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Sunday, September 6, 2015

71 Groovy Things about Swoosie Kurtz on her birthday



Today I'm celebrating Swoosie Kurtz's 71st birthday by sharing a "few" groovy things about her life and career:

1. Swoosie (rhymes with Lucy) Kurtz was born on September 6, 1944, in Ohama, Nebraska (her father, Air Force Colonel Frank Kurtz, named her after a bomber aircraft called "The Swoose" that he piloted during World War II).

2. Her first television appearance at age 17 was on The Donna Reed Show on February 22, 1962.

3. In 1962, she appeared on the game show, To Tell the Truth, and identified her father from two impostors.

4. In July 1968, she made her Off-Broadway debut in The Firebugs, which also starred Billy Dee Williams.

5. She appeared in the 1970-72 Off-Broadway production of The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds with Sada Thompson and later Joan Blondell and Cathryn Damon.

6. She played Ellie Bradley on the CBS soap opera, As the World Turns, in 1971.

7. She received a 1975 Joseph Jefferson Award nomination for Best Actress in a Principal Role in a Play for The Philanthropist at Chicago's Goodman Theatre (the production also starred Judith Ivey).

8. She made her Broadway debut in a 1975 revival of Eugene O'Neill's Ah, Wilderness! at the Circle in the Square Theatre (the production was filmed and broadcast on PBS's Theater in America on October 13, 1976).

9. She was killed in an episode of CBS's Kojak on December 5, 1976.

10. She received her first Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Play for the 1977 revival of Tartuffe, which also starred Tammy Grimes and Victor Garber.

11. She made her feature film debut in the 1977 comedy, Slap Shot, starring Paul Newman.

12. She appeared in the 1977 film, First Love, starring Susan Dey and William Katt.

13. She received a 1978 OBIE Award for her performance as Rita in Wendy Wasserstein's Uncommon Women and Others, which also starred Glenn Close and Jill Eikenberry (the production was filmed and broadcast on PBS's Great Performances in May 1978 with Meryl Streep replacing Close).




14. She received a 1978 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical for Christopher Durang's A History of the American Film.

15. She was a regular on Mary Tyler Moore's 1978 CBS variety show, Mary, with Michael Keaton and David Letterman, but the series was canceled after only three episodes.




16. She appeared in the 1978 romantic drama, Oliver's Story, starring Ryan O'Neal and Candice Bergen.



17. She starred in the 1979 Off-Broadway production of Wine Untouched with Glenn Close and Donna McKechnie.

18. In 1980, she played Honey in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at New Haven's Long Wharf Theatre with Mike Nichols, Elaine May and James Naughton.

19. She played Lucie Arnaz's best friend in the 1980 CBS movie, The Mating Season.

20. In 1981, she won her first Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for Lanford Wilson's Fifth of July, which was filmed and broadcast on PBS's American Playhouse on March 9, 1982.



21. She received two Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for the 1981-83 NBC sitcom, Love, Sidney, which starred Tony Randall as a gay man.



22. She played a prostitute in the 1982 film, The World According to Garp, starring Robin Williams and Glenn Close.



23. She appeared in the 1983 CBS movie, A Caribbean Mystery, starring Helen Hayes as Agatha Christie's Miss Marple.

24. She appeared in the 1984 film, Against All Odds, starring Rachel Ward and Jeff Bridges.

25. In 1984-85, she starred in a series of workshops of Michael Bennett's musical, Scandal, with Treat Williams, David Rasche and Kelly Bishop.

26. She appeared in the 1985 CBS movie, Guilty Conscience, starring Anthony Hopkins and Blythe Danner.

27. She appeared in the 1985 NBC movie, A Time to Live, starring Liza Minnelli.

28. In 1986, she won her second Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her performance as Bananas Shaughnessy in John Guare's The House of Blue Leaves, which was filmed and broadcast on PBS's American Playhouse on May 25, 1987.




29. She played Goldie Hawn's sister in the 1986 comedy, Wildcats.

30. She played Miss Rollings, who never leaves her bed, in David Byrne's film, True Stories, which she promoted on Late Night with David Letterman on October 13, 1986.




31. She appeared in "The Visit", a 1987 episode of the PBS series, Trying Times, which also starred Jeff Daniels, Julie Hagerty and Christopher Durang.

32. She received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries or Television Film for the 1988 HBO film, Baja Oklahoma, starring Lesley Ann Warren.



