Teri Garr
Birth Date:
December 11, 1949
Birth Place:
Lakewood, Ohio, USA
5' 7" (1.70 m)
Famous for:
Her role as Inga in 'Young Frankenstein' (1974)
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“I would love to do a great part for a woman like the role Angelica Huston had in 'The Grifters.' There are 60 million people on this block alone who would love to do those kind of parts too. It's a tough, competitive business out there. Keep hanging in, that's the thing.” Teri Garr

Starting out as a backup dancer in movies, actress Teri Garr scored her first breakthrough with the Mel Brooks comedy “Young Frankenstein” (1974), where she portrayed Inga. However, it was her role of soap opera actress Sandy Lester in Sydney Pollack's “Tootsie” (1982) that brought her recognition and an Oscar nomination. She later co-won a National Board of Review Award for her work in Robert Altman's “Ready to Wear” (1994). Garr has starred in other notable films, including “Oh, God” (1977), “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (1977), “Mr. Mom” (1983), “After Hours” (1985), “Mom and Dad Save the World” (1992) and “Dumb & Dumber” (1994). Other film credits include “The Black Stallion” (1979), “One from the Heart” (1982), “The Escape Artist” (1982), “Firstborn” (1984), “Let It Ride” (1989), “Full Moon in Blue Water” (1988), “Out Cold” (1989), “Short Time” (1990), “Waiting for the Light” (1990), “Perfect Alibi” (1995), “A Simple Wish” (1997), “Dick” (1999), “The Sky Is Falling” (2000), “Ghost World” (2001), “Life Without Dick” (2002), “A Taste of Jupiter” (2005), “Expired” (2007) and “Kabluey” (2007). Garr began working more extensively on television in the 1990s and besides regular roles in the short lived sitcoms “Good & Evil” (1991), “Good Advice” (1994) and “Women of the House” (1994), portrayed the alienated birth mother of Phoebe Buffay (played by Lisa Kudrow) in three episodes of “Friends” (1997-1998). She also appeared in guest roles in such popular series as “Felicity,” “Strong Medicine” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”

In 1983, Garr was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, but did not publicly announce she had the disease until October 2002. She has since become an advocate for raising awareness about MS and is an ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and a chair member of the Society's Women Against MS program (WAMS).

In late 2006, Garr suffered a brain aneurysm and was rushed to the hospital after her adopted daughter could not wake her up from a nap. She was in coma for two weeks. After surgery and intense therapy, she made a full recovery and appeared on the “Late Show with David Letterman” on June 19, 2008, to promote her film “Expired.”

Terry Ann

Childhood and Family:

Terry Ann Garr, who would become popular as Teri Garr, was born on December 11, 1947, in Lakewood, Ohio. The daughter of Eddie Garr, a vaudeville performer, comedian and actor, and Phyllis Lind, a dancer, Teri moved from Hollywood to New Jersey as a baby and would stay there until the death of her father when she was 11. The family then moved back to Hollywood and her mother became a wardrobe mistress. She has two brothers.

Teri was inspired to become a performer at an early age and moved to New York City as a teenager to train at the renowned Actor's Studio. She graduated from North Hollywood High School in 1982 and then briefly attended California State University at Northridge (then known as San Fernando Valley State College). While at CSU, she displayed talent in dancing and stage acting. Teri was a classmate of actor Richard Dreyfuss.

On November 11, 1993, Teri married actor John O'Neil, but they divorced in 1996. The couple adopted a daughter named Molly, who was born on the same day as their wedding.

Young Frankenstein


Teri Garr kicked off her dancing career as a teenager with the San Francisco Ballet and joined a touring company of the successful musical “West Side Story.” She quickly moved to the big screen with parts in “Fun in Acapulco” (1963), “Kissin' Cousins” (1964, “Viva Las Vegas” (1964), “Roustabout” (1964), “Clambake” (1967) “What a Way to Go” (1964), “Red Line 7000” (1965) and “The Cool Ones” (1967). She also appeared in episodes of the television series “Mr. Novak” (1964), “Batman” (1966), “The Andy Griffith Show” (1968), “Star Trek” (1968), “Room 222” (1969) and “It Takes a Thief” (2 episodes, 1969).

