Mary Kay Place
|Alma mater||University of Tulsa|
Mary Kay Place (born September 23, 1947) is an American actress. She is best known for portraying Loretta Haggers on the television series Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, a role that won her the 1977 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress - Comedy Series. Her numerous film appearances include Private Benjamin (1980), The Big Chill (1983), Captain Ron (1992) and Francis Ford Coppola's 1997 drama The Rainmaker. Place also recorded three studio albums for Columbia Records, one in the Haggers persona, which included the Top Ten country music hit "Baby Boy". For her performance in Diane (2018), Place won the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress and the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress.
Place was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the daughter of Gwendolyn Lucille (née Johnson) and Bradley Eugene Place. She graduated from Nathan Hale High School and the University of Tulsa, where her father was an art professor; she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority and received a speech degree.
Place moved to Hollywood with aspirations of becoming an actress and writer. She was hired for The Tim Conway Comedy Hour in the 1970s as a production assistant to both Conway and producer Norman Lear. Conway gave Place her first on-camera break, while Lear saw to it that Place received her first writing credit on his subsequent All in the Family. On the episode, she and actress Patty Weaver sang "If Communism Comes Knocking on Your Door, Don't Answer It." She appeared in the third-season episode of M*A*S*H titled "Springtime", for which she also received writing credits.
Lear then cast her in the role of would-be country and western star Loretta Haggers on the satirical soap opera Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (1976–1977). She won an Emmy Award for her work as Loretta, and was nominated in 1977 for a Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance, Female for the associated music album Tonite! At the Capri Lounge Loretta Haggers. Place wrote two of the songs on Tonite!: "Vitamin L" and "Baby Boy," both of which she sang on the television series as Loretta.
Both Tonite! At the Capri Lounge Loretta Haggers and its follow up Aimin' To Please featured A-list country and pop performers from the 1970s. Dolly Parton, on whom the Loretta character was loosely based, provided backing vocals as well as the song "All I Can Do" (which Parton also wrote). Emmylou Harris, Anne Murray and Nicolette Larson sang backup as well. Aimin' to Please's "Something to Brag About," a duet with Willie Nelson, earned the pair a place on the music charts in 1977.
While working on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, Place also wrote scripts for episodes of several TV situation comedies, including The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Phyllis and M*A*S*H, usually in collaboration with Linda Bloodworth-Thomason (who would later create Designing Women). She appeared in the M*A*S*H episode "Springtime," which she co-wrote with Bloodworth. She also made an appearance in the sitcom All in the Family in the episode "Archie Goes Too Far" as Betty Sue.
Place hosted Saturday Night Live in 1977 and was one of the few hosts who also appeared as the musical guest (with Willie Nelson on the duet "Something to Brag About").
In the 1977 musical drama New York, New York, directed by Martin Scorsese, Place sings "Blue Moon" with Robert De Niro, whose character also accompanies her on saxophone. It is included in the original motion picture soundtrack.
In the 1979 Burt Reynolds romantic comedy, Starting Over, Place plays the first woman Reynolds dates after a divorce.
In 1983, Place had a key role in the Lawrence Kasdan ensemble piece The Big Chill as Meg, a single corporate attorney who wishes to be impregnated with her first child by one of her past college friends.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the actress appeared in a number of television films and a starring role in the 1992 Kurt Russell and Martin Short comedy Captain Ron. 1994 saw her return to television in the recurring role of Camille Cherski on My So-Called Life. In 1996, Place comically portrayed an evangelistic anti-abortion activist in Alexander Payne's debut feature film Citizen Ruth. She had a strong dramatic role as Dot Black, mother of a terminally ill young man, in Francis Ford Coppola's version of John Grisham's The Rainmaker in 1997.
Place was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for her work in the 1996 film Manny & Lo with Scarlett Johansson and Aleksa Palladino. She plays the matronly Elaine, who would love to have a child and works in a maternity shop, but never married and is past her child-bearing years.
She directed episodes of the HBO sitcom Dream On, NBC's Friends and the series Baby Boom. She provided at least two voices for Fox's animated show King of the Hill in an episode in which Peggy Hill competes in the Mrs. Heimlich County Pageant. She voiced both a competitor and the coordinator of the pageant.
