Photo Credit: David Weininger, Simon and Shuster’s website
Birthdate: April 24, 1934
Shirley MacLaine is truly a dynamo, managing an acting career that has spanned decades and is as vital today with her role as Martha Levinson, on Downtown Abbey, as it was in her early days in the movies. She is also a spiritual seeker who has had the courage and privilege to travel the world seeking, and the confidence and trust to write it down for us in her many books, so that we could come along.
Organizations and Projects
Shirley's website features information about her weekly radio show, a weekly astrology column, and articles on some of her spiritual interests. You can become a member of her site and enjoy private chat rooms and forums, a members newsletter, and more.
The Camino: A Journey of the Spirit - Shirley MacLaine 2001
Amazon Synopsis: It has been nearly three decades since Shirley
MacLaine commenced her brave and public commitment to chronicling her personal
quest for spiritual understanding. In testament to the endurance and vitality
of her message, each of her eight legendary bestsellers -- from Don't Fall Off
the Mountain to My Lucky Stars --
continues today to attract, dazzle, and transform countless new readers. Now Shirley is back -- with her most breathtakingly powerful and unique book yet.
This is the story of a journey. It is the eagerly anticipated and altogether startling culmination of Shirley MacLaine's extraordinary -- and ultimately rewarding -- road through life. The riveting odyssey began with a pair of anonymous handwritten letters imploring Shirley to make a difficult pilgrimage along the Santiago de Compostela Camino in Spain. Throughout history, countless illustrious pilgrims from all over Europe have taken up the trail. It is an ancient -- and allegedly enchanted -- pilgrimage. People from St. Francis of Assisi and Charlemagne to Ferdinand and Isabella to Dante and Chaucer have taken the journey, which comprises a nearly 500-mile trek across highways, mountains and valleys, cities and towns, and fields. Now it would be Shirley's turn.
For Shirley, the Camino was both an intense spiritual and physical challenge. A woman in her sixth decade completing such a grueling trip on foot in thirty days at twenty miles per day was nothing short of remarkable. But even more astounding was the route she took spiritually: back thousands of years, through past lives to the very origin of the universe. Immensely gifted with intelligence, curiosity, warmth, and a profound openness to people and places outside her own experience, Shirley MacLaine is truly an American treasure. And once again, she brings her inimitable qualities of mind and heart to her writing. Balancing and negotiating the revelations inspired by the mysterious energy of the Camino, she endured her exhausting journey to Compostela until it gradually gave way to a far more universal voyage: that of the soul. Through a range of astonishing and liberating visions and revelations, Shirley saw into the meaning of the cosmos, including the secrets of the ancient civilizations of Atlantis and Lemuria, insights into human genesis, the essence of gender and sexuality, and the true path to higher love.
With rich insight, humility, and her trademark grace, Shirley MacLaine gently leads us on a sacred adventure toward an inexpressibly transcendent climax. The Camino promises readers the journey of a thousand lifetimes.
Dance While You Can: On Relationships, Feelings, and Family – Shirley MacLaine 1992
Amazon Synopsis: The best-selling author, actress, and all-around celebrity shares personal stories about her own family--her parents, brother Warren Beatty, and her only daughter--and discusses her life in the movies over a period of four decades. Reprint.
Dancing in the Light - Shirley MacLaine 1986
Amazon Synopsis: Now, at a turning point in her life, comes her most revealing and exciting book yet. Outspoken, controversial, talented, and perceptive Shirley MacLaine now takes us on an intimate and fascinating personal odyssey. In 1984 she won an Oscar, starred on Broadway, wrote the best-selling Out on a Limb -- and turned fifty years old. At this special time, in this special year, she was now ready to resume the spiritual journey she had begun in her early forties. In Dancing in the Light, Shirley MacLaine bares her innermost self and explores the lives, both past and present, which touched and affected her own. She sheds new light on her loves, her losses, her childhood, her passions, and her inner drives and ambitions. She asks poignant questions and finds surprising answers. She challenges her beliefs and confronts her conflicts. Ultimately, she takes us with her through a life-altering experience that provides a stunning new vision of herself, her future... and the fate of our world.
Don’t Fall Off the Mountain – Shirley MacLaine 1985
Amazon Synopsis: "I've always felt that I would never develop into a really fine actress because I cared more about life beyond the camera than the life in front of it. Over the years my search became broader and broader. After two months on a picture my car seemed to veer toward the airport of its own accord. I still loved acting and enjoyed it. I was a professional, but basically I was more interested in the people I played than the movies I played them in... " -- Shirley MacLaine.
An outspoken thinker, a keen observer, a truly independent woman, Shirley MacLaine takes us on a remarkable journey into her life and her inner self. From her Virginia roots, to stardom, marriage, motherhood and her enlightening travels to mysterious corners of the world, her story is exciting and poetic, moving and humorous-the varied and life-changing experiences of a talented, intelligent and extraordinary woman.
