Lesley Ann Warren
New York City, U.S.
|Other names||Lesley Warren|
(m. 1967; div. 1975)
|Partner(s)||Jeffrey Hornaday |
Lesley Ann Warren is an American actress and singer.
She made her Broadway debut in 1963, aged 17, in 110 in the Shade. In 1965 she received wide recognition for playing the title role in the television musical production of Cinderella. She later had starring roles in the Disney musical films The Happiest Millionaire (1967) and The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band (1968).
In the 1970s, Warren worked mostly on television, receiving a Golden Globe nomination for playing Dana Lambert in the CBS drama series Mission: Impossible (1970–71). In 1978, she won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama Series for the NBC miniseries Harold Robbins' 79 Park Avenue. In 1983, Warren was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for playing Norma Cassidy in Victor/Victoria. She received two additional Golden Globe nominations for performances in Songwriter (1984) and Family of Spies (1990).
Her other film appearances include Race for the Yankee Zephyr (1981), A Night in Heaven (1983), Choose Me (1984), Clue (1985), Burglar (1987), Cop (1988), Life Stinks (1991), Pure Country (1992), Color of Night (1994), The Limey (1999), and Secretary (2002).
Warren was born in New York City, the daughter of Margot (née Verblow), a British-born singer, and William Warren, a real estate agent. She has a brother, Richard Lewis Warren.
She attended the Professional Children's School at the age of six and The High School of Music & Art at the age of 13.
In 1961, Warren began training as a ballet dancer at the School of American Ballet at the age of 14. Her career began in 1962 at age 15 when she made a tape of herself singing the Queen of the Night aria from The Magic Flute (the first and only time she sang opera). She entered the Actors Studio at the age of 17 — reputedly the youngest applicant ever to be accepted. Her Broadway debut came in 1963 in the musical 110 in the Shade. She won the Theatre World Award for her performance in the 1965 flop musical Drat! The Cat! In 1973, she portrayed Scarlett O'Hara in the Los Angeles production of the musical Scarlett; however, the play was poorly reviewed and did not continue to Broadway as planned.
Warren achieved her first major television success in the title role of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella in 1965. She appeared in such TV shows as Dr. Kildare, Gunsmoke, The Mod Squad, Love, American Style, Columbo, and The Carol Burnett Show.
Her film debut was in the 1967 musical comedy The Happiest Millionaire, the last movie Walt Disney worked on before his death. The following year, she went to star opposite Walter Brennan in the musical film The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band. This year, she placed at No. 15 on the Laurel Awards list for Female New Face.
During the 1970s, Warren appeared in only two feature films: Pickup on 101 (1972) and Harry and Walter Go to New York (1976). Meanwhile, Warren worked regularly on television. She played the role of Dana Lambert, the leading woman on the CBS action drama Mission: Impossible, during the 1970–71 season. According to The Complete Mission: Impossible Dossier by Patrick White, she was inexperienced for the part and left after only one year. For her performance, she received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
Throughout the 1970s, Warren was a leading lady of TV movies and miniseries. Her notable credits include The Daughters of Joshua Cabe (1972), The Letters (1973), The Legend of Valentino (1975), Betrayal (1978), and Pearl (1978). She appeared as a guest star in the third season of The Muppet Show. In 1975, Warren played a fatefully and fatally gullible psychiatric patient opposite Peter Falk and George Hamilton in the Columbo episode "A Deadly State of Mind". Warren also played Lois Lane in the 1975 TV special It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman, adapted from the Broadway musical of the same name. Warren went on to screen test for the role of Lois Lane in the 1978 Superman film, a role given to Margot Kidder (footage of Warren's screen test is included as a supplementary feature on VHS and DVD releases of the film). In 1978, she won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama for the NBC miniseries Harold Robbins' 79 Park Avenue.
In 1981, Warren returned to the big screen starring alongside Ken Wahl, George Peppard, and Donald Pleasence in Race for the Yankee Zephyr, a New Zealand suspense-action-thriller film directed by David Hemmings. The following year, she played a gangster's ditzy moll Norma Cassidy in Blake Edwards' musical comedy Victor/Victoria. Warren was nominated for a Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She went to star in the 1983 romantic drama A Night in Heaven with Christopher Atkins; critics widely panned the film. Warren received another Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for starring opposite Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson in the 1984 musical comedy film Songwriter. That same year, she had a leading role in the love triangle drama Choose Me with Keith Carradine and Genevieve Bujold. She turned down a chance to audition for the Kathleen Turner role in Romancing the Stone. In 1985, she starred as one of the prime murder suspects, Miss Scarlet, in the comedy film version of the popular board game Clue.
