Shirley MacLaine

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Shirley MacLaine
MacLaine in 1960
Shirley MacLean Beaty

(1934-04-24) April 24, 1934 (age 90)
  • Actress
  • author
  • activist
  • dancer
  • singer
Years active1951–present
Steve Parker
(m. 1954; div. 1982)
ChildrenSachi Parker
RelativesWarren Beatty (brother)
AwardsFull list

Shirley MacLaine (born Shirley MacLean Beaty on April 24, 1934)[1] is an American actress and author. She is known for her portrayals of quirky, strong-willed, and eccentric women, and her tragicomedic style of acting, displaying a deft equal balance of tragedy and comedy in her performances. She has received numerous accolades over her eight-decade career, including an Academy Award, an Emmy Award, two BAFTA Awards, six Golden Globe Awards, two Volpi Cups, and two Silver Bears. She has been honored with the Film Society of Lincoln Center Tribute in 1995, the Cecil B. DeMille Award in 1998, the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2012, and the Kennedy Center Honor in 2013.

Born in Richmond, Virginia, MacLaine made her acting debut as a teenager with minor roles in the Broadway musicals Me and Juliet and The Pajama Game.[2] MacLaine's career began during the final years of the Golden Age of Hollywood where she made her film debut with Alfred Hitchcock's black comedy The Trouble with Harry (1955), winning the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actress. She rose to prominence with starring roles in Around the World in 80 Days (1956), Some Came Running (1958), Ask Any Girl (1959), The Apartment (1960), The Children's Hour (1961), Irma la Douce (1963), and Sweet Charity (1969).

A six-time Academy Award nominee, MacLaine won the Academy Award for Best Actress for the comedy-drama Terms of Endearment (1983). Her other prominent films include The Turning Point (1977), Being There (1979), Madame Sousatzka (1988), Steel Magnolias (1989), Postcards from the Edge (1990), In Her Shoes (2005), Bernie (2011), The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013), Elsa & Fred (2014), and Noelle (2019).

MacLaine starred in the sitcom Shirley's World (1971–1972) and played the eponymous fashion designer in the biopic television film Coco Chanel (2008), receiving nominations for a Primetime Emmy Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a Golden Globe Award for the latter. She also made appearances in several television series, including Downton Abbey (2012–2013), Glee (2014), and Only Murders in the Building (2022). MacLaine has written numerous books regarding the subjects of metaphysics, spirituality, and reincarnation, as well as a best-selling memoir, Out on a Limb (1983).

Early life and education[edit]

Named after child actress Shirley Temple, who was six years old at the time, Shirley MacLean Beaty was born on April 24, 1934, in Richmond, Virginia. Her father, Ira Owens Beaty,[3] was a professor of psychology, public school administrator, and a real estate agent. Her Canadian mother, Kathlyn Corinne (née MacLean), was a drama teacher from Wolfville, Nova Scotia. MacLaine's younger brother is the actor, writer, and director Warren Beatty, who changed the spelling of his surname for his career.[4] Both were raised by their parents as Baptists.[5] Her mother's brother-in-law was A. A. MacLeod, a Communist member of the Ontario provincial legislature in the 1940s.[6][7]

While MacLaine was still a child, Ira Beaty moved the family from Richmond to Norfolk, and then to Arlington, then to Waverly, and then back to Arlington, where he worked at Thomas Jefferson Junior High School in Arlington, in 1945. MacLaine played baseball on a boys team, holding the record for most home runs, which earned her the nickname "Powerhouse". During the 1950s, the family resided in the Dominion Hills section of Arlington.[8]

As a toddler, she had weak ankles and fell over with the slightest misstep, so her mother decided to enroll her in ballet class at the Washington School of Ballet at the age of three.[9] This was the beginning of her interest in performing. Strongly motivated by ballet, she never missed a class. In classical romantic pieces such as Romeo and Juliet and The Sleeping Beauty, she always played the boys' roles due to being the tallest in the group and the absence of males in the class. She eventually received a substantial female role as the fairy godmother in Cinderella; while warming up backstage, she broke her ankle, but then tightened the ribbons on her toe shoes and proceeded to dance the role all the way through before calling for an ambulance. Ultimately she decided against making a career of professional ballet because she had grown too tall and was unable to perfect her technique. She explained that she didn't have the ideal body type, lacking the requisite "beautifully constructed feet" of high arches, high insteps and a flexible ankle.[10] She moved on to other forms of dancing as well as acting and musical theater.

