Here’s a Look Back at Some of Her Most Iconic Roles! Kelly Bishop Is 80

The acclaimed actress will release her memoir, ‘The Third Gilmore Girl,’ this fall Happy birthday Kelly Bishop! The acclaimed actress turns 80 on Feb

Published Time: 29.02.2024 - 02:31:04 Modified Time: 29.02.2024 - 02:31:04

The acclaimed actress will release her memoir, ‘The Third Gilmore Girl,’ this fall

Happy birthday Kelly Bishop!

The acclaimed actress turns 80 on Feb. 28 and has much to celebrate.

Bishop's career has taken her from the screen to the stage and now onto the page. She recently announced with PEOPLE that she will publish her memoir, The Third Gilmore Girl, this fall. Within its pages, the author will reflect upon her storied career in show business, her personal relationships and the lessons she’s learned along the way."From my first steps onto a Broadway stage, to the town of Stars Hollow, I am excited to take my fans along with me through the story of my life,” Bishop said, of her forthcoming book."Few people are as consistently fabulous and delightfully talented as the inimitable Kelly Bishop—she’s lit up Broadway stages and our TV screens alike, and at 80 she remains a beloved icon,” the book's editor Hannah Braaten says in a statement to PEOPLE.“We are so thrilled to be publishing her memoir, The Third Gilmore Girl. Kelly has created many indelible characters throughout her storied career, from Sheila in A Chorus Line to Marjorie Houseman in Dirty Dancing, to the unforgettable Emily Gilmore," Braaten says. "We wish Kelly Bishop a very happy 80th birthday and are thrilled to be publishing her memoir in this auspicious year."To celebrate Bishop’s birthday and her upcoming memoir, we're taking a look back on some of her most iconic roles over the years.

Bishop started her Broadway career in 1968 in the musical Golden Rainbow, and went on to perform in shows like Promises, Promises and On the Town. Her theater breakthrough, however, came with the 1975 musical A Chorus Line.Bishop, then credited as Carole Bishop, originated the role of longtime dancer Sheila Bryant — a character that was largely based upon Bishop’s own life, as explored in the song "At The Ballet." The role would also earn Bishop the 1975 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical.

In one of her most recognized film roles, Bishop played Marjorie Housman, the mother of Baby (Jennifer Grey), in the beloved 1987 movie Dirty Dancing.Bishop’s Marjorie, however, almost didn’t make it to the silver screen. According to E! News, the role was originally supposed to be playe -

d by Lynne Lipton, but the actress fell ill early on during shooting. Bishop, who was slated for a smaller part as a resort guest, stepped in and the rest is silver screen history.

In perhaps Bishop’s most well-known TV role, viewers of all ages have grown to love her as Emily Gilmore, matriarch on the beloved 2000-2007 show Gilmore Girls. Emily’s old-money ways often led her to clash with her high-spirited daughter Lorelai (Lauren Graham), who preferred a humble life in small town Stars Hollow with her daughter Rory (Alexis Bledel).

Though Emily did have her comedic moments — who can forget when she tried frozen pizza for the first time? — Bishop admitted in a SAG-AFTRA panel on the show that the character did have her faults.“She is funny… if you don’t have to live with her," Bishop joked.

Bishop returned to her dancer roots in this short-lived ABC series about a former ballerina who teaches at a coastal town’s dance studio. Bunheads saw Bishop in the recurring role of Fanny Flowers, the mother-in-law to protagonist Michelle (Sutton Foster). The show, which ran from 2012 to 2013, was also created by Gilmore Girls’ Amy Sherman-Palladino.

Bishop reprised her role as Emily Gilmore in the 2016 Netflix reboot of Gilmore Girls. In the revival, Emily is figuring out what life looks like after the death of her husband, Richard, played by the late Ed Herrmann.Though Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life brought surprises for many characters, Emily delivered one of the biggest when she shockingly donned a pair of jeans instead of her usual dress clothes and jewelry.

“I thought, 'this was great ... I’m going to be really comfortable’ because I live in jeans all the time and this is a really familiar place for me,” Bishop told PEOPLE, at the time.

Bishop continued her collaboration with Sherman-Palladino when she took the role of Benedetta, a matchmaker, on the Emmy Award-winning series. Bishop appeared as a guest star in 2022 before being promoted to series regular for Maisel’s final season.

In an interview with TVLine, the show’s executive producer Daniel Palladino described Bishop’s character, who originally was an antagonist to Midge (Rachel Brosnahan), as Emily Gilmore “on steroids.”