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Shirley MacLaine’s Secret to Her Longevity: ‘I’m Not a Diva’

Shirley MacLaine’s Secret to Her Longevity: ‘I’m Not a Diva’

Shirley MacLaine was only 16 years old when she left Arlington, Va., and headed for Broadway. With a lifetime of dance classes behind her — her mom enrolled her in ballet when she was 3 to help strengthen her weak ankles — she landed a summer gig as a chorus girl in “Oklahoma!” She returned to her hometown to finish school, then made a beeline back to the Great White Way.

“Once I graduated from high school, there was no question what I was going to do,” MacLaine tells Variety from her ranch in Santa Fe, N.M.

Her life changed overnight when, as dancer in the original 1954 production of “The Pajama Game,” she replaced star Carol Haney after she sprained her ankle. A few months later, MacLaine was signed by Paramount Pictures.

In the more than six decades since, MacLaine has earned five Oscar nominations for acting, finally taking home the gold in

See full article on Variety