Marsha Mason is an American actress and director who was immensely popular in the 1970’s and 1980’s Hollywood era. She has several accolades to her name, including four-time Academy Award nominations for best actress. Marsha is famous for her charming personality that could be seen throughout her acting career despite the characters she plays.
Marsha was born in St. Louise, Missouri, to James Joseph Mason, who worked as a printer. She has a younger sister Linda, and both daughters were raised as Catholic Christians. During her academic career at Webster University, Marsha found her love for acting and started performing in theatrical productions.
After marrying the actor Gary Campbell, Marsha made her way into Hollywood with her debut Hot Rod Hullabaloo. Her marriage to Gary lasted only five years, but her career in acting was ready to take off.
Director Neil Simon saw Marsha’s amazing performance in her 1973 movie Blume in Love. Neil, a widower, fell in love with Marsha, and they soon got married. Neil successfully cast her in his next project, which was a Broadway play, The Good Doctor. A year later, Marsha played the character of a prostitute alongside James Caan in Cinderella Liberty. The movie was a box office success, and it got Marsha her first Academy Award nomination for best actress.
In 1977, Marsha was taken for the lead actress in The Goodbye Girl, written by Neil Simon. Once again, her performance garnered her a second Academy Award nomination. She played minor roles in other movies as well, but it was with Neil that her acting caught everyone’s attention. Her third Academy Award nomination was with Neil as well, starring as Jennie MacLaine in the movie Chapter Two. It was based on Neil and Marsha’s relationship till their marriage.
In 1981, Marsha was taken on board for the movie adaptation of Neil’s Broadway drama, Gingerbread Lady. For her performance as Georgia Hines in Only When I Laugh, Marsha received her fourth Academy Award nomination. She further starred in Max Dugan Returns, which Neil Simon also wrote, but till then, Marsha and Neil had gotten a divorce, and the movie could not make a significant impact. Marsha’s career on the big screen lost momentum after her separation from Neil, so she took her talent to theaters once again.
Through the 1980s and 1900s, Marsha starred in several theater plays, including Harold Printer’s Old Times, Night of the Iguana in 1996, a famous Broadway play. She also started working in television series like Seinfeld and Army Wives.
In 1991, Marsha directed her series named Sibs. She played Sherry Dempsey in the hit sitcom series Frasier during 1997 and 1998. Her performance as a lively girlfriend earned many praises from the critics. She further acted in The Middle from 2010 to 2018.
In addition, Marsha also played a recurring character in the Netflix series Grace and Frankie.
Marsha’s marriage with Neil Simon lasted for a decade. There was no news of her getting married again. Marsha spends her time on her farm in Abiquiu, New Mexico, where she grows certified organic produce. She launched her venture called “Resting in the River” and sells herbs to various companies.
Marsha also gives lectures at the Herbert Berghof Studio (HB Studio) in New York City. She currently lives in Connecticut in her newly constructed house.