Louise Lasser

Active - 1965 - 2016  |   Born - Apr 11, 1939 in New York, New York, United States  |   Genres - Comedy

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Fey, flaky comic actress Louise Lasser majored in political science at Brandeis University before studying acting at New York's Neighborhood Playhouse. She proved an excellent improvisational comedienne in the Elaine May revue The Third Ear, which led to several TV commercial appearances. In 1966, she married comedian Woody Allen, who later directed her in Take the Money and Run (1968), Bananas (1970), Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex... (1972) and Stardust Memories (1980); she also provided a voice for Allen's Japanese spy-film spoof What's Up, Tiger Lily? (1966). Though they divorced in 1970, Lasser and Allen remained close friends, turning to one another in moments of severe personal crisis. In 1976, Lasser starred as the zoned-out heroine of Norman Lear's satirical soap opera Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman probably her best-known role. Louise Lasser's most recent weekly TV assignment was the early-1980s sitcom It's a Living.

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  • Studied method acting with noted teacher Sanford Meisner.
  • In 1962, was Barbra Streisand's understudy for the Broadway musical I Can Get It for You Wholesale.
  • During a 1967 performance of the Broadway musical Henry, Sweet Henry, she fell off the stage, but luckily wasn't injured.
  • Was once married to Woody Allen and appeared in his Take the Money and Run (1969), Bananas (1971) and Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask) (1972); also did a voice-over for What's Up, Tiger Lily? (1966) and had a cameo in Stardust Memories (1980).
  • Over the years, she's appeared on the cover of Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, People and Ms. magazines.
  • Has taught acting at HB Studio.