Who is Teri Garr?
Terry Ann Garr, popularly known as Teri Garr, is a renowned American actress, dancer and singer who is best known for her role in the 1982 American comedy 'Tootsie' for which she was nominated for an Oscar. Garr, who began her career working as a background dancer in movies, made her first significant appearance in the 1974 award winning American psychological thriller 'The Conversation'. After doing roles in several films such as 'Young Frankenstein,' and 'Oh God!,' her popularity rose to new heights after she played a neurotic girlfriend in the 1982 film 'Tootsie'. In 2002, she announced that she was suffering from multiple sclerosis, a disease in which the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord are damaged, resulting in physical, mental and psychiatric problems. She also announced that her reason for making it public was to help other people suffering from it, by letting them know that they are not alone, and that there are ways to overcome this illness. She became the National Ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society as well as the National Chair for the Society's Women Against Multiple Sclerosis program. She then suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm in 2006. Though her condition improved significantly later, she has not appeared in any movies or television shows since 2007.
Childhood & Early Life
Teri Garr was born on 11 December 1944 (some sources say 1947), in Lakewood, Ohio, in the United States. Her father was Eddie Garr, a renowned actor and comedian and her mother was Phyllis Lind, a model and a dancer. She has two older brothers Ed and Phil.
Because of her father's work, her family moved around the country. Her dad passed away when she was only eleven years of age. Her mother worked in a wardrobe department at NBC as well as other studios, in order to support the three children. It was during this time that Teri discovered her passion for dance.
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Teri Garr initially appeared as a background dancer in several movies such as ‘Viva Las Vegas’ (1964). She also appeared in commercials and played minor roles in television episodes. Her first significant film was the American psychological thriller 'The Conversation' (1974), where she played a supporting role. The film was a huge hit, and won many Oscar nominations.
In 1974, she also played a supporting role in the horror comedy 'Young Frankenstein', which made her much popular. The movie, which was directed by Mel Brooks, received several award nominations including two nominations for the Oscars.
She continued to appear in several other successful films through the next few years. She appeared in a supporting role in the 1977 movie 'Oh, God!' directed by Carl Reiner. The same year, she also appeared in Steven Spielberg's sci-fi movie 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind'.
She appeared in the 1979 American film 'The Black Stallion' which was based on a children's novel of the same name written by Walter Farley. The story focuses on a man shipwrecked on a deserted island, who meets and befriends a wild stallion.
In 1982, she co-starred with Dustin Hoffman, playing his girlfriend in the film 'Tootsie'. Her performance was much appreciated by audience as well as critics. Though she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, she lost out to Jessica Lange.
She appeared in several popular movies in the next few years, such as 'Mr. Mom' (1983), 'Miracles' (1986), 'Full Moon in Black Water' (1988), 'Mom and Dad Save the World' (1992), A Simple Wish' (1997), and 'Ghost World' (2001). Meanwhile she also made significant appearances in television, in shows such as 'To Catch a King' a 1984 thriller TV movie, and the 1986 American comedy miniseries 'Fresno'.
Her latest movies were 'Expired', a 2007 comedy drama, directed by Cecilia Miniucchi, and 'Kabluey', another 2007 movie, directed by Scott Prendergast. Since 2007, she has not made any appearance in television or film due to her illness.
'The Conversation,' a 1974 American psychological thriller was the first significant film in Teri Garr's career. Written, produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola, the film, starred Gene Hackman, John Cazale, Allen Garfield, and Cindy Williams, in addition to Garr. The story revolved around a surveillance expert whose recordings reveal a potential murder. The film won the 'Golden Palm' Award at the 1974 Cannes Film Festival. It was also nominated for three Oscars.
The 1982 comedy film 'Tootsie' can be regarded as the most important work in Teri Garr's career. Garr played the role of Dustin Hoffman's neurotic girlfriend Sandra. Directed by Sydney Pollack, the film is about the story of an actor, with whom no one wants to work with despite his talent, because of his difficult nature. The film won Garr a nomination for the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. The film was nominated for ten Academy Awards and was also a huge commercial hit, becoming the second-highest grossing film of the year. It received mostly positive reviews.
Another one of her significant movies was the 1992 sci-fi comedy 'Mom and Dad Save the World'. Directed by Greg Beeman, the movie starred Garr in the lead role, along with other actors such as Jeffrey Jones, Jon Lovitz, Thalmus Rasulaa, Wallace Shawn, and Eric Idle.
She played another lead role in the 1995 crime thriller 'Perfect Alibi'. Directed by Kevin Meyer, the film was based on a novel by Majer Krich named 'Where's Mommy Now'? The story revolves around an adulterous husband trying to murder his wife for her money.
Her last movie appearance was in the 2007 comedy film 'Kabluey', which was directed by Scott Prendergast. The film starred Prendergast himself and along with Garr, the cast included Lisa Kudrow, Christina Taylor, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Angela Sarafyan.
Awards & Achievements
Teri Garr won a nomination for the Academy Award (Oscar) for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the 1982 film 'Tootsie.'
Personal Life & Legacy
Teri Garr married John O'Neil, a contractor, in 1993. They adopted a daughter who was named Molly. However, the couple divorced after a few years.
Despite her battle with multiple sclerosis, she continued to act for many years as well as help others suffering from the same disease.
She suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm in the year 2006. Though her condition became better later, she has not acted in TV or films since 2007.