Estelle Parsons - Rotten Tomatoes

Estelle Parsons



Specializing in playing fanatical or neurotic women, character actress Estelle Parsons has found success on stage, screen, and television, particularly in the latter venue where she is best remembered for playing Roseanne Arnold's screechy, lunatic mother on Roseanne (1988-1997). In show business, Parsons started out as a production assistant and then a staff writer on NBC's Today show, where she was eventually promoted to feature producer.

Parsons launched her acting career on-stage in the late '50s. She went on to appear on and off-Broadway and in stock theater, specializing in satirical reviews. The actress made her film debut with a small role in Ladybug, Ladybug (1963). Four years later, she won an Oscar for her portrayal as Blanche in Bonnie and Clyde (1967). She earned a second Oscar nomination for playing a religious fanatic in Rachel, Rachel the following year. Parsons has appeared in many made-for-television movies, notably The UFO Incident (1977), in which she played a woman convinced that she and her husband (played by James Earl Jones) had been abducted by aliens. But for her long stint as a semi-regular on Roseanne, Parsons prefers the stage; her film and television appearances remain sporadic.

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet She's The Best Thing In It
  • Actor
2015
No Score Yet Empire Falls
  • Bea Callahan
2005
No Score Yet Strip Search
  • Actor
2004
No Score Yet June Moon
  • Actor
2002
No Score Yet Freak City
  • Mrs. Stasanopolous
1999
No Score Yet The Love Letter
  • Beatrice Corrigan
1998
13% That Darn Cat
  • Old Lady McCracken
1997
81% Looking for Richard
  • Margaret
1996
73% Boys on the Side
  • Louise
1995
No Score Yet The Gospel According to Jesus
  • Actor
1995
No Score Yet A Private Matter
  • Mary
1992
No Score Yet The Blue Men
  • Actor
1991
64% Dick Tracy
  • Mrs. Trueheart
1990
14% The Lemon Sisters
  • Mrs. Kupchak
1989
No Score Yet American Playhouse
  • Actor
1982
No Score Yet Backstairs at the White House
  • Actor
1979
No Score Yet The UFO Incident
  • Actor
1975
No Score Yet Fore Play (The President's Women)
  • Actor
1975
No Score Yet Foreplay
  • First Lady/Barmaid
1975
No Score Yet The Gun and the Pulpit
  • Actor
1974
57% For Pete's Sake
  • Helen Robbins
1974
No Score Yet A Memory of Two Mondays
  • Actor
1971
No Score Yet I Walk the Line
  • Ellen Haney
1970
100% I Never Sang for My Father
  • Alice
1970
No Score Yet Watermelon Man
  • Althea Gerber
1970
No Score Yet Don't Drink the Water
  • Marion Hollander
1969
86% Rachel, Rachel
  • Calla Mackie
1968
88% Bonnie and Clyde
  • Blanche
1967
No Score Yet Ladybug, Ladybug
  • JoAnn's Mother
1963
No Score Yet Gentle Annie
  • Actor
1945

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT
No Score Yet Frasier
1993-2004
  • Opal
97% The Good Wife
2009-2016
  • Nana Joe
No Score Yet Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
1999
  • Rose Rinato

Quotes from Estelle Parsons' Characters