Ellen Foley filmography

Movie/television: 3 Girls 3 | Search For Tomorrow | One Life To Live | All My Children | Hair | Tootsie | Headshot |
King Of Comedy | Night Court | Fatal Attraction | Cocktail | Married To The Mob | Spenser: For Hire | Murder In Black And White | Ghostwriter | Random Hearts | Law And Order

Other notable TV appearances: music videos & concerts | talk shows | miscellaneous
"3 Girls 3" (1977)
[Three Girls Three] "3 Girls 3" was a 4-part TV miniseries aired on NBC in the spring of 1977. It was billed as 'a musical comedy series that spotlights the talents of three unknown but terribly talented actors, Debbie Allen, Ellen Foley and Mimi Kennedy'. They were joined on the show by regulars Warren Burton, Richard Byrd and Oliver Clark.

The pilot was shot in November 1976 and aired in March 1977. The following three episodes were put on hold for a couple months because "CPO Sharkey", the show it replaced showed an upturn in ratings and returned to the screen. The series have sadly never been repeated, but some footage have appeared on YouTube, including Ellen performing "New Kid In Town" by the Eagles.

Said Ellen: "One day I went to a general audition for a television show called "3 Girls 3", .... all singing, all dancing, all comedy. I was flown out to Los Angeles for a screen test, and got the job. They auditioned 300 people for the parts and chose three of us. Mimi Kennedy who I'd first met at National Lampoon Show also got a part."

"It was an amazing jump from working for free. It was a four part mini series. I had my own song each week, attempted comedy, was made very blonde and wore fancy gowns. I worked with such people as Bob Hope and Steve Martin. But I was glad it was all over. I was out of place." In retrospect, Ellen feels that the 'television thing' was a crucial turning part in her career. "(3 Girls 3) was the ultimate fake situation, all Broadway, Vegas, Hollywood. I had to get back to reality," Ellen later explained, and added "at the time I had already started recording with Meat Loaf, and I spent half my time in the studio doing some heavy rock 'n' roll."

The format of the show was somewhat unusual; it alternated between a backstage sitcom with the three actresses rooming together - all hungry for their big break - and a variety show which featured them performing in front of a studio audience.

[Three Girls Three] episode 1 (aired 30 March 1977): Mimi Kennedy, Ellen Foley, and Debbie Allen acted as maids of Helen Reddy, Barbra Streisand, and Diana Ross, respectively (pictured above).

episode 2: selections from Broadway musicals highlight this week's show. Debbie Allen sings and dances to "The Music and the Mirror" from "A Chorus Line"; Ellen Foley sings "Dear Friend" and "Will He Like Me?" from "She Loves Me"; and Ellen, Debbie, Mimi Kennedy and guest Steve Martin do "You Could Drive A Person Crazy" from "Company". Martin also does a monologue, and appears with Mimi in a sketch about a bachelor's very unusual digs.

episode 3: Flip Wilson is the guest, clowning as Geraldine with Debbie Allen, Ellen Foley and Mimi Kennedy, who impersonate the Andrew Sisters. Other spots include a comic version of "Blue Moon" sung by Ellen; "I've Got a Right to Sing the Blues", a production number featuring Debbie and dancer Bruce Heath; a spoof of the smile-button craze by Mimi; and a sketch about two singles (Mimi and Ellen) who are vacationing on a cruise ship.

episode 4: the final show of this series was aired on 29 June 1977. See YouTube clips below:

  EPISODE 1: Celebrity Maid's Sketch
  EPISODE 3: Ellen Foley performing the Eagles song "New Kid In Town"
  EPISODE 4: Ellen Foley performing the Barry Manilow song "This One's For You"
  EPISODE 3: Opening minutes in which the 3 girls are joined by Geraldine (Flip Wilson)
  EPISODE 2: Steve Martin guesting on "3 Girls 3".
  June 1977 NBC promo featuring spots for the variety show "3 Girls 3" and others.
"Search For Tomorrow" (1977)
"Search For Tomorrow" was a US soap opera which ran on CBS from 1951 to 1982, and then on NBC until the show was cancelled in 1986.

This was one of the longest running daytime soap operas, and the starting point for many actors who went on to bigger things, including Kevin Bacon, Jill Clayburgh, Olympia Dukakis, Morgan Fairchild, Susan Sarandon and Jane Krakowski, to name but a few. Ellen Foley was a summer replacement in 1977, playing a mental deficient nurse.
"One Life To Live" (1977)
"One Life To Live" is another US soap opera, probably the oldest daytime soap still in production, and more popular than ever apparently. Tommy Lee Jones, Tom Berenger, Roma Downey and Phylicia Rashad started out here, to name but a few. Again, Ellen was a 1977 summer replacement, playing a student radical ("I even got to wear my own leather jacket", she later recalled).

