Shirley MacLaine

Illustration by Jody Hewgill
Illustration by Jody Hewgill

Shirley MacLaine has lived a lot in her 78 years. She also famously insists that she’s lived centuries more in past lives.

Outrageously outspoken with a rapier wit, the Academy Award-winning actress, singer, and dancer is a Hollywood powerhouse. As a best-selling author, she’s fascinated us with her mystical preoccupation in everything from reincarnation to psychics and spirit guides. Even skeptics agree that her exploration of the far-out is an entertaining ride. Whether guesting on a talk show or walking the red carpet she always manages to get a gasp along with the laughs at her no-holds-barred one-liners.

MacLaine hasn’t given a thought to retiring or even slowing down—why should she? Her deliciously nasty turn as an old woman a small town loves to hate in Bernie, opposite Jack Black, earned rave reviews. Her latest book of witty observations, I’m Over All That: And Other Confessions, shows how she winks at looking back and looking forward.

And now she’s got a juicy co-starring role in the hugely popular Emmy-winning Masterpiece series Downton Abbey, as Lady Cora’s mother Martha Levinson, who arrives from New York to upset the household. That, of course, pits her against another icon of the big screen, Dame Maggie Smith, who plays the fearsome Dowager Countess Violet Crawley.

As we move forward in the new year, who better than MacLaine to give us a little perspective in her own irresistibly humorous and thought-provoking style?

View our exclusive Q&A with MacLaine on the next page.

About: Shirley MacLaine

In “Shirley MacLaine” (Jan/Feb 2013), Hollywood legend Shirley MacLaine talks candidly with writer Jeanne Wolf about her new role in the Emmy-winning Masterpiece series Downton Abbey, her views on relationships and religion, and why she’s given up yoga.

This isn’t the first time MacLaine has shared her perspective with Post readers. Below are some articles from the Post archives featuring the quick-witted star in the 1960s.

"I Call on Shirley MacLaine" (April 22, 1961) by Pete Martin
April 22, 1961

I Call on Shirley MacLaine

In this 1963 article from the Post archives, Pete Martin sat down with MacLaine, who, between numerous mid-interview hot-fudge sundaes, dished on her big break, her unconventional sex appeal, and her involvement in the famed “Rat Pack.”

"Shirley MacLaine Sounds Off" (November 30, 1963) by Muriel Davidson
November 30, 1963

Shirley MacLaine Sounds Off

MacLaine has never been afraid to speak her mind, and in this 1961 article from the archives, she gave readers her opinion on everything from marriage to politics to 1960s Hollywood.

"Body by MacLaine" (November 30, 1963) by C. Robert Jennings
November 30, 1963

Body by MacLaine

In 1963, the Post interviewed Oscar-winning costume designer Edith Head, who dressed some of the most famous stars in Hollywood, including MacLaine. In this article from our archives, photos feature the actress in eight of the 73 costumes Head created for MacLaine’s starring role in What a Way to Go!