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Lesley Ann Warren
Warren in 2009
Born (1946-08-16) August 16, 1946 (age 77)
Other namesLesley Warren
OccupationsActress, singer
Years active1962–present
Jon Peters
(m. 1967; div. 1974)

Ronald Taft
(m. 2000)
ChildrenChristopher Peters

Lesley Ann Warren (born August 16, 1946) is an American actress and singer. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for the 1982 film Victor/Victoria. She is also an Emmy Award nominee and five-time Golden Globe Award nominee, winning the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama Series for the 1977 NBC miniseries Harold Robbins' 79 Park Avenue.

Warren made her Broadway debut in 1963, and her film debut in The Happiest Millionaire in 1967. Her other film appearances include Clue (1985), Burglar (1987), Cop (1988), Color of Night (1994), and Secretary (2002). She has also appeared in numerous television shows, including Mission: Impossible, Desperate Housewives, Will & Grace, and In Plain Sight.

Early life and education[]

Warren was born in New York City, the daughter of Margot (née Verblow), a singer, and William Warren, a real estate agent.[1] Her family was Russian Jewish, on both sides, and her father's original surname was "Warrenoff".[2][3]

She attended the Professional Children's School and The High School of Music & Art.[4]


The 5-foot-8-inch (1.73 m) Warren began her career as a ballet dancer, training at the School of American Ballet. She entered the Actors Studio at the age of 17—reputedly the youngest applicant ever to be accepted. Her Broadway debut came in 1963 in the musical 110 in the Shade. She won the Theatre World Award for her performance in the 1965 flop musical Drat! The Cat!. In 1973, she portrayed Scarlett O'Hara in the Los Angeles production of the musical Scarlett; however, the play was poorly reviewed and did not continue to Broadway as planned.

File:Stuart Damon Lesley Ann Warren Cinderella.jpg

Warren as Cinderella, pictured with Stuart Damon as the Prince.

Having failed to obtain the role of Liesl in the film version of The Sound of Music, Warren's first major television success was in the title role of Rodgers and Hammerstein's television special Cinderella in 1965.[5] She later played the part of Dana Lambert, the leading female on the Mission: Impossible team, during the 1970–71 television season. According to The Complete Mission: Impossible Dossier by Patrick White, she was considered too inexperienced for the part and left after only one year. Despite her departure, throughout the 1970s Warren became a leading lady of TV movies, TV series, and TV miniseries. She appeared as a guest star in the third season of The Muppet Show and made an occasional feature film. Warren also played Lois Lane in the 1975 TV special It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman adapted from the Broadway musical of the same name. Warren went on to screen-test for the role of Lois Lane in the 1978 Superman film, a role that was ultimately won by Margot Kidder (footage of Warren's screen test has been included as a supplementary feature on VHS and DVD releases of the film).

In 1981, she starred with Ken Wahl, George Peppard, and Donald Pleasence in Race for the Yankee Zephyr, a New Zealand suspense-action-thriller film directed by David Hemmings. For her portrayal of dim-witted gangster's moll Norma Cassidy in the 1982 musical-comedy Victor Victoria, Warren was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.[5] Warren is also a five-time Golden Globe nominee and won for the 1977 miniseries Harold Robbins' 79 Park Avenue. She was Emmy-nominated for the TV movie Family of Spies (1991).

File:Lesley Ann Warren 2012.jpg

Lesley Ann Warren in 2012

In 1975, Warren played a mental patient opposite Peter Falk and George Hamilton in the Columbo episode A Deadly State of Mind. Warren played Princess Jeanetta in the Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre episode The Dancing Princesses, an adaptation of the fairy tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses. She starred as one of the prime murder suspects, Miss Scarlet, in the comedy film version of the popular board game Clue (1985). In 1986, Lesley was prominently featured in Bob Seger's popular music video for his hit song "American Storm." In 1989, she appeared in the Aerosmith video "Janie's Got a Gun", wherein she played Janie's mother. She was also featured in a video for the Eagles' "Life in the Fast Lane". In 1994, Warren had a major supporting role in the erotic thriller Color of Night, in which she played a nymphomaniac; the film was poorly received, and she was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress. However, it was successful on the home video market.

Warren had recurring roles on Will & Grace as Will Truman's father's mistress and on Desperate Housewives as Susan Mayer's mother.[5] Other television roles have included Lily Lebowski's mother on Crossing Jordan and Kip Stedman's mother in Less than Perfect.

Warren played the role of Mary Shannon's mother in the USA Network original television series In Plain Sight.

Personal life[]

Warren married producer Jon Peters in 1967. They divorced in 1974. They have one son, Christopher Peters, born 1968; he was an actor, now producer. She married Ronald Taft in 2000.


