Anita Morris (Anita Rose Morris)

Anita Morris

Among many roles, Morris’s most prominent film role was as Carol Dodsworth, the mistress to Danny DeVito, in Ruthless People and for her sensual performance as Carla in the musical Nine opposite Raul Julia. While nominated for a Best Featured Actress Tony Award as Carla, she lost to Liliane Montevecchi, also in Nine. 21 years later, Jane Krakowski won the Tony Award in the same category as Morris, playing Carla in a revival with Antonio Banderas. 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 in the American Mime Theatre, and carried her to Broadway both for Nine, Jesus Christ Superstar, Seesaw, The Magic Show (cast album & video/DVD), Sugar Babies (replacement for the “Soubrette” originated by Ann Jillian) and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. ¬†Morris portrayed Rob Lowe’s lover Rhonda Ray in The Hotel New Hampshire (1984). Other film work included Bloodhounds of Broadway with Madonna, Randy Quaid and Matt Dillon, Ruthless People with Danny DeVito and Bette Midler, 18 Again! with George Burns and Charlie Schlatter, Absolute Beginners with David Bowie, and Radioland Murders, which was her final film role. ¬†During the 1980s and early 1990s, she played guest roles in sitcoms and dramas, including Miami Vice, Who’s the Boss?, Murder, She Wrote, Cheers, Melrose Place, Matlock, Tales from the Crypt, Murphy Brown and A Different World. In 1984, Morris appeared in The Rolling Stones’ music video “She Was Hot”.

Morris was born in Durham, North Carolina, the daughter of Eloise (Chappell), who was involved in theater, and James Badgett Morris, a doctor. She was married to Grover Dale in 1973 and had a son, James Badge Dale. She developed ovarian cancer in 1980, and was given only 5 years to live. She lived for another 14 years before she died on March 2, 1994 and was buried in Maplewood Cemetery in Durham, North Carolina.

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  • March, 14, 1943
  • USA
  • Durham, North Carolina


  • March, 02, 1994
  • USA
  • Los Angeles, California

Cause of Death

  • ovarian cancer


  • Maplewood Cemetery
  • Durahm, North Carolina
  • USA

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