Marsha Mason is a prominent American actress and director. She is a four-time Academy Award nominee for her work in the films ‘Cinderella Liberty’, ‘The Goodbye Girl’, ‘Chapter Two’ and ‘Only When I Laugh’. The first two films also earned her Golden Globe Awards. On television, she is known for appearing in the sitcom ‘Love of Life’ as well as in the drama ‘Frasier’, the latter of which garnered her an Emmy Award nomination. The talented actress has also worked extensively on stage, most notably in a revival of ‘The Prisoner of Second Avenue’. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Mason grew up alongside her younger sister. After completing her high school education from Nerinx Hall High School, she graduated from Webster University before making her film debut. From 1965 to 1970, Mason was married to actor Gary Campbell. Her second marriage, to screenwriter Neil Simon, lasted for ten years. She has no children.
Childhood & Early Life
Marsha Mason was born on April 3, 1942 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, to James Joseph Mason and Jacqueline Helena. She has a younger sister named Linda.
She attended Nerinx Hall High School and later graduated from Webster University. While at Webster, Mason performed in a number of theatrical productions.
You May Like
Continue Reading Below
Marsha Mason made her film debut with the 1968 western ‘Beyond the Law’. From 1971 to 1972, she played Judith Cole in the television series ‘Love of Life’. Soon after this, she starred alongside Susan Anspach and George Segal in ‘Blume in Love’.
In 1977, she played Paula McFadden in ‘The Goodbye Girl’, a romantic comedy-drama focussing on an odd trio: a struggling artist who has rented an apartment from his friend, the current occupant who is his friend's ex-girlfriend and her young daughter. Mason’s performance was critically appreciated and earned her an Academy Award nomination for best actress.
She next starred in the films ‘The Cheap Detective’ and ‘Chapter Two’. During the 1980s, she had roles in a number of movies including ‘Only When I Laugh’, ‘Max Dugan Returns’ and ‘Heartbreak Ridge’.
Mason commenced the next decade with her supporting role of Janice Morrison in the motion picture ‘Stella’ which starred Bette Midler. In 1991, she appeared in the black comedy fantasy flick ‘Drop Dead Fred’. That year, she also joined the cast of the soap opera ‘Sibs’.
During 1997 and 1998, the actress portrayed the character of Sherry Dempsey in the sitcom ‘Frasier’.
Following guest appearances in the dramas ‘The Education of Max Bickford’, ‘Lipstick Jungle’ and ‘Army Wives’, Mason was cast in the recurring role of Pat Spence in the sitcom ‘The Middle’ in 2010.
From 2015 to 2016, she featured as Dr. Kinsey Sherman in two episodes of ‘Madam Secretary’. During this time, she also joined the cast of ‘Grace and Frankie’ as Arlene, a role she is playing till date.
In 1973, Marsha Mason was cast as Maggie Paul in ‘Cinderella Liberty’, a romantic drama film adapted from Daryl Ponicsan’s novel of the same name. The movie is about a sailor who develops romantic feelings for a prostitute and becomes her son’s surrogate father. Mason’s performance garnered her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress and also earned her a Golden Globe Award.
Family & Personal Life
Marsha Mason married actor Gary Campbell in 1965 and eventually separated from him. They divorced in 1970. She later married playwright Neil Simon. The couple stayed married from 1973 to 1983.
The actress had a farm in Abiquiu that grew organic herbs. In the 1990s, she sold herbs to other companies before starting a line of bath and body and wellness products called "Resting in the River".