Going Within – Shirley MacLaine 1990
Amazon Synopsis: At last Shirley MacLaine reveals the secrets of her intimate journey of transformation. In three international bestsellers, Out on a Limb, Dancing in the Light, and It's All in the Playing, multi-talented Shirley MacLaine described her own ongoing spiritual journey in search of inner harmony and self-transcendence. Now this celebrated actress, social activist, and outspoken thinker shares an enlightened program of spiritual techniques and mental exercises to become healthier, happier, and more attuned to the natural harmony of the world around-and within-ourselves.
In Going Within Shirley MacLaine answers many of the most challenging and important questions she has been asked about her experiences in seminars and interviews she has conducted from coast to coast. Transformation is at heart of her profound and inspiring message-the power to shape our lives, to find inner peace and awareness, and to reach highest potential in relationships, at work, and at home.
Candid, often controversial, and always courageous, Shirley MacLaine opens the doors to an irresistible journey of discovery and revelation. By going within, she shows us how to reach a new level of love and harmony, reduce stress, release fear, and discover the joys of a new-and better-way of living. Use light, sound, crystals, and visualizations to increase your personal energy. Explore the power of meditation to align body, mind, and spirit. Understand and communicate with your hidden self. Learn the secrets of sexual fulfillment in a new age of commitment. Experience the stunning mysteries of psychic surgery and much more!
I'm Over All That: And Other Confessions - Shirley MacLaine 2012
Amazon Synopsis: “IN THIS THIRD ACT OF MY LIFE, MUCH HAS BECOME CLEARER. SO MUCH IS OVER, AND I AM OVER SO MUCH . . .”
At a certain time in life, we all come to realize what is truly important to us and what just doesn’t matter. For Shirley MacLaine, that time is now. In this wise, witty, and fearless collection of small observations and big-picture questions, she shares with readers all those things that she is over dealing with in life, in love, at home, and in the larger world . . . as well as the things she will never get over, no matter how long she lives.
Among the things that Shirley is over: people who repeat themselves (“when you didn’t care what they said the first time”); conservatives and liberals; ill-mannered young people; the poison of celebrity (“Why do so many people want to be famous when they see how it can destroy your life?”); being polite to boring people (“If they won’t stop talking, I go into a trance and meditate”); getting older in Hollywood (“How peaceful it is not to have to look particularly pretty anymore or to wear a size 6”).
In the opposite camp, there are some things Shirley will never get over: good lighting (“Marlene Dietrich taught me how to light myself”); gorgeous costars (“The vanity of male actors is an impossible wall to scale”); performing live (“Yes, it is better than sex”); and above all, brave people with curious minds (“Fear is the most powerful weapon of mass destruction”).
Along the way, she recalls stories of some of the true greats she has known—Alfred Hitchcock, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, the two Jacks (Lemmon and Nicholson)—and ruminates on the state of Hollywood past and present. She recollects her relationships and romances with politicians (including two prime ministers), scientists, journalists, and costars.
An unabashed seeker of truth and unrepentant free spirit, Shirley looks squarely at a world that can irritate, confuse, and provoke her, but that can also delight her with its beauty, humor, and future promise. Reading I’m Over All That will make you feel you have been reunited with an old friend who tells it like it is but never takes herself too seriously.
Shirley MacLaine may be over all that, but this irresistible book ensures that we will never get over her.
It's All In The Playing - Shirley MacLaine 1988
Amazon Synopsis: The fifth volume in one of the most extraordinary personal odysseys of the twentieth century. Don't Fall Off the Mountain, You Can Get There From Here, Out on a Limb, Dancing in the Light and now the most intimate and compelling book of all, It's All in the Playing. Oscar-winning actress, social activist, singular entertainer, best-selling author Shirley MacLaine has the courage to be both candid and controversial. In this book, she casts herself in her most challenging role yet--as seeker of personal and metaphysical truth. It began in Peru ten years ago and ended in Peru ten years later. But the steps along the way were the real story. In filming the miniseries Out on a Limb, Shirley MacLaine was forced to recreate herself ten years earlier. to journey back from Malibu to London, from Sweden to the mysterious landscape of Peru... to the places, the perceptions and profound emotions she experienced then. And to journey beyond, exploring new personal and cosmic dimensions, the choices of her lifetimes, who she was and who she would become. As the heart of Shirley MacLaine's testament is a compelling challenge: we choose our own destinies, create our own illusions. We have the power to design the world in which we live, and the strength to remake ourselves in the image of our dreams.
