Elizabeth Ashley

Last updated

Elizabeth Ashley
Elizabeth Ashley 1971.JPG
Ashley in 1971
Elizabeth Ann Cole

(1939-08-30) August 30, 1939 (age 81)
Years active1960–present
(m. 1962;div. 1965)

(m. 1966;div. 1972)

James McCarthy
(m. 1975;div. 1981)

Elizabeth Ann Cole (born August 30, 1939), known professionally as Elizabeth Ashley, is an American actress of theatre, film, and television. She has been nominated for three Tony Awards, winning once in 1962 for Take Her, She's Mine . Ashley was also nominated for the BAFTA and Golden Globe awards for her performance in The Carpetbaggers (1964), and was nominated for an Emmy Award in 1991 for Evening Shade . Elizabeth was a guest on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson 24 times. She appeared in several episodes of “In the Heat of the Night" as Maybelle Chesboro


Early life

Ashley was born Elizabeth Ann Cole in Ocala, Florida, to Lucille (née Ayer) and Arthur Kingman Cole,[ citation needed ] a music teacher, [1] and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Ashley left Louisiana State University after her freshman year and moved to New York. She studied acting at The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre there, supporting herself by working as the Jell-O pudding girl on a television program and as a showroom model. [2]


Ashley won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for Take Her, She's Mine, then later starred as Corie in the original Broadway production of Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park (1963) and, later, as Maggie in a Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1974). She received Tony nominations for both performances. [3] She appeared on Broadway as Dr. Livingstone in Agnes of God (1982) and was a replacement in the role of Mattie Fae during the original Broadway run of August: Osage County . [4]

She has been featured in major motion pictures over five decades, including early roles in The Carpetbaggers (1964), Ship of Fools (1965), and The Third Day (1965). Her other film credits include The Marriage of a Young Stockbroker (1971), Rancho Deluxe (1975), Coma (1978), Paternity (1981), Dragnet (1987), and Vampire's Kiss (1989), and she starred as the villain in the controversial film Windows (1980). Her most recent film roles were as Diane Freed in Happiness (1998) and as Marg in the 2007 film The Cake Eaters .

She first appeared with Burt Reynolds in a 1969 season episode of Love American Style, then later in the movie Paternity in 1981, as a guest star in his television series B.L. Stryker in 1989, and finally as a cast member in his final television series, Evening Shade, from 1990 to 1994 as Aunt Frieda Evans. [5] In 1991, this role garnered her an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. She was originally supposed to appear in the 1995 movie Mallrats , playing the governor of New Jersey; however, the entire sequence was cut and replaced.[ citation needed ]

Ashley had the role of Kate in Sandburg's Lincoln, a six-part dramatization that ran on NBC in the mid-1970s. [5] :926 Her other television appearances include the 1987 miniseries The Two Mrs. Grenvilles , and guest roles in Ben Casey ; Route 66 ; Sam Benedict ; Stoney Burke ; The Six Million Dollar Man ; Family ; Miami Vice ; Caroline in the City ; Mission: Impossible ; Murder, She Wrote ; Dave's World ; Law & Order ; Law & Order: Special Victims Unit ; Touched by an Angel ; The Larry Sanders Show ; Homicide: Life on the Street ; Russian Doll ; and Better Things . She was featured in 14 episodes of the HBO series Treme as Aunt Mimi.


Ashley's autobiography Actress: Postcards from the Road was published in a hardcover edition on June 1, 1978 by M. Evans & Co (now part of the Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group). A paperback publication followed on October 12, 1979 through Fawcett Publications. [6]

Personal life

Ashley is thrice divorced. Her first and second husbands were actors James Farentino and George Peppard. [7] The latter was her leading man in her first movie, The Carpetbaggers (1964); the couple had a son, Christian (born 1968). [8]

At 25, Ashley retired from acting "to make a home for my husband, see that he had his dinner on time, realize myself as a woman". She resumed her career four years later after the birth of Christian Peppard. [9]



