Actresses from the past certainly had a special kind of energy to them. They represented the golden age of Hollywood and their performances will definitely persevere as examples of extraordinary talent.
In today’s text we are going to talk about Shirley McLain and learn more about her career, personal life and net worth.
So stick with us if you would like to learn more about this famous Hollywood actress and how her life looked behind the scene.
Shirley MacLaine (real name Shirley MacLean Beaty) was born on April 24, 1934 in Richmond, an American city belonging to the state of Virginia. Daughter of Ira Owens Beaty and the dancer, actress and acting teacher Kathlyn MacLean Beaty.
With her mother’s profession it was not surprising that the young Shirley, named for the popular girl prodigy Shirley Temple, dedicated her eagerness to the entertainment world just like her younger brother, Warren Beatty, born in 1937.
Shirley studied ballet and participated in commercials from an early age. In 1950 she moved to New York City to start a career as a theater actress.
In her beginnings she had to alternate scenic performances with works as a model until she managed to debut on Broadway in 1953 appearing in the play “Me and Juliet”.
Her revelation came when she starred in “Pajama Party” (1954) replacing Carol Haney, who had suffered an ankle injury. At that time she adopted the artistic last name of MacLaine.
Her performance did not go unnoticed by Hollywood, especially for producer Hal B. Wallis, who ended up calling the young actress to debut in Alfred Hitchcock’s movie, “But … Who killed Harry?” (1955), black comedy in which Shirley was the main female protagonist (wife of the dead), accompanied by John Forsythe and Edmund Gwenn.
Since there isn’t more info about her early years, we are going to talk about her career and see how this famous actress managed to become so popular. So let us get on to her career path and personal life.
The same year she participated with Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin in the colorful comedy directed by Frank Tashlin “Artists and Models” (1955).
The beginning as a film actress of Shirley MacLaine had been brilliant. Still in this second half of the 50s she could be seen in titles of interest such as “Around the World In 80 Days” (1956) by Michael Anderson, “Fury In The Valley” (1958), a western George Marshall co- starring Glenn Ford, “La Casamentera” (1958) by Joseph Anthony, or “Como Un Torrente” (1958), a film directed by Vincente Minnelli that gave him her first Oscar nomination for best actress for her role as Ginnie Moorehead. The statuette went to Susan Hayward for the drama against the death penalty “I want to live.”
In 1954 she married producer Steve Parker (born 1922), who was responsible for producing two films, “My Sweet Geisha” (1962) by Jack Cardiff and “John Goldfarb, Please Come Home” (1965), directed comedy by J. Lee Thompson. Parker and Shirley divorced in 1982.
In the 1960s she became involved in politics supporting the Democratic Party. As for the cinema, those years formed its most important cinematographic stage.
He starred for Billy Wilder and with Jack Lemmon “The Apartment” (1960), a memorable film in which she played the elevator operator Fran Kubelik, and “Irma, La Dulce” (1963), where she was the prostitute who titled the film; and intervened in meritorious films such as “The Gang Of The Eleven” (1960), a film in which she shared a poster with the “rat pack” of Frank Sinatra under the orders of Lewis Milestone.
She also starred in “La Calumnia” (1961), lesbian drama of William Wyler co-starring Audrey Hepburn, “Any Day At Any Corner” (1962) by Robert Wise, “She and Her Husbands” (1964) by J. Lee Thompson, “The Sins of Mrs. Blossom” (1968) Joseph McGrath, “Thief for Love” (1966) by Ronald Neame, “Seven Times Woman” (1967) by Vittorio de Sica or “Nights In The City” (1969) by Bob Fosse.
In that period she was nominated again for the Oscar. For “The Apartment” (1960) and “Irma La Dulce” (1963). However, fortune did not reward him again and the prizes went to Elizabeth Taylor for “A Marked Woman” and Patricia Neal for “Hud.”
In the 70s she was nominated twice more, as a producer for the documentary “The Other Half of the Sky: A China Memoir” (1975) and for her performance in “The Turning Point” (1977) by Herbert Ross. The winner on this occasion was Diane Keaton for “Annie Hall.”
Other outstanding titles of Shirley in the 70s, decade in which the amount of films in which it appeared remarkably declined, were “Two Mules and a Nun” (1970), western co-starring Clint Eastwood and directed by Don Siegel, “Desperate Characters” (1971), film made by Frank D. Gilroy, or “Welcome, Mr. Chance” (1979), a film by Hal Ashby that featured Peter Sellers and Melvyn Douglas in the cast.