Place appeared in Being John Malkovich as the hard-of-hearing receptionist, Floris, and in Girl, Interrupted. While not in any scenes together, this marked the third time that Mary Kay had done a film with one of her former My So-Called Life co-stars: first with Claire Danes in The Rainmaker, second with Bess Armstrong in Pecker, then with Jared Leto in Interrupted.
In 2000, the actress co-directed Don Henley's video for "Taking You Home". She had a small role in her second Lisa Krueger film, Committed.
She played the United States Surgeon General in a 2001 episode of NBC's The West Wing. The character returned in the 2004 season.
In the original PBS mini-series Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City, Place had a self-referential moment as a Maupin character during the Mary Hartman era in which the series is set. Laura Linney's character often watched Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. Showtime picked up the Tales franchise, but Place was not in the second installment. She did have a role in the third mini-series, Further Tales of the City (2001), which featured her in the role of "Prue Giroux."
In 2002, Place had a sizable role in the Reese Witherspoon film Sweet Home Alabama as Witherspoon's character's mother, Pearl Smooter. That same year she was in Human Nature starring Tim Robbins and Patricia Arquette and A Woman's a Helluva Thing with Penelope Ann Miller as well as with Albert Brooks in the dark comedy My First Mister. The story focuses on a developing relationship between an isolated, rebellious 18-year-old (Leelee Sobieski) and an engaging older man (Brooks). Place played Brooks' best friend. The film marked the directorial debut of actress Christine Lahti.
Place played a Mormon mother in the film Latter Days (2003). From 2006 to 2011, she had a recurring role in HBO's Big Love, playing Adaleen Grant, the mother of the Chloë Sevigny character, Nicki. She also had a recurring role on the HBO comedy Bored to Death. Lily Tomlin and Place did the pilot and 5 episodes of 12 Miles of Bad Road from Harry Thomason and Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, who wrote television scripts with Place in the 1970s. HBO chose not to air the series, and producers were seeking other networks to air it.
In 2009, she served as the voice of Julie Powell's mother in the film Julie & Julia. In 2013, she appeared as Bryan's mother on The New Normal.
In 2015, Place guest starred on The Mentalist and Looking. She also starred in the comedy-drama film I'll See You in My Dreams directed by Brett Haley, opposite Blythe Danner, and The Breakup Girl directed by Stacy Sherman. She provided the voice of Anne Hathaway's mother in The Intern, directed by Nancy Meyers. Place also had a recurring role on Grace and Frankie opposite Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin.
In 2016, Place starred in the comedy film The Hollars directed by John Krasinski and the comedy-drama Youth in Oregon directed by Joel David Moore. Place also portrayed Maria Bamford's mother in the comedy series Lady Dynamite which was cancelled after two seasons.
In 2017, Place guest starred in an episode of the comedy series Black-ish. She also had a cameo voice appearance in Downsizing directed by Alexander Payne. Place also had a recurring role on the comedy series Imposters.
In 2018, Place starred in State Like Sleep directed by Meredith Danluck and appeared in an episode of the anthology drama The Romanoffs. That same year, she starred in the drama film Diane directed by Kent Jones, and executive produced by Martin Scorsese. The film marked Place's first lead role in a film, and was written specifically for her by Jones. The film had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 22, 2018. Place's performance received rave reviews from critics. The film was released on March 29, 2019, by IFC Films. Place won the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress and National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress for her performance. Place received nominations for Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Actress and Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead. Place also had a recurring role on Shameless.
In 2020, Place guest starred on the comedy-drama series AJ and the Queen, and on Fox's 9-1-1: Lone Star as Theresa Blake, the mother to Liv Tyler's character. In 2021, Place played Millie in the musical drama Music, co-written and directed by Sia. She also starred in the musical The Prom based on the Broadway musical of the same title directed by Ryan Murphy, for Netflix.
