Louise Lasser (Actress) as Mary - Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman
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Updated: 1/21/2007

Name: Louise Lasser

Born: April 11, 1939 in New York, New York

Claim To Fame: Louise Lasser became a household name for starring as the neurotic, unhappy housewife Mary Hartman on the outrageous soap opera parody 'Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman' which aired 5 nights a week in 1976-1977.

Family Life: Woody Allen (2 February 1966 - 1969) (divorced)

Info: Louise was class of 61 at Brandeis where she starred in a succession of college musicals with Stuart Damon (of the soap "General Hospital").

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Trivia: Louise first won notice in 1962 replacing Barbra Streisand in the show-stopping role of Miss Marmelstein in the Broadway musical "I Can Get It For You Wholesale".

Her father, Sol Lasser, was a well-known writer of an annual income tax guide.

Louise studied political science at Brandeis University.

Louise was the first host to be banned from performing on Saturday Night Live again, after she hosted at the end of the first season on July 24, 1976. Lasser was said to be going through personal problems at the time and was reportedly nearly incoherent throughout the broadcast. Lasser refused to do any skits (except ones where she was by herself or with Chevy Chase).

At one point before the show aired, Louise told producer Lorne Michaels that she would not go on the air unless a certain sketch was cut. Michaels responded by informing her that if she did so, he would announce on the live broadcast exactly why she was not appearing as planned, and that the show would continue without her. Chase planned to play all of Lasser's parts in a Mary Hartman wig, with Dan Aykroyd taking Chase's parts.

Ultimately, she did go on. However, this episode was such a disappointment to Lorne Michaels that it was also barred from syndication.

Where Are They Now: Despite seemingly walking away from her small screen success as Mary Hartman, Louise continued to appear in memorable guest appearances and the occasional TV-movie. Often cast as neurotics, apologetics or just plain exasperating characters, the actress offered strong turns as Judd Hirsch's ex-wife on "Taxi" in 1980 and 1982, as Ed Begley Jr.'s bungling aunt on "St. Elsewhere" in 1982 and 1984, and as a woman who wreaks havoc in the life of Richard Mulligan on "Empty Nest" (NBC, 1992).

Louise also found a secondary career as an acting teacher in New York.

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Write To Louise Lasser:
Louise Lasser
200 E 71st St. #20C
New York, NY 10021

Videos: Check out this video clip of Louise in the 2003 movie
National Lampoon's Gold Diggers
. Click Here


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