MacLaine attended Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Virginia, where she was on the cheerleading squad and acted in school theatrical productions.


The summer before her senior year of high school in Arlington, Virginia, MacLaine went to New York City to try acting and had minor success in the chorus of a production of Oklahoma! that toured the subway circuit.[11][12] After graduation, she returned and made her Broadway debut dancing in the ensemble of the Broadway production of Me and Juliet (1953–1954).[13] Afterwards she became an understudy to actress Carol Haney in The Pajama Game; in May 1954 Haney injured her ankle during a Wednesday matinee, and MacLaine performed in her place.[14] A few months later, with Haney still injured, Jerry Lewis saw a matinee and urged film producer Hal B. Wallis to attend the evening performance with him, hoping to cast her in Artists and Models. Wallis signed her to work for Paramount Pictures.

1955–1959: Career beginnings and success[edit]

MacLaine in her debut film The Trouble with Harry (1955)

MacLaine began her career and quickly rose to fame during the final years of the Golden Age of Hollywood when she made her film debut in Alfred Hitchcock's The Trouble with Harry (1955), for which she won the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actress.

The Trouble with Harry was quickly followed by her role in the Martin and Lewis film Artists and Models (also 1955). Soon afterwards, she had the female lead in Around the World in 80 Days (1956), which won the Academy Award for Best Picture. This was followed by Hot Spell, The Sheepman, and The Matchmaker (1958), all released in 1958.

She played Ginny Moorehead, who falls in love with Frank Sinatra's character, Dave, in Vincente Minelli's adaptation of James Jones’ novel Some Came Running, in the 1958 film of the same name. The film saw her co-starring with Dean Martin for the second time. For her role as Ginny Moorehead, she earned positive reviews and received her first nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actress and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama. She appeared with Dean Martin in Career (1959), the third of their several films.

1960–1969: Acclaim and stardom[edit]

MacLaine in the trailer for The Apartment (1960)

MacLaine appeared with Frank Sinatra in 1960's Can-Can, then made a cameo appearance in the Rat Pack movie Ocean's 11 (1960). MacLaine would become an honorary member of the Rat Pack.[15]

In 1960, MacLaine starred in Billy Wilder's romantic comedy The Apartment (1960). The film is set in the Upper West Side of Manhattan and follows an insurance clerk, C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon), who allows his co-workers to use his apartment for their extramarital affairs. He is attracted to the insurance company's elevator operator (MacLaine), who is already having an affair with Baxter's boss (Fred MacMurray). The film received widespread critical acclaim and emerged as a major commercial success at the box-office. It received ten Academy Award nominations, winning Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Art Direction (Black and White) and Best Film Editing. MacLaine's performance in the film earned her a second nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. However, despite being highly favored to win, she lost the award to Elizabeth Taylor for BUtterfield 8. She, however, won the Volpi Cup for Best Actress, the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical. The Apartment was included by Roger Ebert in his 2001 Great Movies list. Charlize Theron, speaking at the 89th Academy Awards, praised MacLaine's performance as "raw, real, and funny", and as making "this black and white movie feel like it's in color".[16]

Jack Lemmon and MacLaine, in a still from The Apartment's final scene-“Shut up and deal!”

MacLaine starred in The Children's Hour (1961), based on the play by Lillian Hellman, and directed by William Wyler. Reunited with Wilder and Lemmon for Irma la Douce (1963); she received her third nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress, in addition to winning her second Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical.

In 1970, MacLaine published a memoir titled Don’t Fall off the Mountain, the first of her numerous books. She devoted some pages to a 1963 incident in which she had marched into the Los Angeles office of The Hollywood Reporter and punched columnist Mike Connolly in the mouth.[17] She was angered by what he had said in his column about her ongoing contractual dispute with producer Hal Wallis, who had introduced her to the movie industry in 1954 and whom she eventually sued successfully for violating the terms of their contract.[18] The incident with Connolly garnered a headline on the cover of the New York Post on June 11, 1963.[19] The full story appeared on page 5 under the headline “Shirley Delivers A Punchy Line!” with a byline by Bernard Lefkowitz.[19]

MacLaine starred in the Cold War comedy John Goldfarb, Please Come Home! (1965), with a screenplay by William Peter Blatty, and then co-starred with Michael Caine in the crime thriller Gambit (1966).

