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Alice Hirson

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Alice Hirson
Alice Thorsell

(1929-03-10) March 10, 1929 (age 94)
New York City, U.S.
Years active1951–present
Spouse(s)Roger O. Hirson (divorced)
(m. 1980; died 2005)

Alice Hirson (born March 10, 1929) is an American actress best known for her roles on television. She began her career on stage, before roles on daytime soap operas. She is best known for her roles as Mavis Anderson in the CBS prime time soap opera Dallas and as Lois Morgan, the mother of the title character on the ABC sitcom Ellen.

Early life

Hirson was born Alice Thorsell in New York City on March 10, 1929.[1]


She began her career on off-Broadway stage, before roles in 1960s plays Traveller Without Luggage and The Investigation.[2]


Hirson began her television career appearing on the classic anthology series Hallmark Hall of Fame and Starlight Theatre. From 1969 to 1970, she was a regular cast member on the CBS daytime soap opera The Edge of Night, playing the role of Stephanie Martin. She played the role of Marcia Davis on Another World and its spin-off Somerset from 1970 to 1972. From 1972 to 1976, Hirson starred as Eileen Riley Siegel on ABC's One Life to Live.[3] She also had a recurring role on General Hospital in 1982.

After leaving daytime television, Hirson began playing supporting roles on prime time. In 1977, she appeared in made-for-television movies The Death of Richie, Alexander: The Other Side of Dawn, and Having Babies II, and the following year co-starred opposite Cicely Tyson in A Woman Called Moses. Hirson also guest-starred on Maude, The Waltons, Family, Barnaby Jones, Flamingo Road, Barney Miller, Quincy, M.E., St. Elsewhere, Hotel, and Full House. From 1982 to 1988, Hirson played the recurring role of Mavis Anderson, friend and confidante of Miss Ellie Ewing (Barbara Bel Geddes) in the CBS prime time soap opera, Dallas.

In 1992, Hirson was a regular cast member on the short-lived NBC sitcom Home Fires starring Kate Burton. From 1994 to 1998, she played the role of Lois Morgan, the mother of Ellen DeGeneres' character on the ABC comedy series, Ellen.[4] From 1996 to 2006, she appeared in eight episodes of The WB family drama series, 7th Heaven playing Jenny Jackson, mother of Annie Camden (Catherine Hicks), whose illness and death occurred as the series began in 1996. She also had recurring roles on Murphy Brown and The Secret Life of the American Teenager, and guest-starred on Law & Order, ER, NYPD Blue, Judging Amy, Just Shoot Me!, and Cold Case.


Hirson made her film debut in the 1971 crime comedy The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight. In 1979, she appeared in the horror film Nightwing and played the First Lady of the United States in the comedy-drama Being There. She also appeared in Private Benjamin, Revenge of the Nerds, Mass Appeal, Blind Date, Bride of Boogedy, The Big Picture, The Glass House, and The Lost.

Personal life

In 1964, Hirson met actor Stephen Elliott. They were married from 1980 until Elliott's death in 2005.[5] She was previously married to dramatist Roger O. Hirson.[6]



Year Title Role Notes
1971 The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight The Mayor's Wife
1979 Nightwing Claire Franklin
1979 Being There First Lady
1980 Private Benjamin Mrs. Thornbush
1984 Revenge of the Nerds Mrs. Lowe
1984 Mass Appeal Mrs. Hart
1987 Blind Date Muriel Bedford
1989 The Big Picture Mrs. Chapman
1993 Stepmonster Shirley
2001 The Glass House Mrs. Morgan
2006 The Lost Mrs. Griffith


