Sordid Lives

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Sordid Lives
Directed by Del Shores
Written by Del Shores
Starring Bonnie Bedelia
Delta Burke
Leslie Jordan
Beau Bridges
Olivia Newton-John
Music by George S. Clinton
Distributed by Regent Releasing
Release date
  • May 25, 2000 (2000-05-25)
Country United States
Language English
Box office $1,010,000

Sordid Lives is a 2000 independent film, written and directed by Del Shores. The movie 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.[1] 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, Whoopie Goldberg and Katherine Bailess.

The television series began airing in July 2008.[2] 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
Newton-John, OliviaOlivia Newton-John
Harling, Bitsy MaeBitsy Mae Harling A local singer with "a reputation" who is a close friend of Peggy's.
Geiger, KirkKirk GeigerFilm/Sequel
Jason DottleySeries
Williamson, TyTy 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.
Hunley, SarahSarah Hunley Bartlett, JuanitaJuanita Bartlett Wardell's short-term memory friend and regular patron (a/k/a 'the town drunk') of Bubba's Bar.
Alexander, NewellNewell Alexander Owens, Wardell 'Bubba'Wardell 'Bubba' Owens G.W.'s friend and the object of Brother Boy's affection.
Bridges, BeauBeau BridgesFilm
David SteenSeries/Sequel
Nethercott, G.W.G.W. Nethercott Noleta's unfaithful husband, who feels responsible for Peggy's death.
Bullock, Earl H.Earl H. BullockFilm
David CowgillSeries/Sequel
Owens, OdellOdell Owens Bubba's brother who is scarred for life by a pig-bloating incident.
Grant, BethBeth Grant
Dale DickeySequel
Hickey, SissySissy Hickey Peggy's much younger sister, and aunt to Brother Boy, LaVonda and Latrelle. Sissy just wants to stop smoking.
Burke, DeltaDelta BurkeFilm
Caroline RheaSeries/Sequel
Nethercott, NoletaNoleta Nethercott Sissy's next-door neighbor, the distraught wife of G.W. Nethercott and best friend to LaVonda.
Jordan, LeslieLeslie Jordan Ingram, Earl 'Brother Boy'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.
Carter, MitchMitch Carter Bumper The security guard at the mental institution that taunts Brother Boy.
Bedelia, BonnieBonnie Bedelia Williamson, LatrelleLatrelle 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.
Alexis, SharronSharron Alexis Kaufman, SaraSara Kaufman Ty's deranged ex-girlfriend who is obsessed that they are meant to be together.
Walker, AnnAnn Walker DuPree, LaVondaLaVonda DuPree Peggy's younger daughter, a free spirit who is also Noleta's best friend.
Lewis, Mary-MargaretMary-Margaret Lewis Ethel Brother Boy's confidant and best friend at the mental institution.
Alexander, RosemaryRosemary Alexander Bolinger, Dr. EveDr. 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.
LeRoy, GloriaGloria LeRoyFilm
Rue McClanahanSeries
Ingram, PeggyPeggy 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.[3] 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.[4][5][6]


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