ABOUT

Tracey

I try to do everything ... There's nothing I won't attempt.

 

– Tracey Ullman

Tracey Ullman was born in Slough, England to a Polish emigre father and British mother.  When Tracey was six her father died. In an effort to cheer her mother up, Tracey and her sister Patti would put on shows on their mother's windowsill in her bedroom.  Tracey would mimic everyone: family, friends, neighbors, even celebrities.  When she was twelve, a headmaster recommended that she attend a performing arts school. She auditioned and won a full scholarship to the Italia Conti Academy.

At sixteen, Tracey made her first professional appearance dancing in Gigi in Berlin. Upon returning to England, she joined the popular "Second Generation" dance troupe.  She would go on to appear in numerous West End musicals such as Elvis, Grease and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

 

She received the attention of the BBC after her breakout award-winning performance in Four in a Million at the Royal Court Theater.  They would offer her own show - a first for any female performer.  Three of a Kind, with comedians Lenny Henry and David Copperfield, premiered in 1981.  This BAFTA award-winning series made Tracey a household name.  She would go on to appear in A Kick Up the Eighties with Rik MayallMiriam Margolyes and Robbie Coltrane, and Girls on Top with Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders.

 

In 1983 she would try her hand at a music career. Her album You Broke My Heart in Seventeen Places reached #14 on the British charts and was certified Gold. Her song "They Don't Know" reached #2 in the UK and #8 in the United States.  In 1984, she released her second album You Caught Me Out.

 

Tracey continued to concentrate on her comedy and film career.  In 1984, she appeared in Paul McCartney's Give My Regards to Broad Street.  Her performance in 1985's Plenty opposite actress Meryl Streep garnered her a BAFTA Award nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.

In 1986 she set her sights on a television career in the United States.  In 1987, she teamed with famed television and film producer, James L. Brooks. The pair created the sketch comedy series The Tracey Ullman Show for the fledgling Fox network.  The series would give birth to the longest-running American scripted primetime television series in history, The Simpsons. The Tracey Ullman Show would run for four seasons, ending its run in 1990. The show won a total of 11 Primetime Emmy Awards.  Tracey, herself, would be awarded 3, along with a Golden Globe and 5 American Comedy Awards. 

After The Tracey Ullman Show, Tracey would go on to star in such films as 1990's I Love You Death,  Mel Brooks' Robin Hood: Men in Tights in 1993, and Woody Allen's Bullets over Broadway in 1994.  She also made a return to the stage with The Taming of the Shrew in 1990, starring opposite actor Morgan Freeman, and the one-woman Broadway show, The Big Love

Tracey made her return to British screens in 1993 with Tracey Ullman: A Class Act.  She was joined by Monty Python's Michael Palin. The special poked fun at the British class system.  HBO became interested at this point and commissioned a special for American audiences with the caveat that she take on a more American subject.  She chose New York. Tracey Ullman Takes on New York premiered in October 1993 and was a smashing success. It received 7 Primetime Emmy nominations, winning 2, an American Comedy Award, and a CableAce Award.  It was at this point that HBO proposed a "Takes on" television series.  Tracey and her husband, independent British television producer, Allan McKeown, set up production on Tracey Takes on.. in Los Angels in 1995.

Tracey Takes On... would prove to be just as successful, running four seasons and winning 6 Primetime Emmy Awards, 3 American Comedy Awards, a Screen Actors Guild and Satellite Award, and 2 GLAAD Media Awards.

 

In 2000, Tracey starred in Woody Allen's Small Time Crooks.  Taking a break from her character comedy-based work, in 2001 Tracey created the fashion-based chat show Tracey Ullman's Visible Panty Lines for the Oxygen network, spun-off from her e-commerce clothing site, Purple Skirt, launched in 1999.  The show ran for two seasons.  In 2003, Tracey returned to HBO with the 2003 comedy special Tracey Ullman in the Trailer Tales.  The special, spun-off from Tracey Takes on..., focused on one Tracey's most popular characters, septuagenarian, Ruby Romaine.

