Sally Kellerman

Active - 1957 - 2016  |   Born - Jun 2, 1937   |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Children's/Family

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Bitten by the acting bug in high school, statuesque leading lady Sally Kellerman studied with Jeff Corey and at Actors Studio West before making her film debut in Reform School Girl (1959). In the 1960s, she built up her reputation with offbeat guest spots on such TV series as Bob Hope Chrysler Theatre, Slattery's People and It Takes a Thief. She also essayed small but attention-grabbing parts in films like The Boston Strangler (1968, as the only surviving victim) and The April Fools (1969). Her breakthrough role was her Oscar-nominated turn as Major "Hot-Lips" Houlihan in MASH--a role she very nearly talked herself out of. Upon reading the script, she angrily confronted director Robert Altman, raging over the insulting and humiliating aspects of the part. She was then mollified by Altman, who declared that her unbridled outrage was just what he wanted from "Hot Lips." Though MASH opened up better film opportunities for Kellerman, she continued playing more oddball character roles than traditional "star" assignments. From time to time, she has spelled her film activities with nightclub singing appearances. Previously married to director Rick Edelstein, Sally Kellerman is currently wed to Jonathan Kane, who has produced many of her more recent films.

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