Who is Swoosie Kurtz?

Swoosie is an American Tony Award-winning actress, perhaps still best known to the world as Alex Reed in the TV series “Sisters” (1991-1996), and as Joyce Flynn in the TV series “Mike & Molly” (2010-2016), among many other roles that she’s secured her lengthy career.

Swoosie Kurtz Wiki: Age, Childhood, and Education

Swoosie was born on 6 September 1944, in Omaha, Nebraska, USA, the daughter of US Air Force Colonel Frank Allen Kurtz Jr, a bomber pilot, and his wife Margaret, an author. The name Swoozie is derived from the bomber jet named ‘The Swoose”, which looks like a bird that is a combination of half-swan and half goos which, her father piloted, and in honor of his service, he named his daughter Swoosie.

As the daughter of a military man, Swoosie and the family traveled a lot in her childhood, living in eight states before she matriculated from Hollywood High School. She then enrolled at the University of Southern California, majoring in drama, and then at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA).

Career Beginnings

Swoosie was just 17 years old when she made her acting debut, appearing as Mimi in the Primetime Emmy Award-nominated TV comedy series “The Donna Reed Show” (1962), with Donna Reed, Paul Petersen and Carl Betz in the lead roles.

After finishing her education, Swoosie’s next on-screen appearance was nine years later as Ellie Bradley in the daytime drama “As the World Turns”, and in 1976 she was Julie Di Nata in the Primetime Emmy Award-winning TV action crime-drama series “Kojak”, starring Telly Savalas, Dan Frazer and Kevin Dobson.

In 1977 she made her film debut as Shirley in the award-winning comedy sports-drama film “Slap Shot”, which starred Paul Newman, Michael Ontkean and Strother Martin, then appeared in Joan Darling’s romantic drama film “First Love”, starring William Kat, Susan Dey and Josh Heard.

Before the ’70s ended, Kurtz appeared in the film “Oliver’s Story” (1978), which is a sequel to “Love Story” from 1970, and in 1979, she appeared next to Bess Armstrong, Tom Mason and Richard Masur in the television drama movie “Walking Through the Fire”.

The ’80s announced the rise in Swoosie’s career – she began the decade with the lead role in the television romantic comedy movie “The Mating Season”, alongside Lucie Arnaz and Laurence Luckinbill, then the following year, secured her first major role, Laurie Morgan, in the TV comedy series “Love, Sidney”, which follows the misadventures of a gay New York artist and his new roommates, a single mother and her daughter. The series earned Kurtz two Primetime Emmy Award nominations, and made her name known by many.

Swoosie Kurtz as Lily Charles in the TV series Pushing Daisie (2007-2009)Swoosie Kurtz ( born September 6, 1944) is an…

Posted by Eclectic Ladies on Monday, March 12, 2018

Rise to Prominence

She enjoyed success throughout the ’80s – in 1982, she appeared in the Oscar-nominated comedy-drama film “The World According to Garp”, starring the late, great Robin Williams, and Glenn Close. In 1984, she featured in the Oscar-nominated action crime film “Against All Odds”, with Rachel Ward, Jeff Bridges and James Woods in the lead roles.

In 1985, Swoosie shared the screen with the legendary Liza Minnelli, and Jeffrey DeMunn in the award-winning television drama movie “A Time to Live,” and in 1986 starred with Goldie Hawn in the sports comedy film “Wildcats”.

She was Tina two years later in the fantasy comedy film “Vice Versa”, and Madame de Volanges in the Academy Award-winning romantic drama film “Dangerous Liaisons”, which had Glenn Close, John Malkovich, and Michelle Pfeiffer as the main stars.

The ’90s and Further Success

She started the ’90s with the long-running role of Alex Reed, the lead character in the TV comedy series “The Sisters”, which follows the lives of four Reed sisters and their adventures in Winnetka, Illinois. The series ran from 1991 to 1996, winning a Primetime Emmy Award in the process, while Swoosie earned two Primetime Emmy Award nominations, and a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination.

In 1994, she starred with the legendary Katherine Hepburn in the television family drama movie “One Christmas”, and in 1997 portrayed Allison Bryant in the television movie “Little Girls in Pretty Boxes”. The same year, she portrayed Dana Appleton in the award-winning fantasy comedy film “Liar Liar”, with Jim Carrey, Maura Tierney and Amanda Donohoe in the lead roles.

Before the decade’s end, Kurtz featured in the award-winning romantic drama film “Cruel Intentions, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, and Reese Witherspoon, and started portraying Effie Conklin in the TV series “Love & Money”, in 13 episodes over two years.

