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About Shirley

Books by Shirley Maclaine

The Today Show April 4, 2011

My careers in this life have been diverse. My acting, singing, and dancing are external expression of who I am. But, to know me and understand me, you need to know what I think, how I feel, and where the path of this life has taken me. That you will find in my written words.

  • What If... A Lifetime of Questions, Speculations, Reasonable Guesses, and a Few Things I Know for Sure
  • I'm All Over That and Other Confessions
  • Sage-ing Whil Age-ing
  • Out on a Leash
  • The Camino: A Journey of the Spirit
  • You Can Get There From Here
  • Don't Fall off the Mountain
  • Out on a Limb
  • My Lucky Stars: A Hollywood Memoir
  • McGovern: The Man and His Beliefs
  • It's All in the Playing
  • Going Within
  • Dancing in the Light
  • Dance While You Can
  • Purchase Shirley's books here.

    I'm a Taurus, born April 24, 1934, in Richmond, Virginia, to Kathyln MacLean Beaty and Ira O. Beaty. Mother, a drama teacher, set aside her dreams of being an actress to raise her family. Daddy was also an educator and expanded my horizons with his knowledge of psychology and philosophy. They instilled in me a strong work ethic, a standard I still try my best to achieve in all I do.

    As a toddler I had weak ankles so Mother enrolled me in ballet class to strengthen my muscles. Ballet class really helped and about a year later I experienced my first live audience during a recital. I had on a little green costume, tripped on the curtain and fell down. That's when I got my first laugh and I liked it! From then on I wanted to perform. I was always an extrovert even though I suffered from stage fright. But then that work ethic would kick in and I knew the show had to go on.

    "My parents made me an investigator, a revolutionary."

    I learned something else from them, too. They tried their best to provide fences of security and safety and place protective boundaries around my life. I couldn't stand the constraints so I learned, through their efforts, how to stretch those boundaries. My parents made me an investigator, a revolutionary, a person who wants to change because they made me jump that fence of safety.

    On some level they knew I couldn't be harnessed. Mother was never a "stage mother". She never egged me on or slowed me down. I was strictly on my own. Daddy had more reservations. He wanted to protect me from the possible pain of not succeeding in my dream. He could see that I would never stop daring. And he seemed to understand that ironically he, in effect, was teaching me to dare because I saw that he was such a spectacular disappointment to himself for having never tried it.

    After my junior year in high school, I went to New York to study. Auditions were being held for the revival of Oscar and Hammerstein's musical Oklahoma. I auditioned and got a part in the chorus. I knew immediately that I would be happier here than in a ballet company. I was certain I wanted musical comedy. I knew I would be good. I also knew that at 5'7" (over 6 foot on point) the only thing that I could partner with was a tree!

    At the end of that summer I was offered a chance to tour with the show in Germany. Mother and Dad left the decision to me. I must have realized that I would have plenty more chances to be in show business, but only one crack at getting my high school diploma. I returned to Virginia to finish high school and continue on with my ballet training, but the lights of Broadway were in my eyes and I knew I would return.

    Shirley on the View - I'm Over All That


    I'm Over All That on CBS Morning


    Shirley on Sage-ing While Age-ing

    CBS Interview with Shirley on Sag-ing...


    The Today Show Nov 7, 2007



    What If...


    I'm Over All That


    Out on a Limb




    You Can Get There from Here


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