Shirley MacLaine, Then And Now: From 'The Apartment' To 'Terms Of Endearment'

By Emily Morenz
Actress Shirley MacLaine in London, 21st August 1960. (Photo by Don Smith/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)

Shirley MacLaine, most famous for her comedic role in The Apartment (1960) and her tear jerking performance in Terms Of Endearment (1983), has been a force in Hollywood for over six decades. From day one, MacLaine knew she was destined to be an entertainer -- first setting her sights on ballet before blossoming into an Oscar-caliber actress who could make audiences laugh or weep. She also joined the elite Hollywood in-crowd, befriending Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack buddies.

MacLaine's versatility makes her hard to pin down, though she seems to relish that ambiguity. She made her choices in a period when actresses were asserting more control over their careers, and she lives with no regrets. Her eccentric personality landed her an array of oddball roles in television and film, and has continued to define her as a writer and spiritual quester. There's nobody like Shirley MacLaine.