The 2000s

She started the new millennium with the lead role in the light thriller film “Sleep Easy, Hutch Rimes” and in 2001 joined a coven of young stars in the film “Get Over It”, with Kirsten Dunst in the lead role.

The following year, Swoosie featured in the romantic comedy-drama film “The Rules of Attraction”, with Ian Somerhalder, Shannyn Sossamon, and James Van Der Beek in the lead roles. From 2004 to 2006, she was Madeleine Sullivan in the Primetime Emmy Award-winning TV comedy series “Huff”, starring Hank Azaria and Paget Brewster, and now dearly missed Anton Yelchin, who died in an unfortunate accident in 2016.

She was Lily Charles, a series regular in the multiple Primetime Emmy Award-winning fantasy comedy-drama series “Pushing Daisies” (2007-2010), with Lee Pace, Anna Friel and Chi McBride in the lead roles.

The 2010s and Recent Projects

Swoosie secured another long-running role in 2010, as Joyce Flynn, in the Primetime Emmy Award-winning romantic comedy-drama series “Mike & Molly”, co-starring with Billy Gardell, Melissa McCarthy, Reno Wilson and Katy Mixon, among several other stars. The series ran from 2010 to 2016, and Swoosie featured in all 127 episodes of the much-praised series.

She didn’t pursue other opportunities while working on “Mike & Molly”, then after the end of the series, she joined the cast of the Primetime Emmy Award-nominated comedy series “Man with a Plan”, also consisting of Matt LeBlanc, Liza Snyder and Matt Cook among others, and appeared in 25 episodes until 2020.

Concurrently, in 2018, she starred in the short-lived comedy-drama series “The Dangerous Boys”, and then in 2021 joined Mayim Bialik and Kyla Pratt to complete the main cast for the new TV comedy series “Call Me Kat”, created by Darlene Hunt. The series has earned two Primetime Emmy Award nominations, and has been renewed for the third season, scheduled to premiere in September 2022.

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Theater Career

Additionally to her incredible on-screen career, Swoosie has had a prolific career on stage.

She made her theater debut as Ann in the play “The Firebugs” in 1968 at Martinique Theatre. Two years later, she played Janice Vickery in the play “The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds”, which became very popular, running from April 1970 until May 1972.

Her next theater appearance was her Broadway debut, when she played Muriel McComber in the comedy play “Ah, Wilderness!” (1975), and before the ’70s ended, she starred in the plays “Uncommon Women and Others” and “Tartuffe” (1977), which earned her Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations, while “A History of the American Film” in 1978, won her a Drama Desk Award in the category for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical.

Swoosie won her first Tony Award in 1981, for her portrayal of Gwen Landis in the play “Fifth of July”, which ran from 5 November 1980 until 24 January 1982 at New Apollo Theater; she also won Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle Awards.

Throughout the ’80s, she had several wonderful portrayals, including Bananas Shaughnessy in the play “The House of Blue Leaves” (1986), which won her a second Tony Award, and “Love Letters” (1989).

She remained active in theaters until the mid- 2000s, appearing in such plays as “Lips Together, Teeth Apart”, “The Mineola Twins”, and “The Vagina Monologues”, all in 1999, then “Imaginary Friends” (2002), and “Heartbreak House” (2006).

Net Worth

As of mid- 2022, Swoosie Kurtz’s net worth is estimated at over $5 million, acquired through her impressive acting career; Swoosie has over 95 film and TV credits to her name, and over 20 theater appearances, including several lengthy runs.

Personal Life, Dating, Married, Husband, Single?

Swoosie isn’t married and doesn’t have children, but has had a few flings in the past. From 1964 to 1970, she was in a romantic relationship with visionary graphic designer Joshua White, best known for his “Joshua Light Show”.

In 1978 she dated her “A History of the American Film” co-star, Brent Spiner, but the relationship ended that year.

In a rare interview, Swoosie said that she was never interested in having children, and that marriage and family life weren’t for her.

Swoosie has authored the memoir “Part Swan, Part Goose” (2014), in which she wrote about her childhood, career beginnings, and romantic links.

Appearance and Vital Statistics

Swoosie is known for her natural red hair and blue eyes. She stands at 5ft 4ins (1.63m) and weighs about 120lbs (54kgs). Many of her fans were concerned about her weight loss as she always had a few extra pounds. They believed that she was suffering from anorexia or some other eating disorder; however, Swoosie hasn’t spoken on the matter.

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