Whatever Happened to Edie McClurg?

There are a few roles that Edie McClurg is very well known for and if you don’t happen to know them then it’s time to get out there and finally watch a few older movies and brush up on the older actors, because honestly they’re too funny to miss and a lot of them created a few very memorable roles. Edie was actually in the original Carrie movie as one of the students that was hazing poor Carrie White and as a result had to go through a rigorous exercise routine as punishment. If you don’t remember that role then maybe you’ll perk up when you think of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off when she played Mr. Rooney’s secretary, Grace. As one of the sweet and unassuming characters in a lot of movies Edie has been the type of individual that you tend to look at and can’t really be mad with or even disappointed by since she’s there performing her function in the movie and kind of not doing anything wrong even if she ends up being influenced one way or another by a lot of the characters around her. Grace was of course loyal to Mr. Rooney but knew that the man had faults and it was evident through her behavior when he wasn’t looking. As one of the more noticeable but innocuous characters in many projects she’s always been fairly likable but somehow just too cloyingly sweet at times to handle. That’s what makes her so effective at what she does though.

Anyone that hasn’t seen the movie Planes, Trains & Automobiles needs to see it at least once for one iconic scene in which Steve Martin’s character has had to walk a few miles across a vast parking lot and across a runway after finding out his rental car wasn’t where it was supposed to be. His f-bomb-laced rant at Edie’s character is just flat out hilarious since despite the language, or maybe because of it, and his delivery of each and every curse Martin builds up the kind of tension that you can’t help but laugh at since Edie has to sit there and take it with as much grace as she can in the guise of her character. If you watch really closely though you can almost see that she looks as though she wants to crack up at one point, as a lot of us probably would during such a scene since it’s so over the top. But she comes back with a perfect line once Martin has finished his tirade, and it’s the end of her part in the movie but it comes on a note that one can’t help but remember since it’s just so perfect. “You’re f-ed” is a simple and pointed line, but her delivery was so absolutely spot-on that it’s become one of the best scenes in all of cinema according to a lot of people.

As far as what’s she’s doing now, Edie is still working even as she’s well into her 70s and unfortunately it sounds as though she’s been dealing with dementia for a while. Throughout her career she’s managed to wow a lot of people as an actress, a voice actress, a comedian, and even an opera singer in her time. Anyone willing to say that this woman isn’t talented needs a serious reality check since Edie has been amazing a lot of people for decades now and for one reason or another she hasn’t headlined a lot of projects on the big or small screen, remaining a bit player or a supporting actor that has done wonders with one cast after another. She’s done quite a bit of voice acting for Disney and has spent a lot of time on TV as well. The number of credits she has to her name is astounding since she’s been a busy woman for the length of her career and has turned in so many great roles that it’s hard to see why she didn’t start seeking the spotlight in a bigger way. Of course it’s always up to the actor to know just where they want to be and how much exposure they’re comfortable with, and despite the level of skill she possesses, which is great indeed, it’s safe to say that Edie has rarely ever been the type of woman that has been able to trade on her looks. She’s the type of pleasant-looking individual you’d want to sit down and talk with for hours without any doubt though, and to be fair and even honest I for one would love to talk with her just to ask her a few questions about her career and perhaps just a few of her favorite moments from the time she’s spent in the business thus far, though at this time that opportunity has likely fled. She definitely sounds like the type that has collected a few great stories in her time.

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