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Swoosie Kurtz (1944)

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  Summary  

Swoosie Kurtz is an American actress. She began her career in theater during the 1970s and shortly thereafter began a career in television, garnering ten nominations and winning one Emmy Award. Her most famous television project was her role on the 1990s NBC drama Sisters. She has also appeared somewhat sporadically in films from the late 1970s up until today, including prominent roles in such films as Dangerous Liaisons, Citizen Ruth, and Liar Liar among others. Throughout her career she has remained active in theater, earning five Tony Award nominations and winning two over the last three decades. Kurtz currently portrays Joyce Flynn on the hit CBS sitcom Mike and Molly.

  Biography  

 early life
Kurtz was born in Omaha, Nebraska, the only child of author Margo (née Rogers) and Air Force Colonel Frank Kurtz, Jr., a much-decorated WWII American bomber pilot. She got her unique first name "Swoosie" from her father. It is derived from the sole surviving example, at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, of the B-17D Flying Fortress airplane, named "The Swoose" or simply "Swoose"—half swan, half goose—which her father piloted during World War II. As a military brat, Kurtz moved frequently. Kurtz attended the University of Southern California where she majored in drama. She then attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

 career
Kurtz's first television appearance was on To Tell the Truth at age eighteen, introducing her father and two impostors. Kurtz began her career in theater, making her Broadway debut in the 1975 revival of Ah, Wilderness!. She first gained wide recognition in 1978 for two theatrical productions, Uncommon Women and Others, the breakthrough play by Wendy Wasserstein in which she appeared in a 1977 workshop at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center and then Off-Broadway, and the musical A History of the American Film for which she won a Drama Desk Award. Kurtz was soon awarded Broadway's "triple crown" for her portrayal of Gwen in Lanford Wilson's Fifth of July. She won a second Tony for her performance as Bananas in a 1986 revival of The House of Blue Leaves by John Guare. She starred as playwright Lillian Hellman in the 2002 Nora Ephron play Imaginary Friends.

In 1978, Kurtz was part of the ensemble cast of Mary Tyler Moore's short lived variety series Mary, that also included David Letterman and Michael Keaton. In 1981, Kurtz began two seasons alongside Tony Randall in the sitcom Love, Sidney, in a role that earned her the first of her 10 Emmy Award nominations. In 1990, she won her first Emmy for a guest-starring role on Carol Burnett's comedy series Carol & Company.

From 1991 to 1996, Kurtz had her longest-running television role, starring as wealthy divorcee Alex Reed Halsey on the NBC drama Sisters, a role that earned her two more Emmy Award nominations.

In recent years, Kurtz has guest-starred on the hit shows ER and Lost and Desperate Housewives, and has also had recurring roles as Valerie on the drama That's Life, as Judy's mother Helen on the sitcom Still Standing, as Madeleine Sullivan on the Showtime drama series Huff, and most recently as part of a lesbian married couple with Blythe Danner in the TV drama Nurse Jackie.

Although her main focus has been television, Kurtz has starred in several major Hollywood films including the Agatha Christie drama Caribbean Mystery in 1983, Dangerous Liaisons in 1988, its 1999 remake Cruel Intentions, as a lesbian activist in the acclaimed indie film Citizen Ruth, and perhaps most notably, alongside Jim Carrey in 1997's Liar Liar.

She starred in the ABC television series, Pushing Daisies as Lily Charles.

Kurtz can be currently seen in CBS sitcom Mike & Molly as Joyce Flynn, mother of Molly and Victoria .

 personal life
She has never married and has no children.

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  Sources

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