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Piper Laurie

Mostly Credited As: Piper Laurie
Sometimes Credited As: Fumio Yamaguchi
Laurie Piper

Birth Name: Rosetta Jacobs
Date Of Birth: January 22, 1932 (Age 82)
Country Of Birth: USA
Birth Place: Detroit, Michigan
Height: 5' 4" (1.62 m)

Piper Laurie


Piper Laurie was born Rosetta Jacobs in Detroit, Michigan, on January 22, 1932, the daughter of a Polish immigrant and his Russian-American wife. Her father was a furniture dealer who moved his family to Los Angeles, California, when she was 6-years-old. Rosetta was a pretty red-haired little girl, but very shy, so her parents sent her to weekly elocution lessons. In addition to her lessons in Hebrew school, she studied acting at a local acting school, and this eventually led to work at Universal Studios.

Universal had signed her as a contract player when she was only 17-years-old, and changed her screen name to Piper Laurie. She was cast in the movie Louisa (1950), and became very close friends with her costar, Ronald Reagan. She was then cast in Francis Goes to the Races (1951) with Donald O'Connor, Son of Ali Baba (1952) with Tony Curtis, and Ain't Misbehavin' (1955) with Rory Calhoun. The studio tried to enhance her image as an ingenue with press releases stating that she took milk baths and ate gardenia petals for lunch. Although she was making $2,000 per week, her lack of any substantial roles discouraged her so much that by 1955 when she received another script for a Western and "another silly part in a silly movie", she dropped the script in the fireplace, called her agent and told him she didn't care if they fired her, jailed her or sued her.

From there, she went to New York City to study acting, and worked in live television, starring in The Hallmark Hall of Fame version of Twelfth Night (1957), The Days of Wine and Roses (1958) with Cliff Robertson, which debuted on Playhouse 90 on October 2, and as Kirsten in the Playhouse 90 version of Winterset (1959). In 1961, she got the part of Paul Newman's crippled girlfriend in the classic film, The Hustler (1961). She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for that role of Sarah Packard. That same year, she was interviewed by a writer/reporter for the New York Herald Tribune, Joe Morgenstern. She liked his casual dress and lifestyle, and 9 months later, they were married. When she did not receive any substantial acting offers after The Hustler, she retreated with her husband to Woodstock, New York, where she pursued domestic activities such as baking (her grandfather's trade) and raising her only daughter, Anne, born in 1971. In 1976, she accepted the role of Margaret White, the eccentric religious zealot mother of a shy young psychic girl named Carrie (1976), played by Sissy Spacek. Piper received her second supporting Oscar nomination for this role. She and her husband divorced in 1981, she moved to Southern California and obtained many film and television roles.

She got a third Oscar nomination for her role as Mrs. Norman in Children of a Lesser God (1986), and won an Emmy that same year for her acting in Promise (1986) (TV), a television movie with James Garner and James Woods. She has appeared in more than 60 films, from 1950 to the present. Ms. Laurie has appeared in many outstanding television shows from The Best of Broadway in 1954, to roles on Playhouse 90 in 1956, roles on "St. Elsewhere" (1982), "Murder, She Wrote" (1984), "Matlock" (1986), "Beauty and the Beast" (1987), "ER" (1994), "Diagnosis Murder" (1993) and "Frasier" (1993). Her daughter, Anne Grace, has made her a grandmother, and though she lives in Southern California, she frequently visits her daughter in New York.

TV Appearances

Main cast 
Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration (2001)As: Herself
Traps (1994)As: Cora Trapchek
Twin Peaks (1990)As: Catherine Martell
Skag (1980)As: Jo Skagska
Episode Cast Credits 

Cold Case (2003) 
  Best Friends 02x22: (May/08/2005) As Rose Collins (2005) 

Dead Like Me (2003) 
  Forget Me Not 02x12: (Oct/10/2004) As Nina Rommey 

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999) 
  Care 03x09: (Nov/23/2001) As Dorothy Rudd 

Will & Grace (1998) 
  There But For The Grace Of Grace 02x21: (May/09/2000) As Sharon Timmers 

