LASSER, LOUISE (1939– ), U.S. actress. Born in New York, Lasser graduated from Brandeis University in 1961. In 1964 she joined the cast of Elaine May's improvisation troupe The Third Ear and later appeared in several Broadway and off-Broadway productions. On the Broadway stage, she performed in I Can Get It for You Wholesale (1962), Henry, Sweet Henry (1967), The Chinese and Dr. Fish (1970), and Thieves (1974).
Lasser was married to Woody *Allen for three years (1966–69) and acted in his early films, Take the Money and Run (1969), Bananas (1971), and Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sex but Were Afraid to Ask (1972). She was also one of the writers and voices in Allen's Japanese jaunt What's Up, Tiger Lily? (1966). In 1976 Lasser attained national stardom as a result of her title role in the nighttime tv soap opera spoof Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, for which she earned an Emmy nomination. She appeared in a later television series It's a Living (1981–82), as well as several tv movies: Menof Crisis: The Harvey Wallinger Story (1971), Coffee, Tea, or Me? (1973), Isn't It Shocking? (1973), Just You and Me (1978), For Ladies Only (1981), and Club Land (2001).
Some of Lasser's other film credits include Such Good Friends (1971), Slither (1972), In God We Trust (1980), Crime Wave (1985), Sing (1989), Layin' Low (1996), Happiness (1998), Requiem for a Dream (2000), Fast Food Fast Women (2000), Queenie in Love (2001), Wolves of Wall Street (2002), and Lady Killers (2003). Lasser taught acting at New York University.
E. Lax, Woody Allen: A Biography (1991).
[Jonathan Licht /
Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]