|1976||Bound for Glory||Sue Ann|
|1977||New York, New York||Bernice Bennett|
|1979||More American Graffiti||Teensa|
|1980||Private Benjamin||Pvt. Mary Lou Glass|
|1982||Waltz Across Texas||Kit Peabody|
|1983||The Big Chill||Meg Jones|
|Terms of Endearment||Doris||Voice|
|1985||Smooth Talk||Katherine Wyatt|
|1988||A New Life||Donna|
|Portrait of a White Marriage||Joyce Harrison|
|1992||Captain Ron||Katherine Harvey|
|1996||Citizen Ruth||Gail Stoney|
|Manny & Lo||Elaine|
|1997||Eye of God||Claire Spencer|
|The Rainmaker||Dot Black|
|1998||Naturally Native||Madame Celeste|
|How to Make the Cruelest Month||Mary Bryant|
|1999||Judgment Day: The Ellie Nesler Story||Jan Martinez|
|Being John Malkovich||Floris|
|Girl, Interrupted||Barbara Gilcrest|
|2001||My First Mister||Patty|
|Human Nature||Mrs. Bronfman|
|The Safety of Objects||Helen Christianson|
|2002||Sweet Home Alabama||Pearl Smooter|
|2003||Latter Days||Sister Gladys Davis|
|Killer Diller||Dr. Gwen Bradley|
|Silver City||Grace Seymour|
|Nine Lives||Dr. Alma Wyatt|
|2007||Grace Is Gone||Woman at Funeral|
|War Eagle, Arkansas||Jessie|
|2008||City of Ember||Mrs. Murdo|
|2009||Julie & Julia||Mrs. Foster||Voice|
|Youth in Revolt||Mrs. Saunders|
|2010||Shrek Forever After||Guard Witch||Voice|
|You're in Charge||Penny Guidry|
|2014||Miss Meadows||Mrs. Davenport|
|2015||I'll See You in My Dreams||Rona|
|The Breakup Girl||Joan Baker|
|The Intern||Mrs. Ostin||Voice|
|Youth in Oregon||Estelle Engersol|
|2017||Downsizing||Land's End Customer||Voice|
|2018||State Like Sleep||Elaine Grand|
|Diane||Diane||Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress |
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress
Nominated–Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress
Nominated–Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Actress
Nominated–Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead
|2020||The Prom||Grandma Bea|
|2022||My Father's Dragon||Narrator||Voice|
|1973||All in the Family||Betty Sue||Episode: "Archie Goes Too Far"|
|1974||M*A*S*H||Lt. Louise Simmons||Episode: "Springtime"|
|1975||The Mary Tyler Moore Show||Sally Jo Hotchkiss||Episode: "Murray in Love"|
|1976||The Cheerleaders||Margie||TV film|
|1976–1977||Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman||Loretta Haggers||Main role|
|1977||Saturday Night Live||Herself (host)||Episode: "Mary Kay Place/Willie Nelson"|
|1977–1978||Forever Fernwood||Loretta Haggers||TV series|
|1980||Act of Love||Becky Wiggins||TV film|
|1984||ABC Afterschool Special||Ellie Skinner||Episode: "Mom's on Strike"|
|For Love or Money||K.K||TV film|
|1985||The History of White People in America||Joyce Harrison||TV film|
|1986||The Disney Sunday Movie||Prissy Thrash||Episode: "The Girl Who Spelled Freedom"|
|The History of White People in America: Volume II||Joyce Harrison||TV film|
|1989||Out on the Edge||Sondra Evetts||TV film|
|1990||Thirtysomething||Patsy Klein||Episode: "Happy New Year"|
|Traitor in My House||Elizabeth Van Lew||TV film|
|1991||Crazy from the Heart||Merrilee Playton||TV film|
|1992||Bed of Lies||Jean Daniel Murph||TV film|
|Just My Imagination||Shilda Hawk||TV film|
|1993||Telling Secrets||Shelley Jefferson Carp||TV film|
|Tales of the City||Prue Giroux||TV miniseries|
|1994||In the Line of Duty: The Price of Vengeance||Norma Williams||TV film|
|1994–1995||My So-Called Life||Camille Cherski||Recurring role|
|1995||Chicago Hope||Joanna Kenneally||Episode: "Freeze Outs"|
|1996||My Very Best Friend||Molly Butler||TV film|
|For My Daughter's Honor||Betty Ann Dustin||TV film|
|1997||Love in Another Town||Sam||TV film|
|1998||Point Last Seen||Coreen Davis||TV film|