Film and television
Year Title Role Notes
1962 The Chapman Report Sarah's Daughter uncredited
1965 Cinderella Cinderella
1966 Gunsmoke Betsy Payson 1 episode
1966 Dr. Kildare Bonda Jo Weaver 4 episodes
1967 The Happiest Millionaire Cordelia 'Cordy' Biddle feature film debut
1968 The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band Alice Bower
1969 Seven in Darkness Deborah Cabot
1970–1971 Mission: Impossible Dana Lambert 23 episodes

Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film

1971 Love Hate Love Sheila Blunden
Cat Ballou Cat Ballou TV-movie version
1972 Assignment: Munich Cathy Lange
Pickup on 101 Nicky
The Daughters of Joshua Cabe Mae
1973 The Letters Laura Reynolds
Saga of Sonora Emmy Lou
Death on a Barge Hyacinth ( vampire ) TV series Night Gallery season 3 episode 13
1975 Columbo Nadia Donner Episode: A Deadly State of Mind
The Legend of Valentino Laura Lorraine
1976 Harry and Walter Go to New York Gloria Fontaine
1977 Harold Robbins' 79 Park Avenue Marja Fludjicki/Marianne TV mini-series Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama
1978 Betrayal Julie Roy
Pearl Dr. Carol Lang TV mini-series
The Muppet Show Herself
1979 Portrait of a Stripper Susie Hanson
1980 Beulah Land Sarah Pennington TV mini-series
1981 Race for the Yankee Zephyr Sally
1982 Victor Victoria Norma Cassady Nominated – Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
1983 A Night in Heaven Faye Hanlon
1984 Choose Me Eve
Songwriter Gilda Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
1985 Clue Miss Scarlet
1986 Apology Lily
A Fight for Jenny Kelsey Wilkes
1987 Burglar Dr. Cynthia Sheldrake
1988 Cop Kathleen McCarthy
Baja Oklahoma Juanita Hutchins CableACE Award for Best Actress in a Movie or Miniseries
1989 Worth Winning Eleanor Larimore
1990 27 Wagons Full of Cotton Flora
Family of Spies Barbara Walker Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
Lola Lola Baltic
1991 A Seduction in Travis County Melanie Evans
Life Stinks Molly
1992 In Sickness and in Health Anita Mattison
Pure Country Lula Rogers
Willing to Kill Wanda Holloway
1993 A Mother's Revenge Carol Sanders
1994 Color of Night Sondra
1995 Joseph Potiphar's Wife
Bird of Prey Carla Carr
Murderous Intent Gayle
1997 Going All the Way Nina Casselman
1998 All of It Glenda Holbeck
Richie Rich's Christmas Wish Regina Rich
1999 Love Kills Evelyn Heiss
The Limey Elaine
Twin Falls Idaho Francine
Teaching Mrs. Tingle Faye Watson Cameo appearance
2000 Ropewalk Charlie's mother
Trixie Dawn Sloane
2001 Losing Grace Mary Reed
Delivering Milo Anna
The Quickie Anna
Wolf Girl Dr. Klein
2002 Secretary Joan Holloway
2003 Touched by an Angel Kelly Cartwright Episode: As It Is in Heaven
The Practice Sylvia Bakey Episodes: Choirboys and Special Deliveries
2004 Less than Perfect Diane Steadman Episode: Claude's Apartment
My Tiny Universe Vee
2005 The Shore Mrs. Becky Harris
Constellation Nancy
When Do We Eat? Peggy Stuckman
Deepwater Pam
2002–2005 Crossing Jordan Arlene Lebowski Episodes: Don't Look Back and Locard's Exchange
2006 Miracle Dogs Too Nurse Bleaker
10th & Wolf Tina
2001–2006 Will & Grace Tina 4 episodes
2008 The Diagnosis Linda
2009 Bound by a Secret Jane Tetley
2010 Stiffs Joy Tramontana
A Little Help Joan
2011 Peep World Marilyn Meyerwitz
2005–2011 Desperate Housewives Sophie Bremmer Special Guest-Star
2008–2012 In Plain Sight Jinx Shannon 28 episodes
2013 Jobs Clara Jobs
2013 Psych Lesley Scarlett Season 7, Episode 5, "100 Clues" (100th episode)
2015 I Am Michael Michael's mother in flashback scenes
Community Deb Perry 2 episodes
Gigi Does It Tretchy Feinberg 2 episodes
2016 Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce Dina Episode: "Rule #14: No Means... No"
Between Us Elsa
Blunt Talk Cornelia 3 episodes


External links[]

Template:GoldenGlobeBestActressTVDrama 1969-1979