January 27, 2005
Movie, TV star will be grand marshal of Mardi Gras parade
Story and photo(s) by Bobby Summers, Coordinator of Public Information
Well-known television and movie actress Mary Kay Place, a Port Arthur native, will join Lamar State College-Port Arthur students and staff members on the college's new float as she serves grand marshal of this year's Majestic Krewe of Aurora Mardi Gras Parade, which begins at 6 p.m. Saturday, February 5, on Procter Street in downtown Port Arthur.
Place, who is known for her work on dozens of television shows and movies, broke into show business in the 1970s as a writer for the "Tim Conway Show," "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "Phyllis," "M*A*S*H," and "All in the Family," the Norman Lear production where she first appeared on television.
Place won an Emmy for her performance as the aspiring country-western singer Loretta Haggers on the satirical soap opera "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman." She also was nominated for a Grammy Award for her spin-off musical album from that series, Tonite! At the Capri Lounge Loretta Haggers.
Place's first big-screen credit came in the 1976 film Bound for Glory. She also had roles in Martin Scorcese's New York, New York (1976), Starting Over (1979), More American Graffiti (1979), Private Benjamin (1980), The Big Chill (1983).
During the 1980’s Place appeared in a variety of movies. In 1994, she returned to television with the recurring role of Camille Cherski in "My So-Called Life."
In 1997, Place appeared in Francis Ford Coppola's The Rainmaker.
Place also directed episodes of HBO's "Dream On" and NBC's "Friends" and "Baby Boom."
In 2002, Place's movie career picked up as she played Reece Witherspoon's mother in the hit Sweet Home Alabama.
Other recent movie credits include roles in Being John Malcovich (1999), Girl, Interrupted (1999), Committed (2000), Human Nature (2002), A Woman's a Hell of a Thing (2002), My First Mister (2002), Silver City (2004), and Evergreen (2004).
In 2001, Place appeared as the U.S. Surgeon General in NBC's critically-acclaimed drama "The West Wing."
Lamar State College-Port Arthur will unveil its new float on Friday, February 4, in the Krewe of Krewes Parade, which starts at 7 p.m. at Seawall Boulevard and travels down Procter Street to downtown Port Arthur.