"One Life To Live" is a soap that centers around the Lord, Buchanan, and Kramer families. It has been bold enough to tackle such subjects as Multiple Personality Disorder, teenage homosexuality, inter-racial relationships, and subjects that other soaps were initially too timid to bring up. They've also had their share of silliness; an underground city called Etnerna, among other unlikely storylines.
"Hair" (1979)
[Hair] "Hair" is a 1979 film adaptation of the 1968 Broadway musical of the same title. Ellen Foley performed the song "Black Boys" in the Hair movie with Laurie Beechman and Debi Dye, in a dance sequence with choreography by Twyla Tharp set in NY Central Park. She had played the lead role of Sheila in the October 1977 Broadway revival of Hair at Biltmore Theatre, playing alongside Annie Golden, Randall Easterbrook and Michael Hoit, but it was Beverly D'Angelo who got the Sheila role in the Milos Forman directed movie.

[Hair] The movie was shot in 1978 and released the following year. The cast included John Savage, Treat Williams, Dorsey Wright, Don Dacus, Cheryl Barnes and Nicholas Ray, among others.

It tells the story about Claude, a young man from Oklahoma who comes to New York City. There he strikes up a friendship with a group of hippies, led by Berger, and falls in love with Sheila, a girl from a rich family. However, their happiness is short because Claude must go to the Vietnam war. Pictured left (from left to right) are Laurie Beechman - Ellen Foley - Debi Dye performing "Black Boys".

  "White Boys / Black Boys" from 'Hair' movie
"Tootsie" (1982)
[Tootsie] "Tootsie" is a 1982 comedy starring Dustin Hoffman as Michael Dorsey, a skilled and once sought-after actor who has ruined his reputation by being difficult with directors. Being out of work he dressed up like a woman to land the role as Dorothy, the hospital administrator on the soap opera 'Southwest General'. Dorothy becomes a major star but Michael is falling in love with his co-star Julie (Jessica Lange). Ellen Foley portraits Jacqui, a Production Assistant at 'National Video Centre Recording Studios' where the soap is being filmed (pictured busy at work, below).

[Tootsie] "Tootsie" was directed by Sydney Pollack and it also included Teri Garr, Bill Murray and Geena Davis (her film debut). The filming started in April 1982 and Ellen spent a total of six weeks on the movie set, postponing sessions for "Another Breath" until October.

During the filming, a crisis befell when Ellen lost her voice. Said Ellen: "I contracted a cyst on my vocal chord. I couldn't speak for a month. But with pills and prayers, it's been cleared up. But it was a bad time for me. Sydney Pollack would just snap, snap, snap and make alternations in scenes - I sat around making sign language to everyone on the set. But it was really neat to watch Dustin Hoffman come in with an army coat on, and become transformed into this woman with a 36C." The movie became a big success, and Jessica Lange eventually won Best Supporting Actress Oscar.

"King Of Comedy" (1983)
[King Of Comedy] "King of Comedy" is a black comedy directed by Martin Scorsese. The cast included Robert De Niro, Jerry Lewis, Diahnne Abbott, Sandra Bernhard, Shelley Hack, Tony Randall and Fred de Cordova. Ellen Foley only has a minor role in the movie, she is in a street crowd who is harrassing Robert De Niro and Sandra Bernhard for a few seconds (literally)! The movie was filmed in 1981, but not released until 1983.

[Tootsie] Ellen was dating Mick Jones at the time of filming and the 'Street Scum' scene also included him alongside the other Clash members Paul Simenon and Joe Strummer, plus other friends (Kosmo Vinyl) and girlfriends (Pearl Harbour and Gaby Salter) of the band. Said Ellen: "Martin Scorsese asked us to come and play punks, and hang out on the corner and harass Robert De Niro and Sandra Bernhard. It got cut up, but it was fun drinking beer and harassing De Niro. Who could ask for anything more?"

Robert De Niro plays Rupert Rupkin, an aspiring comic who idolizes talk show host Jerry Langford (Jerry Lewis). Still living at home with his mother, Rupert spends his days trying to arrange a meeting with his hero. He eventually kidnap Langford in order to get on his talk show, but ends up in jail instead. The street scum scene is about 32 mins and 10 secs into the film, and at the very end of the 2 min 19 sec street scene. Blink and you'll miss it!