Shirley MacLaine has her day, lit­er­ally, on TCM

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Ontv - BY JAY BOB­BIN

If Shirley MacLaine is happy that Turner Clas­sic Movies is giv­ing her a “Sum­mer Un­der the Stars” day, it’s a sure bet she’s even hap­pier to be here to see it.

Still ac­tive pro­fes­sion­ally – hav­ing re­cently filmed a part in the Anna Ken­drick-star­ring “Noelle” for the forth­com­ing hol­i­day sea­son (re­port­edly for the new Dis­ney Plus stream­ing ser­vice) – the spir­ited “Terms of En­dear­ment” Os­car win­ner, stage vet­eran and best-selling au­thor gets a 24-hour sa­lute Saturday, Aug. 24, as part of TCM’s tra­di­tional month that puts a spot­light on one per­former’s work each day.

“I love work­ing,” MacLaine main­tains. “I love the crew, I love the en­vi­ron­ment, I love pre­tend­ing to be these other peo­ple.” With that said, though, the ac­tress doesn‘t re­fute the no­tion that she can have high ex­pec­ta­tions of co-work­ers: “Be­ing from the dance world, you have to, or you’ll get hurt,” she rea­sons. “I think I’m iras­ci­ble about ef­fi­ciency with oth­ers.”

Pro­fess­ing that she doesn’t know “what act­ing is all about,” MacLaine re­flects, “I am not one of these deep Robert De Niro kinds of ac­tors, or that great ac­tor who just re­tired ... Daniel Day-Lewis. I don’t get into it like he does, nowhere near that. That’s why it was fas­ci­nat­ing for me to work with Meryl (Streep, whose mother MacLaine played in ‘Post­cards From the Edge’), be­cause she does that. She adores that kind of re­place­ment of her con­scious­ness.”

Though the MacLaine trib­ute has a very no­tice­able omis­sion – the Os­car-win­ning 1960 com­edy-drama “The Apart­ment,” which TCM shows fairly fre­quently – the day’s lineup still of­fers plenty of prime Shirley. Here’s a look at some ex­am­ples.

“Gam­bit” (1966): A fun “star ve­hi­cle” for MacLaine and Michael Caine casts them as a show­girl and a cat bur­glar who com­bine their re­spec­tive tal­ents to com­mit an art heist.

“Steel Mag­no­lias” (1989): Hardly get­ting lost amid a strong en­sem­ble of ac­tresses, MacLaine teams with Sally Field, Dolly Par­ton and then-novice Ju­lia Roberts (among oth­ers) in the film of Robert Har­ling’s play.

“Sweet Char­ity” (1969): MacLaine as­sumed Gwen Ver­don’s Broad­way role as a taxi dancer in di­rec­tor and chore­og­ra­pher Bob Fosse’s screen ver­sion, of his stage hit, no­table for its ex­ten­sive lo­ca­tion film­ing around New York.

“Terms of En­dear­ment” (1983): Mem­o­rably declar­ing that “I de­serve this!” upon re­ceiv­ing an Academy Award for it, MacLaine found one of her sig­na­ture roles in Aurora Green­way, whose love for her daugh­ter (De­bra Winger) was just as pow­er­ful as the dys­func­tion in their re­la­tion­ship.

“Two for the See­saw” (1962): An at­tor­ney with mar­i­tal prob­lems (Robert Mitchum) re­lo­cates to New York and starts a re­la­tion­ship with a dancer (MacLaine) in this bleak but ef­fec­tive adap­ta­tion of a play by Wil­liam Gib­son.

De­bra Winger (left) and Shirley MacLaine

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