Swoosie Kurtz

Swoosie Kurtz is an Emmy Award and Tony Award winning American actress. Swoosie Kurtz was born on September 6, 1944, in Omaha, Nebraska. Swoosie was the only child of Air Force Colonel Frank Allen Kurtz and author Margaret “Margo” Kurtz. Her name, which rhymes with “Lucy”, was given to her by her father. The intention behind it was to give homage to the plane that the colonel flew during World War ll. The colonel piloted an early Boeing B-17D Flying Fortress bomber named “The Swoose”, half swan, half goose. This same aircraft (USAAC 40-3097) once carried future-president Lyndon Johnson back to Australia from Port Moresby, New Guinea, after he rode as a Navy observer on a B-26 raid on Lae. “The Swoosie” is now owned by the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. Swoosie likes her name and when she was asked if she had ever considered changing it she responded “Change it to what - Tiffany? It's been an advantage. It's unforgettable. I'm the only one."

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Due to her father’s military profession, Swoosie had to relocate often during her childhood and lived in eight different states. On the experience, Swoosie says “I was always the new kid with this strange name." Swoosie attended the University of Southern California where she majored in drama. Afterward, she went to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. It’s safe to say that Swoosie was always into acting and her passion for the profession manifested early in her childhood. Kurtz’s professional career began when she was only seventeen years old. Swoosie appeared on the American sitcom “The Donna Reed Show” for a televised episode during the fourth season of the long-running and popular show. Swoosie, along with her father, also appeared on the game show “To Tell the Truth” in 1962. Her father was the contestant and eighteen-year-old Swoosie came out to identify him at the end of the game by handing him his uniform jacket. She rose to prominence, portraying Gwen Landis in the play ‘Fifth of July,’ and this led her to earn Broadway’s “triple crown”; notably the ‘Tony’, the ‘Outer Critics Circle’ and the ‘Drama Desk’ awards.

In 1975, Swoosie was nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Actress in a Principal Role for her performance in “The Philanthropist” at the Goodman Theater in Chicago, Illinois. In 1978 she was a part of the ensemble of Mary Tyler Moore’s series called Mary. This ensemble featured celebrities like David Letterman, who later on went on to become one of the most popular television hosts in American television history. Since then, Swoosie has appeared in many different television shows; received several Emmy and Golden Globe nominations, and, in 1990, was awarded an Emmy for her guest-starring performance on Carol Burnett's comedy series “Carol & Company”. Swoosie’s Broadway debut was the 1975 revival of ‘Ah, Wilderness!’. She later earned widespread recognition with the stage productions of ‘A History of the American Film’ and ‘Uncommon Women and Others.’ Starting from the late 1970s, Swoosie was also featured in several television movies, such as ‘Walking Through the Fire’ (1979), ‘Baja Oklahoma’ (1988), ‘The Image’ (1990), ‘And the Band Played On’ (1993), and ‘A Promise to Carolyn’ (1996). Swoosie made her big-screen film debut in the late 1970s when she appeared in such films as ‘Slap Shot’ (1977) and ‘Oliver's Story’ (1978). Later in her career, Swoosie Swoosie appeared in several major Hollywood productions including the 1983 Agatha Christie drama ‘Caribbean Mystery,' the 1988 historical drama ‘Dangerous Liaisons,’ the 1996 comedy ‘Citizen Ruth,’ the 1997 Jim Carrey-starrer blockbuster fantasy-comedy ‘Liar Liar,’ and the 1999 romantic teen-drama ‘Cruel Intentions.’

Quick Facts
Birth Date: 6 Sep, 1944
Age: 75 yrs
Occupations: Stage actor
Film actor
Television actor
Voice actor
Citizenship: United States of America
Birth Place: Omaha
Education: University of Southern California
USC School of Dramatic Arts
Gender: Female
Description: American actress
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Last Modified: Feb 19 2023
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