In the mid-1960s, Twentieth Century-Fox offered her a salary of $750,000 on a "pay or play" basis to appear in a movie adaptation of the musical Bloomer Girl, a fee equivalent to the paydays enjoyed by top box office stars of the time. However, the project was cancelled, triggering a lawsuit.[20]

MacLaine next starred in seven roles as seven different women in Vittorio DeSica's episodic film Woman Times Seven (1967), a collection of seven stories of love and adultery set against a Paris backdrop. She followed that film with another comedy, The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom in 1968. Both films were box office flops.

MacLaine and John McMartin in the trailer for Sweet Charity (1969)

In 1969, MacLaine starred in the film version of the musical Sweet Charity, directed by Bob Fosse, and based on the script for Federico Fellini's Nights of Cabiria which was released a decade earlier. Gwen Verdon, who originated the role onstage, had hoped to play Charity in the film version; however, MacLaine won the role due to her name being more well known to audiences at the time. Verdon signed on as assistant to choreographer Bob Fosse, helping to teach MacLaine the dance moves and some of the more intricate routines.[21] MacLaine received a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical nomination. The film was not a financial success.

1970–1976: Continued success[edit]

MacLaine was top-billed in Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970), in a role written for Elizabeth Taylor, who chose not to appear in the movie. The Western film was a hit, primarily due to her co-star Clint Eastwood, one of the top box office stars in the world at that time. The film's director, Don Siegel, said of her: "It's hard to feel any great warmth to her. She's too unfeminine, and has too much balls. She's very, very hard."[22]

She then moved on to television, cast as a photojournalist in a short-lived sitcom, Shirley's World (1971–1972). Co-produced by Sheldon Leonard and ITC Entertainment, the series was shot in the United Kingdom. As part of the deal, Lew Grade produced the low-budget drama Desperate Characters (1970).

MacLaine put her career on hold as she campaigned for George McGovern during the 1972 presidential election, including the Democratic primaries.

In 1973, her friend, writer and director William Peter Blatty wanted to cast her for the role as the mother in The Exorcist. The role was eventually played by Ellen Burstyn.[23][24] MacLaine declined the part since she had recently appeared in another film about the supernatural, The Possession of Joel Delaney (1972).

MacLaine’s documentary film The Other Half of the Sky: A China Memoir (1975), co-directed with film and television director Claudia Weill, about the first women's delegation to China in 1973, was released theatrically and on PBS, and was nominated for the year's Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature Film.

MacLaine returned to onstage live performances during the 1970s. In 1976, she appeared in a series of concerts at the London Palladium and New York's Palace Theatre. The latter of these was released as the live album Shirley MacLaine Live at the Palace.[25][26]

1977–1984: Career comeback and Academy Award win[edit]

MacLaine started a career comeback with the drama The Turning Point (1977), portraying a retired ballerina. Her performance in the film received critical acclaim, earning her a fourth nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress.

She was awarded the Women in Film Crystal Award in 1978 for outstanding women who, through their endurance and the excellence of their work, have helped to expand the role of women within the entertainment industry.[27]

In 1979, she starred alongside Peter Sellers in Hal Ashby's satirical film Being There. The film received widespread acclaim with Roger Ebert writing that he admired the film "for having the guts to take this totally weird concept and push it to its ultimate comic conclusion". MacLaine received a British Academy Film Award, and Golden Globe Award nomination for her performance.

In 1980, MacLaine starred in two other films about adultery, A Change of Seasons alongside Anthony Hopkins and Bo Derek, and Loving Couples with James Coburn and Susan Sarandon. Neither film was a success, with Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times calling Loving Couples "a dumb remake of a very old idea that has been done so much better so many times before, that this version is wretchedly unnecessary ... the whole project smells like high-gloss sitcom."[28]

MacLaine and Hopkins did not get along on A Change of Seasons and the film was not a success due to what critics faulted as the screenplay. MacLaine however did receive positive notices from critics. Vincent Canby wrote in his The New York Times review that the film "exhibits no sense of humor and no appreciation for the ridiculous ... the screenplay [is] often dreadful ... the only appealing performance is Miss MacLaine's, and she's too good to be true. A Change of Seasons does prove one thing, though. A farce about characters who've been freed of their conventional obligations quickly becomes aimless."[29]