Year Title Role Notes
1951 Starlight Theatre Alice Episode: "Miss Buell"
1952 Hallmark Hall of Fame Lucy Episode: "Anne Bradstreet, Puritan Poetess"
1968 N.Y.P.D. The 2nd Nurse Episode: "Encounter on a Rooftop"
1970 Another World Marsha Davis 43 episodes
1972 Particular Men Louisa Rayner Television film
1972–1976 One Life to Live Eileen Riley Siegel 59 episodes
1977 The Death of Richie Mrs. Blair Television film
1977 Maude Ed's Wife Episode: "Maude's Reunion"
1977 Alexander: The Other Side of Dawn Judge White Television film
1977 Having Babies II Mimi
1977 The Waltons Jane Stephens 2 episodes
1977–1983 Quincy, M.E. Various roles 3 episodes
1978 Loose Change Rosemary Miniseries
1978 Family Ruth Green Episode: "Fear of Shadows"
1978 Kate Bliss and the Ticker Tape Kid Beth Dozier Television film
1978 Barnaby Jones Emily Warren Episode: "Nest of Scorpions"
1978 A Woman Called Moses Miss Rodham 2 episodes
1979 The Ropers Mrs. Eastham Episode: "The Doris Letters"
1979 Paris Mrs. Dalton Episode: "Friends and Enemies"
1979 ABC Afterschool Special Grace Harris Episode: "A Special Guest"
1979 Julie Farr, M.D. Emily Episode: "Captive"
1980 If Things Were Different Karen Evans Television film
1980 When the Whistle Blows Dottie Jenkins 4 episodes
1981 Flamingo Road Mary Troy Episode: "A Mother's Revenge"
1981 Taxi Woman Customer Episode: "On the Job: Part 1"
1981 Barney Miller Dorothy St. Clair Episode: "The Vests"
1982 The Rules of Marriage Eva Hewlitt Television film
1982 General Hospital Mrs. Van Gelder 4 episodes
1982 Miss All-American Beauty Marjorie Butterfield Television film
1982–1988 Dallas Mavis Anderson 26 episodes
1983 St. Elsewhere Anne Overland Episode: "Release"
1983 Sitcom Betty Gooseberry Television film
1985 Hotel Helen Riley Episode: "Skeletons"
1985 Slickers Dear Clinton Television film
1985 The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo Voice 13 episodes
1986 Foley Square Mrs. Dobbs Episode: "The Star"
1986 Crossings Eleanor Roosevelt Episode #1.2
1986 Matlock Hazel Episode: "Diary of a Perfect Murder"
1986 If Tomorrow Comes Mrs. Stanhope Episode #1.1
1986, 1987 The Magical World of Disney Various roles 2 episodes
1987 Starman Ida Schwartzman Episode: "Barriers"
1987 Full House Claire Tanner 3 episodes
1987, 1988 Houston Knights Beverly / John's Wife 2 episodes
1990 Equal Justice Mrs. Williams Episode: "The Price of Justice"
1990 Psycho IV: The Beginning Mother Television film
1990, 1996 Murphy Brown Bootsie Sherwood 3 episodes
1991 Dear John Mrs. Morris Episode: "Brothers"
1992 Home Fires Grandma 12 episodes
1993 Law & Order Jewel Episode: "Right to Counsel"
1993 Loving Dr. Lisa Helman 4 episodes
1994–1998 Ellen Lois Morgan 28 episodes
1996–2006 7th Heaven Jenny Jackson 8 episodes
1999 ER Mrs. Anderson Episode: "Last Rites"
2000 Godzilla: The Series Peg Chapman Episode: "Wedding Bells Blew"
2000–2002 Baby Blues Mrs. Johnson 3 episodes
2001 NYPD Blue Karen Redding Episode: "In the Wind"
2001 Determination of Death Edith Television film
2001 Judging Amy Alison Loomis Episode: "Surprised by Gravity"
2003 Just Shoot Me! Helen Korsh Episode: "The Last Temptation of Elliot"
2008 Cold Case Judy McShane Episode: "Glory Days"
2008–2011 The Secret Life of the American Teenager Mimsy 6 episodes
2010 Starstruck Grandma Olson Television film
2011 Men of a Certain Age Connie 2 episodes
2019 Will & Grace Justice Ginsburg Episode: "Supreme Courtship"
2021 Trash Truck Mrs. Perry Episode: "Pranks"


  1. ^ John Willis' Theatre World - Volume 23. Crown. 1967. p. 235.
  2. ^ The Broadway League. "Alice Hirson – IBDB: The official source for Broadway Information". Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  3. ^ Hirsch, Lynda (March 26, 1978). "Lynda Answers Soap Queries". Youngstown Vindicator. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
  4. ^ "Alice Hirson". Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  5. ^ "Stephen Elliott, 86; Veteran Stage, Film and TV Actor Known for Role in 'Arthur'". Los Angeles Times. 24 May 2005. Archived from the original on June 25, 2017. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  6. ^ Roger Hirson, Who Wrote the Book for ‘Pippin,’ Dies at 93
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Alice Hirson
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