Today is Shirley MacLaine's birthday. One of my happiest afternoons at VH1 (and there were many) was when the Best Actress Oscar winner for Terms of Endearment came over to be a guest on my talk show. She was warm and chatty as soon as she arrived in the greenroom. Before we got into the studio, we talked briefly about her Paramount comedy with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, Artists and Models. She made that, "Boy, oh, boy!" face. Apparently that was a tense shoot. The comedy team was speeding to the finish line of its partnership and it wasn't pretty behind the scenes. She said they were yelling at each other a lot. But the movie is fun and she, playing the girl who has a yen for Jerry's comic book collector character, gives the movie the kooky buoyancy it needs.
Not having a husband seems to have been successful for Shirley MacLaine. Right before Artists and Models with Martin and Lewis, she made her 1955 film debut in Alfred Hitchcock's The Trouble with Harry. She played a young widowed mother with a little boy.
One of Shirley's best screen performances after Postcards from the Edge -- and another one that should have put her in the Best Supporting Actress Oscar race -- was in the movie Bernie. She played a wealthy widow in Texas. This is based on a real-life story.
I hope Shirley MacLaine has a great birthday. I hope I can interview her again one day.
Oh! If you've never seen her with Jack Lemmon in Billy Wilder's The Apartment, Oscar winner for Best Picture of 1960, make that DVD rental a must-see. Forever fabulous.