In 1983, she starred in James L. Brooks's comedy-drama Terms of Endearment (1983) playing Debra Winger's mother. The film focuses on the strained relationship between mother and daughter over 30 years. The film emerged as a critical and commercial success at the box-office, grossing $108.4 million, emerging as the second-highest-grossing film of the year. The film received a leading 11 nominations at the 56th Academy Awards, and won five, including Best Picture. Both MacLaine and Winger earned nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actress, with the former winning the award, her first and only win in the category. Her performance also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama.

1984–present: Post-Oscar career[edit]

MacLaine at the set of Guarding Tess

In 1989, she released her VHS, Shirley MacLaine's Inner Workout: A Program for Relaxation and Stress Reduction through Meditation, a companion to her 1989 book, Going Within: A Guide for Inner Transformation.

MacLaine next starred in the drama Madame Sousatzka (1988), in the eponymous lead role as a Russian-American immigrant. She received positive reviews for her performance, earning her a second Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama.

MacLaine continued to star in films, such as the family southern drama Steel Magnolias (1989) directed by Herbert Ross. The film focuses on the bond that a group of women share in a small-town Southern community, and how they cope with the death of a loved one. The film was a box office success, earning $96.8 million off a budget of $15 million. MacLaine received a British Academy Film Award for her performance. She starred in Mike Nichols' film Postcards from the Edge (1990), with Meryl Streep, playing a fictionalized version of Debbie Reynolds from a screenplay by Reynolds's daughter, Carrie Fisher. Fisher wrote the screenplay based on her book. MacLaine received another Golden Globe Award nomination for her performance.

MacLaine with Christopher Plummer at the premiere of the film Elsa & Fred in 2014

MacLaine continued to act in films such as Used People (1992), with Jessica Tandy and Kathy Bates; Guarding Tess (1994), with Nicolas Cage; Mrs. Winterbourne (1996), with Ricki Lake and Brendan Fraser; The Evening Star (1996); Rumor Has It...(2005) with Kevin Costner and Jennifer Aniston; In Her Shoes (also 2005), with Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette; and Closing the Ring (2007), directed by Richard Attenborough and starring Christopher Plummer. She would later reunite with Plummer in the 2014 comedy film Elsa & Fred directed by Michael Radford. In 2000, she made her first (and only) feature-film directorial debut, and starred in Bruno (with Alex D. Linz), which was released to video as The Dress Code. In 2011, MacLaine starred in Richard Linklater's dark comedy film Bernie alongside Jack Black and Matthew McConaughey.

MacLaine has also appeared in numerous television projects, including a 1987 miniseries based upon her bestselling autobiography, Out on a Limb. In 2001, she appeared in These Old Broads written by Carrie Fisher and co-starring Elizabeth Taylor, Debbie Reynolds, and Joan Collins. In 2009, she starred in Coco Before Chanel, a Lifetime production based on the life of French fashion designer,Coco Chanel, which earned her a Primetime Emmy Award, and Golden Globe Award nominations. She appeared in the third and fourth seasons of the British drama Downton Abbey as Martha Levinson, mother to Cora, Countess of Grantham (played by Elizabeth McGovern), and Harold Levinson (played by Paul Giamatti) in 2012–2013.[30][31]

In 2016, MacLaine starred in Wild Oats with Jessica Lange. She starred in the live-action family film The Little Mermaid, based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale, in 2018.[32] In 2019, she played Elf Polly in the film “Noelle”.[33] In 2022, she returned to television starring with Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez in the hit Hulu series Only Murders in the Building.[34]

On March 8, 2024, the film American Dreamer, starring Peter Dinklage, Shirley MacLaine, Matt Dillon, and Danny Glover opened in US theaters.

