Lesley Ann Warren Birthday: August 16, 1946 Birth Place: New York, New York, USA Height: 5' 8"
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Publicity notwithstanding, Lesley Ann Warren did not exactly burst fully grown into the world in 1966 to star in the Rodgers and Hammerstein TV special Cinderella. Trained at New York's Professional Children's School, Lesley Ann studied under Lee Strasberg before making her Broadway debut in 110 in the Shade, the 1964 musical version of The Rainmaker. On the strength of Cinderella, Lesley Ann was signed to a Disney contract; but after starring in The Happiest Millionaire (1966) and The One and Only Genuine Original Family Band, she rebelled against her studio-imposed sweetness-'n'-light image. Upon replacing Barbara Bain in the long-running espionage TVer Mission: Impossible in 1970, Warren publicly emphasized that her character, Dana Lambert, was a "now" person, wise in the ways of sex. She stayed with Mission for only a year, after which she established herself as a leading light in the made-for-TV movie field, frequently cast as an older woman involved romantically with a much-younger man. She earned an Academy Award nomination for her hilarious performance as bleach-blond gangster's moll Norma in Victor/Victoria (1981), then starred in a couple of intriguing Alan Rudolph-directed dramas, Choose Me (1984) and The Songwriter (1986). Her more recent roles include Molly, the homeless woman in Mel Brooks' Life Stinks(1991), who goes into a "death throes" act whenever she feels like it, and the barracuda booking agent for c-and-w star George Strait in Pure Country (1994). For nearly a decade, Lesley Ann Warren was the wife of producer/hairstylist Jon Peters.
Youngest actor ever to have attended NY's Actors Studio, when she was 17.
Was student at School of American Ballet when she switched to acting.
Lives in LA with companion Ron Taft, ad executive.
Auditioned for the role of Liesl in The Sound of Music (1965).
Tried out for the role of Lois Lane in Superman (1978), but lost to Margot Kidder.
Is a vegetarian.
She has a son, Christopher Peters, from producer Jon Peters.
Her father was a World War II vet and realtor while her mother was a nightclub singer who stopped working when Lesley Ann was born.
At age 13, she won a scholarship to study with ballet legend George Balanchine.
She once enrolled in an acting class with drama coach Stella Adler.
Warren says she won the highly-coveted part of Susan's high maintenance mom Sophie on Desperate Housewives because of her son Christopher.
Was supposed to play the role of Brenda in Goodbye Columbus, but she got pregnant and had to be replaced. Ali MacGraw then got the part.
Was very proud of her work in Willing to Kill: The Texas Cheerleader Story (1992), and was disappointed that it got clobbered by an HBO movie on the same story (The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom (1993)) that came out at about the same time, starring Holly Hunter.
Started working on her first Broadway show (110 in the Shade) at sixteen and a half years old.
When she first auditioned for Cinderella, she was so nervous that the audition tanked. She had to audition a second time, and then was hired.
Of all her television experiences, Warren said she had an especially great time on Will & Grace (2001) and Dr. Kildare (1966), and that her favorite television experience was the making of Cinderella (1965)
Says her favorite genre is the Musical.
Starred in an early 1970s busted TV pilot as "Cat Ballou," the role Jane Fonda made famous on film.
Walt Disney hand-picked Lesley for the ingénue role in the film The Happiest Millionaire (1967) after her "Cinderella" success. This film was the last live-action movie Disney supervised before his death.
Was extremely upset at first about her performance as the gangster's moll in Victor/Victoria (1982) prior to its release, having thought she went horribly over the top. She did go over the top and the audiences loved her for it. Lesley was nominated for a "Supporting Actress" Academy Award, her only nod so far.
Lesley was to co-star in the beautician comedy series "Snip," a TV takeoff of the Warren Beatty movie "Shampoo" starring David Brenner as a divorced hairdresser. Just before its scheduled September 30, 1976 debut, NBC abruptly canceled the show, so fast in fact that TV Guide did not even have time to remove a special feature on the show in its Fall Preview of September 18-24, 1976. Why? One of the show's supporting characters, a fellow hairdresser named Michael, was openly gay and NBC got cold feet at the last minute. Had "Snip" premiered, it would have been a first on American series TV. Instead, Billy Crystal went on to receive that honor with his gay character a year later on the popular series "Soap." Seven episodes of "Snip" were completed when it got the ax. The only place the series ended up airing was in Australia, and it became the highest rated show in Australian history up until that time.