Warren played supporting roles in a number of movies, including Burglar (1987) with Whoopi Goldberg, Cop (1988) with James Woods, Worth Winning (1989) with Mark Harmon, Life Stinks (1991) with Mel Brooks and Pure Country (1992) with George Strait. In Color of Night (1994) Warren played a nymphomaniac; the film was poorly received, and she was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress. However, it was successful on the home video market. On television, she went to star in Beulah Land (1980), Portrait of a Showgirl (1982), Evergreen (1985) and Baja Oklahoma (1988). She received Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film nominations for Family of Spies in 1990. Warren also played Princess Jeanetta in the 1987 Faerie Tale Theatre episode The Dancing Princesses, an adaptation of the fairy tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses. In 1986, Lesley was prominently featured in Bob Seger's popular music video for his hit song "American Storm." In 1989, she appeared in the Aerosmith video "Janie's Got a Gun", wherein she played Janie's mother. She was also featured in a video for the Eagles' "Life in the Fast Lane". In 1995, she co-starred opposite Ben Kingsley in the television film Joseph. She had a major role in Steven Soderbergh's The Limey (1999), starring Terence Stamp.
In 2000s, Warren appeared in a number of independent films, most notably the 2002 comedy-drama Secretary, playing the mother of the title character. She had recurring roles on the NBC sitcom Will & Grace from 2001 to 2006 as Will Truman's father's mistress and in 2005 in the ABC comedy-drama Desperate Housewives as Susan Mayer's mother. Other television credits included Touched by an Angel, The Practice, Crossing Jordan and Less than Perfect. From 2008 to 2012, Warren played the role of Jinx Shannon, the lead character's alcoholic mother in the USA Network drama series In Plain Sight. While working on that show, Warren was offered Mary Steenburgen's role in Step Brothers (2008) but had to turn it down because of scheduling conflicts.
Warren appeared in the films Peep World (2010), Jobs (2013), and I Am Michael (2015). In 2013, she reunited with Clue castmates Christopher Lloyd and Martin Mull when they guest-starred in an episode of Psych, and again with Martin Mull in 2015 guest-starring on Community. In 2016, she had a recurring role in the Starz comedy Blunt Talk and in 2018 appeared in the Netflix superhero series Daredevil as Esther Falb. In 2019, she co-starred in the short-lived Lifetime comedy-drama series American Princess, and appeared opposite Sarah Drew in the Lifetime Christmas movie Twinkle All the Way.
Warren married producer Jon Peters in 1967 and divorced him in 1975 after a two-year separation. They have one son, Christopher Peters.
From 1977 to 1985, she lived with choreographer Jeffrey Hornaday.
Since 2000, Warren has been married to ad executive Ron Taft, whom she met at a hair salon in 1991.
|1967||The Happiest Millionaire||Cordy|
|1968||The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band||Alice Bower||Laurel Award for Female New Face (15th place)|
|1972||Pickup on 101||Nicky|
|1976||Harry and Walter Go to New York||Gloria Fontaine|
|1981||Treasure of the Yankee Zephyr||Sally|
|1982||Victor/Victoria||Norma Cassidy||Nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress|
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Nominated — New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
|1983||A Night in Heaven||Faye Hanlon|
|1984||Songwriter||Gilda||Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture|
|1987||Burglar||Dr. Cynthia Sheldrake|
|1989||Worth Winning||Eleanor Larimore|
|1992||Pure Country||Lula Rogers|
|1994||Color of Night||Sondra Dorio|
|1995||Bird of Prey||Carla Carr|
|1997||Going All the Way||Nina Casselman|
|1998||Love Kills||Evelyn Heiss|
|1998||All of It||Glenda Holbeck|
|1998||Richie Rich's Christmas Wish||Regina Rich|
|1999||Twin Falls Idaho||Francine|
|1999||Teaching Mrs. Tingle||Mrs. Faye Watson||Uncredited|
|2001||Losing Grace||Mary Reed|
|2004||My Tiny Universe||Vee|
|2005||When Do We Eat?||Peggy Stuckman|
|2005||The Shore||Mrs. Becky Harris|
|2006||Miracle Dogs Too||Nurse Bleaker|
|2006||10th & Wolf||Tina|
|2010||A Little Help||Joan Dunning|
|2010||Peep World||Marilyn Meyerwitz|
|2015||I Am Michael||Susan|
|2015||The Sphere and the Labyrinth||Wendy|
