Biography: Shirley MacLaine


Shirley MacLaine’s illustrious career comprises more than 50 feature films highlighted by an Academy Award® win and six nominations, six Emmy® Awards nominations, seven Golden Globe® Awards – including the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award – and the title of international best-selling author.

Recently, MacLaine appeared in the ensemble film, Valetines Day, and the Lifetime made-for-TV movie Coco Chanel, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe® and SAG Award®.  She released her best-selling book Sage-Ing While Age-Ing in 2008, followed by her latest New York Times best-seller, I’m Over All That – And Other Confessions, released on April 5th, 2011.  In the Fall of 2011, she received France’s most prestigious cultural award, the Legion of Honor, presented by France’s Minister of Culture and Communication, Frederic Mitterrand, at the French Cinematheque.

MacLaine made her professional debut dancing in a Broadway revival of Oklahoma! in the 1950s.  Her first film appearance was in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Trouble With Harry, earning her a Golden Globe Award for “New Star of the Year – Actress” in 1955.  At the same time, she starred in Some Come Running, which led to her first Academy Award® nomination and an additional Golden Globe® nomination.  She also starred alongside Audrey Hepburn in The Children’s Hour, based on a play by Lillian Hellman.  MacLaine received a second Oscar® nomination for her work in the award winning film, The Apartment, co-starring Jack Lemmon and directed by Billy Wilder.  She reunited with Lemmon and Wilder for Irma La Douce in 1963, earning yet another Academy Award® nomination. 

In 1975, MacLaine received her fourth Oscar® nomination, this time for best documentary as a producer and star of The Other Half of the Sky: A China Memoir.  Two years later, she was once again nominated for her starring role in The Turning Point.  In 1983, MacLaine finally won an Oscar for her work in Terms of Endearment. Later, she also received a Golden Globe® Award for her 1989 performance in Madame Sousatzka. MacLaine was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Golden Globe Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1998.

MacLaine’s additional credits include notable films such as Steel Magnolias with Julia Roberts, Postcards from the Edge with Meryl Streep, In Her Shoes with Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette, and Rumor Has It with Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Costner.

MacLaine’s television credits include the telefilms, These Old Broads, Carolina and Salem Witch Trials.  She also starred in the CBS miniseries, Hell On Heels: The Battle of Mary Kay, the life story of the cosmetics queen Mary Kay Ash.

A longtime outspoken advocate for civil rights and liberties, women’s rights, and spiritual understanding, MacLaine is known for her faith in reincarnation, angels, the power of crystals and other New Age beliefs.  She addresses these topics at length, as well as her Hollywood career, in her books, Out On A Limb and Dancing In The Night.   MacLaine went on to author numerous other books including The Camino and Out On A Leash, all of which are international bestsellers.

In addition to Bernie, MacLaine can be seen next in Wild Oats, starring Jacki Weaver and directed by Howard Deutch.  She can also be seen on stage during her one-woman show tour as it hits cities across the globe, combining a montage of memorable film moments with private revelations about her extraordinary life, career, and spiritual journey.  MacLaine will be honored with the prestigious American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award on June 7, 2012.

This biography/filmography of Shirley MacLaine is courtesy of Millennium Entertainment and the film, Bernie

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