Who is Polly Holliday?

Polly Dean Holliday was born under the zodiac sign of Cancer on 2 July 1937, in Jasper, Alabama USA; she holds American nationality and her ethnicity is White. She’s an actress with almost 40 credits to her name, perhaps still known best for her role as Flo Castleberry in the series “Alice”, a popular sitcom from the late ’70s, which had 22 award nominations, including eight for Primetime Emmys, and won 10.

Early life and education

Polly was raised alongside her brother Doyle by their parents Velma Mabell and Ernest Sullivan Holliday in Childersburg, Alabama, while later the family lived in Sylacauga, Alabama; her father was a truck driver, and her mother was a housewife.

Polly attended a local high school, and upon matriculating in 1955, she started working as a piano teacher in Alabama, and then moved to Florida, where she launched her acting career with the Asolo Theatre Company in Sarasota.

Roles in series

After she debuted on television in an episode of the mini-TV series “The American Parade” in 1974, she was cast to play Prison Inmate Leader in “Search for Tomorrow”, a romantic drama which had 18 award nominations, one for Primetime Emmy, and won 10.

In the following years, she made an appearance in the series “NBC Special Treat” portraying Mrs Cronkite, before she was cast to play her most significant role as Flo Castleberry in “Alice”, alongside Vic Tayback, Linda Lavin and Beth Howland, in this comedy drama about workers and an aspiring singer at Mel’s Diner in Phoenix, Arizona.

The character of Flo had the catchphrase ‘kiss my grits’, which became a part of the vocabulary in the US. Polly was nominated for three Primetime Emmys for her performance and won two Golden Globe Awards, Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Television Series, in 1979 and ‘80.

In 1980, Polly reprised her role as Flo Castleberry in the spin-off from the series “Alice” entitled “Flo”, a comedy drama about the waitress Flo who bought a bar in her hometown in Texas, and her attempts to deal with customers and employees. The series had three nominations, and Polly was nominated for a Primetime Emmy – Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 1980, and Golden Globe Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical, in 1981.

Then in the series “Private Benjamin”, Polly was cast to play Captain Amanda Allen, followed by supporting roles in several series, such as “Stir Crazy”, “The Golden Girls” and “Amazing Stories” among others.

In the ‘90s, she starred as Momma Love in the series “The Client”, alongside John Heard and JoBeth Williams, followed by her appearance in “Homicide: Life on the Street” as Mrs Rath, and as Lillian Patterson in the “Home Improvement”, a comedy family drama which had 62 award nominations and won 43, including seven Primetime Emmys; this was Polly’s last role on the television.

Roles in movies

Polly made her debut on the big screen portraying Annabelle in the 1974 movie “Wedding Band”, followed by her role as Miss Pearson in “The Catamount Killing”, and her appearances in movies such as “W. W. and the Dixie Dancekings”, “Distance”, and “The Silence”.

She was cast to play Dardis’ Secretary in the historical thriller drama “All the President’s Men”, about uncovered details of the Watergate scandal starring Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman and Jack Warden; the movie had 21 award nominations and won 17, including four Oscars.

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In the following years, Polly had support roles in several movies, before she portrayed Mrs Deagle in the 1984 movie “Gremlins”, a comedy fantasy horror which had eight award nominations and won six; Polly was nominated for Saturn Award Best Supporting Actress.

She next made appearances in the movies “Moon Over Parador” and “A Triumph of the Heart: The Ricky Bell Story”, before she was cast to play Gloria in the 1993 Oscar-awarded movie “Mrs Doubtfire” starring Robin Williams, Pierce Brosnan and Sally Field.

Polly played Marva Kulp in the 1998 Disney movie “The Parent Trap”, acting alongside Dennis Quaid, Lindsay Lohan and Natasha Richardson, followed by her roles in “It Must Be Love”, “Stick It”, “The Heartbreak Kid”, and the 2010 movie “Fair Game” starring Sean Penn and Naomi Watts; Polly portrayed Diane Plame in her last role before she retired from acting.

Where is Polly Holliday now?

Nowadays Polly devotes her life to singing at the Episcopal Church in New York City, participating in campaigns for this church, as well as running a chamber music series “Willow Ensemble” in Greenwich Village Episcopal Church, in Manhattan, New York City.

Love life and relationships

There were various rumors concerning Polly’s love life when she was younger, especially because of the character which she portrayed, Flo Castleberry, a sassy, man-hungry type of a woman, so people assumed that Polly is like her, however, Polly hasn’t spoken about any man whom she has been with.

As of November 2021, Polly seems to be single, hasn’t never married, and doesn’t have children.

Hobbies and other interest

Besides acting on the television and the big screen, Polly appeared in theatre plays including on the Broadway stage when she was younger; she was nominated for a Tony Award in 1990 for her performance as Big Mama in the “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”, a play based on the book of the same title written by Tennessee Williams.

Polly still enjoys just watching theater plays, and movies – she prefers going to the cinema rather than watching movies at home; one of her favorites is “Lawrence of Arabia” starring her favorite actors Peter O’Toole and Anthony Quinn.

In her spare time, Polly likes to play piano, but most of her time she spends at the Episcopal Church for rehearsals with a choir.

Age, height, and net worth

Polly is 85-years-old, now with grey hair and blue eyes; she weighs around 150lbs (68kgs) and is 5ft 5ins (1.67m) tall.

As of November 2021, her net worth has been estimated at over $2 million.

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