A lot of ink has been spilled covering the lives of history's most influential figures, but how much of the forest is lost for the trees? In Charles River Editors' American Legends series, listeners can get caught up to speed on the lives of America's most important men and women in the time it takes to finish a commute, while learning interesting facts long forgotten or never known.
Over the course of a career that spanned several decades and ranged from the stage to movies and television, Shirley MacLaine has been one of the most critically acclaimed actresses in America. After first being nominated for an Oscar in Some Came Running (1958), when she was still just in her mid-20s, she was nominated for two more for The Apartment (1960) and Irma la Douce (1963), all before she turned 30. Ironically, she won her first Academy Award for producing a documentary about her 1973 trip to China, and she finally won the Academy Award for Best Actress by playing a mother seeking to reconnect with her daughter in Terms of Endearment (1983), a full 25 years after earning her first nomination. Not surprisingly, she also added plenty of BAFTA and Golden Globe awards to the list during that time as well. Another 25 years after winning the Oscar for Terms of Endearment, MacLaine was nominated for an Emmy for portraying Coco Chanel in the television movie Coco Chanel (2008).