Happy birthday Leigh Taylor-Young, born January 25, 1945.
Taylor-Young got her first big break in 1966, when she was cast as Rachel Welles in the prime time soap opera Peyton Place.
Following this, she pursued a career in films, landing a lucrative seven-year contract with a major studio. Her first film role came opposite Peter Sellers in the 1968 comedy, I Love You, Alice B. Toklas. This was followed by her appearance with husband Ryan O’Neal in The Big Bounce in 1969.
For the next several years, her pictures tended to be high budget films, such as The Adventurers (1970) and The Horsemen, (1971). She is perhaps best known for her performance as Shirl, the “furniture” girl, in the 1973 science fiction classic Soylent Green.
In 1981, she appeared in the high technology Michael Crichton production Looker. In 1985, she was cast as Virginia Howell in Jagged Edge, and appeared in the romantic comedy film Secret Admirer.
In addition to her film work, she guest-starred on such television series as McCloud, Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, Hart to Hart, Hotel and Spenser: For Hire.
She returned to her soap opera roots in 1983, appearing in the short-lived primetime series The Hamptons. From 1987-89, she played Kimberly Cryder, a recurring character on Dallas.
Taylor-Young’s other film credits have included minor roles in Honeymoon Academy (1990), Bliss (1997), and Slackers (2002), as well as direct-to-video films Addams Family Reunion (1998), Klepto (2003), “Spiritual Warriors (2007)” and “The Wayshower” (2011).
Perhaps her best-known television work was on the CBS series Picket Fences, in which she played mercurial and cougarish mayor Rachel Harris from 1993 through 1995. She won an Emmy Award for the role in 1994, for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, as well as a Golden Globe nomination the following year.
From 2004 through 2007, she played Katherine Barrett Crane on the soap opera Passions.
Taylor-Young has also appeared on series such as The Young Riders, Murder, She Wrote, Sunset Beach, Malibu Shores, 7th Heaven and Life. She had recurring roles on Beverly Hills, 90210, The Pretender, and UPN’s The Sentinel. She also appeared in a handful of television films, including Perry Mason: The Case of the Sinister Spirit (1987), Who Gets the Friends?, and Stranger in My Home (1997).
She also played Yanas Tigan in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Prodigal Daughter”.
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