- NAME: Marilu Henner
- OCCUPATION: Film Actress, Television Actress, Reality Television Star, Writer
- BIRTH DATE: April 06, 1952 (Age: 61)
- Did You Know?: Marilu Henner has Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory, or HSAM. There are less than 15 cases of the condition recognized worldwide.
- EDUCATION: University of Chicago
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Chicago, Illinois
- Originally: Mary Lucy Pudlowski
- Nickname: Perpetual Motion
- AKA: Marilu Henner
- ZODIAC SIGN: Aries
Best Known For
Marilu Henner is best known for her acting careerin film and TV, particularly the series Taxi, along with her series of health and fitness books.
Watch a short video about Marilu Henner and learn what prediction scared the actress into dropping out of college to pursue a career in show business.
Marilu Henner talks with William Shatner about her six siblings, family holidays and being part of “the litter.”
A preview of William Shatner's interview with Marilu Henner.
Actress Marilu Henner sits down with host William Shatner to talk about growing up in her family home.
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Marilu Henner was born on April 6, 1952, in Chicago, Illinois, as Mary Pudlowski. Henner gained a role in a university production of Grease that led to a traveling role in the musical and a romance with co-star John Travolta. Later she won a role on the hit television program Taxi (1978-83) with Judd Hirsch and Tony Danza. After the show had a successful run on TV,
"I've had this memory since I was 5 years old, but I've exercised it through the years. So it's got a very strong nature, but it's also something I nurture—they're equal to me."
"To me, developing a strong autobiographical memories is our strongest defense against meaninglessness that we have. It's also a tremendous insurance policy against loss."
"Recalling memories is kind of like karaoke. You know the first one is hard, then you can't get the microphone away from people. You start opening up those memories, and it's just a floodgate opens."
Henner entered the realm of health and fitness when she became a bestselling author, having written books such as Total Memory Makeover (2012) and Healthy Life Kitchen (2002).
Actress and author Marilu Henner was born Mary Lucy Pudlowski on April 6, 1952, in Chicago, Illinois. The third of six children, she attended the University of Chicago for three years, before deciding to wholeheartedly pursue an acting career. Billed as Marilu Henner, she originated the supporting role of Marty in the musical Grease at the University of Chicago's Community Theatre.
Henner dropped out of school in 1972, in order to travel with the national company of Grease, at which time she carried on a highly publicized romance with co-star John Travolta. In 1976, she moved to New York, landing her first Broadway role in Over Here!. Following a handful of forgettable stage performances, Henner made her cinematic debut as a stripper in the 1977 sleeper Between the Lines.
In 1978, Henner landed the breakthrough role of her career as receptionist-turned-cabbie Elaine Nardo in the hit television sitcom Taxi. A handful of film roles followed, including Blake Edward's farce in The Man Who Loved Woman (1983), which starred Burt Reynolds, Kim Basinger and Julie Andrews. Over the next few years, Henner's body of work ranged from disappointing films like 1985's Perfect (which paired her with former beau John Travolta) to well-received comedies like L.A. Story (1991), starring Steve Martin and Patrick Stewart.
In 1990, Henner found renewed success on TV in the sitcom Evening Shade. She enjoyed a four-year run in her role as Ava Evans Newton, the wife of a high school athletics coach played by Burt Reynolds. In 1994, Henner hosted her own short-lived daily talk show, Marilu. Later that year, she published a revealing autobiography, By All Means Keep on Moving, in which she candidly discussed her sexual exploits with many of her Taxi co-stars, including Tony Danza and Judd Hirsch.
In 1999, Henner played herself in the critically acclaimed film Man on the Moon, which documented the life of former Taxi cast member and famed comedian Andy Kaufman. She returned to the stage in 2000, headlining a national tour of the revival of Annie Get Your Gun.
Henner has also ventured out into the realm of reality television. She served as host of the PBS series America's Ballroom Challenge (2006-09) and she competed in the first celebrity edition of Donald Trump's The Apprentice, aptly named Celebrity Apprentice, in 2008. She made it to week eight of the competition before getting fired, losing the chance to win the total prize for her charity, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
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