Dr. Christine Ebersole '71
MacMurray College was responsible for helping me focus my talents and for giving me the courage to follow my dreams. I will always be grateful to the teachers and fellow students I met at MacMurray College for providing me with a wonderful support system and enduring friendships.
Dr. Christine Ebersole came from Winnetka, Illinois, where she discovered her passion for acting and singing at New Trier High School (Winnetka) and at MacMurray College in 1971. During her time at MacMurray, she felt she received "special attention and encouragement in theater."
Her theatrical training continued at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City and she made her Broadway debut in Angel Street in 1976. She went on to star in such Broadway hits as I Love My Wife, On the Twentieth Century, Oklahoma, Camelot, and Getting Away with Murder. Off-Broadway, she starred in Chekhov's The Three Sisters. After Harrigan N' Hart closed, Ebersole made her move to Hollywood to pursue her film and television career full-time.
Her feature film credits include Amadeus, Tootsie, Thief of Hearts, Bill Cosby's Ghost Dad, Dead Again, Folks! with Tom Selleck, My Girl 2, Richie Rich with Macauley Culkin, Black Sheep with Chris Farley and David Spade, 'Til There Was You, and Disney's My Favorite Martian. Ebersole will be appearing in the up-coming movie Confessions of a Shopaholic.
Ebersole was a cast member of the 1981-1982 season of NBC'S Saturday Night Live with fellow Not Ready for Prime Time Players Eddie Murphy, Joe Piscopo, and Mary Gross. She received an Emmy Award nomination for her role as Maxie McDermott on One Life to Live and starred in roles for The Cavanaughs, Rachel Gunn, RN, and Valerie. She co-starred on the CBS comedy Ink opposite Ted Danson and was the mother on the WB series Related. She has made guest appearances on Crossing Jordan, Will and Grace, Just Shoot Me, Ally McBeal, Murphy Brown, Cashmere Mafia, and Boston Legal.
Her television movie credits include Gypsy with Bette Midler and Dying to Love You. She co-starred with Jane Fonda in The Dollmaker and opposite Stockard Channing in An Unexpected Family and its sequel. Other television films have included Mary and Rhoda and Double Platinum with Diana Ross and Brandy Norwood.
Ebersole appeared on the television special Ira Gershwin at 100: A Celebration at Carnegie Hall earning the honor of "show-stopping" from USA Today and earned more plaudits in The Rodgers & Hart Story: Thou Swell, Thou Witty performing The Lady is a Tramp from the 1937 musical Babes in Arms.
In 1997, Ebersole took the cabaret stage again for the first time in 17 years. Her two standing room only engagements led to the recording of her first solo CD, "Christine Ebersole: Live at the Cinegrill." In 2004, she released a new CD: "In Your Dreams: Christine Ebersole" with Billy Stritch. Her most recent release is "Sunday in New York," which includes recordings from sold out performances at The Metropolitan Room.
Ebersole returned to the East Coast in 1999. While continuing her film and television career, she played the title role in Mame and has made appearances in Gore Vidal's The Best Man; Millicent Jordan in Dinner at Eight, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award; M'lynn in Steel Magnolias; and the role for which she won the Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical - Dorothy Brock in the 2001 revival of 42nd Street. In 2006, Ebersole took a dual role in Grey Gardens. After a sold-out off-Broadway run, Ebersole remained with the roles when it moved to Broadway. She earned her second Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for these roles.
Ebersole earned an honorary doctor of fine arts from MacMurray College in 2002.
Ebersole enjoys life in New Jersey with her husband, Bill Moloney; her three beautiful children, Elijah, Mae Mae, and Aron; her mother; and 9 pets.