Screen Actors Guild.
Early lifeBorn Patsy Ann McClenny in Dallas, Texas, the daughter of Martha Jane (née Hartt), a high school English teacher who taught at Richardson High School, Richardson Texas, and Edward Milton McClenny. As a child, she suffered a bout of scarlet fever, which left her partially deaf.
CareerFairchild's first acting job was as a double for Faye Dunaway during location filming for the movie Bonnie and Clyde (1967). She took her new first name, Morgan, from the 1966 David Warner film, Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment. Fairchild then moved to New York City, where she secured her first credited on-screen role as the maniacal Jennifer Pace in the daytime soap opera Search for Tomorrow from 1973 until 1977. From the mid-1970s, she began to make various appearances on episodic primetime television shows such as Kojak, Happy Days, Police Woman, a few episodes of CBS Radio Mystery Theatre.
She played Jenna Wade in the television series Dallas for one episode in 1978. The character was later brought back, played briefly by Francine Tacker in 1980, and then by Priscilla Presley from 1983-88. In 1978, Fairchild made the TV movie The Initiation of Sarah and also had a recurring role on the sitcom Mork & Mindy. In 1980, she scored her first regular primetime role as Constance Weldon Carlyle on the soap opera Flamingo Road. Though the series had an impressive beginning, the ratings soon dropped and it was canceled after two seasons, though Fairchild was nominated for a Golden Globe award for her role.
After the cancellation of Flamingo Road, Fairchild continued to make guest appearances in a variety of episodic television shows such as Hotel, Simon and Simon, Magnum, P.I., and The Love Boat. She also starred in the 1982 theatrical film, The Seduction. In 1984, she co-starred in another primetime soap opera, Paper Dolls, playing modelling agency owner Racine. The series was cancelled halfway through its first season, but by this time, Fairchild was established as a television actress and in 1985 she joined the hit series Falcon Crest, playing the glamorous lawyer Jordan Roberts for a season. She also appeared in the mini-series North and South in 1985, and its sequel in 1986.
1985 was the year in which Jon Lovitz on Saturday Night Live created the "pathological liar" character who claims outlandish achievements for himself, culminating in the grand allusion that his wife was Morgan Fairchild. The obvious remoteness of such a possibility, and its mainstream comic appeal, was testimonial to the broad popularity and desirability of Fairchild at the time.
Fairchild continued to make appearances in films and television shows throughout the 1980s, and garnered an Emmy Award nomination for her guest appearance in a 1989 episode of Murphy Brown. In the early 1990s, she was cast in a recurring role in Roseanne, as Sandra Bernhard's bisexual girlfriend Marla.
In 1994, Fairchild appeared in an unexpectedly campy ad campaign for clothes designer Old Navy, with Joan Collins and other formerly familiar faces on TV. Her reprised role as the over-the-top glamour vixen was so successful that the company created numerous sequels around her persona.
In 1995, Fairchild returned to daytime soap operas as the catty Sydney Chase on The City. She played the role for a year, after which she went on to appear in General Hospital. She also made guest appearances on the hit sitcom Friends (as Chandler Bing's mother, Nora) and was a recurring guest star on the sitcom Cybill as Andrea, a rival of Cybill Shepherd's character.
Through the years, Fairchild has also appeared in various theater productions. More recently, she starred in the role of Mrs. Robinson in the stage adaptation of the film The Graduate. She also fronted an international advertising campaign for the consumer tooth whitening product Dental White (YouTube).
In 2005, Fairchild appeared in the competition reality show, But Can They Sing? on the VH1 network.
In 2006, she was cast in yet another of her "rich bitch" roles in the My Network TV series Fashion House, playing Sophia Blakely, a rival to Bo Derek's character, Maria Gianni She has also appeared on the television series Chuck as Dr. Honey Woodcomb, the mother of Captain Awesome. She made another return to soap operas in 2009 when she had a guest role in the daytime series The Bold and the Beautiful.
In addition to her work as an actress, Fairchild has long maintained a strong role within the Screen Actors Guild. Currently, Fairchild is a three year board member of the Guild and has served on several diverse committees, including co-chair Legislative Committee, National Executive Committee, SAG-AFTRA Relations Committee, Commercials Contracts Committee, Honors and Tributes Committee (HATS), and Guild Governance and Rules Committee.
Personal lifeUnited States Senator and presidential candidate John Kerry in the early 1990s. Fairchild said although she has no plans to marry, she has been in a relationship with film company executive Mark Seiler for 20 years.
She is active in raising awareness of AIDS-related issues and environmental protection.
