Mary Kay Place to Appear at Oklahoma History Center


Award-winning Tulsa actor, singer, songwriter, and script writer Mary Kay Place will be the guest speaker at an Oklahoma version of “Inside the Actors’ Studio” at the Oklahoma History Center, Sunday May 5  at 7 p.m.  The building will open at 6 p.m. for a viewing of the special exhibit Oklahoma @ The Movies.  The History Center  is located at 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive in Oklahoma City.

She is appearing at the Oklahoma History Center in support of the Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture, planned for construction in the Brady Arts District in Tulsa. OKPOP, as it is called, will showcase Oklahoma as the “Crossroads of Creativity.” Place will announce a major donation of artifacts from her career to the Oklahoma Historical Society for inclusion in the OKPOP.

The discussion will be led by Dr. Bob L. Blackburn, executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society.  Mary Kay Place grew up in Tulsa.  After graduating from Nathan Hale High School in 1965, she attended the University of Tulsa, where she majored in radio-television production receiving her bachelor’s degree in 1969. Moving to Hollywood, she worked as a production assistant for The Tim Conway Comedy Hour, on which she first appeared on camera.

Her first script-writing credit came with an episode of Norman Lear’s All in the Family, on which she made also a brief appearance.  In 1976 Lear cast her in the nighttime soap opera Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, as Loretta Haggers, an aspiring country music star. She won an Emmy in 1977 for her performance. During the show’s two-year run she wrote and performed seventy-five songs and released an album of them that received a Grammy Award nomination. Place also wrote scripts for episodes of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Phyllis, Maude, and M*A*S*H. An Emmy nomination came for a M*A*S*H episode titled “Hot Lips and Empty Arms.”

Among her film acting credits are roles in Bound for Glory (1976), Private Benjamin (1980), The Big Chill (1983), and Being John Malkovich (1999).  She also appeared in Captain Ron (1992), My-So Called Life (1994), Julie and Julia (2009), The Rainmaker (1997), Home Sweet Alabama (2002), and Big Love (2006-2011).

A project of the Oklahoma Historical Society
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