Jasper, Alabama, USA
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Polly Dean Holliday (born July 2, 1937 in Jasper, Alabama) is an American actress. She has successfully appeared on stage, television and in film. She is best remembered for her portrayal of sassy waitress "Flo" on the 1970s sitcom Alice, and its short-lived spinoff, Flo. Prior to acting, Holliday worked as a piano teacher in her native Alabama and then in Florida. She began her acting career as a member of the Asolo Theatre Company in Sarasota, Florida, where she stayed for 10 years. She became internationally known for her American sitcom role of Florence Jean Castleberry ("Flo") on the television series Alice. Her character coined the popular catch phrase Kiss mah grits!. The phrase became part of the American vocabulary and Holliday later received her own show, entitled Flo. Her notable roles in films include All the President`s Men, Mrs. Doubtfire, the 1998 remake of The Parent Trap and particularly her role as Mrs. Ruby Deagle in the 1984 box office smash Gremlins.
In 1973, she moved to New York and appeared in Alice Childress`s play Wedding Band at the Public Theatre. More than a year later, she was cast in the Broadway hit All Over Town. While working on All Over Town, she met and befriended actor Dustin Hoffman, who would later work with her on the 1976 movie All the President`s Men (Hoffman later tried to get her the job of producing the 1982 film Tootsie. Soon, she was cast — in what would be her major break — in the role of sassy, man-hungry Flo. While on Alice, she became very popular. After appearing on the show from 1976 to 1980, she moved to her own spin-off show, Flo, in which Flo moved from Arizona back home to Texas. The show was moderately successful during its first abbreviated season, but ratings declined during the following season, and it was ultimately canceled in 1981. In 1983, Holliday joined the cast of the CBS-TV sitcom Private Benjamin as a temporary replacement for series regular Eileen Brennan, who was recovering from a serious car injury. However, the show was canceled shortly after Holliday was hired and as a result, only one of the two episodes she filmed was telecast.
Holliday also made appearances on television shows such as The Golden Girls, where she played Rose Nylund`s blind sister Lily, and in a recurring role as Jill`s mother on Home Improvement. On the Broadway stage, she has appeared in several productions, including revivals of Arsenic and Old Lace (1986) as Martha Brewster, one of the dotty, homicidal, sweet old aunties; Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1990), for which she was nominated for a Tony; and Picnic (1994). She also appeared in the 1998 remake of The Parent Trap as the director of Camp Walden. In 2000, she appeared at Lincoln Center in a revival of Arthur Laurents`s The Time of the Cuckoo. In 2000, she was inducted into the Alabama Stage and Screen Hall of Fame.
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Polly Dean Holliday
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Polly Dean Holliday (born July 2, 1937) is an American actress who has appeared on stage, television and in film. She is best known for her portrayal of sassy waitress Florence Jean "Flo" Castleberry on the 1970s sitcom Alice, which she reprised in its short-lived spin-off, Flo. Her character's tagline of "kiss my grits" remains perhaps the most memorable line associated with the series Alice.
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Biography by Hal Erickson [-]
After eking out a modest living as a piano teacher in Alabama and Florida, Polly Holliday switched to acting, spending ten seasons with the Asolo State Theater in Sarasota. In 1973, Holliday headed for New York, where she was cast in Murray Schisgal's Broadway play All Over Town; her director was Dustin Hoffman. All Over Town led to the tiny but pivotal role as a testy secretary in the Dustin Hoffman-Robert Redford feature All the President's Men (1976)--which, in turn, led to Holliday's being cast as wise-cracking waitress Florence Jean "Flo" Castleberry in the TV sitcom Alice (1976-80). Rising to nationwide fame by virtue of her oft-repeated catchphrase "Kiss mah grits!", Holliday earned four Emmy nominations and one Golden Globe Award. In 1980, she was spun off into her own weekly series Flo, which lacked Alice's staying power and was cancelled after a single season. She went on to briefly replace Eileen Brennan on TV's Private Benjamin (1983), and to play Captain Betty in the pilot episode of Stir Crazy (1985). Her film roles of the 1980s included Gremlins (1984), in which she was eminently hissable as Margaret Hamilton clone Mrs. Deagle. Polly Holliday's more recent work has largely been confined to the Broadway stage; in 1989, she received a Tony nomination for her portrayal of Sister Woman in a revival of Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
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Ernest Sullivan Holliday
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