1964 The Carpetbaggers Monica Winthrop
1965 Ship of Fools Jenny Brown
1965 The Third Day Alexandria Mallory
1971 The Marriage of a Young Stockbroker Nan
1973 Paperback Hero Loretta
1974 Golden Needles Felicity
1975 Rancho Deluxe Cora Brown
1975 92 in the Shade Jeannie Carter
1976 The Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday Nancy Sue
1978 Coma Mrs. Emerson
1980 Windows Andrea Glassen
1981 Paternity Sophia Thatcher
1982 Split Image Diana Stetson
1987 Dragnet Jane Kirkpatrick
1988 Vampire's Kiss Dr. Glaser
1988 Dangerous Curves Miss Reed
1989A Man of PassionGloria
1996Shoot the MoonMrs. Comstock
1997Sleeping TogetherMrs. Tuccinini
1998 Happiness Diane Freed
1999 Just the Ticket Mrs. Paliski
2000Labor PainsJanice
2001Home Sweet HobokenBeth Flowers
2002 Hey Arnold!: The Movie Mrs. Vitello (voice)
2007 The Cake Eaters Marg Kaminski
2017Fry DayDeirdreShort
2017 Just Getting Started Lily
2017SeveranceFrancescaShort, post-production
2018 Ocean's 8 Ethel


1961 The Defenders Joyce Harkavy"The Prowler"
1962 The Nurses Barbara Bowers"The Barbara Bowers Story"
1962 Ben Casey Jane Brewster"And Even Death Shall Die"
1963 Route 66 Maria Cardenas"The Cage Around Maria"
1963 Sam Benedict Cindy Messerman"Season for Vengeance"
1963 Stoney Burke Donna Weston"Tigress by the Tail"
1966 Run for Your Life Dina Fuller"The Grotenberg Mask"
1966 Hawk Donna"H Is for a Dirty Letter"
1969The Skirts of Happy ChanceLaddie TurnbowTV film
1969The File on DevlinSally DevlinTV film
1970 Love, American Style Penny Dunbar"Love and the Banned Book"(with Burt Reynolds)
1970 The Virginian Faith Andrews"The West vs. Colonel MacKenzie"
1970 Medical Center Anne Forley"Brink of Doom"
1971 Insight Sally"The War of the Eggs"
1971HarpyMarianTV film
1971The Face of FearSally DillmanTV film
1971 Mission: Impossible Lois Stoner"Encounter"
1972 When Michael Calls Helen ConnellyTV film
1972 Second Chance Ellie SmithTV film
1972 Ghost Story Karen Dover"At the Cradle Foot"
1972The HeistDiane CraddockTV film
1972 Your Money or Your Wife Laurel PlunkettTV film
1973 Mission: Impossible Andrea"The Question"
1973 The Magician Sally Baker"Pilot"
1973 Police Story Jannette Johnson"Dangerous Games"
1973The Six Million Dollar Man: The Solid Gold KidnappingDr. Erica BergnerTV film
1974 Mannix Karen Winslow"The Dark Hours"
1974 Ironside Laura Keyes"Close to Your Heart"
1974 The F.B.I. Claire"Diamond Run"
1975Lincoln Kate Chase Sprague "Sad Figure, Laughing"
1976 One of My Wives Is Missing Elizabeth CorbanTV film
1977 Family Elizabeth Kraft"Lovers and Strangers"
1977 The War Between the Tates Erica TateTV film
1978Tom and JoannJoan HammilTV film
1978 A Fire in the Sky Sharon AllanTV film
1982Saturday Night LiveGuest Host
1983Freedom to SpeakJane Addams / Dorothea DixTV miniseries
1983 Svengali Eve SwissTV film
1984He's Fired, She's HiredFreddie FoxTV film
1985 The Love Boat Nancy Bricker2 episodes
1985 Cagney & Lacey Michelle Zal"The Psychic"
1985 The Hitchhiker Mrs. Baxter"Out of the Night"
1986 Stagecoach DallasTV film
1987 The Two Mrs. Grenvilles Babette Van DeganTV miniseries
1987Warm Hearts, Cold FeetBlanche WebsterTV film
1987 Miami Vice D.E.A. Agent Linda Colby"Knock, Knock... Who's There?"
1988 Eisenhower and Lutz Eleanor"Pride and Prejudice"
1989 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Karen Lawson / Kate Lawson"Mirror Mirror"
1989 B.L. Stryker Althea Campbell"Blues for Buder"
1989 Hunter Felicia Green"A Girl Named Hunter"
1989American Playwrights Theater: The One-ActsAnnie Sweeney"The Rope"
1989 Murder, She Wrote Vera Gerakaris"Truck Stop"
1990Blue BayouLolly FontenotTV film
1990 Another World Emma Frame OrdwayTV series
1990–1994 Evening Shade Freida EvansMain role
1991Reason for Living: The Jill Ireland StoryVickyTV film
1991Love and Curses... And All That JazzEmmalinaTV film
1992 In the Best Interest of the Children Carla ScottTV film
1993 The Larry Sanders Show Elizabeth Ashley"Off Camera"
1993 Harnessing Peacocks GrandmotherTV film
1994 In the Heat of the Night Maybelle Cheseboro"Maybelle Returns"
1994 Law & Order Gwen Young"Second Opinion"
1995The BuccaneersMrs. ClossonTV miniseries
1995 Burke's Law Mary Burton"Who Killed the Motor Car Maverick?"
1995 Women of the House Elizabeth Ashley"Women in Film"
1995 Murder, She Wrote Emily Broussard Renwyck"Big Easy Murder"
1995 Touched by an Angel Sandy Latham"Angels on the Air"
1996 Dave's World Jeanette"Double Fault"
1996 The Big Easy Larissa Fontaine"A Dead Man Is Hard to Find"
1996 All My Children Madge SinclairTV series
1996 Hey Arnold! Mrs. Vitello (voice)"Arnold's Hat/Stoop Kid"
1996–97 Caroline in the City Natalie Karinsky"Caroline and Richard's Mom", "Caroline and the Bad Trip"
1997 The Ruth Rendell Mysteries Margaret Lipton"May and June: Part One"
1998 Hey Arnold! Mrs. Vitello (voice)"Part Time Friends/Biosquare"
1999 Homicide: Life on the Street Madeline Pitt"Truth Will Out"
1999 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Serena Benson"Payback"
2010–2013 Treme Aunt MimiRecurring role
2015UnderstudiesDotty BuggettTV film
2019–present Russian Doll Ruth BrennerMain Cast

