Mary Kay Place has successfully performed so many roles as a mother that one would think it comes from experience. Although difficult to comprehend, she has never been one in real life. 

She has never been married or had children, but she seems to be perfectly happy about that. Of course, with over 142 acting credits to her name, it seems only reasonable.

She Learnt From Her Film That It Was Okay To Not Have Kids

Place played the character of Meg in the 1983 film The Big Chill. Ironically, she realized through this role that it was okay not to have a child. Ironic because in the movie, her character was concerned about the biological clock. She has since decided that if she does not get pregnant naturally, then she was okay not getting pregnant at all.

In real life too, she believes that she has a biological clock. However, she has admitted that if not for Meg, she might not have realized that. Even though she has never been against medical treatments to get pregnant, she feels that it simply has not been the right thing for her.

She further admitted that all she has ever wanted is to stand up for herself on her own two feet. She even humored that maybe she had six children and a needy husband in a past life, which has led her to feel this way now.

She Made A Career By Playing Mom Roles

Place may not have children in real life, but she has played the role of mothers so many times that she practically made her entire career off it. Her first big break was in 1976. In the soap satire Mary Hartman, she played the role of Loretta Haggers, who pined to become a mother. 

Mary Kay Place in Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (Source: MaryHartmanReview)

She also played the role of Reese Witherspoon's mother in Sweet Home, Alabama. Moreover, on HBO's Big Love, she played the polygamist Adaleen Grant, mother of one of the show's protagonists. In IFC's The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman, she also played the role of a mother. 

Her First Lead Role At The Age Of 71

Place landed the lead role in the movie Diane at the age of 71. The film was released in 2019. It is based on a New England mother struggling to comprehend what her coming years should look like. The title character Diane puts on a facade that masks her inner turmoil stemming from past experiences.

The actress acknowledged that she was excited and thrilled about the film. Moreover, even though she had been offered lead roles before, nothing really connected with her like Diane did. 

                                   Mary Kay Place in 'Diane' (Source: Variety)

The film received excellent reviews and was highly applauded by the critics. In fact, critics have also claimed that what Place did with her performance in Diane, evoked a certain nostalgia of Frances McDormand’s Emmy-winning performance in Olive Kitteridge.

Acting is not her only job though. The multi-talented actress is also a writer, director, among other things.