Lesley Ann Warren

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Lesley Ann Warren
Lesley Ann Warren in 2009
Born(1946-08-16) August 16, 1946 (age 68)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Other namesLesley Warren
OccupationActress, Singer
Years active1962–present
Spouse(s)Jon Peters (1967–1974; divorced; 1 child)
Ronald Taft (2000–present)
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Lesley Ann Warren
Lesley Ann Warren in 2009
Born(1946-08-16) August 16, 1946 (age 68)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Other namesLesley Warren
OccupationActress, Singer
Years active1962–present
Spouse(s)Jon Peters (1967–1974; divorced; 1 child)
Ronald Taft (2000–present)

Lesley Ann Warren (born August 16, 1946) is an American actress and singer. She has been nominated once for an Academy Award and Emmy Award and five times for Golden Globe Award, winning one. She is known for her roles in films such as The Happiest Millionaire, Victor Victoria, Clue, Burglar, Cop, Color of Night and Secretary. She has also had roles in popular TV shows such as Mission: Impossible, Desperate Housewives, Will & Grace, and In Plain Sight.

Personal life[edit]

Warren was born in New York City, the daughter of Carol (née Verblow), a singer, and William Warren, a real estate agent.[1] Her family was Russian Jewish, on both sides, and her father's original surname was "Warrenoff".[2][3] Her 1967 marriage to producer Jon Peters ended in divorce in 1974. They have one son, Christopher Peters (born 1968, now an actor). She married Ronald Taft in 2000.


The 5-foot-8-inch (1.73 m) Warren began her career as a ballet dancer, training at the School of American Ballet. She entered the Actors Studio at the age of 17—reputedly the youngest applicant ever to be accepted. Her Broadway debut came in 1963 in the musical 110 in the Shade. She won the Theatre World Award for her performance in the 1965 flop musical Drat! The Cat!. In 1973, she portrayed Scarlett O'Hara in the Los Angeles production of the musical Scarlett; however, the play was poorly reviewed and did not continue to Broadway as planned.

Warren as Cinderella, pictured with Stuart Damon as the Prince.

Having failed to obtain the role of Liesl in the film version of The Sound of Music, Warren's first major television success was in the title role of Rodgers and Hammerstein's television special Cinderella in 1965.[4] She later played the part of Dana Lambert, the leading female on the Mission: Impossible team, during the 1970–71 television season. According to The Complete Mission: Impossible Dossier by Patrick White, she was considered too inexperienced for the part and left after only one year. Despite her departure, throughout the 1970s Warren became a leading lady of TV movies, TV series, and TV miniseries. She appeared as a guest star in the third season of The Muppet Show and made an occasional feature film. Warren also played Lois Lane in the 1975 TV special It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman adapted from the Broadway musical of the same name. Warren went on to screen-test for the role of Lois Lane in the 1978 Superman film, a role that was ultimately won by Margot Kidder (footage of Warren's screen test has been included as a supplementary feature on VHS and DVD releases of the film).

In 1981, she starred with Ken Wahl, George Peppard, and Donald Pleasence in Race for the Yankee Zephyr, a New Zealand suspense-action-thriller film directed by David Hemmings. For her portrayal of dim-witted gangster's moll Norma Cassidy in the 1982 musical-comedy Victor Victoria, Warren was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.[4] Warren is also a five-time Golden Globe nominee and won for the 1977 miniseries Harold Robbins' 79 Park Avenue. She was Emmy-nominated for the TV movie Family of Spies (1991).

Lesley Ann Warren in 2012

In 1975, Warren played a mental patient opposite Peter Falk and George Hamilton in the Columbo episode A Deadly State of Mind. Warren played Princess Jeanetta in the Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre episode The Dancing Princesses, an adaptation of the fairy tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses. She starred as one of the prime murder suspects, Miss Scarlet, in the comedy film version of the popular board game Clue (1985). In 1986, Lesley was prominently featured in Bob Seger's popular music video for his hit song "American Storm." In 1989, she appeared in the Aerosmith video "Janie's Got a Gun", wherein she played Janie's mother. She was also featured in a video for the Eagles' "Life in the Fast Lane". In 1994, Warren had a major supporting role in the erotic thriller Color of Night, in which she played a nymphomaniac; the film was poorly received, and she was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress. However, it was successful on the home video market.

