Sordid Lives

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Sordid Lives
Directed byDel Shores
Produced bySharyn Lane
Victoria Alonso
Max Civon
J. Todd Harris
Written byDel Shores
StarringBonnie Bedelia
Delta Burke
Leslie Jordan
Beau Bridges
Olivia Newton-John
Music byGeorge S. Clinton
CinematographyMax Civon
Edited byEd Marx
Daly-Harris Productions
Davis Entertainment Classics
Sordid Lives LLC
Distributed byRegent Releasing
Release date
  • May 25, 2000 (2000-05-25)
Running time
111 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1,010,000

Sordid Lives is a 2000 American independent romantic comedy film written and directed by Del Shores.[1] The film is based on Shores' play of the same name and includes elements of his life, according to the director's DVD commentary. The film was followed by the 2008 television series Sordid Lives: The Series.

The original stage play premiered in Los Angeles on May 11, 1996 and ultimately won 14 Drama-Logue Awards.[2] The film met with mixed reviews from mainstream audiences but became a cult classic with LGBT fans, particularly in the South. The movie tells the story of a Texas family coming together in the aftermath of the matriarch's death. To keep the stories going, Viacom's new station Logo produced twelve episodes of Sordid Lives: The Series. The television version begins at a point before that covered in the film, with Rue McClanahan as the mother, Peggy Ingram. Much of the film cast returned, including Leslie Jordan and Olivia Newton-John. Delta Burke was replaced with Caroline Rhea, while the part of Ty Williamson, formerly played by Kirk Geiger, was now portrayed by Jason Dottley. Kirk Geiger reprised his role as Ty Williamson in the Sordid Lives sequel A Very Sordid Wedding in 2017, along with Bonnie Bedelia, Caroline Rhea, Dale Dickey, Leslie Jordan, Ann Walker, Emerson Collins, Whoopi Goldberg and Katherine Bailess.

The television series began airing in July 2008.[3] It ended after one season.


A colorful family from a small Texas town must come to grips with the accidental death of the elderly family matriarch during a clandestine meeting in a seedy motel room with her much younger, married neighbor. The woman's family must deal with their own demons while preparing for what could be an embarrassing funeral.

Cast and characters[edit]

Actor Character Notes
Olivia Newton-John
Bitsy Mae Harling A local singer with "a reputation" who is a close friend of Peggy's.
Kirk GeigerFilm/Sequel
Jason DottleySeries
Ty Williamson The son of Latrelle, Ty is a closeted 20-something gay man who left behind the small Southern Baptist town in Texas and moved to West Hollywood to become an actor.
Sarah Hunley Juanita Bartlett Wardell's short-term memory friend and regular patron (a/k/a 'the town drunk') of Bubba's Bar.
Newell Alexander Wardell 'Bubba' Owens G.W.'s friend and the object of Brother Boy's affection.
Beau BridgesFilm
David SteenSeries/Sequel
G.W. Nethercott Noleta's unfaithful husband, who feels responsible for Peggy's death.
Earl H. BullockFilm
David CowgillSeries/Sequel
Odell Owens Bubba's brother who is scarred for life by a pig-bloating incident.
Beth Grant
Dale DickeySequel
Sissy Hickey Peggy's much younger sister, and aunt to Brother Boy, LaVonda and Latrelle. Sissy just wants to stop smoking.
Delta BurkeFilm
Caroline RheaSeries/Sequel
Noleta Nethercott Sissy's next-door neighbor, the distraught wife of G.W. Nethercott and best friend to LaVonda.
Leslie Jordan Earl 'Brother Boy' Ingram A fan of the women of country music, Brother Boy has been institutionalized for 23 years by his parents for being a cross-dressing homosexual.
Mitch Carter Bumper The security guard at the mental institution that taunts Brother Boy.
Bonnie Bedelia Latrelle Williamson Ty's mother, who is primarily concerned with keeping up appearances. Latrelle wants to persuade her sister LaVonda and Aunt Sissy not to bury her mother, Peggy in a mink stole in Texas during the summer. She is Peggy's elder daughter.
Sharron Alexis Sara Kaufman Ty's deranged ex-girlfriend who is obsessed that they are meant to be together.
Ann Walker LaVonda DuPree Peggy's younger daughter, a free spirit who is also Noleta's best friend.
Mary-Margaret Lewis Ethel Brother Boy's confidant and best friend at the mental institution.
Rosemary Alexander Dr. Eve Bolinger "Doctor Evil" wants to de-homosexualize Brother Boy so she can write a book, appear on the Oprah television show and quit her psychiatrist job at the mental institution.
Gloria LeRoyFilm
Rue McClanahanSeries
Peggy Ingram The recently deceased sister of Sissy Hickey and mother of Latrelle, LaVonda and Earl "Brother Boy".



In Fall 2014, Del Shores announced that he was working on sequel to the film titled A Very Sordid Wedding. Shores' Beard Collins Shores Productions launched an Indiegogo fundraising campaign to assemble the project and secure investor financing. The campaign ended on October 29, 2014, and filming for the sequel began in October 2015.[4] The film premiered in Palm Springs CA on March 10, 2017.

The film picks up sixteen years after the events of the first film and deals with the impact of the advancement of same-sex marriage in the conservative, southern community. Several actors from the original Sordid Lives film are reprising their roles, including Bonnie Bedelia, Leslie Jordan, Newell Alexander, Sarah Hunley, Rosemary Alexander, Ann Walker and Kirk Geiger. Joining them from the Sordid Lives series are David Steen, David Cowgill and Caroline Rhea. Original actors Beth Grant and Olivia Newton John turned down offers to return for the sequel. While Grant's role of Sissy is being recast, Newton John's role of Bitsy Mae was written out of the script. Shores also announced that several new actors would be joining the returning performers. In Spring 2015, Whoopi Goldberg was added to the cast as Ty's mother in-law.[5][6][7]


  1. ^ "Sordid Lives". Turner Classic Movies. United States: Turner Broadcasting System. Retrieved March 31, 2018.
  2. ^ "Sordid Lives". Samuel French.
  3. ^ "Sordid Lives: The Series".
  4. ^ "A Very Sordid Wedding - film sequel by Del Shores". Indiegogo.
  5. ^ "Sequel to Del Shores' Smash Cult Hit SORDID LIVES Announced". Broadway World.
  6. ^ "Del Shores Continues Ministry With 'A Very Sordid Wedding'". goweho.
  7. ^ Del Shores [@DelShores] (22 March 2015). "It gives me great pleasure to announce that Oscar winner Whoppi Goldberg has joined the cast of A VERY SORDID WEDDING!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.

External links[edit]