In addition to cinematographic acting, Shirley began writing books and intervening in television programs and series, while continuing her stage career.
The long-awaited Oscar statuette was achieved thanks to her performance in “The Strength of Love” (1983), a film by James L. Brooks in which she shared the spotlight with Jack Nicholson and Debra Winger. The other candidates were Meryl Streep for “Silkwood,” Julie Walters for “Educating Rita,” Jane Alexander for “Final Testament,” and Debra Winger herself for “The Force of Love.”
Her work on the big screen became scarce from that moment, intervening in films such as “Madame Sousaztka” (1988) by John Schlesinger, “Magnolias De Acero” (1989) by Herbert Ross, “Postcards From The Edge” (1990) by Mike Nichols, the coral film “Stories of Valentine’s Day” (2010), or “Bernie” (2011), a film in which she played a widow who begins a friendly relationship with Jack Black, a funeral home worker.
The actress and writer has always been attracted to the spiritual world and thus, she made the Camino de Santiago in 1994, expressing her experiences in the book “The Way”. She has a daughter named Sachi, born in 1956 from her relationship with Steve Parker.
Warren Beatty’s older sister, Shirley MacLean Beaty is originally a very talented dancer and singer. After graduation, she moved to New York, determined to begin a career in the musical.
While she is auditioning, the producer cannot pronounce her name correctly, so she changes it to Shirley MacLaine. In 1954, her participation, as lead role, in another musical (The Pajama Game) made her a star: Alfred Hitchcock marks her and immediately hires her to play in.
But who killed Harry? MacLaine then has several important roles in comedies, musical (Artists and models, with Martin & Lewis) or not (La Vallée de la Powder, an astonishing western comic).
The beginning of her career is marked by many collaborations with members of the Rat Pack: besides Dean Martin, she crosses the road of Frank Sinatra (for Cancan for example) but also that of the whole group (for a minor participation in L ‘ Unknown from Las Vegas).
She also embodies her first major dramatic roles, notably in Comme un torrent (by Vincente Minnelli, where she shares the poster again with Martin and Sinatra) and in The Rumor (William Wyler).
Billy Wilder offers him two important and magnificent roles in bitter and virulent comedies, La Garçonnière (1960) and Irma la Douce (1963), in which her outspokenness and her “liberated” style are marvelous (and scandalous). These two films, along with the Minnelli, bring him each an Oscar nomination.
Adept of staggered choices in typical productions of the 60s, moving easily from one genre to another, she does not forget her passion first: the musical. She convinced producers to engage her friend, choreographer Bob Fosse, to lead the big-screen adaptation of Broadway Sweet Charity’s success story, co-scripted by Federico Fellini.
But far from giving wings, the film (which is a failure at the box office) slows its momentum: after the picnic of Don Siegel, Sierra Torride, in which she shares the poster with Clint Eastwood, it disappears almost screens. It only resurfaced with Herbert Ross’s musical drama, The Turning of Life (1979), whose other stars are Anne Bancroft and dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov.
This relative success, for which she is once again nominated for the Oscars, combined with that of Welcome Mister Chance (the latest film by Peter Sellers), completes her career: she then fights for the lead role of Tendres Passions (James L Brooks, 1983), which finally brings him the long-awaited reward.
If, in the 80s and 90s, her appearances in the cinema are rarer, enameled with participation in television productions, her prestige remains intact.
She plays in many bitter-sweet comedies, such as Gossip of Women (H. Ross), Good Kissing Hollywood (Mike Nichols) or Evening Star, which is part of the following of Tendres Passions (without benefit for as much of the same success).
She now imposes on her as a sassy grandmother alongside “new generation” stars like Nicolas Cage (in Guardian Angel for Tess, 1994) or Nicole Kidman (in the adaptation of the television series Ma sorcière bien aiméée, in 2005). Shirley currently has a net worth of 60$ million and is now retired.
She married Steve Parker with whom she was married until 1982, and were parents of Sachi Parker, born in 1956.
In addition, she maintained a relationship with Andrew Peacock, an aspiring politician to the Prime Minister of Australia for the Liberal Party who was later appointed ambassador to the United States.
Also with Ohio Deputy Dennis Kucinich, who was a candidate for the Democrats in the 2004 presidential primaries.
Full name: Shirley MacLean Beaty
Date of birth: April 24th 1934
Birthplace: Richmond, Virginia
Weight: 50 kg
Net Worth: 60$ million