In 2004, Tracey starred in John Waters' A Dirty Shame. In 2005, she starred with one of her comedy idols, Carol Burnett in ABC's television adaption of Once Upon a Mattress, playing Princess Winnifred.  That same year, she returned to HBO with her autobiographical stage show, Tracey Ullman: Live & Exposed.

 

An inveterate knitter, Tracey published a book on the subject, Knit 2 Together: Patterns and Stories for Serious Knitting Fun with fellow knitter and friend Mel Clark in 2006.  In 2007, Tracey started work on a new sketch comedy series Tracey Ullman's State of the Union for Showtime.  The show premiered in 2008 and ran for three seasons. The show garnered 6 Primetime Emmy nominations, winning 1 in the category of Outstanding Makeup For A Single-camera Series, as well as two Satellite Awards (Best Comedy Series and Best Performance in a Comedy Series) and a Screen Actor's Guild (SAG) nomination. 

In 2011, Tracey returned to the British stage in Stephen Poliakoff's My City, for which she received a Best Actress Evening Standard Theatre Award nomination.  In 2014, she joined the stage production of The Band Wagon directed by Kathleen Marshall.  That same year she appeared in Disney's Into the Woods playing Jack's Mother. 

 

After thirty years, Tracey returned to the BBC with the sketch comedy series Tracey Ullman's Show in 2016; it would later spin-off into the topical sketch comedy series Tracey Breaks the News.  The former garnered 3 Prime Emmy Award nominations.  In 2017, Tracey appeared in the BBC-Starz adaptation of Howards End playing Aunt Julie. 

Tracey can currently be seen portraying feminist author and activist Betty Friedan in the FX limited series Mrs. America.  Her performance garnered her yet another Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie.  Tracey's next project, the Netflix original film The Prom, directed by Ryan Murphy, is due out later in 2020.

Awards

American Comedy Awards

  • 1988–Funniest Female Performer of the Year

  • 1988–Funniest Female Performer in a TV Series (Leading Role) Network, Cable or Syndication, The Tracey Ullman Show

  • 1989–Funniest Female Performer in a TV Special (Leading or Supporting) Network, Cable or Syndication, Tracey Ullman: Backstage

  • 1990–Funniest Female Performer in a TV Series (Leading Role) Network, Cable or Syndication, The Tracey Ullman Show

  • 1991–Funniest Female Performer in a TV Series (Leading Role) Network, Cable or Syndication, The Tracey Ullman Show

  • 1992–American Comedy Award Funniest Female Performer in a Television Special, Funny Women of Television

  • 1994–Funniest Female Performer in a TV Special (Leading or Supporting) Network, Cable or Syndication, Tracey Takes on New York

  • 1996–American Comedy Award Funniest Female Performer in a Television Special, Women of the Night IV

  • 1998–American Comedy Award Funniest Female Leading Performer in a Television Series, Tracey Takes on...

  • 1999–American Comedy Award Funniest Female Guest Appearance in a Television Series, Ally McBeal

  • 1999–American Comedy Award Funniest Female Leading Performer in a Television Series, Tracey Takes on...

  • 2000–American Comedy Award Funniest Female Leading Performer in a Television Series Tracey Takes on...

BAFTA Awards

  • 1984–Best Light Entertainment Performance, Three of a Kind

CableAce Awards
  • 1995–Best Performance in a Comedy Series, Tracey Ullman: Takes on New York

  • 1996–Best Actress in a Comedy Series, Tracey Takes on...

  • 1996–Best Variety Special or Series, Tracey Takes on...

Primetime Emmy Awards

  • 1989–Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Program, The Tracey Ullman Show

  • 1990–Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program, The Tracey Ullman Show

  • 1990–Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program, The Best of the Tracey Ullman Show

  • 1993–Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series, Love & War

  • 1994–Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Programme, Tracey Ullman: Takes on New York

  • 1997–Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series, Tracey Takes on...

  • 1999–Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series, Ally McBeal

Golden Globe Awards

  • 1988–Best Actress in a Television Series - Comedy or Musical

Critics' Circle Theatre Awards

  • 1981–Most Promising New Actress, Four in a Million

Satellite Awards

  • 1998–Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Comedy or Musical, Tracey Takes on...