Thanks to a small speaking role in “Head” (1968), a comedy starring Peter Falk and Davy Jones that was directed and co-written by Bob Rafelson, Garr appeared in episodes of “The Sony and Cher Comedy Hour” (13 episodes, 1971-1972), “The Ken Berry 'Wow' Show” (1972), “The Burns and Schreiber Comedy Hour” (1973), “The Bob Newhart Show” (2 episodes, 1973-1974) and “The Girl with Something Extra” (4 episodes, 1973-1974). She also acted in the comedy “The Moonshine War” (1970) and the drama “Summertree” (1971, starred Michael Douglas), but did not score her first substantial film role until Francis Ford Coppola cast her as Amy Fredericks in the 1974 critically acclaimed thriller “The Conversation.” The film, starring Gene Hackman, John Cazale, Allen Garfield, Cindy Williams and Frederic Forrest, was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Writing, Original Screenplay and Best Sound and won the Golden Palm at the 1974 Cannes Film Festival.

Garr's career acquired momentum in 1974 when she was cast as Inga in the successful comedy “Young Frankenstein,” which was written and directed by Mel Brooks and starred Gene Wilder. The film earned nominations at the Academy Awards and Golden Globe Awards and grossed over $86 million at the box office against its budget of $2.8 million. It was followed with roles in Steven Spielberg's science fiction “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (1977, opposite Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut and Melinda Dillon), Carl Reiner's “Oh, God” (1977, starred John Denver and George Burns) and the Francis Ford Coppola produced family film “The Black Stallion” (1979).

Meanwhile, on television, Garr received a recurring role on the NBC crime series “McCloud” (5 episodes, 1973-1975) and guest starred in “Cher,” “Maude,” “M*A*S*H” and “Saturday Night Live.” She also played Olivia in “The Sonny and Cher Show” (1976-1977) and acted in several TV films, including “Law and Order” (1976) and “Once Upon a Brothers Grimm” (1977).

Opening the 1980s, Garr starred as Margaret Lightman in the movie “Witches' Brew” (1980), teamed up with Beverly D'Angelo, Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, Beau Bridges, Daniel Stern and Geraldine Page in the comedy “Honky Tonk Freeway” (1981), was reunited with Francis Ford Coppola for the failed musical “One from the Heart” (1982), and supported Raul Julia and Griffin O'Neal in the film adaptation of David Wagoner's “The Escape Artist” (1982), which was directed by Caleb Deschanel. On television, she gave performances in the TV films “Doctor Franken” (1980) and “Prime Suspect” (1982) and appeared in the episode “The Tale of the Frog Prince” (1982) of “Faerie Tale Theatre.” The later production brought her an ACE nomination for Best Actress in a Dramatic Presentation at the 1983 CableACE Awards.

Garr next landed the role of Sandy Lester, the neurotic actress friend of Michael Dorsey (played by Dustin Hoffman) in Sydney Pollack's successful comedy “Tootsie” (1982). For her good acting job, Garr was nominated for an Oscar in the category of Best Actress in a Supporting Role, which eventually went to costar Jessica Lange who played Julie Nichols in the film, and a BAFTA Award in the same category. The film became the most successful comedy of 1982 in the United States.

In 1983, the talented actress worked with Oliver Reed and Karl Malden in Jeremy Kagan's “The Sting II” (1983), reprised her role of Alec's mother in the sequel “The Black Stallion Returns” (1983), and was cast as Michael Keaton's wife, Caroline, in the comedy “Mr. Mom” (1983). She also starred opposite Peter Weller, Christopher Collet, Corey Haim, Sarah Jessica Parker and Robert Downey Jr. in Michael Apted's “Firstborn” (1984) and played Julie in Martin Scorsese's cult classic “After Hours” (1985). She then starred in “Miracles” (1996, opposite Tom Conti, Paul Rodriguez and Christopher Lloyd), Peter Masterson's “Full Moon in Blue Water” (1988, with Gene Hackman), Malcolm Mowbray's “Out Cold” (1989, with Randy Quaid and John Lithgow) and “Let It Ride” (1989, with Richard Dreyfuss). Garr also landed roles in several television projects, including the HBO thriller “To Catch a King” (1984), an adaptation of Jack Higgins' 1979 novel of the same title, the NBC sketch comedy show “The New Show” (1 episode, 1984) and the CBS miniseries “Fresno” (1986).

