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Mary Kay Place Biography

Birth Place:
Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States
Actor, writer, director, singer

Fast Facts

  • First job in Hollywood was as a production assistant for Tim Conway, which led to a secretarial job with Norman Lear typing Maude scripts
  • Teamed with friend Linda Bloodworth (who later created Designing Women) to write sitcom scripts, including Friends and Lovers and M*A*S*H; received first Emmy nomination for writing M*A*S*H episode "Hot Lips and Empty Arms
  • " Big acting break came when Lear put her on All in the Family as Gloria's friend and sang the self-penned protest song "If Communism Comes Knocking on Your Door, Don't Answer It
  • " Lear later cast her as country singer Loretta Haggers on the cult soap spoof Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, for which she won a supporting actress Emmy
  • Wrote more than 70 songs for her Haggers character and recorded the Grammy-nominated Tonite! At the Capri Lounge, Loretta Haggers in character
  • Film debut was in 1976's Bound for Glory; first major role was in Martin Scorsese's New York, New York; most memorable screen part was as a single woman trying to get pregnant in The Big Chill
  • While still enjoying a successful acting career, carved out a secondary career as a sitcom director on Baby Boom, Dream On, Friends and Arli$$


  • 2020Independent Spirit Awards-Best Female Lead: nominated
  • 1999Screen Actors Guild Awards-Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: nominated
  • 1997Independent Spirit Awards-Best Supporting Female: nominated
  • 1977Emmy-Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: winner


  • Bradley E. Place -- Father