Anita Rose Morris was born on March 14, 1943 in Durham, North Carolina, to Eloise (Chappell), who worked in the theater, and James Badgett Morris, a doctor. Among her many roles, the most prominent film role was as Carol Dodsworth in Ruthless People (1986), and for her sensual performance as Carla in the musical “Nine” opposite Raul Julia. While nominated for a Best Featuted Actress Tony Award as Carla, she lost to her co-star Liliane Montevecchi. Her signature number in “Nine” was “A Call from the Vatican”, and she also sang “Simple”, late in act two. She was scheduled to perform the former at the Tony Awards in 1982, but the television censors found her outfit too revealing. Her stage work began at the American Mime Theatre, and carried her to Broadway both for “Nine”, “Jesus Christ Superstar”, “Seesaw”, “The Magic Show”, “Sugar Babies” and “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas”.
Morris’ film work included The Hotel New Hampshire (1984), Absolute Beginners (1986) with David Bowie and James Fox, Ruthless People (1986) with Danny DeVito and Bette Midler, 18 Again! (1988) with George Burns and Charlie Schlatter, Bloodhounds of Broadway (1989) and Radioland Murders (1994), which was her final film role. During the 1980s and 1990s, she played guest roles in sitcoms and dramas, including Miami Vice (1984), Who’s the Boss? (1984), Murder, She Wrote (1984), Cheers (1982), Matlock (1986), Melrose Place (1992), Tales from the Crypt (1989) and A Different World (1987). Anita Morris died at age 50 of ovarian cancer on March 2, 1994 in Los Angeles, California. She was interred at Maplewood Cemetery in Durham, North Carolina.
Anita was married to actor and director Grover Dale. Their son is actor James Badge Dale.
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