Laurie at the 42nd Primetime Emmy Awards in September 1990
January 22, 1932
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Joe Morgenstern (1962–82; 1 child; divorced)|
Piper Laurie (born Rosetta Jacobs; January 22, 1932) is an American actress of stage and screen known for her roles in the television series Twin Peaks and the films The Hustler, Carrie, and Children of a Lesser God, all of which brought her Academy Award nominations. In 1991, she won a Golden Globe Award for her portrayal of Catherine Martell in Twin Peaks.
Early life 
Rosetta Jacobs was born in Detroit, Michigan, the younger daughter of Charlotte Sadie (née Alperin) and Alfred Jacobs, a furniture dealer. Her grandparents were Jewish immigrants, from Poland on her father's side and Russia on her mother's. She was delivered, according to her 2011 autobiography, Learning to Live Out Loud: a Memoir (ISBN 978-0-8230-2668-5), by a "male midwife ... in a one-bedroom walk-up on Tyler Street in Detroit". Alfred Jacobs moved the family to Los Angeles, California in 1938, where she attended Hebrew school, and to combat her shyness her parents provided her with weekly elocution lessons; this activity eventually led her to minor roles at nearby Universal Studios.
In 1949, Rosetta Jacobs signed a contract with Universal Studios, changing her screen name to Piper Laurie, by which she has been known professionally since. Her breakout role was in Louisa, with Ronald Reagan (whom she dated a few times before his marriage to Nancy Davis; she claimed in her autobiography that she lost her virginity to him). Several other roles followed: Francis Goes to the Races (1951, co-starring Donald O'Connor); Son of Ali Baba (1952, co-starring Tony Curtis); and Ain't Misbehavin' (1955, co-starring Rory Calhoun).
To enhance her image, Universal Studios told gossip columnists that Laurie bathed in milk and ate flower petals to protect her luminous skin. Discouraged by the lack of substantial film roles, she moved to New York to study acting and to seek work on the stage and in television. She appeared in Twelfth Night, produced by Hallmark Hall of Fame; in Days of Wine and Roses with Cliff Robertson, presented by Playhouse 90 on October 2, 1958 (in the film version, their roles were taken over by Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick); and in Winterset, presented by Playhouse 90 in 1959.
She was again lured to Hollywood by the offer to co-star with Paul Newman in The Hustler, which was released in 1961. She played Newman's crippled girlfriend, Sarah Packard, and for her performance she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. Substantial movie roles did not come her way after The Hustler, so she and her husband moved to New York State. She accepted the role of Margaret White in the film Carrie (1976), and received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in that role.
After her 1981 divorce, Laurie relocated to California. In 1986, she received a third Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Mrs. Norman in Children of a Lesser God. That same year she was awarded an Emmy for her performance in Promise, a Hallmark Hall of Fame television movie, co-starring James Garner and James Woods. In 1965, she starred in a Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie, opposite Maureen Stapleton, Pat Hingle and George Grizzard. She had a featured role in the Off-Broadway production of The Destiny of Me in 1992, and returned to Broadway for Lincoln Center's acclaimed 2002 revival of Paul Osborn's Morning's at Seven, with Julie Hagerty, Buck Henry, Frances Sternhagen and Estelle Parsons.
In 1964, she appeared in two medical dramas — as Alicia Carter in The Eleventh Hour episode "My Door Is Locked and Bolted", and as Alice Marin in the Breaking Point episode "The Summer House". In 1990-91, she starred as the devious Catherine Martell in David Lynch's television series Twin Peaks. She appeared in Other People's Money with Gregory Peck (1991), and in horror maestro Dario Argento's first American film Trauma (1993). She played George Clooney's character's mother on ER. 1997 film "A Christmas Memory" (with Patty Duke Astin) In 1998, she appeared in the sci-fi thriller The Faculty. She made guest appearances on television shows such as Frasier, Matlock, State of Grace, Will & Grace, Cold Case, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. She returned to the big screen for independent films such as Eulogy and The Dead Girl.
Personal life 
When The Hustler was released in 1961, Laurie was interviewed by New York Herald Tribune entertainment writer Joe Morgenstern. They soon began dating, and nine months after the interview they were married (January 21, 1962). When no substantial roles came her way after The Hustler, she and Morgenstern relocated to Woodstock, New York. A daughter, Anne, was born to the couple in 1971. In 1982, the couple divorced, after which she relocated to the Hollywood area and continued working in films and television. As of 2010, she still resides in Southern California; her daughter is in New York.
Laurie won an Emmy Award, for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Special for her role in the 1986 TV movie Promise opposite James Garner and James Woods. In addition, she received several Emmy nominations, including one for playing in 1981 Magda Goebbels, wife of Joseph Goebbels, in The Bunker, opposite Anthony Hopkins as Hitler; for her role in the miniseries The Thorn Birds; two for her work in Twin Peaks as the evil Catherine Martell, and a nomination for her guest appearance on Frasier. She has been nominated for an Academy Award in three films.
- "Piper Laurie Biography". filmreference. 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-01.
- Richard G. Hubler (20 June 1953). "Article From Colliers Magazine". Colliers. Archived from the original on 2009-08-03. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
- Piper Laurie profile at Yahoo!
- IMDb reports that in 1955, when she received another script for a Western and "another silly part in a silly movie", she burned the script and called her agent, saying she didn't care if they fired her, jailed her or sued her.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Piper Laurie|
- Piper Laurie at the Internet Broadway Database
- Piper Laurie at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
- Piper Laurie at the Internet Movie Database
- Piper Laurie at Virtual History