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: English, Scottish, more distant Irish, remote French, Danish, and Dutch

Shirely MacLaine is an American actress, singer, dancer, activist, and author. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for Terms of Endearment (1983).

Shirley is the daughter of Kathlyn Corinne (MacLean) and Ira Owens Beaty. She is the sister of actor Warren Beatty. Her father was American, from Virginia, and her mother was Canadian, from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Her maternal uncle, by marriage, was Canadian politician A. A. MacLeod. She has said that she changed her birth surname, Beaty, because people had troubling spelling and/or pronouncing it.

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

Shirley’s paternal grandfather was William Welton Beaty (the son of Henry Warren Beaty and Mary Lavinia/Lavina Pomeroy). William was born in Virginia. Henry was the son of William A. Beaty and Elmira A. Edmonds. Mary Lavinia/Lavina 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 Valeria/Valonia Updike). Ada was born in Virginia. Burrell was the son of William Dollins Partlow and Margaret Gore. Ruth was the daughter of Daniel Updike and Penelope/Nellie Johnson.

Shirley’s maternal grandfather was Murdoch/Murdock Thomas MacLean (the son of Murdoch/Murdock D. McLean/MacLean and Annie 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 Henrietta Lehigh (the daughter of Franklin Metcalf/Metcalfe Lehigh and Frances/Fanny May Richards). Blanche was born in Frankville, Ontario, Canada. Franklin was the son of Gideon Lehigh/Leahy/Leehy and Clarrisa/Clarissa Elizabeth Kilbourn/Killborn. Frances was born in Ireland, to a Protestant family.

Sources: Genealogies of Shirely MacLaine –

Genealogy of Shirley MacLaine (focusing on her father’s side) –

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

Genealogy of Shirley MacLaine (focusing on her mother’s side) –

Marriage record of Shirley’s maternal grandparents, Murdoch Thomas MacLean and Blanche Henrietta 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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