In the 1990s, Garr appeared in such films as Gregg Champion's “Short Time” (1990, with Dabney Coleman and Matt Frewer), Robert Altman's “The Player” (1992), Greg Breeman's “Mom and Dad Save the World” (1992) and the Farrelly Brothers' “Dumb & Dumber” (1994, starred Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels). She also appeared in “Prêt-à-Porter” (“Ready to Wear,” 1994), where she shared a National Board of Review award for Best Acting by an Ensemble, “Perfect Alibi” (1995), Nora Ephron's “Michael” (1996, starred John Travolta), “The Definite Maybe” (1997), “Changing Habits” (1997), Michael Rich's “A Simple Wish” (1997, starred Martin Short), “Kill the Man” (1999) and Andrew Flemming's “Dick” (1999, as Helen Lorenzo). On TV, she starred as evil Denise Sandler in the ABC short lived sitcom “Good & Evil” (1991), portrayed Paige Turner in the comedy series “Good Advice” (1994) and was cast as Sissy Emerson on the Delta Burke comedy “Women of the House” (CBS/Lifetime, 1994), a spin-off of “Designing Women.” She also had recurring roles in Disney Channel's “Adventures in Wonderland” (1991) and “Friends” (1997-1998) and made guest appearances in “Tales from the Crypt,” “Dream On” (1992), “Frasier” (1995), “Men Behaving Badly” (1996), “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” (1997) and “ER” (1999), among other TV shows. Her TV film credits include “Mother Goose Rock 'n' Rhyme” (1990), “Stranger in the Family” (1991), “Deliver Them from Evil: The Taking of Alta View” (1992), “Fugitive Nights: Danger in the Desert” (1993), “Aliens for Breakfast” (1994), “Double Jeopardy” (1996), “NightScream” (1997), “The Definite Maybe” (1997) and “Casper Meets Wendy” (1998). In 1999, Garr provided the voice of Mrs. Mary McGinnis in five episodes of the animated TV series “Batman Beyond,” a voice role she would reprise in three episodes in 2000. She also voiced Mary McGinnis in the TV movie “Batman Beyond: The Movie” (1999) and the direct to video “Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker” (2001).

Always busy, Garr starred as Dedee Pfeiffer' mother, Mona, in the well received film “The Sky Is Falling” (2000), which was directed and written by Florrie Laurence, had a supporting role in the Canadian TV film “A Colder Kind of Death” (2001), played Maxine in Terry Zwigoff's “Ghost World” (2001), supported Sarah Jessica Parker, Harry Connick, Jr. and Johnny Knoxville in the direct to video comedy “Life Without Dick” (2002) and appeared in the documentary “Searching for Debra Winger” (2002). She also appeared in episodes of “King of the Hill” (2000, as the voice of Laney), “Felicity” (2001, as Dr. Zwick), “Strong Medicine” (2001, as Mimi Stark), “What's New, Scooby-Doo” (2003, as the voice of Sandy Gordon), “Life with Bonnie” (2003, as Mrs. Abigail Portinbody) and “Greetings from Tucson” (2003, as Helen).

After a brief absence in 2004, Garr resurfaced in 2005 when she portrayed Ginnie in the romantic film “ A Taste of Jupiter,” provided the voice of Mayor Molly Quinn in the direct to video animated film “Aloha, Scooby-Doo” and played Minerva Grahame-Bishop in an episode of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” called “Starved.” In 2006, she received a bit part in “Unaccompanied Minors” (2006), a comedy directed by Paul Feig, was cast in “Expired” (2007), costarred with Scott Prendergast, Lisa Kudrow, Christine Taylor and Jeffrey Dean Morgan in the comedy “Kabluey” (2007), which was also written and directed by Prendergast, and appeared in the short “God Out the Window” (2007).


  • National Board of Review (NBR): Best Acting by an Ensemble, “Prêt-à-Porter,” 1994

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