|1998–2009||King of the Hill||Various||Voice, 3 episodes|
|2000||The Wild Thornberrys||Nancy Tucker||Voice, episode: "Birthday Quake"|
|2001||Further Tales of the City||Prue Giroux||TV miniseries|
|A Woman's a Helluva Thing||Cecilia Piloski||TV film|
|Citizen Baines||Francesca Dunlop||Episode: "The Appraisal"|
|Leap Years||Mrs. Greenway||Episode #1.18|
|2001–2004||The West Wing||Surgeon General Millicent Griffith||3 episodes|
|2002||Undeclared||Mrs. Lindquist||Episode: "Parents' Weekend"|
|Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Hope Garrett||Episode: "Vulnerable"|
|2004||The Handler||Naomi Prince||Episode: "Acts of Congress"|
|2005||Jack & Bobby||Rev. Rindhart||Episode: "A Child of God"|
|2006||Numb3rs||Hester Stirling||Episode: "Protest"|
|2006–2018||Grey's Anatomy||Olive Warner||3 episodes|
|2006–2011||Big Love||Adaleen Grant||Regular role|
|2007||The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman||Jeanette Woodman||2 episodes|
|Saving Grace||Dorothy Edwina Talbert||Episode: "It's Better When I Can See You"|
|2008||12 Miles of Bad Road||C.Z. Shakespeare||Main role|
|Pushing Daisies||Annabelle Vandersloop||Episode: "The Legend of Merle McQuoddy"|
|2010||Bored to Death||Kathryn Joiner||Recurring role|
|2012||The Life & Times of Tim||Dorothy||Voice, episode: "Action Packed Heist/Fall Foliage"|
|2013||Suburgatory||Gam Gam||Episode: "Blowtox and Burlap"|
|Californication||Faith's Mother||Episode: "Blind Faith"|
|The New Normal||Colleen||2 episodes|
|A Country Christmas Story||Sarah||TV film|
|Holidaze||Elaine Gerard||TV film|
|2014||Rake||Judge Cunningham||Episode: "Jury Tamperer"|
|2014–2015||Getting On||Dr. Ann Killigrew||Recurring role|
|2015||The Mentalist||Mrs. Bittacker||Episode: "The Whites of His Eyes"|
|Looking||Sarah||Episode: "Looking for a Plot"|
|Ellen More or Less||Virginia||TV film|
|2015–2016||Grace and Frankie||Amanda||3 episodes|
|2016||Family Guy||Farting Lady||Voice, episode: "The Heartbreak Dog"|
|2016–2017||Lady Dynamite||Marilyn Bamford||Main role|
|2017||Black-ish||Doctor Harris||Episode: "Good Dre Hunting"|
|2017–2018||Imposters||Marsha Bloom||6 episodes|
|2018||The Romanoffs||Marilyn Hopkins||Episode: "Expectation"|
|2019–2020||Shameless||Aunt Oopie||3 episodes|
|2020||AJ and the Queen||Hospital Administrator||Episode: "Baton Rouge"|
|9-1-1: Lone Star||Theresa Blake||Recurring role|
|1973||The Shape of Things||Writer, TV special|
|1973–1974||M*A*S*H||Writer, 3 episodes|
|1974||Paper Moon||Writer, episode: "Gimme That Old Time Relation"|
|Friends and Lovers||Writer, episode: "The Groupie"|
|1975||The Mary Tyler Moore Show||Writer, episode: "Mary's Delinquent"|
|Phyllis||Writer, episode: "So Lonely I Could Cry"|
|1988||Baby Boom||Director, episode: "Stress"|
|1994||Dream On||Director, 2 episodes|
|1995||Friends||Director, episode: "The One with the List"|
|1996||Dream On||Director, episode: "Tenants, Anyone?"|
|Arliss||Director, episode: "The Company You Keep"|
|2007||The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman||Director, 2 episodes|
|1976||Tonite! At the Capri Lounge Loretta Haggers||6||Columbia|
|1977||Aimin' to Please||40||Columbia|
|2011||Almost Grown||—||Wounded Bird/Sony|
Note: Both of Place's albums just missed charting on the general pop Billboard Hot 200 chart, her 1976 bubbled under in the ten runnerup slots at #202 and the 1977 at #203.
|U.S. Country||U.S.||Can. Country|
|1976||"Baby Boy"||3||60||6||Tonite! At the Capri Lounge Loretta Haggers|
(credited to "Mary Kay Place as Loretta Haggers")
|"Something to Brag About" (with Willie Nelson)||9||—||15||Aimin' to Please|
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