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Creator / Shirley MacLaine

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"I think of life itself now as a wonderful play that I've written for myself, and so my purpose is to have the utmost fun playing my part."

Shirley MacLaine (born Shirley MacLean Beaty on April 24, 1934 in Richmond, Virginia) is an American film and theater actress, dancer, activist, and author. She's the older sister of Warren Beatty.

She made her film debut in 1955, in the Alfred Hitchcock movie The Trouble with Harry. She also appeared in such films as Around the World in 80 Days (1956), The Apartment, Sweet Charity, and Being There. More recently, in 2011, she appeared in Bernie with Jack Black. In 1983 she won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in Terms of Endearment, and has been nominated five other times. She's well-known for her beliefs in New Age spirituality and reincarnation. She has written a large number of autobiographical works, many dealing with her spiritual beliefs.

She played the character of Martha Levinson, mother of Elizabeth McGovern's Lady Cora Crawley, in the third season of ITV's Downton Abbey. The contrast between her and Maggie Smith's Dowager Countess Violet is generally considered priceless.


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