Actress Morgan Fairchild was born Patsy McClenny, the daughter of an engineer father and high-school teacher mother. At age 14, she competed for the Miss Teenage Dallas crown by performing a scene from St. Joan (she lost). After a brief marriage, McClenny set her cap on professional show business; she chose the stage name "Morgan" from the 1966 British film of same name and "Fairchild" because it sounded nice. After a few seasons on the New York stage, Morgan Fairchild was cast as the truculent Jennifer Phillips on the Manhattan-based TV serial Search for Tomorrow. From there, she headed to LA, where, despite not having an agent or any tangible connections, she landed a TV job in less than two months. Briefly cast as Jenna Wade on the prime-time series Dallas, Fairchild chose not to be tied down to dramatics (at least not yet) and polished her comedy skills with several sitcom guest spots. She then was cast in her first starring TV role, as Constance Semple on the 1981 series Flamingo Road. After the series ran its course, Fairchild delivered a well-received star performance in the 1982 Broadway play Geniuses. Later series-TV assignments included the role of testy model agency owner Racine on Paper Dolls (1984) and the scheming Jordan Roberts on Falcon Crest (1985-86). Fairchild's TV-movie and miniseries credits include Honey Boy (1982), North and South, Book 2 (1986), and a return to comedy in The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood (1985). Morgan Fairchild's theatrical film work has been by and large unremarkable, save for an amusing extended cameo in 1985's Pee-Wee's Big Adventure.
Biography by Hal Erickson
- First professional job was a stand-in for Faye Dunaway in 1967's Bonnie and Clyde.
- Auditioned for the role of Jacy Farrow in 1971's The Last Picture Show, a role made famous by Cybill Shepherd.
- Wrote beauty book Super Looks.
- Appeared in a series of Old Navy commercials.
- Has known ZZ Top's Dusty Hill since she was 15.
- Honored by the Texas Film Hall of Fame in 2008.
- Involved in AIDS charities and environmental causes.