Personal life[edit]

MacLaine was married to businessman Steve Parker from 1954 until their divorce in 1982; they have a daughter, Sachi. Their daughter said that when she was in her late twenties, her mother revealed her belief that an astronaut named Paul was Sachi's real father, not Steve Parker.[35][36]

MacLaine, 2011

In April 2011, while promoting her new book, I'm Over All That, she revealed to Oprah Winfrey that she had had an open relationship with her husband.[37] MacLaine also told Winfrey that she often fell for the leading men she worked with, the exceptions being Jack Lemmon (The Apartment, Irma la Douce) and Jack Nicholson (Terms of Endearment).[38] MacLaine also had long-running affairs with Lord Mountbatten, whom she met in the 1960s, and Australian politician and two-time Liberal leader Andrew Peacock.[39][40]

MacLaine has also gotten into feuds with such co-stars as Anthony Hopkins (A Change of Seasons), who said that "she was the most obnoxious actress I have ever worked with", and Debra Winger (Terms of Endearment).[41][42][43][44]

MacLaine claimed that in a previous life in Atlantis she was the brother of a 35,000-year-old spirit named Ramtha, channeled by mystic teacher and author J. Z. Knight.[45][46]

She has a strong interest in spirituality and metaphysics, which are the central themes of some of her best-selling books, including Out on a Limb and Dancing in the Light. Her spiritual explorations include walking the Way of St. James, working with Chris Griscom,[47] and practicing Transcendental Meditation.[48]

MacLaine conceived and produced the variety show Star-Spangled Women for McGovern–Shriver

The topic of New Age spirituality has also found its way into several of her films. In Albert Brooks's romantic comedy Defending Your Life (1991), the recently deceased lead characters, played by Brooks and Meryl Streep, are astonished to find MacLaine introducing their past lives in the "Past Lives Pavilion"; in Postcards from the Edge (1990), MacLaine sings a version of "I'm Still Here", with lyrics customized for her by composer Stephen Sondheim (for example, one line in the lyrics was changed to "I'm feeling transcendental – am I here?"); and in the 2001 television movie These Old Broads, MacLaine's character is a devotee of New Age spirituality.

She has an interest in UFOs, and gave numerous interviews on CNN, NBC and Fox news channels on the subject during 2007–08. In her book Sage-ing While Age-ing (2007), she described having alien encounters and witnessing a Washington, D.C. UFO incident in the 1950s.[49] On an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show in April 2011, MacLaine stated that she and her neighbor had observed numerous UFOs at her New Mexico ranch for extended periods of time.[50]

Along with her brother Warren Beatty, MacLaine used her celebrity status in instrumental roles as a fundraiser and organizer for George McGovern's campaign for president in 1972.[51][52][53] That year, she wrote the book McGovern: The Man and His Beliefs.[51] She appeared at her brother's concerts Four for McGovern and Together for McGovern, and she joined with Sid Bernstein to produce the woman-focused Star-Spangled Women for McGovern–Shriver variety show at Madison Square Garden.[54] So much of her time was spent away from acting in 1972 that her talent agent threatened to quit; she turned down film projects and spent $250,000 of her own money on political activism, equivalent to $1,821,000 in 2023.[55]

MacLaine is godmother to journalist Jackie Kucinich, daughter of former Democratic U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich.[56]

On February 7, 2013, Penguin Group USA published Sachi Parker's autobiography Lucky Me: My Life With – and Without – My Mom, Shirley MacLaine.[57] MacLaine has called the book "virtually all fiction".[36]

In 2015, MacLaine sparked criticism for her comments on Jews, Christians, and Stephen Hawking. She claimed that victims of the Holocaust were experiencing the results of their own karma, and suggested that Hawking had subconsciously caused himself to develop ALS in order to focus better on physics.[58]


In 1959, MacLaine sued Hal Wallis over a contractual dispute. The lawsuit has been credited with ending the old-style studio star system of actor management.[18] In 1966, MacLaine sued Twentieth Century-Fox for breach of contract when the studio reneged on its agreement to star MacLaine in a film version of the Broadway musical Bloomer Girl based on the life of Amelia Bloomer, a mid-nineteenth century feminist, suffragist, and abolitionist, that was to be filmed in Hollywood. Instead, Fox gave MacLaine one week to accept their offer of the female dramatic lead in the Western Big Country, Big Man to be filmed in Australia. The case was decided in MacLaine's favor, and affirmed on appeal by the California Supreme Court in 1970. The case is discussed in many law-school textbooks as an example of employment-contract law.[59][60][61]



