Swoosie Kurtz: Wikis


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Swoosie Kurtz

Kurtz at the 2009 premiere of PoliWood
Born Swoosie Kurtz
September 6, 1944 (1944-09-06) (age 65)
Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1971–present

Swoosie Kurtz (born September 6, 1944) 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.


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.[1][2] She got her unique first name "Swoosie" (which rhymes with Lucy, rather than woozy) 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.[3] As a military brat, Kurtz moved frequently. Swoosie attended Maschoutah Community High School in Mascoutah, Illinois where she was a student of Martha Van Aiken, a much loved drama coach. She was featured in school productions with Joseph Lambie, another student who has acted successfully. Kurtz attended the University of Southern California where she majored in drama and worked maintenance at The Velvet Touch in Flint, Michigan. She then attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.


John Guare and Kurtz at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival.

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" (the Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle awards) 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.

Cynthia Nixon, John Hurt and Kurtz at the premiere of An Englishman in New York.

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 and as Madeleine Sullivan on the Showtime drama series Huff.

Although her main focus has been television, Kurtz has starred in several major Hollywood films including Dangerous Liaisons, its 1999 remake Cruel Intentions, the acclaimed indie 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.

She has never married nor had children.



  1. ^ Swoosie Kurtz - Profile, Latest News and Related Articles
  2. ^ Swoosie Kurtz Biography (1944-)
  3. ^ Friends Journal, published by the Air Force Museum Foundation, Inc., Vol 31, No 3, Fall 2008, p 15

External links

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