Is Shirley MacLaine Still Alive? About Her Life, Health, and a Refusal to Ever Retire
Shirley MacLaine's longevity in the entertainment industry is hard to match. But she has definitely slowed down in recent years.
Her inactivity has led people to ask if the actress is still alive. So is she?
Is Shirley MacLaine Still Alive?
Yes, MacLaine is still alive, and she is still going strong.
MacLaine, who made her silver screen debut in 1995 in The Trouble with Harry, is still making movies and TV shows. She has also done theater, but only in her early career.
The theater was her stepping stone into bigger things or into the show business in general. Her mother put into ballet classes her at age three because of her weak ankles and clumsiness. Those classes sowed a seed of interest in performing in her, and she never let that die.
MacLaine went to New York City to try acting on Broadway even before she got out of high school. After graduating, she returned to New York and became parts of dancing ensembles on Broadway.
She first took the stage because of fortune on her part and misfortune on actress Carol Haney's. Haney could not perform because of an ill-timed ankle injury, and MacLaine played her part on the stage. This caught the attention of movie networks, and she signed with Paramount Pictures.
Shirley MacLaine in 1964. (Photo: @weloveshirleymaclaine/Instagram)
Her debut movie, The Trouble With Harry, would still be many's dream project — she worked with legendary director Alfred Hitchcock. Her debut role also earned her a Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year — Actress.
Since then, she has amassed 78 more acting credits. As of August 2022, her latest project is Only Murders in the Building.
MacLaine has two projects in the works — People Not Places and Men of Granite, a project in which she portrays Sophia Prather, are both in pre-production.
The Oscar winner, who won the prestigious award for her part in Terms of Endearment, has no intentions of retiring. Not this soon, anyway. After all, she is only 88.
Speaking to People in 2019, she expressed her desire never to retire. "I don’t want to quit acting — I really don’t," she told the publication. "I learn so much about what I don’t really know every time I’m on a movie."
One reason she did not want to quit was that acting kept her "bright." Another was that she wanted to represent old people in Hollywood.
"I look back at the wonderful parts I’ve had the honor to play, and I’m thinking about the future, and I want to be a spokesperson for older-women — probably because I’m one," she added.
Shirley MacLaine on Her Secret to Health and Happiness
MacLaine has lived a full life but is not done living yet. In her late 80s, she lives on her own terms.
A pursuer and admirer of everything spiritual and transcendental, and even a maker of controversial remarks at times, MacLaine has created a life where she can be on her own and be one with nature. She isn't bothered by much, nor is she letting work her hamper her happiness.
"Not that much bothers me," she told People. "I have what I consider just a perfect life… I eat what I want, I sleep when I want."
She thought attitudes like anger, peace, and sarcasm were choices she could make, and she was great at making great choices.
According to her, happiness came from not being too busy. As of 2019, she split her time between her ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico, and Malibu, California, where she spends about four months a year so she can work.
She prefers her alone time in New Mexico, where she is surrounded by animals. "It’s everything I need to be happy," she said.