Regular and starring roles
- Search for Tomorrow (cast member from 1973–77)
- Escapade (1978)
- The Initiation of Sarah (1978)
- Murder in Music City (1979)
- The Concrete Cowboys (1979)
- The Memory of Eva Ryker (1980)
- Flamingo Road (1980–82)
- The Girl, the Gold Watch & Dynamite (1981)
- Honeyboy (1982)
- Time Bomb (1984)
- The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood (1984)
- Paper Dolls (1984)
- North and South (1985) (miniseries)
- Falcon Crest (cast member for 1985–86 season)
- North and South, Book II (1986) (miniseries)
- Street of Dreams (1988)
- The Haunting of Sarah Hardy (1989)
- How to Murder a Millionaire (1990)
- Menu for Murder (1990)
- Writer's Block (1991)
- Sherlock Holmes and the Leading Lady (1992)
- The Paradise at the End of the Mountain (1993)
- Perry Mason: The Case of the Skin-Deep Scandal (1993)
- Based on an Untrue Story (1993)
- The City (cast member from 1995–96)
- Dead Man's Island (1996)
- Star Command (1996)
- General Hospital (cast member in 1996)
- Into the Arms of Danger (1997)
- Just Deserts (1999)
- I Was a Teenage Faust (2002)
- He's a Lady (2004–05)
- But Can They Sing? (2005) (miniseries)
- Celebrity Food Fight (2006)
- The Initiation of Sarah (2006)
- Fashion House (2006)
- Dallas (1 episode, 1978)
- Mork & Mindy as Susan Taylor
- "Mork's Seduction", "Mork's First Christmas" (1978)
- "Mork Goes Erk" (1979)
- Magnum, P.I. ("Ki'is Don't Lie") (1982)
- Hotel (1983) (pilot for series)
- Murphy Brown ("TV or Not TV" as Julia St. Martin and Kelly Green) (1989)
- Roseanne as Marla
- "Ladies' Choice", "Stand on Your Man", "It's No Place Like Home for the Holidays" as Marla (1992)
- Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman ("Pheromone, My Lovely" as Miranda) (1993)
- Murder, She Wrote ("Murder at a Discount" as Iris Novaro) (1993)
- Empty Nest ("Best Friends" as Zoe) (1994)
- Diagnosis: Murder ("My Four Husbands" as Pamela Dorn) (1994)
- Friends as Mrs. Nora Bing
- "The One with Mrs. Bing" (1995)
- "The One with All the Thanksgivings" (1998)
- "The One With Monica and Chandler's Wedding" Parts 1 and 2 (2001)
- Cybill as Andrea Thorpe
- "Let's Stalk", "The Piano" (1997)
- "Wedding Bell Blues" (1996)
- "As the World Turns to Crap" (1995)
- The Nanny ("The Passed Over Story" as Morgan Faulkner) (1997)
- Touched By an Angel ("My Dinner With Andrew" as Jackie Skyes) (1997)
- Home Improvement ("Mr. Likeable" as herself) (1998)
- The New Addams Family ("Thing's Romance" as Lady Pretensia) (1999)
- Dharma & Greg ("Dharma Does Dallas" as Jackie) (2001)
- 7th Heaven ("Teased" as Merle Bird) (2001)
- Roswell as Meris Wheeler
- "Panacea" and "Chant Down Babylon" (2002)
- That 80's Show ("Beach Party" as Cossima Blair) (2002)
- Just Shoot Me ("Pictures Of Lily" as Lily Barton) (2003)
- That '70s Show ("Going Mobile" as Brooke's mother) (2004)
- Two and a Half Men ("Young People Have Phlegm Too" as Donna) (2004)
- Men in Trees ("Get a Life" as Herself) (2008)
- My Name is Earl ("Friends with Benefits" as Carol) (2008)
- Chuck as Dr. Honey Woodcomb
- Nip/Tuck ("Manny Skerritt" as Herself/Actress playing Colleen Rose) (2009)
- The Bold and the Beautiful (as Dorothy Bright) (2009)
- Law & Order: SVU ("Bedtime") (2010)
- Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 as Dog Show Judge #1
- A Bullet for Pretty Boy (1970)
- The Seduction (1982)
- Terror in the Aisles (1984)
- Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985) (cameo)
- Red Headed Stranger (1986)
- Campus Man (1987)
- Sleeping Beauty (1987)
- Deadly Illusion (1987)
- Killing Blue (1988)
- Mob Boss (1990)
- Freaked (1993)
- Point of Seduction: Body Chemistry III (1994)
- Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult (1994) (cameo)
- Test Tube Teens from the Year 2000 (1994)
- Venus Rising (1995)
- Criminal Hearts (1995)
- Gospa (1995)
- Shattered Illusions (1998)
- Holy Man (1998) (cameo)
- Nice Guys Sleep Alone (1999)
- Unshackled (2000)
- The Cursed (also known as Peril) (2000)
- Held for Ransom (2000)
- Jungle Juice (2001)
- Teddy Bears' Picnic (2002)
- Arizona Summer (2003)
- Knuckle Sandwich (2004)
- Shock to the System (2006)
- Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007) (uncredited) (unrated version)
- The Steamroom (2008)
- The Slammin' Salmon (2009)
- Spring Break '83 (2011)