Warren had recurring roles on Will & Grace as Will Truman's father's mistress and on Desperate Housewives as Susan Mayer's mother.[4] Other television roles have included Lily Lebowski's mother on Crossing Jordan and Kip Stedman's mother in Less than Perfect.

Warren played the role of Mary Shannon's mother in the USA Network original television series In Plain Sight.


Film and Television
1962The Chapman ReportSarah's Daughteruncredited
1966GunsmokeBetsy Payson1 episode
1966Dr. KildareBonda Jo Weaver4 episodes
1967The Happiest MillionaireCordy
1968The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family BandAlice Bower
1969Seven in DarknessDeborah Cabot
1970–1971Mission: ImpossibleDana Lambert23 episodes

Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film

1971Love, Hate, LoveSheila Blunden
Cat BallouCat BallouTV-movie version
1972Assignment: MunichCathy Lange
Pickup on 101Nicky
The Daughters of Joshua CabeMae
1973The LettersLaura Reynolds
Saga of SonoraEmmy Lou
Death on a BargeHyacinth ( vampire )TV series Night Gallery season 3 episode 13
1975ColumboNadia DonnerEpisode: A Deadly State of Mind
The Legend of ValentinoLaura Lorraine
1976Harry and Walter Go to New YorkGloria Fontaine
1977Harold Robbins' 79 Park AvenueMarja Fludjicki/MarianneTV mini-series Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama
1978BetrayalJulie Roy
PearlDr. Carol LangTV mini-series
The Muppet ShowHerself
1979Portrait of a StripperSusie Hanson
1980Beulah LandSarah Pennington
1981Race for the Yankee ZephyrSally
1982Victor VictoriaNorma CassadyNominated – Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
1983A Night in HeavenFaye Hanlon
1984Choose MeEve
SongwriterGildaNominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
1985ClueMiss Scarlet
A Fight for JennyKelsey Wilkes
1987BurglarDr. Cynthia Sheldrake
1988CopKathleen McCarthy
Baja OklahomaJuanita HutchinsCableACE Award for Best Actress in a Movie or Miniseries
1989Worth WinningEleanor Larimore
199027 Wagons Full of CottonFlora
Family of SpiesBarbara WalkerNominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
LolaLola Baltic
1991A Seduction in Travis CountyMelanie Evans
Life StinksMolly
1992In Sickness and in HealthAnita Mattison
Pure CountryLula Rogers
Willing to KillWanda Holloway
1993A Mother's RevengeCarol Sanders
1994Color of NightSondra
1995JosephPotiphar's Wife
Bird of PreyCarla Carr
Murderous IntentGayle
1997Going All the WayNina Casselman
1998All of ItGlenda Holbeck
Richie Rich's Christmas WishRegina Rich
1999Love KillsEvelyn Heiss
The LimeyElaine
Twin Falls IdahoFrancine
Teaching Mrs. TingleFaye WatsonCameo appearance
2000RopewalkCharlie's mother
TrixieDawn Sloane
2001Losing GraceMary Reed
Delivering MiloAnna
The QuickieAnna
Wolf GirlDr. Klein
2002SecretaryJoan Holloway
2003Touched by an AngelKelly CartwrightEpisode: As It Is in Heaven
The PracticeSylvia BakeyEpisodes: Choirboys and Special Deliveries
2004Less than PerfectDiane SteadmanEpisode: Claude's Apartment
My Tiny UniverseVee
2005The ShoreMrs. Becky Harris
When Do We Eat?Peggy Stuckman
2002–2005Crossing JordanArlene LebowskiEpisodes: Don't Look Back and Locard's Exchange
2006Miracle Dogs TooNurse Bleaker
10th & WolfTina
2001–2006Will & GraceTina4 episodes
2008The DiagnosisLinda
2009Bound by a SecretJane Tetley
2010StiffsJoy Tramontana
A Little HelpJoan
2011Peep WorldMarilyn Meyerwitz
2005–2011Desperate HousewivesSophie BremmerSpecial Guest-Star
2008–2012In Plain SightJinx Shannon28 episodes
2013JobsClara Jobs
2013PsychLesley Scarlett, rock band groupieSeason 7, Episode 5, "100 Clues" (100th episode)
CommunityDeb Perry


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