By the time she decided to retire from showbusiness, Teri Garr – actress, comedian, dancer, and singer – had maintained a career that spanned four decades and included over 140 film and TV credits – a true feat worthy of celebration. Of equal note, is the milestone event that Garr is currently celebrating.
Happy Birthday, Teri Garr!
And that’s because she was born on December 11, 1947, in Lakewood, Ohio, which means that this much-missed performer is turning 73 years old today! In her youth, Garr trained in ballet and other forms of dance, and she began her professional acting career in her teens with roles as a featured dancer in several film musicals, including six that starred Elvis Presley.
Garr also appeared in several popular musical variety series including Shindig! (1964-1965), Hullabaloo (1965), Where the Action Is (1965), The Ken Berry WOW Show (1972), and The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour.
Garr’s first feature film role came courtesy of the Jack Nicholson-penned Head (1968) which starred the Monkees (Davy Jones, Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz, and Michael Nesmith). Subsequently, she had small parts in Changes (1969), The Moonshine War (1970), and The Conversation (1974).
The Mel Brooks picture Young Frankenstein (1974) is credited with giving Garr her career breakthrough, and she followed that up with movies like Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), The Black Stallion (1979), Tootsie (1982), for which she received an Oscar nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress, Mr. Mom (1983), and After Hours (1985).
In 1994, she appeared in the comedy classic, Dumb and Dumber, along with Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Lauren Holly, and Victoria Rowell.
Garr’s many television roles include Miss Brennan in The Bob Newhart Show (1973-1974), Amber in The Girl with Something Extra (1973-1974), drunkard Sissy Emerson in Women of the House (1995), and Phoebe Abbott, Sr., the estranged mother of Lisa Kudrow’s Phoebe Buffay, in Friends (1997-1998).
Garr has voiced several animated characters, including Vanessa Le Pert in Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man, Mary McGinnis in Batman Beyond, and Laney in King of the Hill (2000).
Garr is a published author. In her autobiography, Speedbumps: Flooring It Though Hollywood, Garr discussed her declining output as an actress and the reason for it: her diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. She has worked as an ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society since the early 2000s.
Garr’s final acting credit was in 2011. Entertainment Hub would like to wish Teri Garr a very happy birthday.