Year Title Role Notes
1955 The Trouble with Harry Jennifer Rogers
Artists and Models Bessie Sparrowbrush
1956 Around the World in 80 Days Princess Aouda
1958 Some Came Running Ginnie Moorehead
The Sheepman Dell Payton
Hot Spell Virginia Duval
The Matchmaker Irene Molloy
1959 Ask Any Girl Meg Wheeler
Career Sharon Kensington
1960 Ocean's 11 Tipsy woman Uncredited cameo
Can-Can Simone Pistache
The Apartment Fran Kubelik
1961 The Children's Hour Martha Dobie
All in a Night's Work Katie Robbins
Two Loves Anna Vorontosov
1962 Two for the Seesaw Gittel Mosca
My Geisha Lucy Dell/Yoko Mori
1963 Irma la Douce Irma la Douce
1964 The Yellow Rolls-Royce Mae Jenkins
What a Way to Go! Louisa May Foster
1965 John Goldfarb, Please Come Home! Jenny Erichson
1966 Gambit Nicole Chang
1967 Woman Times Seven Paulette/Maria Teresa/Linda/
Edith/Eve Minou/Marie/Jeanne
1968 The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom Harriet Blossom
1969 Sweet Charity Charity Hope Valentine
1970 Two Mules for Sister Sara Sara
1971 Desperate Characters Sophie Bentwood
1972 The Possession of Joel Delaney Norah Benson
1975 The Other Half of the Sky: A China Memoir Herself Documentary; also writer, co-director, producer
1977 The Turning Point Deedee Rodgers
1979 Being There Eve Rand
1980 A Change of Seasons Karyn Evans
Loving Couples Evelyn
1981 Sois belle et tais-toi (Be Pretty and Shut Up) Herself Documentary by Delphine Seyrig
1983 Terms of Endearment Aurora Greenway
1984 Cannonball Run II Veronica
1988 Madame Sousatzka Madame Yuvline Sousatzka
1989 Steel Magnolias Louisa "Ouiser" Boudreaux
1990 Postcards from the Edge Doris Mann
Waiting for the Light Aunt Zena
1991 Defending Your Life Shirley MacLaine
1992 Used People Pearl Berman
1993 Wrestling Ernest Hemingway Helen Cooney
1994 Guarding Tess Tess Carlisle
1996 The Evening Star Aurora Greenway
Mrs. Winterbourne Grace Winterbourne
1997 A Smile Like Yours Martha Uncredited
2000 The Dress Code Helen Also director
2003 Carolina Grandma Millicent Mirabeau
2005 Rumor Has It... Katharine Richelieu
Bewitched Iris Smythson/Endora
In Her Shoes Ella Hirsch
2007 Closing the Ring Ethel Ann Harris
2010 Valentine's Day Estelle Paddington
2011 Bernie Marjorie Nugent
2013 The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Edna Mitty
2014 Elsa & Fred Elsa Hayes
2016 Wild Oats Eva
2017 The Last Word Harriett Lauler
2018 The Little Mermaid Grandmother Eloise
2019 Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver Mrs. Grindtooth Voice (English version)
Noelle Elf Polly
2022 American Dreamer Astrid Fanelli
2024 A Family Affair undisclosed role


Year Title Role Notes
1955 Shower of Stars Herself 2 episodes
1976 Gypsy in my Soul Herself Television special with Lucille Ball
1971–1972 Shirley's World Shirley Logan 17 episodes
1977 The Shirley MacLaine Special: Where Do We Go From Here? Herself Television special
1979 Shirley MacLaine at the Lido Herself Television special
1987 Out on a Limb Herself Television film
1995 The West Side Waltz Margaret Mary Elderdice Television film
1998 Stories from My Childhood Narrator Episode: "The Nutcracker"
1999 Joan of Arc Madame de Beaurevoir 2 episodes
2001 These Old Broads Kate Westbourne Television film
2002 Salem Witch Trials Rebecca Nurse
2002 Hell on Heels: The Battle of Mary Kay Mary Kay
2008 Coco Chanel Coco Chanel
2008 Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning Amelia Thomas
2012–2013 Downton Abbey Martha Levinson 3 episodes
2014 Glee June Dolloway 2 episodes
2016 A Heavenly Christmas Pearl Television film
2022 Only Murders in the Building Leonora Folger / Rose Cooper 2 episodes[62]


Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1953 Me and Juliet Dance Ensemble Majestic Theatre, Broadway [63]
1954 The Pajama Game Dancer/Gladys Shubert Theatre, Broadway
1976 Shirley MacLaine Herself Palace Theatre, Broadway
1984 Shirley MacLaine on Broadway Herself Gershwin Theatre, Broadway
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Teresa Heinz with 2013 Kennedy Center honorees: Shirley MacLaine, Martina Arroyo, Billy Joel, Carlos Santana, and Herbie Hancock in 2013.