33. She appeared in the 1988 comedy, Vice Versa, starring Judge Reinhold and Fred Savage.

34. She appeared in the 1988 drama, Bright Lights, Big City, starring Michael J. Fox.

35. She played Uma Thurman's mother in the 1988 historical drama, Dangerous Liaisons, starring Glenn Close, John Malkovich and Michelle Pfeiffer.

36. She and Richard Thomas starred in the Broadway production of A.R. Gurney's Love Letters in November 1989.

37. She received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for the 1990 HBO drama, The Image, starring Albert Finney, John Mahoney and a young Brad Pitt.

38. She played Jane Fonda's sister in the 1990 romantic drama, Stanley & Iris.



39. She played Michael Caine's wife in the 1990 film, A Shock to the System.

40. She won her first Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for Carol Burnett's NBC series, Carol & Company, which aired on April 7, 1990.

41. In September 1990, she temporarily replaced Stockard Channing (who was making a film) in the Lincoln Center production of John Guare's play, Six Degrees of Separation.

42. She starred Off-Broadway in Terrence McNally's 1991 play, Lips Together, Teeth Apart, with Christine Baranski and Nathan Lane.

43. She played Alex Reed Halsey Barker on the 1991-96 NBC drama, Sisters, which earned her two Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 1993 and 1994.



44. She played Beau Bridges' wife in the 1993 HBO film, The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom, starring Holly Hunter.

45. She received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for the 1993 HBO film, And the Band Played On.

46. She appeared in the 1994 film, Reality Bites, starring Winona Ryder, Ethan Hawke and Ben Stiller.

47. She played Katharine Hepburn's niece in Hepburn's final film, One Christmas, which aired on NBC on December 19, 1994.

48. She played a lesbian activist in the 1996 comedy, Citizen Ruth, starring Laura Dern.



49. She played Delta Burke's sister in the 1996 CBS movie, A Promise to Carolyn.

50. She starred in the 1996 CBS movie, Harvey, with Harry Anderson and Leslie Nielsen.

51. She starred in the short-lived 1996 Fox sitcom, Party Girl, with Christine Taylor and John Cameron Mitchell.



52. She played Brooke Shields' mother in three 1996-97 episodes of the NBC sitcom, Suddenly Susan.

53. She appeared in the 1997 Jim Carrey comedy, Liar Liar.

54. She appeared in the 1998 Showtime miniseries, Armistead Maupin's More Tales of the City.

55. She received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for a 1998 episode of NBC's ER.

56. She received a 1999 OBIE Award for her performance in the Roundabout Theatre Company's production of The Mineola Twins.

57. She appeared in the 1999 drama, Cruel Intentions, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon.

58. She starred in the 1999-2000 CBS sitcom, Love & Money.

59. She played Jake Gyllenhaal's mother in the 2001 comedy, Bubble Boy.

60. She played Olivia Newton-John's friend in the 2001 Showtime movie, The Wilde Girls.

61. She played Lillian Hellman opposite Cherry Jones' Mary McCarthy in the 2002 Broadway production of Nora Ephron's play, Imaginary Friends.

62. She appeared in the 2002 film, The Rules of Attraction, starring James van der Beek and Ian Somerhalder.



63. On November 24, 2003, she played Agnes Gooch in a staged reading of Auntie Mame to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (the cast also included Charles Busch as Auntie Mame and Marian Seldes as Vera Charles).

64. She received a 2004 Tony Award nomination for Best Leading Actress in a Play for Frozen.

65. She received two Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her performance on the 2004-06 Showtime series, Huff.

66. She played Locke's (Terry O'Quinn) mother in a 2005 episode of ABC's Lost (even though she is only eight years older than the actor).

67. She received a 2007 Tony Award nomination for Best Leading Actress in a Play for George Bernard Shaw's Heartbreak House. And in December 2006, she appeared on the American Theatre Wing's Working in the Theatre with Blair Brown, Blythe Danner and Julie White.



68. She played Lily Charles, a one-eyed agoraphobic ex-synchronized swimmer, on the 2007-09 ABC series, Pushing Daisies, which also starred Lee Pace, Ellen Greene and Kristin Chenoweth.

69. In 2009 and 2011, she and Blythe Danner played Dr. Cooper's lesbian mothers in two episodes of the Showtime series, Nurse Jackie.

70. In 2010, she began playing Melissa McCarthy's mother on the CBS sitcom, Mike & Molly, which has been renewed for a sixth season.

71. In 2014, she released her autobiography, Part Swan, Part Goose: An Uncommon Memoir of Womanhood, Work, and Family.

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