SHIRLEY MACLAINE Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Shirley MacLaine                                                             
Birth name: Shirley MacLean Beaty                                                 
Born: 24 April 1934 Richmond, Virginia, United States                             
Shirley MacLaine (born April 24, 1934) is an Academy Award-winning American film   
and theatre actress, well-known not only for her acting, but for her devotion to   
her belief in reincarnation and extraterrestrials. She is also the writer of a     
large number of autobiographical works, many dealing with her new age beliefs,     
such as solipsism, as well as her Hollywood career. She is the older sister of     
Warren Beatty.                                                                     
Named after Shirley Temple, MacLaine was born Shirley MacLean Beaty in Richmond,   
Virginia's Bellevue neighborhood. Her father, Ira Owens Beaty, was a               
professor of psychology, public school administrator and real estate agent, and   
her mother, Kathlyn Corinne (née MacLean), was a Nova Scotia-born drama teacher; 
her grandparents were also teachers. The family was devoutly Baptist.             
MacLaine's father moved the family from Richmond to Norfolk, Virginia and then     
to Arlington, Virginia while she was still a child, then to Waverly, Virginia     
between 1932-1936, eventually taking a position at Arlington's Jefferson Middle   
School. The Beatty family lived in a house in the Western part of the county off   
Wilson Boulevard where it was said that Shirley and brother, Warren, were known   
around their neighborhood as troublemakers in their pre-adolescent days.           
Her early childhood dream was to be a ballerina. She took ballet classes           
fervently all throughout her youth and never missed one, and whenever they         
performed a piece, she would play the boy's role, due to being the tallest one     
there. She was so determined and so set on being a dancer that her recurring       
childhood nightmare was that she missed the bus to class. She finally got to       
play a respectable woman's role, the Fairy Godmother in "Cinderella," and while   
warming up backstage, she snapped her ankle. Many would bow out in this           
particular situation, but she was so determined that she simply tied the ankle     
ribbon on her toe shoes extra tight and go "on with the show." After it was over, 
she called for an ambulance.                                                       
Eventually, MacLaine decided that professional ballet was not for her. She said   
that she did not really have the right body type and that she did not want to     
starve herself. Also, her feet were not good enough (she did not have really       
high arches and insteps). Nor was she an "exquisite beauty." At that point, she   
decided to switch her focus to acting. She attended Washington-Lee High School     
and was on the cheerleading squad and acted in school productions. The summer     
before her senior year, she went to New York to try acting on Broadway with some   
success. After she graduated, she went back and within a year she achieved her     
goal of becoming a star when she became an understudy to actress Carol Haney in   
The Pajama Game; Haney broke her ankle, and MacLaine replaced her.                 
A few months after, with Haney still out of commission, director-producer Hal B.   
Wallis was in the audience, took note of MacLaine, and signed her to go to         
Hollywood to work for Paramount Pictures. She would later sue Wallis over a       
contractual dispute, a suit that is credited with having ended the old-style       
studio system of actor management.                                                 
Her first film was the Alfred Hitchcock film The Trouble with Harry in 1955,       
which won her the Golden Globe Award for New Star Of The Year - Actress. In 1958, 
she took part in Hot Spell and Around the World in Eighty Days. At the same time, 
she starred in Some Came Running; this film gave her her first Academy Award       
nomination - one of the film's five Oscar nods - and a Golden Globe nomination.   
Also, she starred in a more less unknown film called "The Children's Hour" also   
starring Audrey Hepburn. Based on the play by Lillian Hellmen, the movie is       
captivating, moving and eye opening. She got her second nomination two years       
later for The Apartment, in which she starred alongside Jack Lemmon. This film     
won 5 Oscars, including Best Director for Billy Wilder. She was nominated for     
Irma la Douce (1963), once again reunited with Wilder and Lemmon. In 1975, she     
also received a nomination for Best Documentary Feature for her documentary film   
The Other Half of the Sky: A China Memoir. Two years later, she was once again     
nominated for The Turning Point, as was her co-star Anne Bancroft. In 1983, she   
finally won her first Oscar for Terms of Endearment. The film won 5 Oscars,       
including one for Jack Nicholson and three for director James L. Brooks. After     
she won an Oscar, she starred in other major films, like Steel Magnolias with     
Julia Roberts. She made her feature-film directorial debut in the quirky film     
Bruno, written by then new-comer David Ciminello in his Disney-Meets-David Lynch   
style. MacLaine also starred as Helen in the film that was released to video       
under the title Dress Code. She completed Closing the Ring, directed by Richard   
Attenborough and starring Christopher Plummer; it will be released in 2007.       
MacLaine is also set to star in Poor Things, a drama. The production has been     
delayed due to Lindsay Lohan's stint in rehab.                                     
As of 2004, she is the only actress to win a Golden Globe for Best Actress (Drama) 
without getting an Oscar nomination for the same performance, for Madame           
Sousatzka (1988).                                                                 
MacLaine has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1615 Vine Street.