2019- The bold type, season 4 as Pam

Related Research Articles

George Peppard American actor

George Peppard was an American actor. He is best remembered for his role as struggling writer Paul Varjak in the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany's, and for playing commando leader Col. John "Hannibal" Smith in the 1980s television series The A-Team.

Peggy Cass

Mary Margaret "Peggy" Cass was an American actress, comedian, game show panelist, and announcer. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture for her performance in the 1958 film Auntie Mame.

Annie Potts American actress

Anne Hampton Potts is an American actress. She was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Corvette Summer (1978) and won a Genie Award for Heartaches (1981), before appearing in Ghostbusters (1984), Pretty in Pink (1986), Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986), Who's Harry Crumb? (1989), and Ghostbusters II (1989). She voiced Bo Peep in the Disney and Pixar animated films Toy Story (1995), Toy Story 2 (1999), and Toy Story 4 (2019).

Lee Remick American actress

Lee Ann Remick was an American actress. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for the film Days of Wine and Roses (1962), and for the 1966 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her Broadway theatre performance in Wait Until Dark.

Kim Stanley American actress

Kim Stanley was an American actress, primarily in television and theatre, but with occasional film performances.

Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio American actress and singer (born 1958)

Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio is an American actress and singer. She made her Broadway debut in the 1980 revival of West Side Story, and went on to appear in the 1983 film Scarface as Al Pacino's character's sister, Gina Montana. For her role as Carmen in the 1986 film The Color of Money, she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Her other film roles include The Abyss (1989), Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), and The Perfect Storm (2000). In 2003, she was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for the Broadway revival of Man of La Mancha.

Kathy Bates American actress and director

Kathleen Doyle Bates is an American actress and director. She has been the recipient of numerous accolades, including an Academy Award, two Primetime Emmy Awards, and two Golden Globe Awards.

Stockard Channing American actress

Stockard Channing is an American actress. She is known for playing Betty Rizzo in the film Grease (1978) and First Lady Abbey Bartlet in the NBC television series The West Wing (1999–2006). She is also known for originating the role of Ouisa Kittredge in the stage and film versions of Six Degrees of Separation, the 1993 film version earned her an Academy Award Nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role. She was also one of two comic foils of The Number Painter on Sesame Street.

Carolyn Jones American actress (1930–1983)

Carolyn Sue Jones was an American actress of television and film. Jones began her film career in the early 1950s, and by the end of the decade had achieved recognition with a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for The Bachelor Party (1957) and a Golden Globe Award as one of the most promising new actresses of 1959. Her film career continued for another 20 years. In 1964, she began playing the role of Morticia Addams in the original black and white television series The Addams Family.