Screen Actors Guild Awards

  • 1999–Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series, Tracey Takes on...

Theatre World Awards

  • 1991–Taming of the Shrew

  • 1991–The Big Love

Honors

  • 1995 – Lucy Award from Women in Film

  • 2006 – She Made It Award from Museum of Television and Radio

  • 2009 – Lifetime Achievement BAFTA Award

Filmography

Television ​
  • Mackenzie (1980) as Lisa MacKenzie (TV series)

  • Screenplay (1981) as Karen (Episode: "Happy Since I Met You")

  • A Kick Up the Eighties (1981–83) as Various (TV series)

  • Plenty (1985) as Alice Park

  • Girls on Top (1985) as Candice Valentine (TV series)

  • Saturday Night Live (1987) as Herself (Episode: Garry Shandling/Los Lobos; "Hollywood Mom" sketch)

  • The Tracey Ullman Show (1987–1990) as Various

  • Sesame Street as Herself and Trasha (Episode 2584; Season 20; 6 April 1989)

  • I, Martin Short, Goes Hollywood (1989) as Herself

  • I Love You to Death (1990) as Rosalie Boca

  • Happily After After (1990) as Thunderella and Moonbeam 

  • The Full Wax (1991) as Herself (Episode: #1.4)

  • The Simpsons (1991) as Emily Winthrop and Mrs. Winfield (Episode: "Bart's Dog Gets An F")

  • Funny Women of Television (1991) as Herself

  • Sibs (1992) as (Episode: "If I Only Had a Dad")

  • Love & War (1993) as Dava Levine (Episode: Episode: "The Prima Dava")

  • Tracey Ullman: A Class Act (1993) as Various (TV special)

  • Tracey Ullman Takes on New York (1993) as Various (TV special)

  • The Little Lulu Show (1995) as Lulu (Season 1)

  • Women of the Night IV (1995) as Herself

  • Tracey Takes on... (1996–99) as Various (TV series)

  • Ally McBeal (1998–99) as Dr. Tracey Clark (Episodes: "Troubled Water", "Sideshow", "The Real World", "The Playing Field", "Theme of Life")

  • Tracey Ullman's Visible Panty Lines (2001–02) as Herself (TV series)

  • Tracey Ullman in the Trailer Tales (2003) as Ruby Romaine, Svetlana, Pepper Kane (TV special)

  • Will & Grace (2004) as Ann (Episode: "Looking for Mr. Good Enough")

  • Tracey Ullman: Live & Exposed (2005) as Herself (TV special)

  • Once Upon A Mattress (2005) as Princess Winnifred (TV film)

  • Dawn French's Girls Who Do Comedy (2006) as Herself (3 episodes)

  • If It Ain't Still (2007) as Herself

  • Mumbai Calling (2008) as Telephone Voice (7 episodes)

  • Tracey Ullman's State of the Union (2008–2010) as Various (TV series)

  • Kennedy Center Honors (2011) as Herself (Episode: Tribute to Meryl Streep)

  • How I Met Your Mother (2014) as Genevieve Scherbatsky (Episodes: "Vesuvius", "Daisy", "The End of the Aisle")

  • Sofia the First (2014) as Marla (Episode: "Mom's the Word")

  • Shakespeare Uncovered (2015) as Herself (Episode: "The Taming of the Shrew With Morgan Freeman")

  • Tracey Ullman's Show (2016–17) as Various (TV series)

  • Have I Got News For You (2016) as Herself (Guest presenter; Series 51, Episode 2)

  • Girls (2017) as Ode Montgomery (Episode: "Painful Evacuation")

  • Tracey Breaks the News (2017) as Various (TV special)

  • Howard's End (2017) as Aunt Juley (TV miniseries)

  • The President Show (2017) as Herself (Episode: "I Came Up with Christmas: A President Show Christmas")

  • Tracey Breaks the News (2017–18) as Various (TV series)

  • Have I Got News For You (2018) as Herself (Guest host; Series 55, Episode 9)

  • Zog (2018) as Madame Dragon

  • Mrs. America (2020) as Betty Friedan (TV miniseries)

