Marsha Mason

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Marsha Mason
Marsha Mason 2010.jpg
Mason in 2010
Born (1942-04-03) April 3, 1942 (age 74)
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Occupation Actress, Director
Years active 1966–present
Spouse(s) Gary Campbell (m. 1965–70)
Neil Simon (m. 1973–83)

Marsha Mason (born April 3, 1942) is an American actress and director. She was nominated four times for the Academy Award for Best Actress; for her performances in Cinderella Liberty (1973), The Goodbye Girl (1977), Chapter Two (1979) and Only When I Laugh (1981). The first two films also won her Golden Globe Awards. She was married for ten years (1973–83) to the playwright and screenwriter Neil Simon, who was the writer of three of her four Oscar nominated roles.

Mason's film debut was in the 1966 film Hot Rod Hullabaloo. Her other films include, Blume in Love (1973), 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 (1971-72) and received an Emmy Award nomination for her recurring role in the sitcom Frasier (1997-98).

She has also had an extensive career on stage, making her Broadway debut as a replacement in the comedy Cactus Flower in 1968. She starred in a 1999 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. Her other Broadway credits include The Night of the Iguana (1996), Steel Magnolias (2005), and Impressionism (2009).

Career[edit]

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, grossed a modest $17.6 million at the box office. Despite a stellar cast led by Mason, Donald Sutherland, Jason Robards and Matthew Broderick, the film was a slow starter, becoming more popular after premiering on cable TV and VHS. 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.

Mason played in a New York production of Harold Pinter's Old Times. She next directed the play Juno's Swans (1986), by E. Katherine Kerr, at the Second Stage Theatre in Los Angeles.[1]

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.[2]

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.[3]

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.[4]

As of 2010 Mason plays Patricia Heaton's mother in ABC comedy series The Middle.[5]

In April 2010, Mason co-starred with Keir Dullea and Matt Servitto in an Off-Broadway production of I Never Sang for My Father.[6] For her performance as Margaret Garrison, Mason received good reviews.[7][8]

Marsha Mason has a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Mason was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the daughter of Jacqueline Helena (Rakowski) and James Joseph Mason, a printer.[10][11][12] 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[13] in Abiquiu that grew 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".

Mason is a staunch Democrat who has donated more than $4,000 to Democratic candidates.[14]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1968 Beyond the Law Marcia Stillwell
1973 Blume in Love Arlene
1973 Cinderella Liberty Maggie Paul
1977 Audrey Rose Janice Templeton
1977 Goodbye Girl, TheThe Goodbye Girl Paula McFadden
1978 Cheap Detective, TheThe Cheap Detective Georgia Merkle
1979 Promises in the Dark Dr. Alexandra Kendall
1979 Chapter Two Jennie MacLaine
1981 Only When I Laugh Georgia Hines
1983 Max Dugan Returns Nora McPhee
1986 Heartbreak Ridge Aggie
1990 Stella Janice Morrison
1991 Drop Dead Fred Polly Cronin
1994 I Love Trouble Sen. Gayle Robbins
1995 Nick of Time Gov. Eleanor Grant
1996 2 Days in the Valley Audrey Hopper
2004 Bride and Prejudice Catherine Darcy
2004 Bereft Helen
2013 Across Grace Alley Grandmother Short

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1969 Dark Shadows Audrey / Vampire Girl "1.915"
1971 Where the Heart Is Laura Blackburn TV series
1971-72 Love of Life Judith Cole TV series
1972 Young Dr. Kildare Nurse Lord "I'm Handling It", "The Stranger"
1974 Great Performances Roxane "Cyrano de Bergerac"
1982 Lois Gibbs and the Love Canal Lois Gibbs TV film
1985 Surviving Lois TV film
1986 Trapped in Silence Jennifer Hubbell TV film
1988 Hothouse Courtney Woods "The Actress"
1989 Dinner at Eight Millicent Jordan TV film
1990 Image, TheThe Image Jean Cromwell TV film
1991-92 Sibs Nora Ruscio Main role
1992 Seinfeld Jennie MacLaine "The Letter"
1993 One Life to Live Sabrina 1 episode
1995 Broken Trust Ruth TV film
1997-98 Frasier Sherry Dempsey Recurring role
1999 Restless Spirits Lydia TV film
2001 Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows Ethel Gumm TV miniseries
2002 Education of Max Bickford, TheThe Education of Max Bickford Lilith Bigelow "The Egg and I"
2004 Long Shot, TheThe Long Shot Mary Lou O'Brian TV film
2006 Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King Aunt Trudy "The Road Virus Heads North"
2008 Lipstick Jungle Lorraine Lipman "Carpe Threesome"
2008 Army Wives Charlotte Meade "Mothers & Wives", "Great Expectations"
2010-present Middle, TheThe Middle Pat Spence Recurring role
2013 Untitled Bounty Hunter Project Lucille Ryan TV film
2015-16 Madam Secretary Dr. Kinsey Sherman "The Kill List", "Connection Lost"
2016 Good Wife, TheThe Good Wife Judge Louisa Page "Tracks"
2016 Grace and Frankie Arlene "The Test"

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
1974 Academy Awards Best Actress in a Leading Role Cinderella Liberty Nominated
1974 National Society of Film Critics Best Actress Cinderella Liberty Nominated
1974 Golden Globe Award Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama Cinderella Liberty Won
1978 Academy Awards Best Actress in a Leading Role The Goodbye Girl Nominated
1978 Golden Globe Award Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical The Goodbye Girl Won
1979 British Academy Film Awards Best Actress The Goodbye Girl Nominated
1980 Golden Globe Award Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama Promises in the Dark Nominated
1980 Academy Awards Best Actress in a Leading Role Chapter Two Nominated
1982 Academy Awards Best Actress in a Leading Role Only When I Laugh Nominated
1991 CableACE Award Supporting Actress in a Movie or Miniseries The Image Nominated
1997 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Frasier Nominated
1997 Q Awards Best Recurring Player Frasier Nominated
2001 Temecula Valley International Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award Won
2002 St. Louis International Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Marsha Mason Finds Joy In The Work Ethic", The Los Angeles Times, Roderick Mann, February 16, 1986
  2. ^ "Marsha Mason". TheaterTimes. Retrieved 2013-04-30. 
  3. ^ Mason Stars In ALLS WELL THAT ENDS WELL At Shakespeare Theatre Co. July 27, 2010.
  4. ^ "Actress Marsha Mason on Neil Simon, young actors, state of theater", KPCC, February 17, 2010
  5. ^ Jacqueline Cutler (April 28, 2010). "Marsha Mason in 'The Middle': Goodbye girl's a grandma". Zap2It. Retrieved 2013-05-01. 
  6. ^ "Up Close With Keir Dullea and Marsha Mason". The New York Times. February 18, 2010. 
  7. ^ Ken Jaworowski (April 6, 2010). "That Old Equation: Dad + Son = Clash". The New York Times. 
  8. ^ [1] Archived April 15, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ St. Louis Walk of Fame. "St. Louis Walk of Fame Inductees". stlouiswalkoffame.org. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  10. ^ 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. 
  11. ^ http://www.filmreference.com/film/94/Marsha-Mason.html
  12. ^ [2]
  13. ^ See the article, "Marsha Mason's Organic Farm and Estate."
  14. ^ http://www.campaignmoney.com/political/contributions/marsha-mason.asp?cycle=02+_cd=21_hl=en_ct=clnk_gl=us

External links[edit]