|2016||It Snows All the Time||Anne|
|2019||The Bay House||Joan Brooks|
|2019||3 Days with Dad||Dawn|
|1965||For the People||Terry||"Dangerous to the Public Peace and Safety"|
|1966||Dr. Kildare||Bonda Jo Weaver||Guest role (4 episodes)|
|1966||Run for Your Life||Julie Foster||"The Last Safari"|
|1967||The Carol Burnett Show||Herself||"The Lost Episodes"|
|1969||The Mod Squad||Virginia 'Ginny' Wells||"A Run for the Money"|
|1969||Seven in Darkness||Deborah Cabot||TV film|
|1969||Love, American Style||Tippi||"Love and the Divorce Sale"|
|1970–71||Mission: Impossible||Dana Lambert||Main role (season 5)|
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
|1971||Love Hate Love||Sheila Blunden||TV film|
|1971||Cat Ballou||Cat Ballou||TV film|
|1972||Assignment: Munich||Cathy Lange||TV film|
|1972||The Daughters of Joshua Cabe||Mae||TV film|
|1973||Dr. Simon Locke||Laura March||"Requiem for a Canary"|
|1973||Night Gallery||Hyacinth||"Death on a Barge"|
|1973||The Letters||Laura Reynolds||TV film|
|1973||Saga of Sonora||Emmy Lou||TV film|
|1975||It's a Bird... It's a Plane... It's Superman||Lois Lane||TV film|
|1975||Columbo||Nadia Donner||"A Deadly State of Mind"|
|1975||S.W.A.T.||Linda||"Deadly Tide: Parts 1 & 2"|
|1975||Doctors' Hospital||Sybil Payson||"Sleepless and Pale Eyelids"|
|1975||Harry O||Gail Stephens||"APB Harry Orwell"|
|1975||The Legend of Valentino||Laura Lorraine||TV film|
|1976||Snip||Beverly||Unsold TV series|
|1976||Jigsaw John||Claudine||"Too Much, Too Soon"|
|1977||79 Park Avenue||Marja Fludjicki / Marianne||TV miniseries|
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama
|1978||Betrayal||Julie Roy||TV film|
|1978||Pearl||Dr. Carol Lang||TV miniseries|
|1979||The Muppet Show||Herself||Episode 3.15|
|1979||Portrait of a Stripper||Susie Hanson||TV film|
|1980||Beulah Land||Sarah Pennington||TV miniseries|
|1982||Portrait of a Showgirl||Jillian Brooks||TV film|
|1985||Evergreen||Anna Friedman||TV miniseries|
|1986||A Fight for Jenny||Kelsey Wilkes||TV film|
|1987||Faerie Tale Theatre||Jeanetta||"The Dancing Princesses"|
|1988||Baja Oklahoma||Juanita Hutchins||TV film|
Nominated — CableACE Award for Best Actress in a Movie or Miniseries
|1990||Family of Spies||Barbara Walker||TV miniseries|
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
|1990||American Playwrights Theater: The One-Acts||Flora||"27 Wagons Full of Cotton"|
Nominated — CableACE Award for Best Actress in a Movie or Miniseries
|1990||Lola||Lola Baltic||TV film|
|1991||A Seduction in Travis County||Melanie Evans||TV film|
|1992||In Sickness and in Health||Anita Mattison||TV film|
|1992||Willing to Kill: The Texas Cheerleader Story||Wanda Holloway||TV film|
|1993||A Mother's Revenge||Carol Sanders||TV film|
|1995||Murderous Intent||Gayle||TV film|
|1995||Joseph||Potiphar's Wife||TV Miniseries|
|1999||Jesse||Susan||"Momma Was a Rollin' Stone"|
|2000||Twice in a Lifetime||Rhonda Finkelstein / Sadie Arnstein||"Matchmaker, Matchmaker"|
|2001||Wolf Girl||Dr. Klein||TV film|
|2001–2006||Will & Grace||Tina||Recurring role|
|2002||St. Sass||Slim Kaplan||TV film|
|2002–2005||Crossing Jordan||Arlene Lebowski||"Don't Look Back", "Locard's Exchange"|
|2003||Touched by an Angel||Kelly Cartwright||"As It Is in Heaven"|
|2003||The Practice||Sylvia Bakey||"Choirboys", "Special Deliveries"|
|2003||Recipe for Disaster||Marie Korda||TV film|
|2004||Less than Perfect||Diane Steadman||"Claude's Apartment"|
|2005–2011||Desperate Housewives||Sophie Bremmer||Recurring role|
|2008–2012||In Plain Sight||Jinx Shannon||Main role|
|2009||Bound by a Secret||Jane Tetley||TV film|
|2011||Working Class||Barbara||"Medieval Woman"|
|2015||Community||Deb Perry||"Lawnmower Maintenance & Postnatal Care", "Advanced Safety Features"|
|2015||Gigi Does It||Tretchy Feinberg||"Wart-a-Colors", "Whine"|
|2016||Blunt Talk||Cornelia||3 episodes|
|2016–17||Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce||Dina||"No Means... No", "Let Them Eat Cupcakes"|
|2018||Daredevil||Esther Falb||Episode: "Reunion"|
|2019||The Cool Kids||Kathleen||Episode: "Charlie's Angel"|
|2019||American Princess||Joanntha Klein||3 Episodes|
|2019||Twinkle All the Way||Twinkle Harrison||Television film|
|2020||Broke||Alex McBride||Episode: "Mom's Secret"|
|2020||Blind Psychosis||Tabatha Burks||Television film|
|2021||All Rise||Samara Strong||Episode: "Bette Davis Eyes"|