Shirley MacLaine - Rotten Tomatoes

Shirley MacLaine

Highest Rated:   97% Defending Your Life (1991)
Lowest Rated:   6% A Smile like Yours (1997)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Richmond, Virginia, USA
A dancer, singer, highly regarded actress and metaphysical time traveler, Shirley MacLaine is certainly among Hollywood's most unique stars. Born Shirley MacLane Beaty on April 24, 1934 in Richmond, Virginia, MacLaine was the daughter of drama coach and former actress Kathlyn MacLean Beaty and Ira O. Beaty, a professor of psychology and philosophy. Her younger brother, Warren Beatty, also grew up to be an important Hollywood figure as an actor/director/ producer and screenwriter. MacLaine's mother, who gave up her own dreams of stardom for her young family, greatly motivated her daughter to become an actress and dancer. MacLaine took dance lessons from age two, first performed publicly at age four, and at 16 went to New York, making her Broadway debut as a chorus girl in Me and Juliet (1953). When not scrambling for theatrical work, MacLaine worked as a model. Interestingly, MacLaine's big break was the result of another actress's bad luck. In 1954, MacLaine was understudying Broadway actress Carol Haney The Pajama Game when Haney fractured her ankle. MacLaine replaced her and was spotted and offered a movie contract by producer Hal Wallis. With her auburn hair cut impishly short, the young actress made her film debut in Hitchock's black comedy The Trouble With Harry (1955). Later that year, she co-starred opposite Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis in the comedy Artists and Models. In her next feature, Around the World in 80 Days (1956), she appeared as an Indian princess. MacLaine earned her first Oscar nomination for her portrayal of a pathetic tart who shocks a conservative town by showing up on the arm of young war hero Frank Sinatra in Some Came Running (1959). She then got the opportunity to show off her long legs and dancing talents in Can-Can (1960). Prior to that, she appeared with Rat Packers Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Peter Lawford in Oceans Eleven (1960). MacLaine, the only female member of the famed group, would later recount her experiences with them in her seventh book My Lucky Stars. In 1960, she won her second Oscar nomination for Billy Wilder's comedy/drama The Apartment, and a third nomination for Irma La Douce (1963). MacLaine's career was in high gear during the '60s, with her appearing in everything from dramas to madcap comedies to musicals such as What a Way to Go! (1964) and Bob Fosse's Sweet Charity! (1969). In addition to her screen work, she actively participated in Robert Kennedy's 1968 presidential campaign and served as a Democratic Convention delegate. She was similarly involved in George McGovern's 1972 campaign. Bored by sitting around on movie sets all day awaiting her scenes, MacLaine started writing down her thoughts and was thus inspired to add writing to her list of talents. She published her first book, Don't Fall Off the Mountain in 1970. She next tried her hand at series television in 1971, starring in the comedy Shirley's World (1971-72) as a globe-trotting photographer. The role reflected her real-life reputation as a world traveler, and these experiences resulted in her second book Don't Fall Off the Mountain and the documentary The Other Half of the Sky -- A China Memoir (1975) which she scripted, produced and co-directed with Claudia Weill. MacLaine returned to Broadway in 1976 with a spectacular one-woman show A Gypsy in My Soul, and the following year entered a new phase in her career playing a middle-aged former ballerina who regrets leaving dance to live a middle-class life in The Turning Point. MacLaine was memorable starring as a lonely political wife opposite Peter Sellers' simple-minded gardener in Being There (1979), but did not again attract too much attention until she played the over-protective, eccentric widow Aurora Greenway in James L. Brooks' Terms of Endearment (1983), a role that finally won MacLaine an Academy Award. That same year, she published the candid Out on a Limb, bravely risking public ridicule by describing her experiences and theories c

