Edie McClurg

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Edie McClurg
Annie Awards Edie McClurg.jpg
McClurg at the 34th Annie Awards at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, California on February 11, 2007
Born (1951-07-23) July 23, 1951 (age 63)
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
Nationality American
Other names Edie MacClurg
Alma mater University of Missouri Kansas City
Occupation Stand-up comedienne, actress, singer, voice artist, comedienne
Years active 1976–present
Parent(s) Mac McClurg
Irene McClurg

Edie McClurg (born July 23, 1951) is an American stand-up comedienne, actress, singer, voice artist, and comedienne, best known for her perky North Central dialect (or Upper Midwest accent), common to persons from Middle America. She has performed in nearly 90 films and 55 television episodes, often portraying characters with a cheery accent.

Early life[edit]

McClurg was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri on July 23, 1951 to Mac, a mailman, and Irene McClurg, an FAA secretary. She has a brother named Bob, who is also an actor.[1] McClurg attended the University of Missouri–Kansas City in the mid-1960s, where she also taught radio for 8 years. She earned a master's degree and Master of Science from Syracuse University.[2]

At the University of Missouri–Kansas City, McClurg re-entered the entertainment field as a DJ, newswoman, and producer for the NPR affiliate KCUR-FM. Her greatest moment was portraying John Ehrlichman in Conversation 26 of the NPR national broadcast of the Nixon Tape Transcripts. Thus, McClurg contributed to the peaceful overthrow of the government of an unindicted co-conspirator.[2]


At age 5, McClurg began her performing career with the oxymoronic Kansas City Rhythm Kids. However, she retired when the dance teacher was arrested on a morals charge for "dating" the tall and lissome (yet underage) star dancer in the troupe. The girl's big number culminated with a back-bend where McClurg drank a soda upside down.

McClurg's onscreen debut was as Helen Shyres in Brian De Palma's 1976 horror film Carrie starring Sissy Spacek. She was a comedy regular on the Tony Orlando and Dawn variety show (1976–1977) and then a cast member of The Kallikaks and The Richard Pryor Show. In 1980, McClurg regularly performed on The David Letterman Show[2] as Mrs. Marv Mendenhall. McClurg appeared in Elvira, Mistress of the Dark as Chastity Pariah.

Having been a member San Francisco's improv comedy the Pitcshel Players, she moved to Los Angeles and joined the Groundlings troupe.[3] She worked with fellow Groundling player Paul Reubens on his first play The Pee-wee Herman Show, in which she appeared in 1981 as Hermit Hattie. McClurg has appeared in almost 90 films and 55 television episodes, usually typecast as a middle-aged, somewhat stubborn, and dim-witted Midwesterner. John Hughes has always enjoyed casting McClurg; she appears in 4 of his feature films.[2]

McClurg is known for a number of roles, including Mrs. Burns in A River Runs Through It, Grace in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Lucille Tarlek on WKRP in Cincinnati,[4] Lynn in She's Having a Baby, Willamae Jones in the television remake of Harper Valley PTA, Mrs. Patty Poole on The Hogan Family, Bonnie Brindle on Small Wonder, the car rental agent in Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Mrs. Violet Bleakman on Clifford the Big Red Dog, and Mrs. Beeker on 7th Heaven. She guest starred as Barri's mother in an episode of Campus Ladies.

She portrayed one of the wicked stepsisters in the Faerie Tale Theatre production "Cinderella." McClurg appeared on several game shows, including Match Game, The $25,000 Pyramid, Password Plus, and Super Password.

McClurg contributed assorted voices for The Jetsons, The Snorks, Life with Louie, A Bug's Life, Cars, and Cars 2. She voiced Carlotta in The Little Mermaid, Mary in Wreck-It Ralph, Miss Right in The Secret of NIMH, the Dragon in the Nightmare Ned video game, Barsa in Kiki's Delivery Service, Fran on Higglytown Heroes, Mrs. Claus in Holidaze: The Christmas That Almost Didn't Happen, Grandma Taters in The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Violet Stimpleton in Rocket Power, Bea's mother in Fish Hooks, Winnie Pig in Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation, Aunt Ruth in Bobby's World, and Trudi Traveler in an episode of Wander Over Yonder.

McClurg portrayed a nurse nicknamed "Angel of Death" in an episode of The Golden Girls. She also appeared in an episode of Hannah Montana as Cindy Merriweather.

Continuing her passion of performing improv comedy, McClurg is a player with Spolin Players.[3] On April 9, 2007, she made an appearance on Thank God You're Here.


  1. ^ "Edie McClurg". Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Edie McClurg Biography: About Edie McClurg". Yahoo Movies. Yahoo. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Dunn, Gabrielle (10 June 2011). "Edie (GRACE!) McClurg Talks 'Ferris Bueller' '​s 25th Anniversary, On-Set Friendships and John Hughes' Genius". Moviefone (AOL). Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  4. ^ Kassel, Michael B. (1993-06-15). America's Favorite Radio Station: WKRP in Cincinnati. Popular Press. pp. 142–. ISBN 9780879725846. Retrieved May 9, 2012. 

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