Frasier (1993) 
  Dr. Nora 06x20: (Apr/29/1999) As Mrs. Mulhern 
  Guess Who's Coming to Breakfast 01x13: (Jan/06/1994) Voiced  Marianne 

Brother's Keeper (1998) 
  Everybody Says I Love You 01x18: (Feb/26/1999) As Jane Waide, [Special Guest Stars]

ER (1994) 
  Take These Broken Wings 02x21: (May/09/1996) As Sarah Ross 
  Home 02x09: (Dec/07/1995) As Sarah Ross 

The Golden Globes (1944) 
  The 48th Annual Golden Globe Awards 48x01: (Jan/19/1991) As Winner: Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture made for Television (for 'Twin Peaks') 

Twin Peaks (1990) 
  Arbitrary Law 02x09: (Dec/01/1990) As Tojamura (as Fumio Yamaguchi) 
  Lonely Souls 02x07: (Nov/10/1990) As Tojamura (as Fumio Yamaguchi) 
  Demons 02x06: (Nov/03/1990) As Tojamura (as Fumio Yamaguchi) 
  The Orchids Curse 02x05: (Oct/27/1990) As Tojamura (as Fumio Yamaguchi) 

Beauty and the Beast (US) (1987) 
  A Gentle Rain 02x10: (Feb/17/1989) As Mrs. Davis 

The Emmy Awards (1949) 
  The 39th Annual Emmy Awards 39x01: (Sep/20/1987) As Winner: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie (for 'Promise') 

Hallmark Hall Of Fame (1951) 
  Promise 36x01: (Dec/14/1986) As Annie 
  Winterset 09x01: (Oct/26/1959) As Miriamme 

Matlock (1986) 
  The Judge 01x03: (Sep/23/1986) As Claire Leigh 

The Twilight Zone (1985) (1985) 
  The Burning Man 01x19: (Nov/15/1985) As Aunt Neva 

Hotel (1983) 
  Illusions 02x21: (May/29/1985) As Jessica 

Murder, She Wrote (1984) 
  Murder at the Oasis 01x21: (Apr/07/1985) As Peggy Shannon 

St. Elsewhere (1982) 
  Newheart 02x03: (Nov/09/1983) As Fran Singleton 
  Lust Et Veritas 02x02: (Nov/02/1983) As Fran Singleton 
  Ties That Bind 02x01: (Oct/26/1983) As Fran Singleton 

Ben Casey (1961) 
  Light Up the Dark Corners 03x09: (Nov/06/1963) As Kathleen Dooley 

Bob Hope Presents The Chrysler Theatre (1963) 
  Something About Lee Wiley 01x02: (Oct/11/1963) As Lee Wiley 

Naked City (1958) 
  Howard Running Bear is a Turtle 04x27: (Apr/03/1963) As Marie Highmark, [Special Guest Stars]

General Electric Theater (1953) 
  A Musket for Jessica 10x04: (Oct/08/1961) As Jessica Galloway 
  Caesar and Cleopatra 07x28: (Apr/12/1959) As Cleopatra 
  The Road That Led Afar 05x10: (Nov/25/1956) As Phoebe Durkin 

Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse (1958) 
  The Innocent Assassin 01x20: (Mar/16/1959) As Eileen Gorman 

Playhouse 90 (1956) 
  Days of Wine and Roses 03x02: (Oct/02/1958) As Kirsten Clay 
  The Ninth Day 01x15: (Jan/10/1957) As Ruth 

Studio One (1948) 
  The Deaf Heart 10x07: (Oct/21/1957) As Ruth Cornelius 

Robert Montgomery Presents Your Lucky Strike Theatre (1950) 
  Quality Town 07x16: (Dec/19/1955) As Clovis Spender 

The Ed Sullivan Show (1948) 
  Ed Wynn / Patachou / Patricia Moran & Jack Cassidy / Mercedes McCambridge 06x20: (Jan/25/1953) As Herself 

This Is Your Life (1952) (1952) 
  Rock Hudson 01x01: (Dec/17/1952) As Herself 
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