Colleen Dewhurst Canadian-American actress

Colleen Rose Dewhurst was a Canadian-American actress mostly known for theatre roles. She was a renowned interpreter of the works of Eugene O'Neill on the stage, and her career also encompassed film, early dramas on live television, and Joseph Papp's New York Shakespeare Festival. One of her last roles was playing Marilla Cuthbert in the Kevin Sullivan television adaptations of the Anne of Green Gables series, and her reprisal of the role in the subsequent TV series Road to Avonlea. Dewhurst won two Tony Awards and four Emmy Awards for her stage and television work.

Anne Revere American actress

Anne Revere was an American actress and a progressive member of the board of the Screen Actors' Guild. She was best known for her work on Broadway and her film portrayals of mothers in a series of critically acclaimed films. An outspoken critic of the House Un-American Activities Committee, her name appeared in Red Channels: The Report on Communist Influence in Radio and Television in 1950 and she was subsequently blacklisted.

Janet McTeer British actress

Janet McTeer is an English actress. In 1997, she won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play, the Olivier Award for Best Actress, and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play for her role as Nora in A Doll's House (1996–1997). She also won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as Mary Jo Walker in the 1999 film Tumbleweeds, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Hubert Page in the 2011 film Albert Nobbs.

Jean Smart American actress

Jean Elizabeth Smart is an American actress. After beginning her career in regional theater in the Pacific Northwest, she appeared on Broadway in 1981 as Marlene Dietrich in the biographical play Piaf. Smart was later cast in a leading role as Charlene Frazier Stillfield on the CBS sitcom Designing Women, in which she starred from 1986 to 1991.

Amanda Plummer American actress (born 1957)

Amanda Michael Plummer is an American actress. She is known for her work on stage and for her roles in such films as Joe Versus the Volcano (1990), The Fisher King (1991), Pulp Fiction (1994), and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013). Plummer won a Tony Award in 1982 for her performance in Agnes of God.

Beah Richards

Beulah Elizabeth Richardson, known professionally as Beah Richards, was an American actress of stage, screen, and television. She was also a poet, playwright, and author.

Barbara Barrie American actress and author

Barbara Barrie is an American actress and author.

Amy Madigan American actress, producer, and singer

Amy Marie Madigan is an American actress, producer, and singer. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for the 1985 film Twice in a Lifetime. Her other film credits include Love Child (1982), Places in the Heart (1984), Field of Dreams (1989), Uncle Buck (1989), The Dark Half (1993), Pollock (2000), and Gone Baby Gone (2007). Madigan won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress on Television and was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for her portrayal of Sarah Weddington in the 1989 television film Roe vs. Wade.

Shirley Knight American actress

Shirley Knight Hopkins was an American actress who appeared in more than 50 feature films, television films, television series, and Broadway and Off-Broadway productions in her career, playing leading and character roles. She was a member of the Actors Studio.

Elizabeth Allen (actress) American actress

Elizabeth Allen was an American theatre, television, and film actress and singer whose 40-year career lasted from the mid-1950s through the mid-1990s, and included scores of TV episodes and six theatrical features, two of which were directed by John Ford.

Penelope Milford is an American stage and screen actress. She is best known for her role as Vi Munson in Coming Home (1978) for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She also originated the role of Jenny Anderson in the Broadway musical Shenandoah, for which she was nominated for a Drama Desk Award in 1975.


  1. 1940 United States Federal Census
  2. Reed, Rex (September 22, 1974). "Two First-Rate Talents On Second-Hand Broadway". New York Daily News . p. Leisure-5. Retrieved April 27, 2018 via Newspapers.com.
  3. "Elizabeth Ashley". Tony Awards. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  4. Elizabeth Ashley at the Internet Broadway Database
  5. 1 2 Terrace, Vincent (January 10, 2014). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co. p. 313. ISBN   978-0-7864-8641-0 . Retrieved December 27, 2020.
  6. Actress: Postcards from the Road. Fawcett Crest. 1978. ISBN   978-0-4492-4104-2.
  7. Manners, Dorothy (May 29, 1966). "George Peppard retains his image as a loner". The News and Courier . Charleston, S.C.
  8. Gates, Anita (January 20, 2008). "The Unsinkable Elizabeth Ashley" . The New York Times . Retrieved December 27, 2020.
  9. Smith, Cecil (November 21, 1969). "Elizabeth Ashley Returns to Acting". Los Angeles Times . p. Part IV - 25. Retrieved December 27, 2020 via Newspapers.com.