Estelle Parsons

Actor, Director, Production assistant
The first female political reporter on network TV during her five-year stint with "The Today Show" (NBC) in the early 1950s, Estelle Parsons made her Broadway debut as a reporter in the Ethel Merman musical "Happy ... Read more »
Born: 11/20/1927 in Marblehead, Massachusetts, USA

Filmography

Actor (44)

Wilde Salome 2014 (Movie)

Herself (Actor)

The Good Wife 2013 (Tv Show)

Actor

Empire Falls 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)

Actor

Frasier 2004 (Tv Show)

Actor

100 Centre Street 2000 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

The 70th Annual Academy Awards 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

The Love Letter 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Roseanne 1989 - 1997 (Tv Show)

Actor

That Darn Cat 1997 (Movie)

Old Lady McCracken (Actor)

Looking for Richard 1996 (Movie)

Margaret (Actor)

Boys on the Side 1995 (Movie)

Louise (Actor)

Today at 40 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Dick Tracy 1990 (Movie)

Mrs Trueheart (Actor)

The Lemon Sisters 1990 (Movie)

(Actor)

Mothers By Daughters 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

The Gentleman Bandit 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

All in the Family 1970 - 1979 (TV Show)

Actor

Backstairs at the White House 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Actor

That Was the Year That Was 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Actor

For Pete's Sake 1974 (Movie)

Helen (Actor)

Foreplay 1973 (Movie)

Barmaid (Actor)

Two People 1973 (Movie)

Barbara Newman (Actor)

I Never Sang For My Father 1970 (Movie)

Alice (Actor)

I Walk the Line 1970 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Front Page 1969 - 1970 (TV Show)

Actor

Watermelon Man 1970 (Movie)

Althea Gerber (Actor)

Don't Drink the Water 1969 (Movie)

Marion Hollander (Actor)

Rachel, Rachel 1968 (Movie)

Calla Mackie (Actor)

Bonnie and Clyde 1967 (Movie)

Blanche (Actor)

Ladybug, Ladybug 1963 (Movie)

JoAnn's Mother (Actor)

Home 1953 - 1957 (TV Show)

Actor

A Memory of Two Mondays (TV Show)

Actor

A Private Matter (TV Show)

Actor

Come Along With Me (TV Show)

Actor

Freak City (TV Show)

Actor

June Moon (TV Show)

Actor

Open Admissions (TV Show)

Actor

Terror on the Beach (TV Show)

Actor

The DuPont Show of the Week (TV Show)

Actor

The Gun and the Pulpit (TV Show)

Actor

The UFO Incident (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

The first female political reporter on network TV during her five-year stint with "The Today Show" (NBC) in the early 1950s, Estelle Parsons made her Broadway debut as a reporter in the Ethel Merman musical "Happy Hunting" (1956) and later won a Theatre World Award in the title role of "Mrs. Dally Takes a Lover" (1962). Although she had acted in the feature "Ladybug, Ladybug" (1963), it was her second film (and first Hollywood movie) role as the shrewish Blanche Barrow in Arthur Penn's landmark "Bonnie and Clyde" (1967) that established her credentials as a wonderful screen character actress. Hysterical with bullets whizzing by and grief-stricken after the shoot-out that blinded her in one eye and left her husband Buck (Gene Hackman) dead, she unwittingly provided law enforcement with the info that would lead to the demise of Bonnie (Faye Dunaway) and Clyde (Warren Beatty). Her tour de force performance earned that year's Best Supporting Actress Oscar, and her next outing as Joanne Woodward's schoolteacher colleague in Paul Newman's directing debut, "Rachel, Rachel" (1968), garnered another Academy Award nomination in the category.

Relationships

Eben Parsons

Father

Elinor Parsons

Mother
Swedish

Richard Gehman

Husband

Abbie Gehman

Daughter
Twin of Martha father, Richard Gehman

Martha Gehman

Daughter
Twin of Abbie father, Richard Gehman

Peter Zimroth

Husband
Married Jan. 2, 1983; adoptive father of Abraham

Abraham Zimroth

Son
Born c. 1983 adopted by Estelle and Peter L Zimroth

EDUCATION

Boston University

Boston , Massachusetts 1949 - 1950
Attended the School of Law

Connecticut College

New London , Connecticut 1949

Actors Studio

New York , New York
Studied with Lee Strasberg

Oak Grove School for Girls

Vassalboro , Maine 1945

Milestones

2008

Joined the Broadway cast of "August: Osage County" as matriarch Violet Weston

2005

Co-starred in the HBO miniseries, "Empire Falls"

2002

Received a Tony nominations for her role in "Morning's at Seven"

1999

Had featured role in Showtime's "Freak City"

1999

Portrayed a 99-year-old silent film director recalling her life in the stage play "The First Picture Show"

1998

Reprised Winnie for Hartford Stage Company production of "Happy Days"

1997

Played Old Lady McCracken in remake of "That Darn Cat"

1996

Portrayed Winnie in the Chicago stage production of Samuel Beckett's "Happy Days"

1996

Turned up as Queen Margaret in Al Pacino's exploration of Shakespeare, "Looking for Richard"

1995

Essayed the part of Louise in "Boys on the Side"

1993

Acted in the TNT presentation of Arthur Miller's "The American Clock"

1990

First movie role in more than 15 years, Mrs. Truehart in Warren Beatty's "Dick Tracy"

1989

Had recurring role as Bev Harris, Roseanne's mother on the ABC sitcom, "Roseanne"

1985

Hosted the PBS series "Mothers By Daughters"

1983

Directed (also adapted and performed) Dario Fo's "Orgasmo Adulto Escapes From the Zoo"

1982

Starred with Kevin Kline, Linda Ronstadt and Rex Smith in the Broadway revival of "The Pirates of Penzance"

1979

Starred as Bess Truman in the NBC miniseries, "Backstairs at the White House"

1978

Off-Broadway directing debut, "Voices"

1977

Had stage triumph playing the title role in "Miss Margarida's Way"; received third Tony nomination

1970

Earned second Tony nomination for the title role in Paul Zindel's "And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little"

1969

Co-starred with Hackman in "I Never Sang for My Father"

1968

Acted opposite Jackie Gleason in "Don't Drink the Water"; scripted by Woody Allen and directed by Howard Morris

1968

Appeared in Tennessee Williams' "The Seven Descents of Myrtle" on Broadway; received first Tony nomination

1968

Received second Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress for "Rachel, Rachel"

1967

Starred opposite Anthony Quayle in Bertolt Brecht's "Galileo" in New York

1967

Portrayed the sister-in-law of Clyde Barrow in "Bonnie and Clyde"; first collaboration with Gene Hackman

1963

Film acting debut, "Ladybug, Ladybug"

1962

Won a Theatre World Award for her performance in "Mrs. Dally Has a Lover"

1956

Broadway stage debut, "Happy Hunting" starring Ethel Merman

1950

Worked as a commentator, production assistant, feature producer and writer for NBC's "The Today Show"

Bonus Trivia

.

"Actually, if I had my life to live over, I think I'd like to be a philosopher. I was so dumb, I didn't realize I could get a job teaching and then do my thinking. I just thought you can't get paid to be thinking all the time. But acting has always excited me. I never had to look at the clock. And it keeps me from being bored."All my life I've done what I wanted to do. I think people don't like me for it. I've never had a desire to be successful. I never wanted fame, I never wanted awards, I never wanted to be in the movies. But I've paid a price. I'm not as famous as some of my contemporaries. I told you I'm weird." - Parsons to the Daily News, June 23, 1996

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