Shirley MacLaine

40th AFI Life Achievement Award Honoring Shirley MacLaine - Arrivals

MacLaine in 2012, photo by PrPhotos

Birth Name: Shirley MacLean Beaty

Place of Birth: Richmond, Virginia, U.S.

Date of Birth: April 24, 1934

Ethnicity: Scottish, English, Northern Irish/Irish, remote French, Danish, Dutch, and Welsh

Shirely MacLaine is an American actress, singer, dancer, activist, and author. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for Terms of Endearment (1983). She has also starred in the films The Apartment, Two Mules for Sister Sara, Being There, Madame Sousatzka, Steel Magnolias, Postcards from the Edge, and In Her Shoes.

Shirley is the daughter of Kathlyn Corinne (MacLean) and Ira Owens Beaty. She is the sister of actor Warren Beatty. Her father was American, born in Front Royal, Warren, Virginia, and her mother was Canadian, born on North Sydney, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Her maternal uncle, by marriage, was Canadian Labor-Progressive politician A. A. MacLeod (Alexander Albert MacLeod). She has said that she changed her birth surname, Beaty, because people had trouble spelling and/or pronouncing it.

Shirley has a daughter, actress Sachi Parker, with her former husband, businessperson Steve Parker.

The surname Beaty is Scottish.

Shirley’s paternal grandfather was William Welton Beaty (the son of Henry Warren Beaty and Mary Lavinia/Lavina Pomeroy). William was born in Warren County, Virginia. Henry was the son of William A. Beaty and Elmira A. Edmonds. Mary was the daughter of William Montgomery Pomeroy and Lucinda Beaty.

Shirley’s paternal grandmother was Ada/Ida Virginia Partlow (the daughter of Burrell Taylor Partlow and Ruth Valonia/Valey Updike). Ada was born in Rappahannock County, Virginia. Burrell was the son of William Dollins Partlow and Margaret Gore. Ruth was the daughter of Daniel Updike and Nellie/Penelope Johnson.

Shirley’s maternal grandfather was Murdoch/Murdock Thomas MacLean (the son of Murdoch/Murdock D. McLean/MacLean and Annie/Ann McLeod). Shirley’s grandfather Murdoch was born on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada. Shirley’s great-grandfather Murdoch was the son of Scottish parents, Donald MacLean and Mary S. Symonds, who was from Banffshire. Annie was also the daughter of Scottish parents, John Donald McLeod, from Sutherlandshire, and Christina/Christine “Christy” Kennedy.

Shirley’s maternal grandmother was Blanche Lehigh (the daughter of Franklin Metcalfe/Metcalf Lehigh/Leehy and Frances/Fanny Richards). Blanche was born in Frankville, Ontario, Canada. Franklin was the son of Gideon Lehigh/Leahy/Leehy and Clarissa/Clarrisa/Clara Kilbourn/Killborn/Kilborn/Kilbourne, whose parents were American, from Litchfield, Litchfield Co., Connecticut. Shirley’s great-grandmother Frances was born in Ireland, to a Protestant family.

Sources: Genealogies of Shirley MacLaine –

Genealogy of Shirley’s paternal grandmother, Ada/Ida Virginia (Partlow) Beaty (focusing on her own mother’s side) –

Marriage record of Shirley’s maternal grandparents, Murdoch/Murdock Thomas MacLean and Blanche Lehigh –

1 Response

  1. ames says:

    According to her first memoir, “Don’t Fall Off the Mountain”, she changed her name at the beginning of her career because people had trouble pronouncing or spelling her last name, so she picked a variation on her middle name. Her brother Warren just added an extra “T” to his name.

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