Mason in 2010
April 3, 1942 |
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Mason's first film role was in Hot Rod Hullabaloo in 1966. She received four Academy Award nominations as Best Actress for her performances in Cinderella Liberty (1973), The Goodbye Girl (1977), Chapter Two (1978) and Only When I Laugh (1981). Her other films include, The Cheap Detective (1978), Max Dugan Returns (1983) Heartbreak Ridge (1986), Stella (1990) and Drop Dead Fred (1991). On television, she appeared in the soap opera Love of Life (1971-1972) and received an Emmy nomination for her recurring role in the sitcom Frasier (1997-1998).
She has also had an extensive career on stage, making her Broadway debut as a replacement in the comedy Cactus Flower in 1968. Other Broadway credits include, The Night of the Iguana (1996), Impressionism (2005) and Steel Magnolias (2009). In 1999, she starred in a revival of The Prisoner of Second Avenue in London, and received a Grammy nomination for Best Comedy Album for the 2000 recording. In 2006, she starred in the American premier production of Hecuba at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
She was married for ten years (1973-1983) to the playwright and screenwriter Neil Simon, who she worked with on several occasions.
Mason was born in St. Louis, Missouri, to James Joseph Mason, a printer, and his wife Jacqueline. She and her younger sister, Linda (b. 1943), were raised Catholic and grew up in Crestwood. Mason is a graduate of Nerinx Hall High School and Webster University, both in Webster Groves. She raced a Mazda RX-3 in SCCA events.
A resident of New Mexico, she had a farm in Abiquiu that grows certified organic herbs. In the late 1990s, Mason sold herbs wholesale to companies both locally and regionally before starting a line of wellness and bath and body products called "Resting in the River".
Marsha Mason has had a distinguished career in film and theater. Neil Simon cast her in his Broadway play The Good Doctor in 1973. Shortly afterwards, Mason and Simon, a widower, fell in love and got married. That same year, Mason co-starred opposite James Caan in the 20th Century Fox film Cinderella Liberty, which netted her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. In 1977, Mason's performance in Simon's smash hit film, The Goodbye Girl, won her a second Best Actress Academy Award nomination. In 1979, Simon successfully cast Mason as Jennie MacLaine in the screen adaptation of his hit play Chapter Two, which was based on Mason's relationship with Simon up to their marriage. The film proved to be another big hit, garnering her a third Oscar nomination for Best Actress.
In 1981, Mason starred along with Kristy McNichol, James Coco, and Joan Hackett, in Only When I Laugh, Simon's film adaptation of his Broadway comedy-drama The Gingerbread Lady; it was another box-office success. For her performance as Georgia Hines, Mason was highly praised and earned a fourth Best Actress Oscar nomination.
Mason's Max Dugan Returns (1983), also written by Simon, was disappointing. Despite a stellar cast led by Mason, Donald Sutherland, Jason Robards and Matthew Broderick, Simon's script was a letdown and the film failed at the box office. By this time, Mason and Simon had divorced, and her film career lost momentum. She co-starred with Clint Eastwood in the 1986 film Heartbreak Ridge, which was fairly well received and a commercial success.
Her stage credits include Norman Mailer's The Deer Park, Israel Horovitz's The Indian Wants the Bronx, Neil Simon's The Good Doctor and King Richard III at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Mason starred on Broadway in a revival of Night of the Iguana in 1996, and the following year in Michael Cristofer's Amazing Grace. Mason reunited with Goodbye Girl co-star Richard Dreyfuss and writer Neil Simon in Duncan Weldon and Emanuel Azenberg's production of The Prisoner of Second Avenue in 1999, which was performed at the L.A. Theatre Works shortly after a revival in London's West End. She earned a Grammy nomination in comedy.
She appeared in Charles L. Mee’' Wintertime at the Second Stage theatre in New York. In August 2005 Mason starred as Hecuba at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater and on Broadway Steel Magnolias, with Delta Burke, Frances Sternhagen, Rebecca Gayheart, Lily Rabe and Christine Ebersole. She appeared in A Feminine Ending at Playwrights Horizons, and in the Shakespeare Theater Company's performance of "All's Well That Ends Well" in Washington, D.C.
Mason's recent television work includes guest roles on Seinfeld, Lipstick Jungle, and Army Wives. Mason starred in her own series, Sibs, which ran from 1991-92. In 1997 and 1998, she had a recurring role on the TV show Frasier as Sherry Dempsey. In February 2010, she co-starred in California Suite at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.
In April 2010, Mason co-starred with Keir Dullea and Matt Servitto in an Off-Broadway production of I Never Sang for My Father. For her performance as Margaret Garrison, Mason received good reviews.
- Chambers, Andrea. "Goodbye Girl Marsha Mason Bids Farewell to Neil Simon and Sets Out on a Career as a Director". People.com. Retrieved 2013-04-30.
- See the article, "Marsha Mason's Organic Farm and Estate."
- "Marsha Mason Finds Joy In The Work Ethic", The Los Angeles Times, Roderick Mann, February 16, 1986
- "Marsha Mason". TheaterTimes. Retrieved 2013-04-30.
- Mason Stars In ALLS WELL THAT ENDS WELL At Shakespeare Theatre Co. July 27, 2010.
- "Actress Marsha Mason on Neil Simon, young actors, state of theater", KPCC, February 17, 2010
- Jacqueline Cutler (April 28, 2010). "Marsha Mason in 'The Middle': Goodbye girl's a grandma". Zap2It. Retrieved 2013-05-01.
- "Up Close With Keir Dullea and Marsha Mason". The New York Times. February 18, 2010.
- Ken Jaworowski (April 6, 2010). "That Old Equation: Dad + Son = Clash". The New York Times.
- [dead link]
- St. Louis Walk of Fame. "St. Louis Walk of Fame Inductees". stlouiswalkoffame.org. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Marsha Mason.|
- Marsha Mason at the Internet Movie Database
- Marsha Mason at the Internet Broadway Database
- Marsha Mason at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
- Marsha Mason at the Notable Names Database
- St. Louis Walk of Fame
- "Marsha Mason: A Conversation for Women's History Month", Broadway World, March 29, 2010
- "With: Marsha Mason", American Theatre Wing, March 31, 2010
- "SURVIVAL KIT: MARSHA MASON", WNYC, March 28, 2004