Big screen legend Shirley Maclaine went ‘out on a limb’ at McCaw Hall

by MK Scott

On Monday, June 18, Oscar-winner Shirley Maclaine (Steel Magnolias, Terms of Endearment, The Children’s Hour) stepped in as a last minute replacement for Viola Davis for the Unique Lives & Experiences series at McCaw Hall.

Maclaine, 84, sparkled as she was welcomed by moderator, Carolyn Douglas, as they both sat in two chairs in the center of the stage for a conversation.

Maclaine loves the Northwest and even had a home near Mount Rainier back in the 1980s. (She said she would welcome a move back.)

When it came to remembering her co-stars, help from the audience was appreciated as she recalled Jack Nicholson (Terms of Endearment) as her favorite co-star. She even spoke of the time when Peter Sellers sent her flowers, not as himself, but as his character Chancy Garner, his role opposite her in the 1979 film, Being There.

When asked about her affairs with Sinatra and others, she said she had slept with every co-star, except Audrey Hepburn (The Children’s Hour). Maclaine also confessed that she and her husband had an open marriage.

One of her classic roles was as Ouiser in Steel Magnolias and even though she hated her director (Herbert Ross), she still had a great experience being a mentor to a young Julia Roberts and being chummy with Olympia Dukakis.

Maclaine’s true passion was whenever the subject of politics or her metaphysical beliefs came up. She joked about reincarnation; she truly hopes that when she passes over, that she is right. Regardless, this was Shirley Maclaine and this was truly an evening to remember!

MK Scott is a Seattle-based writer. Check out his other work at

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