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
35% The Last Word
  • Harriet Lauler
$1.8M 2017
No Score Yet The Little Mermaid
  • Actor
2017
No Score Yet Wild Oats
  • Eva
$22.1k 2016
No Score Yet A Heavenly Christmas
  • Pearl
2016
32% Elsa & Fred
  • Elsa
2014
51% The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty
  • Edna Mitty
$33.3M 2013
89% Bernie
  • Marjorie Nugent
$6M 2012
18% Valentine's Day
  • Estelle
$110.5M 2010
No Score Yet Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning
  • Amelia Thomas
2009
No Score Yet Hollywood Singing and Dancing: A Musical History - The 1970s
  • Actor
2009
No Score Yet Hollywood Singing and Dancing: 1920s - The Dawn of the Hollywood Musical
  • Actor
2008
No Score Yet Coco Chanel
  • Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel
2008
No Score Yet Hollywood Singing and Dancing: The 1960s
  • Actor
2008
31% Closing the Ring
  • Ethel
2007
20% Rumor Has It
  • Katharine Richelieu
$43M 2005
75% In Her Shoes
  • Ella Hirsch
$32.9M 2005
25% Bewitched
  • Iris Smythson/Endora
$62.3M 2005
83% Broadway: The Golden Age
  • Actor
2004
No Score Yet Carolina
  • Grandma Mirabeau
2004
No Score Yet Salem Witch Trials
  • Rebecca Nurse
2003
No Score Yet Hell on Heels: The Battle of Mary Kay
  • Mary Kay Ash
2002
No Score Yet These Old Broads
  • Kate Westbourne
2001
No Score Yet Bruno
  • Director
  • Helen
2000
No Score Yet Forever Hollywood
  • Actor
2000
71% Get Bruce
  • Actor
1999
11% Joan of Arc
  • Madame De Beaurevoir
1999
No Score Yet Louise Brooks: Looking for Lulu
  • Narrator
1998
6% A Smile like Yours
  • Martha
1997
23% The Evening Star
  • Aurora Greenway
1996
7% Mrs. Winterbourne
  • Grace Winterbourne
1996
96% The Celluloid Closet
  • Interviewee
1996
No Score Yet The West Side Waltz
  • Margaret Mary Elderdice
1995
57% Wrestling Ernest Hemingway
  • Helen
1994
59% Guarding Tess
  • Tess Carlisle
1994
38% Used People
  • Pearl
1992
97% Defending Your Life
  • Woman at Past Lives Pavilion
1991
No Score Yet Waiting for the Light
  • Aunt Zena
1990
No Score Yet Full Fathom Five
  • Actor
1990
90% Postcards from the Edge
  • Doris Mann
1990
No Score Yet You're the Top: The Cole Porter Story
  • Actor
1990
69% Steel Magnolias
  • Ouiser Boudreaux
1989
75% Madame Sousatzka
  • Madame Yuvline Sousatzka
1988
No Score Yet Reincarnation: Coming Back
  • Actor
1988
No Score Yet Out on a Limb
  • Herself
  • Screenwriter
1987
No Score Yet That's Dancing!
  • Actor
1985
13% Cannonball Run II
  • Veronica
1984
No Score Yet Baryshnikov - The Dancer and the Dance
  • Actor
1983
No Score Yet Loving Couples
  • Dr. Evelyn Lucas Kirby
1980
96% Being There
  • Eve Rand
1979
60% The Turning Point
  • Deedee
1977
No Score Yet The Possession of Joel Delaney
  • Norah Benson
1972
No Score Yet Desperate Characters
  • Sophie
1971
78% Two Mules for Sister Sara
  • Sara
1970
No Score Yet Sweet Charity
  • Charity Hope Valentine
1969
No Score Yet The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom
  • Harriet Blossom
1968
No Score Yet Woman Times Seven
  • Paulette/Edith/Eve Minou/Jea/Linda/Maria Terese
1967
No Score Yet Gambit
  • Nicole Chang
1965
No Score Yet The Yellow Rolls-Royce
  • Mae Jenkins
1965
No Score Yet John Goldfarb, Please Come Home
  • Jenny Ericson ('Strife' Magazine reporter)
1965
17% What a Way to Go!
  • Louisa May Foster
1964
86% Irma La Douce
  • Irma La Douce
1963
60% Two for the Seesaw
  • Gittel 'Mosca' Moscawitz
1962
No Score Yet My Geisha
  • Lucy Dell/Yoko Mori
1962
No Score Yet All in a Night's Work
  • Katies Robbins
1961
86% The Children's Hour
  • Martha Dobie
1961
48% Ocean's Eleven
  • Motel drunk
1960
93% The Apartment
  • Fran Kubelik
1960
No Score Yet Can-Can
  • Simone Pistache
1960
80% Some Came Running
  • Ginnie Moorehead
1959
No Score Yet Ask Any Girl
  • Meg Wheeler
1959
No Score Yet Career
  • Sharon Kensington
1959
No Score Yet The Matchmaker
  • Irene Molloy
1958
No Score Yet The Sheepman
  • Dell Payton
1958
74% Around the World in 80 Days
  • Princess Aouda
1956
71% Artists and Models
  • Bessie Sparrowbrush
1955
90% The Trouble with Harry
  • Jennifer Rogers
1955

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet The Late Late Show With James Corden
2015
  • Guest
  • 2017
91% The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
2015
  • Guest
  • 2016
70% Glee
2009-2015
  • June Dolloway
  • 2014
86% Downton Abbey
2011-2016
  • Martha Levinson
  • 2014
  • 2013
No Score Yet Masterpiece
1971-2015
  • Martha Levinson
  • 2014
  • 2013
No Score Yet CBS This Morning
2012
  • Guest
  • 2012
No Score Yet Downton Abbey
2010
  • Martha Levinson

Quotes from Shirley MacLaine's Characters