Honors and legacy[edit]


  • MacLaine, Shirley (1970). Don't Fall Off the Mountain. New York: W.W. Norton & Company Limited. ISBN 978-0-393-07338-6.
  • MacLaine, Shirley (1972). McGovern: The Man and His Beliefs. New York: W.W. Norton & Company Limited. ISBN 978-0-393-05341-8.
  • MacLaine, Shirley (1975). You Can Get There from Here. New York: W.W. Norton & Company Limited. ISBN 978-0-393-07489-5.
  • MacLaine, Shirley (1983). Out on a Limb. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-553-05035-6.
  • MacLaine, Shirley (1986). Dancing in the Light. New York: Bantam Books. ISBN 978-0-553-76196-2.
  • MacLaine, Shirley (1987). It's All in the Playing. New York: Bantam Books. ISBN 978-0-553-05217-6.
  • MacLaine, Shirley (1990). Going Within: A Guide to Inner Transformation. New York: Bantam Books. ISBN 978-055-328-3310.
  • MacLaine, Shirley (1991). Dance While You Can. New York: Bantam Books. ISBN 978-0-553-07607-3.
  • MacLaine, Shirley (1995). My Lucky Stars: A Hollywood Memoir. New York: Bantam Books. ISBN 978-0-553-09717-7.
  • MacLaine, Shirley (2000). The Camino: A Journey of the Spirit. New York: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-7434-0072-5. (Published in Europe as: MacLaine, Shirley (2001). The Camino: A Pilgrimage of Courage. London: Pocket Books. ISBN 0-7434-0921-3.)
  • MacLaine, Shirley (2003). Out on a Leash: Exploring the Nature of Reality and Love. New York: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-7434-8506-7.
  • MacLaine, Shirley (2007). Sage-ing While Age-ing. New York: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-4165-5041-9.
  • MacLaine, Shirley (2011). I'm Over All That: And Other Confessions. New York: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-4516-0729-1.
  • MacLaine, Shirley (2013). What If...: A lifetime of questions, speculations, reasonable guesses, and a few things I know for sure. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1-47113-139-4.
  • MacLaine, Shirley (2016). Above the Line: My 'Wild Oats' Adventure. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1501136412.


  1. ^ Walsh, John (September 1, 2012). "Shirley MacLaine: Tough at the top". The Independent. Retrieved June 1, 2015.
  2. ^ "Shirley MacLaine – Broadway Cast & Staff | IBDB". Retrieved March 10, 2024.
  3. ^ Gary Boyd Roberts (Revised April 18, 2008) #83 Royal Descents, Notable Kin, and Printed Sources: A Third Set of Ten Hollywood Figures (or Groups Thereof), with a Coda on Two Directors. New England Historic Genealogical Society
  4. ^ Kohn, David; Mike Wallace (May 16, 2000). "Shirley MacLaine's Recent Lives". 60 Minutes. CBS News. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  5. ^ "The religion of Warren Beatty, actor, director". August 30, 2005. Archived from the original on November 19, 2005. Retrieved March 6, 2010.
  6. ^ Suzanne Finstad (October 24, 2006). Warren Beatty: A Private Man. Three Rivers Press. p. 396. ISBN 9780307345295. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  7. ^ Peter Biskind (May 13, 2010). Star: The Life and Wild Times of Warren Beatty. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9781847378392. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  8. ^ Laura Trieschmann; Paul Weishar & Anna Stillner (May 2011). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Dominion Hills Historic District" (PDF).
  9. ^ Denis, Christopher (1980). The films of Shirley MacLaine. Citadel Press. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-8065-0693-7. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
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Further reading[edit]

  • Erens, Patricia (1978). The Films of Shirley MacLaine. South Brunswick: A. S. Barnes. ISBN 0-498-01993-4.

External links[edit]