Who is Louise Lasser?

Louise Lasser is an American actress, director and performing arts teacher, perhaps still best known to the world for the title role in the soap opera “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman” (1976-1977), and as Mona Jordan in the film “Happiness” (1998), among numerous other roles that she has secured in her career.

Where is Louise Lasser Now?

Louise hasn’t been active as an actress for a few years now, with her latest appearance in the TV series “Girls” as Beadie in 2015. However, she hasn’t left the entertainment industry, as she still serves as the performing arts teacher at the HB Studio, and runs her own Louise Lasser Acting Studio on the Upper East Side, New York City USA.

Louise Lasser Wiki: Age, Childhood, and Education

Louise Marie Lasser was born on 11 April 1939 under the Aries zodiac sign, in New York City USA, the daughter of Sol Jay Lasser and his wife Paula. Of Jewish ancestry on her father’s side, she didn’t quite accept her Jewish heritage until later in life. Her mother committed suicide in 1964 following their divorce, while her father also took his own life a few years later.

She attended Brandeis University, where she studied political science for three years. However, during this time she would discover her talent for singing and acting, which led to her live performances in Greenwich Village coffee shops and bars, while she featured in improvisational revues as well.

Career Beginnings

She continued to pursue other performing arts gigs, and joined Barbara Streisand as her understudy in the Broadway musical “I Can Get It for You Wholesale”. She was attracting attention left and right, and was given a minor role in the TV series “The Doctors” in 1965, and soon after met Woody Allen, who became her husband. She worked with him on several of his early projects, including voice-over work on the Japanese spy movie “What’s Up Tiger Lily?” in 1966, then featured in films “Take the Money and Run” (1969), “Bananas” (1971), followed by the comedy “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* But Were Afraid to Ask”.

Louise Lasser

Rise to Prominence

She continued to appear in various projects in the ‘70s, building her portfolio, including in the role of Mary Fenaka in the film “Slither” (1973), and Blanche in the television movie “Isn’t It Shocking?”, also in 1973.

The following year, she played Mo Lambert in the television movie “Moe and Joe”, while in 1976 Louise was selected for the most popular role in her career as Mary Hartman, the unhappy, neurotic lead character in the soap opera satire “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman”. Her lethargic comedic presence catapulted the actress to stardom, and earned her a Primetime Emmy Award nomination in the category for Special Classification of Outstanding Program and Individual Achievement.

She was picked by Norman Lear himself, at first, refused the offer, however later acquiesced, and featured in 325 episodes before leaving the series because of the grueling schedule demands. The series was then rebranded to “Forever Fernwood” for another 130 half-hour episodes, centered around other characters.

Louise was at the top of her fame, and featured on the covers of such magazines as Newsweek, People, and Rolling Stone, continuing her career in a stunning fashion. First, she starred in the 1978 comedy film “Just Me and You” alongside Charles Grodin and Michael Alldredge, while in 1981 she portrayed Maggie McBurney in the TV comedy series “It’s a Living”. In 1984, she was Aunt Charise in the TV series “St. Elsewhere”, while the next year she portrayed Helene Trend in the horror comedy-crime film “Crimewave”.

Before the end of the decade, she also appeared in the films “Rude Awakening” and “Sing”, both in 1989.

The 90s and Career Decline

In her 50s, Louise continued to appear in rather prominent roles. She started the decade with the role of Greg’s Mom in the film “Modern Love”, and portrayed Jeffrey’s Mother in the film “Frankenhooker”, both in 1990. In 1993 she was Mrs Winkler in the romantic comedy film “The Night We Never Met”, written and directed by Warren Leight, and co-starring Matthew Broderick and Annabella Sciorra. In 1996, Louise co-starred in the fantasy comedy-drama film “Sudden Manhattan”, which was written and directed by Adrienne Shelly, who also starred in the film.

Two years later, Louise played Mona Jordan in the award-winning comedy-drama film “Happiness”, with Jane Adams, Jon Lovitz and Philip Seymour Hoffman as co-stars of the film. She ended the decade with the part of Violet in the fantasy action-comedy film “Mystery Men”, with Ben Stiller, Janeane Garofalo, and William H. Macy in other lead roles.

The beginning of the new millennium birthed one of the top-rated films of all time – “Requiem for a Dream” starring Jared Leto and Jenifer Connelly, and Louise as Ada. After this, she played Emily in the romantic comedy film “Fast Food Fast Women”, while in 2001 she appeared in the Primetime Emmy Award-nominated television-drama movie “Club Land”.

In the second half of the decade, Louise focused on working as an acting teacher, and became a member of HB Studio.

Actress, Louise Lasser

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She’s only made a few minor appearances since then, including in the role of Shelly Petterson in the film “Driving Me Crazy”.

SNL Performance and Controversy

At the top of her “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman” fame, Louise was chosen as one of the hosts of the penultimate episode of the first season of “Saturday Night Live” (SNL); however, this didn’t go well. In her monologue she incorporated her Mary Hartman personality, and according to Chevy Chase went berserk and locked herself in the dressing room. Her erratic behavior wasn’t appreciated, and according to reports, she was forbidden to appear again in “SNL”. The particular episode was pulled from the broadcast, and Louise later refused to appear in ill-mannered sketches.

Cocaine in her Purse

Louise was at a charity boutique and trying to buy a dollhouse with her American Express card, which was unfortunately denied. The authorities were called as Louise made a scene as she didn’t want to leave the store without the dollhouse, priced at $150. She was apprehended on-site, first due to two unpaid traffic tickets, but after a search, the police found 88 milligrams of cocaine in her purse. When asked about the drugs, Louise claimed that it was given to her by a fan months prior. The entire incident resulted in six months of counseling for the “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman” star.

Personal Life, Marriage, Husband

In addition to her successful career as an actress, Louise is known as the second wife of the famous writer, actor and director Woody Allen.

The two married in 1966 and stayed together until 1970. The two have remained on good terms, and she’s said that he had a tremendous influence on her and her career. Since their divorce, Louise has remained single and doesn’t have children.

Net Worth

As of late 2021, Louise Lasser’s net worth has been estimated to be around $1.5 million, earned through her successful career as an actress, during which she has appeared in over 60 film and TV titles, all of which have added to her net worth, as has her subsequent teaching career.

Appearance and Vital Statistics

The prominent actress had natural blonde hair which has since turned grey, and has brown eyes. She stands at a height of 5ft 7ins (1.7m), while she weighs approximately 123lbs (56kgs). Her vital statistics are currently unknown, but she has kept an average figure until the present day, despite being 82 years old.

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