My Lucky Stars: A Hollywood Memoir - Shirley MacLaine 1996
Amazon Synopsis: An Academy Award-winning actress and the internationally bestselling author of Out on a Limb delivers her touching, warm, and headline-making memoir. In My Lucky Stars Shirley MacLaine talks candidly and personally about her four decades in Hollywood, especially about the men and women--her "lucky stars"--who touched and challenged her life.
Out on a Leash: Exploring the Nature of Reality and Love - Shirley MacLaine 2004
Amazon Synopsis: Shirley MacLaine has found a perfect love in the furry bundle of canine charms that is Terry. With her winning terrier ways and an endless wellspring of love, Terry has succeeded in doing what no one before her ever has: slowing Shirley's peripatetic travels, shifting the actress and author's global axis to hearth and home. In fact, with Terry by her side, Shirley sees the world in new ways she never thought possible. Together, they explore the nature of love and of time, having shared at least one previous life together in ancient Egypt. Together, too, they seek to understand world events. And in a unique and delightful twist, we see Terry's point of view on Shirley's domestic and inner life, as the terrier's mistress continually questions the deeper nature of reality.
An utterly charming, witty, and ultimately wise memoir of a truly remarkable woman, Out on a Leash is an irresistible bonbon for Shirley MacLaine's fans and for dog lovers everywhere.
Out on a Limb - Shirley MacLaine 1986
Amazon Synopsis: Her most controversial book is one you will never forget. An outspoken thinker, a celebrated actress, a truly independent woman, Shirley MacLaine goes beyond her previous two bestsellers to take us on an intimate yet powerful journey into her personal life and inner self. An intense, clandestine love affair with a prominent politician sparks Shirley MacLaine's quest of self-discovery. From Stockholm to Hawaii to the mountain vastness of Peru, from disbelief to radiant affirmation, she at last discovers the roots of her very existence. . . and the infinite possibilities of life. Shirley MacLaine opens her heart to explore the meaning of a great and enduring passion with her lover Gerry; the mystery of her soul's connection with her best friend David; the tantalizing secrets behind a great actor's inspiration with the late Peter Sellers. And through it all, Shirley MacLaine's courage and candor new doors, new insights, new revelations-and a luminous new world she invites us all to share.
Sage-ing While Age-ing - Shirley MacLaine 2008
Amazon Synopsis: "I've been a questioner all my life..."
So begins bestselling author and award-winning actress Shirley MacLaine, as she invites readers to join her on the most powerful, provocative journey of her life. Over the years, Shirley has firmly established herself as a fearless, iconoclastic thinker and seeker of truth. Now, as she confronts the realities and rewards of growing older, she reflects on the greater understanding of her own place in the universe that her experiences have brought to her.
Sparked by the experience of moving into a new house, she is inspired to look back across the remarkable professional and personal milestones she has experienced so far. Surrounded by books, pictures, and the artifacts of a life well lived, Shirley is able to recognize the profound power of synchronicity at work around her, discovering the invisible threads that stitch together the seemingly random events of her days, adding meaning even to the mundane.
Having grown older, she is increasingly concerned with the potential pitfalls of modern medicine. She shares personal insights into nutrition, acupuncture, homeopathy, and alternative medicine. Practical and bracing, here is advice for anyone looking to expand his or her understanding of health and well-being.
Moving beyond the physical, Shirley explores what has always interested her most -- those things that are unseen. What is consciousness? What is the purpose of our lives? Are we alone in the universe? And perhaps the greatest mystery of all, what happens to us after death?
Filled with her trademark wit and candor, this is a fascinating, inspiring book that will delight and captivate Shirley's legions of fans and fellow travelers everywhere.
You Can Get There From Here - Shirley MacLaine 1988
Book Jacket: You Can Get There From Here begins in the never-never land of Las Vegas where Ms. MacLaine is performing her one-woman show and tells an intimate tale of the fascinating world in which she lives.
Shirley MacLaine turned to new adventures. One was a trip on the campaign trail with George McGovern, which turned out to be, at best, mixed blessings. But as always, every experience leads Ms. MacLaine deeper into herself and a positive result. What she learned about political humanity, what she experienced in the eventual disarray and defeat, and, above all, what she discovered about people gives heart to her story.
The second adventure was her trip to the People's Republic of China with a delegation of American women; another profound experience that led to self-rediscovery. What they saw and experienced in China was a deep shock to all of them. Shirley MacLaine, particularly, found a society which seemed both successful and happy in which there was no role for the individual creative impulse. It was a country that had torn down traditions thousands of years old in one generation and rebuilt a more workable society on new grounds - grounds completely alien to everything they, as Americans, had been taught to revere.
"In China I saw an entire nation, once degraded, corrupt, demoralized, and exploited, that was changing its very nature... I realized that if what we call human nature can be changed, then absolutely anything is possible. And from that moment, my life changed..." — Shirley MacLaine
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