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Piper Laurie (1932)

Rosetta Jacobs

Type :  


Piper Laurie is an American actress of stage and screen known for her roles in the television series Twin Peaks and the films The Hustler, Carrie, and Children of a Lesser God, all of which brought her Academy Award nominations. In 1991, she won a Golden Globe Award for her portrayal of Catherine Martell in Twin Peaks.


 early life
Laurie was born in Detroit, Michigan, the daughter of Charlotte Sadie (née Alperin) and Alfred Jacobs, a furniture dealer. Her grandparents were Jewish immigrants, from Poland on her father's side and Russia on her mother's. Her father moved the family to Los Angeles, California in 1938. The young Rosetta was red-haired and naturally attractive, but socially hesitant. 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.

In 1949, Rosetta Jacobs signed a contract with Universal Studios, in which her screen name was changed to Piper Laurie, by which she has been known professionally since then. Her breakout role was in Louisa, with Ronald Reagan . 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).

In an attempt to enhance her public image, Universal Studios told gossip columnists that Laurie bathed in milk and ate flower petals, to protect her luminous skin. Discouraged by such vapidity and by the lack of substantial roles, she relocated to New York City 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 2 October 1958; in Winterset, presented by Playhouse 90 in 1959.

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 crippled 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. However, she was offered, and accepted, the role of Margaret White, the authoritarian and fanatically religious mother of Carrie, in the movie of that name which was released in 1976. She received an Oscar nomination for that role.

After her 1981 divorce, Laurie relocated to California. In 1986, she received a third Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Mrs. Norman in Children of a Lesser God. That same year she was awarded an Emmy for her performance in Promise, a Hallmark Hall of Fame television movie which also starred James Garner and James Woods.

In 1965, she starred in a Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie opposite Maureen Stapleton, Pat Hingle and George Grizzard. 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 1964, Laurie appeared in two medical dramas, as Alicia Carter in the episode "My Door Is Locked and Bolted" on the NBC series The Eleventh Hour and as Alice Marin in the episode "The Summer House" on the ABC program Breaking Point.

Laurie appeared in the Australian film Tim opposite Mel Gibson. She starred as the devious Catherine Martell in David Lynch's television series Twin Peaks. Following the character's supposed death in a mill fire at the end of the first season, the actress returned as "Fumio Yamaguchi," playing the mysterious Mr. Tojamura, who would eventually be revealed to be Catherine Martell in disguise. She also appeared in 1991's Other People's Money with Gregory Peck and in horror maestro Dario Argento's first American film Trauma, along with the director's daughter Asia Argento.

Laurie portrayed the mother of George Clooney's character on ER. In 1998, she appeared in the sci-fi thriller The Faculty. She later made a series of guest appearances on television shows including Matlock, Frasier, 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.

She has appeared in over 50 movies and scores of television shows.

 personal life
When The Hustler was being released , Laurie was interviewed by New York Herald Tribune Entertainment writer Joe Morgenstern. She was attracted to him, and nine months after the interview they were married . 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 1981 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.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Piper Laurie", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.