Swoosie Kurtz is a famous American actress, who began her career in the early ‘60s, and is perhaps best known for her appearances in the TV series “Sisters” and “Mike & Molly”, and the film “Bubble Boy.” She’s a recipient of two Tony Awards and an Emmy Award.
Age, Early Life, and Education Background
Swoosie Kurtz is a native of Omaha, Nebraska, who was born under the Virgo zodiac sign on 6 September 1944, which makes her 79 years old as of 2023. Her father, Colonel Frank Kurtz Jr., served as a World War II bomber pilot in the US Air Force and was also an Olympic diver. On the other hand, Swoosie’s mother, Margaret Kurtz, was an author. The veteran actress is the only child in her family. Her family moved a lot because of her dad’s job, and as a result she spent her childhood in several states.
Swoosie developed an interest in acting when she was 10 years old, and went on to appear in several plays when she joined high school, and subsequently graduated from the University of Southern California with a BA in Drama in 1966. Swoosie continued with her studies at the prestigious London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), where she was awarded a Master’s degree in 1968.
Kurtz’s first name ‘Swoosie’ was derived from the bomber plane, ‘The Swoose,’ which was piloted by her dad.
She is passionate about donating to charity organizations, especially those dedicated to supporting war veterans.
Swoosie is also keen on politics, and is a registered Democrat.
Swoosie was 17 years old when she made her TV debut in the February 1962 episode “The Golden Trap” of the sitcom “The Donna Reed Show.” She was then cast for a recurring role in the long-running CBS daytime soap opera “As the World Turns” in the early ’70s, before she appeared in the Broadway play “Ah, Wilderness!” by Eugene O’Neil in 1975. Kurtz rose to stardom for her performance in Wendy Wasserstein’s play “Uncommon Women and Others” in 1977, and in the following year, she was cast in the play “Fifth of July,” which earned her a ‘Broadway triple crown of acting’ – the Tony, Outer Critics Circle, and Drama Desk awards.
In 1981, Kurtz starred alongside Tony Randall in the NBC sitcom “Love, Sidney,” which saw her nominated for her first Emmy Award. From 1991through 1996, she portrayed Alex Barker in 127 episodes of the family drama TV series “Sisters,” and was nominated for various awards including a Screen Actors Guild and an Emmy Award for her performance. Before the 2000s, Kurtz appeared in several other projects, including the TV series “Love & Money,” the film “Citizen Ruth” (1996), and the play “The Mineola Twins” (1999).
In the 2000s, Kurtz was cast in various films including “Bubble Boy” (2001) and “Living Proof” (2008). She also made regular appearances in several TV series including “Huff” (2004-2006) and “Pushing Daisies” (2007-2009). She appeared in a few episodes of the TV series “Rita Rocks” and “Nurse Jackie” before she starred as Joyce Flynn in 127 episodes of the CBS sitcom “Mike & Molly” (2010-2016). Swoosie made her last film appearance in the 2018 Rob Greenberg-directed drama “Overboard”, meantime credited with her starring role in the CBS sitcom “Man with a Plan” between 2017-2020, and the sitcom “Call Me Kat” between 2021-2023.
Swoosie has appeared in various documentaries, and performed the song “Friends Forever” in the 2018 film “Love Sidney.”
Awards and Nominations
Swoosie’s performances in “Fifth of July” (1981) and “The House of Blue Leaves” (1986) saw her scoop two Tony Awards for Best Featured Actress in a Play. In 1990, she won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her performance in “Carol and Company.” She has been nominated for several awards including two Online Film & Television Association (OFTA) Awards, Screen Actors Guild Award, and a Golden Globe Award, among others. For her performance in the drama film “The Guys,” Kurtz received special thanks.
In the ‘60s, Swoosie dated the American broadcast television director, video maker and artist, Joshua White, who is perhaps best known for his liquid light show “The Joshua Light Show,” which aired in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. The duo often made red carpet appearances together and it was even rumored that they were planning to exchange vows, but they parted ways in 1970 for undisclosed reasons, and White went on to marry the American singer and Broadway actress, Alice Playten in 1977. Kurtz has never married, and doesn’t have children.
During a previous interview with HuffPost Live, Swoosie talked about the ‘emotional pain’ she went through after she had an abortion in her 20s. The actress made the revelation when she was asked about her experience as the protagonist of the abortion-themed 1996 drama movie “Citizen Ruth.” She disclosed how important the role was to her, adding that having an abortion was one of the most challenging experiences she had faced in her life – in the interview, she revealed that she never told her mother about the ordeal.
Rumors about Kurtz’s Health
Several fans began expressing concern about Swoosie’s health on Twitter in 2015 after they noticed how thin she had become during her stint in “Mike & Molly” – her drastic weight loss led to speculations that she was struggling with anorexia nervosa, a disorder characterized by an intense fear of adding weight and makes the victim consume very little food, which often results in severe weight loss. Kurtz rarely talks about her health issues and other personal matters in interviews and hasn’t addressed these allegations – it remains unclear if the actress is currently struggling with any health problems.
Height, Weight, and Physical Appearance
Swoosie is of Caucasian ethnicity, has a pair of brown eyes and brown hair. She’s slimly built, weighs approximately 115lbs (52kgs), is 5ft 5ins (1.65m) tall, with vital statistics of 35-24-36.
There are speculations that Swoosie has gone for a facelift and has given a little twerk to her jawbone and nose to look younger. It’s also widely believed that she’s had breast implants. However, Swoosie hasn’t addressed the plastic surgery rumors.
Swoosie’s been active in the American showbiz industry for over five decades and has accumulated a good sum from her prolific career. She is authoritatively worth around $5 million as of 2023.