Mary Louise Burke is an American film, TV and theatre actress. Her roles have included the 2004 Alexander Payne film Sideways, in which she played Phyliis, the mother of the lead character. On stage, she has appeared off-Broadway in Fuddy Meers in 1999, winning the Drama Desk Award for Featured Actress in a Play, and in Kimberly Akimbo in 2003, receiving a Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Actress in a Play nomination. She also played the role of Jack's mother in the 2002 Broadway revival of Into the Woods.
Burke was born and raised in Steelton, Pennsylvania, attended Lebanon Valley College (in Annville, Pennsylvania), and earned an M.A. in English literature at the University of Wisconsin. She moved to New York City at age 32 to try acting, after working as a copy editor and research assistant.
She has appeared in many Off-Broadway plays. She appears in the David Lindsay-Abaire play Ripcord at the Manhattan Theatre Club Stage I, which opened in October 2015. This is the fourth play by Lindsay-Abaire in which she has appeared.
She first appeared Off-Broadway in The Broken Pitcher by Heinrich Von Kleist at the Martinique Theatre in October 1981. She played "Gertie" in Fuddy Meers which opened at the Manhattan Theatre Club Stage II in November 1999. She appeared in Wonder of the World, written by David Lindsay-Abaire at the Manhattan Theatre Club Stage I in 2001.
She played the title role in Kimberly Akimbo, which premiered Off-Broadway at the Manhattan Theatre Club New York City Center Stage 1 in February 2003. She performed in Kimberly Akimbo in its debut at South Coast Repertory Theatre, Costa Mesa, California in April to May 2001.
She won the 2000 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play for her appearance as Gertie in Fuddy Meers and was nominated for the 2003 Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Actress in a Play for Kimberly Akimbo.
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