feature film, Bruno (aka The Dress Code), in 2000.

68. She starred in the 2001 TV movie, These Old Broads, with Debbie Reynolds, Joan Collins and Elizabeth Taylor.



69. She was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance as cosmetics queen Mary Kay Ash in the 2002 TV movie, Hell on Heels: The Battle of Mary Kay.

70. She played Jennifer Aniston's grandmother in the 2005 romantic comedy, Rumor Has It...

71. She appeared in the 2005 Nora Ephron film, Bewitched, with Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell.

72. She was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in the 2005 film, In Her Shoes.

73. In her 2007 book, Sage-ing While Age-ing, she mentioned her alien encounters and witnessing of UFO incidents in the 1950s.

74. She was nominated for a Golden Globe and an Emmy for her performance as French fashion designer Coco Chanel in the 2008 TV movie, Coco Chanel.

75. During the 2010 Garry Marshall film, Valentine's Day, Shirley and H├ęctor Elizondo's characters reunite at a showing of Shirley's 1958 film, Hot Spell, at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

76. She appeared in the 2011 black comedy, Bernie, with Jack Black (whom she said she enjoyed working with).

77. In 2012, she played Martha Levinson on the third season of the popular British drama, Downton Abbey.

78. She recommended her new film, Elsa & Fred, which will be released later this year, starring Christopher Plummer as her love interest.

79. She will be playing Melissa McCarthy's hard-drinking grandmother in the 2014 road-trip comedy, Tammy.

Below is a video from my recent evening with her (filmed by another audience member), in which she talks about her dogs.

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