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Shirley MacLaine Never Wants to Quit Acting: 'I Want to Be a Spokesperson for Older Women'

Jul 18, 2019

Shirley MacLaine might be working less than she used to in her heyday, but the actress, 85, tells PEOPLE in the latest issue that she has no intentions of ever retiring.

“I don’t want to quit acting — I really don’t,” she says. “Even at my age, I have four pictures to do next year. I think [some] costars are surprised I’m still walking upright.”

The Oscar winner, whose classic Steel Magnolias, turns 30 this year, says working keeps her “bright.”

“I learn so much about what I don’t really know every time I’m on a movie,” she says.

For more about MacLaine, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on stands Friday.

She continues, “I look back at the wonderful parts I’ve had the honor to play, and I’m thinking about the future, and I want to be a spokesperson for older-women — probably because I’m one.”

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Since breaking onto the scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1955 black comedy The Trouble with Harry, MacLaine hasn’t let up. She’s acted in more than 50 films over the course of her legendary career in Hollywood, resulting in an Academy Award win for 1983’s Terms of Endearment, six Oscar nominations, and a Kennedy Center Honor. MacLaine, who’s sister to Warren Beatty, has also written 10 bestselling books, including the 2016 memoir Above the Line, in which she detailed her belief in reincarnation. And she had a daughter, Sachi, 62, from her 28-year marriage to producer Steve Parker.

Most recently, MacLaine’s starred opposite Amanda Seyfried in 2017’s indie drama The Last Word, and traded jokes with fellow Oscar winner Jessica Lange in 2016’s comedy Wild Oats.

She also now cherishes her downtime at her ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico, where she resides for some of the year.

“I have someone who comes in a couple of times a week, but otherwise I’m totally alone,” she says. “I sometimes go to Santa Fe, which is one of the artistic and restaurant and new age capitals in the country.”

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