I grew up in South Central L.A. watching (and loving) Room 222, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda and Taxi on TV. As a grown up in Milwaukee and New York City, I loved The Tracey Ullman Show and The Simpsons. At the movie box office, I paid more than once to sit through Broadcast News, As Good As It Gets and Terms of Endearment, the 1983 hit starring Shirley MacLaine as a comically uptight and outspoken single mother.
Shirley MacLaine made her film debut playing a young widowed mother in Alfred Hitchcock's colorful The Trouble With Harry (1955). After Best Actress Oscar nominations for Some Came Running, The Apartment, Irma La Douce and The Turning Point, she won for playing another widowed mother. James L. Brooks wrote and directed her to a Best Actress Oscar victory for her golden performance as the difficult but devoted middle-aged mother, Aurora Greenway, in Terms of Endearment.
This was a different kind of role for Shirley MacLaine. This was character with a different kind of temperament, style and look from MacLaine's previous roles.
Here's a clip from Terms of Endearment.
James L. Brooks was born on May 9th. I wish him a most groovy and happy birthday. His work holds a very special place in my heart. And has for quite some time.