Piper Laurie

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Piper Laurie
Piper Laurie 1990.jpg
Piper Laurie at the 42nd Primetime Emmy Awards in 1990
Born Rosetta Jacobs
(1932-01-22) January 22, 1932 (age 83)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1950–present
Spouse(s) Joe Morgenstern (1962–82; 1 child; divorced)

Piper Laurie (born January 22, 1932) is an American actress of stage and screen known for her roles in the films The Hustler, Carrie, and Children of a Lesser God, all of which brought her Academy Award nominations. She is also known for her performance as Catherine Martell in the cult television series Twin Peaks for which she won a Golden Globe Award in 1991.

Early life[edit]

Piper Laurie was born as Rosetta Jacobs on January 22, 1932, in Detroit, Michigan, the younger daughter of Charlotte Sadie (née Alperin) and Alfred Jacobs, a furniture dealer.[1] Her grandparents were Jewish immigrants, from Poland on her father's side and Russia on her mother's.[2][3][4] 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.[2] For a large chunk of her early childhood, her parents placed her and her older sister in a children's home, which they both despised.[5]


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).[6] 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).[citation needed]

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,[7] 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.[citation needed]

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 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. 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 1965, she starred in a Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie, opposite Maureen Stapleton, Pat Hingle and George Grizzard.

Laurie did not appear in another feature film again until she accepted the role of Margaret White in the horror film Carrie (1976). She received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in that role, and it, along with the commercial success of the film, relaunched her career. In 1979 she appeared as Mary Horton in the Australian movie "Tim" opposite a very young Mel Gibson.

After her 1981 divorce, Laurie relocated to California. She received a third Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Mrs. Norman in Children of a Lesser God (1986). 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. 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 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.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

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.[citation needed]

The actress appeared at the September 2014 Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention in Hunt Valley, Maryland.[8]


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 Magda Goebbels, wife of Joseph Goebbels, in The Bunker in 1981, opposite Anthony Hopkins as Hitler; for her role in the miniseries The Thorn Birds; two for her work in Twin Peaks as Catherine Martell, and a nomination for her guest appearance on Frasier. She has been nominated for an Academy Award in three films.



Year Title Role Notes
1950 Louisa Cathy Norton
1950 Milkman, TheThe Milkman Chris Abbott
1951 Francis Goes to the Races Frances Travers
1951 Prince Who Was a Thief, TheThe Prince Who Was a Thief Tina
1952 Has Anybody Seen My Gal? Millicent Blaisdell
1952 Son of Ali Baba Princess Azura of Fez/Kiki
1952 No Room for the Groom Lee Kingshead
1953 Golden Blade, TheThe Golden Blade Khairuzan
1953 Mississippi Gambler, TheThe Mississippi Gambler Angelique 'Leia' Dureau
1954 Johnny Dark Liz Fielding
1954 Dangerous Mission Louise Graham
1954 Dawn at Socorro Dance Hall Girl
1955 Ain't Misbehavin' Sarah Bernhardt Hatfield
1957 Until They Sail Delia Leslie Friskett
1955 Smoke Signal Laura Evans
1961 Hustler, TheThe Hustler Sarah Packard Nominated—Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Nominated—Golden Laurel Award for Top Female Dramatic Performance (2nd Place)
Nominated—New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress (3rd Place)
1976 Carrie Margaret White Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
1977 Ruby Ruby Claire
1978 Rainbow Ethel Gumm
1979 Tim Mary Horton
1981 The Bunker Magda Goebbels
1983 St. Elsewhere Fran Singleton
1984 Terror in the Aisles archival flashback
1985 Return to Oz Aunt Em
1985 Toughlove Darlene Marsh Television film
1986 Children of a Lesser God Mrs. Norman Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
1986 Promise Annie Gilbert Television movie
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
1988 Appointment with Death Emily Boynton
1988 Tiger Warsaw Frances Warsaw
1989 Dream a Little Dream Gena Ettinger
1991 Other People's Money Bea Sullivan
1992 Storyville Constance Fowler
1992 Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me Catherine Martell Deleted scenes
1993 Wrestling Ernest Hemingway Georgia
1993 Trauma Adriana Petrescu
1993 Lies and Lullabies Margaret Kinsey Television movie
1995 The Crossing Guard Helen Booth
1995 Grass Harp, TheThe Grass Harp Dolly Talbo Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
1995 Fighting For My Daughter Judge Edna Burton Television movie
1997 A Christmas Memory Jennie
1997 Dean Koontz's Intensity Miriam Braynard Television movie
1998 Faculty, TheThe Faculty Mrs. Olson
2004 Eulogy Charlotte Collins
2006 Dead Girl, TheThe Dead Girl Arden's Mother
2006 Cold Case Rose Collins Episode: "Best Friends"
2007 Hounddog Grammie
2008 Saving Grace Marta
2009 Another Harvest Moon June
2010 Hesher Madeleine Forney


Year Title Role Notes
1960-1963 The United States Steel Hour Edna Cartey 2 episodes
1963 Naked City Mary Highmark Episode: "Howard Running Bear Is a Turtle"
1980 Skag Jo Skagska 6 episodes
1983 Thorn Birds, TheThe Thorn Birds Anne Mueller 3 episodes
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
1983 St. Elsewhere Fran Singleton 3 episodes
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
1985 Murder, She Wrote Peggy Shannon Episode: "Murder at the Oasis"
1985 Hotel Jessica Episode: "Illusions"
1985 Twilight Zone, TheThe Twilight Zone Aunt Neva Episode: "The Burning Man"
1986 Matlock Claire Leigh Episode: "The Judge"
1989 Beauty and the Beast Mrs. Davis Episode: "A Gentle Rain"
1990 Possessed Aunt Hanna TV film
1990-1991 Twin Peaks Catherine Martell / Mr. Tojamura 27 episodes
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (1990)
Nominated-Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (1991)
Nominated—Soap Opera Digest Award for Outstanding Actress : Prime Time (1991, 1992)
1994 Traps Cora Trapchek 5 episodes
1994 Frasier Marianne Episode: "Guess Who's Coming to Breakfast"
1995-1996 ER Sarah Ross 2 episodes
1996 Diagnosis Murder A.D.A. Susan Turner Episode: "The ABC's of Murder"
1997 Touched by an Angel Annie Doyle Episode: "Venice"
1999 Frasier Mrs. Mulhern Episode: "Dr. Nora"
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
2000 Will & Grace Sharon Episode: "There But for the Grace of Grace"
2001 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Dorothy Rudd Episode: "Care"
2004 Dead Like Me Nina Rommey Episode: "Forget Me Not"
2005 Cold Case Rose 2005 Episode: "Best Friends"

1958 Playhouse 90, Days of Wine and Roses, Kirsten Arnesen


  1. ^ "Piper Laurie Biography". filmreference. 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-01. 
  2. ^ a b Richard G. Hubler (20 June 1953). "Article From Colliers Magazine". Colliers. Archived from the original on 2009-08-03. Retrieved 2008-09-26. 
  3. ^ Piper Laurie profile at Yahoo!
  4. ^ Deseretnews.com
  5. ^ http://www.thejc.com/arts/arts-features/66227/why-i-had-reject-hollywood
  6. ^ Daniel Bates, "Virgin starlet claims Ronald Reagan was a 'show-off' in bed after seducing her on set of 1950s film in which he played her father", The Daily Mail, 2011-11-14. Retrieved 2013-07-18.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ MidAtlanticNostalgiaConvention.com

External links[edit]