Piper Laurie has built a distinguished career in film, on television and the theater, performing in more than a hundred films and television shows. She recently played Toni Collette’s mother in “The Dead Girl”. She just completed directing the first part of a trilogy based on the short stories of James Lasdun. She had already starred in nearly twenty films before breaking her lucrative Hollywood contract and moving to New York to do theater and live TV. Robert Rosen saw her on stage and cast her in “The Hustler”, with Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason. Her performance in that classic American film earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress in a leading role. She married, moved to upstate New York and took fifteen years out to raise a family. When she returned, two additional academy award nominations followed. One for the Stephen King classic “Carrie,” directed by Brian De Palma and the other for “Children of a Lesser God” directed by Randa Haines.
Laurie made an impact in live television early on in the original “Days of Wine and Roses”, directed by John Frankenheimer earning her an Emmy
nomination for her wrenching performance as an alcoholic. She has gone on to earn a dozen Emmy nominations for her performances on shows such as “Fraiser” and David Lynch’s series, “Twin Peaks” for which she received a Golden Globe. She also won the Emmy for the Hallmark movie “Promise” with James Woods and James Garner.
Laurie has starred in a spectrum of film genres, from Dario Argento’s “Trauma” to the elegant adaptation of Truman Capote’s “The Grass Harp” opposite Walter Matthau. She has worked with directors ranging from Robert Rodriguez and Sean Penn to Norman Jewison and Bruce Beresford, in films as diverse as “The Faculty”, “The Crossing Guard”, “Wrestling Ernest Hemmingway”, “Storyville”, “Other Peoples Money”, “Dream A Little Dream”, “Return to Oz” and “Tim” opposite Mel Gibson.
On stage Ms. Laurie has done almost thirty plays including “The Glass Menagerie”, “Rosemary and The Alligators”, “Twelfth Night”, “Marco Polo Sings a Solo”, “Macbeth”, “Biography”, “The Innocents”, “The Destiny of Me”, “The Cherry Orchard” and toured in her one person show “The Last Flapper” by William Luce, based on the writings of Zelda Fitzgerald. She played in Larry Kramer’s most recent “The Destiny of Me” at the Lucille
Lortel and last season’s Tony nominated hit revival of “Mornings as Seven” directed by Daniel Sullivan. She was Harvard’s “Woman of the Year” and in 1996 Tucson University conferred an honorary “Doctor of Fine Arts”. In 2000 she flew to Korea to receive “The Spirit of Hope Award” for her service during the Korean War. She’s a sculptor working in marble and clay and exhibits her work.