70 (passed away Oct. 25th, 2013)
Nov. 1st, 1942
Creston, Iowa, USA
Marcia Wallace's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Some might have easily doled out the phrase "laughing on the outside, crying on the inside" to describe funny lady Marcia Wallace and her many uphill battles in both life and career over the past three-and-a-half decades, but the carrot-cropped comedienne with the ever-toothy smile remains optimistic to this day as she forges on displaying her usual grab-bag of comedy tricks on film, TV and in voiceovers. The Iowa-born and bred actress endured a troubled childhood (alcoholism, physical abuse) and headed quickly to New York to pursue her dream following college graduation. She initially induced laughs because of a weight problem, playing plump, self-deprecating characters in such musicals as "The Music Man." She also supplemented her very modest income at the time substitute teaching in the Bronx.
Managing to drop much of her excess weight over time, she found, to her delight, that she could still make people laugh. Finding an invaluable training ground with the improvisational comedy group "The Fourth Wall" in 1968, she appeared with the company off-Broadway for a spell. In between times she studied with acting guru 'Uta Hagen'.
She fleshed out her on-camera resume at first with bit roles on such shows as Bewitched (1964), Columbo and Love, American Style (1969) and received her initial on-camera break with recurring appearances on The Merv Griffin Show. As a direct result, she won the best role of her career as Carol Kester, the chatty, lovelorn receptionist on The Bob Newhart Show (1972) after only a year or so in Hollywood. For seven years, Wallace won tons of fans as the brash, slightly ditsy co-worker and confidante who was always looking for that "special guy" to walk through the door.
Guesting on all the popular lightweight shows of the day (Murder, She Wrote (1984), Magnum, P.I . (1980), Taxi), she also added to the fun on Full House (1987), Charles in Charge (1984) and Alf, in which she nabbed recurring roles. Marcia became just as popular as a celebrity game show panelist, particularly The Match Game (1962). On the summer stock and dinner theater circuits, she appeared in such engaging comedies as Plaza Suite, Born Yesterday, The Prisoner of Second Avenue, and Last of the Red Hot Lovers, as well as the musicals Gypsy and Promises, Promises.
Following her Newhart success, her career waned and her health began to declined as time went on. She is grateful to be a 15-year survivor of breast cancer and keeps herself quite visible as an advocate for breast cancer awareness. She was also the prime caretaker for her husband Denny Hawley when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He passed away in 1992. They have one child.
Nevertheless, Wallace has persevered and gained a second career wind. Today's generations will recognize her Emmy-winning voice work as Bart's teacher, Mrs. Krabappel, on The Simpsons (1989), and she more recently had a supporting role as Maggie the housekeeper on the short-lived, irreverent spoof That's My Bush! (2001). Marcia has been a regular in commercials for over three decades. On film, she has often played an amusing, unwitting foil to kid-like shenanigans in such films as My Mom's a Werewolf (1989), Teen Witch (1989), and Ghoulies III: Ghoulies Go to College (1991). She has guest hosted televised comedy clubs and talk shows, and was the actual co-host of a diet show on cable. Wallace remains on the lecture circuit and has published her own memoir, "Don't Look Back, We're Not Going That Way!", which gently and admirably laces her myriad of struggles with wit, humor and a positive outlook.
- As of season 17 of _"The Simpsons" (1989)_ (qv), Marcia has acted in 130 episodes.
- She was a Girl Guides Brownie, as a child.
- Member of Delta Zeta sorority, Delta Nu chapter.
- Has an adopted son Michael (b. 1988)
- She was a part of "The Fourth Wall" improvisational comedy group who performed off-Broadway before being signed for the _"The Bob Newhart Show" (1972)_ (qv).
- While not listed in the main cast in _"The Simpsons" (1989)_ (qv) her role as Edna Krabappel is listed as a "special guest appearance," a designation usually reserved for celebrity guest stars.
- Her husband was a hotelier.
- Best known by the public for her role as Carol Kester Bondurant on _"The Bob Newhart Show" (1972)_ (qv).
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