 
FILM
  • Give My Regards to Broad Street (1984) as Sandra

  • The Young Visitors (1984) as Ethel Monticue

  • Plenty (1985) as Alice Park

  • Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986) as Fiona

  • I Love You to Death (1990) as Rosalie Boca

  • Happily Ever After (1990) as Thunderella and Moonbeam

  • Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993) as Latrine

  • Household Saints (1993) as Catherine Falconetti

  • I'll Do Anything (1994) as Beth Hobbs

  • Bullets over Broadway (1994) as Eden Brent

  • Prêt-à-Porter (1994) as Nina Scant

  • C-Scam (2000)

  • Panic (2000) as Martha

  • Small Time Crooks (2000) as Frenchy

  • A Dirty Shame (2004) as Sylvia Stickles

  • Corpse Bride (2005) as Nell Van Dort and Hildegarde 

  • Conk's New Groove (2005) as Ms. Birdwell 

  • I Could Never Be Your Woman (2007) as Mother Nature

  • The Tale of Despereaux (2008) as Mig

  • Into the Woods (2014) as Jack's Mother

  • Onward (2020) as Grecklin

  • The Prom (2020)

WRITING, DIRECTING, AND PRODUCER CREDITS
  • Girls on Top (1985) – additional material

  • The Tracey Ullman Show (1987–1990) – writer

  • Tracey Ullman: A Class Act (1993) – additional material

  • Tracey Takes on... (1996–99)  – creator, writer, executive producer, second unit director (season 4)

  • Tracey Ullman's Visible Panty Lines (2001–02) – executive producer

  • Tracey Ullman in The Trailer Tales (2003) – director, writer, executive producer

  • Tracey Ullman: Live & Exposed (2005) – writer

  • Flushed Away (2006) – creative consultant 

  • Tracey Ullman's State of the Union (2008-2010) – creator, writer, director (season 3), executive producer

  • Tracey Ullman's Show (2016–17) – devised by, executive producer

  • Tracey Breaks the News (2017) – devised by, executive producer

  • Tracey Breaks the News (2017–18) – devised by, executive producer

Discography

Studio
  • You Broke My Heart in Seventeen Places (1983)​

  • You Caught Me Out (1984)

Comedy

  • Three of a Kind (1983)

Audio Books

  • Puss in Boots (1993)

  • Wise Children (2018)

Theater

  • Gigi (1976) 

  • Second Generation (1977) 

  • Aladdin (1977/78) 

  • Elvis The Musical (1978)

  • Oh! Boy (1978)

  • Grease (1979) as Frenchy

  • The Rocky Horror Show (1979) as Janet

  • Talent (1980) 

  • It's a Madhouse (1980) as Vera

  • Zack (1980) as Sally

  • Gloo Joo (1980) as Irene

  • Dracula (1980) as Lucy

  • Four in a Million (1981) as Beverly 

  • Dick Whittington (1982–82) as Dick

  • Rita, Sue and Bob Too (1982) as Bob's wife

  • She Stoops to Conquer (1982) as Kate Hardcastle

  • Bows and Arrows (1982) as Henrietta

  • The Grass Widow (1983) as Carmen

  • The Taming of the Shrew (1990) as Kate 

  • The Big Love (1991) as Beverly Aadland

  • Tracey Ullman: Live & Exposed (2005) as Herself

  • My City (2011) as Elizabeth Lambert

  • What About Dick? (2012) as Aunt Maggie, Enid Bastard and The Countess von Kuns

  • The Band Wagon (2014) as Lily Martin

Books

  • ​Tracey Takes on (1998)

  • Knit 2 Together: Patterns and Stories for Serious Knitting Fun (2006)

  • On Dogs: An Anthology (2019)

Contact

To contact us: traceyufans@gmail.com

To send fan mail to Tracey:

Tracey Ullman 

c/o Hamilton Hodell 

20 Golden Square 

London 

W1F 9JL 

 

NOTE: Read the guidelines before sending: http://www.hamiltonhodell.co.uk/fans

In Memory of Allan McKeown

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