Linda Lavin (Actress) as Alice
Linda Lavin 1
Updated: 9/18/08

Name: Linda Lavin

Born: October 15, 1937, Portland, Maine

Claim To Fame: Lavin is best known for playing the title character in the US sitcom Alice and for her Broadway performances.

Family Life: Lavin has been married to actor, artist and musician Steve Bakunas since 2005. She was married twice before - first to Ron Liebman, and then to Kip Niven, who played the boyfriend of Beth Howland's character, Vera. Both marriages ended in divorce. She has no biological children, but is the stepmother to Kip's children Jim and Kate Niven and the grandmother to Jim's sons Grayson and Talen.

Info: Onstage since the early age of 5, Linda Lavin is no stranger to being in the spotlight. She received her Actors' Equity Association card before she graduated from college, and became a member of the Compass Players in the late 1950s. Soon after, she made a name for herself on Broadway, appearing on the cast recordings of The Mad Show and "It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman."

In 1967, Lavin made an appearance as Gloria Thorpe in a television version of the musical Damn Yankees with Phil Silvers. She landed a recurring role on Barney Miller during the first and second seasons before landing her major role as the title character on the CBS hit sitcom, Alice. The series,which was based on the Martin Scorsese-directed Ellen Burstyn film Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, ran from 1976 to 1985. During the series' nine-season run, Lavin earned two Golden Globe awards and an Emmy nomination, as well as a great deal of experience directing.

Throughout her Alice years, Lavin was at one time the highest-paid actress on television. She made numerous television appearances outside of her sitcom, including hosting her own holiday special, Linda in Wonderland. She went on to work in films, including The Muppets Take Manhattan, See You in the Morning, and Alain Resnais' I Want to Go Home. She was also a popular telefilm actress, and some of her credits include: Damn Yankees!, Sadbird, The Morning After, Jerry, Like Mom, Like Me, The $5.20 an Hour Dream, A Matter of Life and Death, and Another Woman's Child.

Lavin also starred on Broadway in A Family Affair and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, and plays such as Something Different, The Riot Act, and Cop-Out. She won a Tony Award in 1987 for her highly-praised role in Neil Simon's play Broadway Bound. She was also nominated for Tonys for her work in The Diary of Anne Frank, in which she played Mrs. Van Daan, opposite Natalie Portman; and for Charles Busch's The Tale of the Allergist's Wife co-starring Tony Roberts and Michele Lee.

Trivia: When she was a teenager, Linda's parents encouraged her to keep practing the piano, but she admits she hated to playing it.

Says one of her favorite roles is that of Patsy Newquist, the role she played in the 1968 play Little Murders.

Had it stipulated in her Alice contract that the producers allow her to sing.

Graduated with a theatre degree from William and Mary College.

Directed an all-Brazilian jazz version of As You Like It for the Wilmington Shakespeare Festival in 1998.

Sang the song "New Kid in Town" for the opening credits of her 1970's television series Alice.

Linda's mother, Lucille Potter Lavin, was a famous coloratura soprano and performed many times for TV and radio.

In 1997, Linda came up with the idea for The Linda Lavin Foundation in Wilmington, North Carolina, which helps eleven to fourteen year old girls learn about performing and visual arts.

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Where Are They Now: Periodically, Linda teaches master classes for New York University's Performing Arts Division. She resides in Wilmington, North Carolina, with her husband Steve Bakunas. The couple turned an automotive garage into a theater that seats 50 and is known as the Red Barn Studio. Productions staged there included David Mamet’s “Glenngary Glen Ross,” and their new season begins in October with David Lindsay-Abalre’s “Rabbit Hole.” Linda and Steve have also restored at least six early 20th century houses in the area. Linda also takes her one-woman show, Songs & Confessions of a One-Time Waitress, on the road to local theaters.

Write To Linda Lavin:
Linda Lavin
Lavin Entertainment Group
411 S Front St
Wilmington, NC, 28401


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