For a time at the tail-end of the 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s, Marcia Rodd seemed poised for stardom, either on the big-screen or on television. She was, at the outset of the 1970s, the ideal "gently" liberated woman. Rodd was one of the first actresses who looked good in the briefly fashionable, close-cropped female hairstyle (a sort of attractive version of the "Moe Howard" cut) of the period, conveying intelligence and sensitivity as well as independence. What's more, her first two film appearances included a starring role in Alan Arkin's fashionable black comedy Little Murders (1971) and a major supporting role in Herbert Ross' high-profile adult romance T.R. Baskin, and she was also a recipient of choice roles from television producer Norman Lear.
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Rodd was born in Lyons, KS, and attended Northwestern University at the end of the 1950s and the start of the 1960s as a drama major, studying under Alvina Krause; her fellow undergraduates included Richard Benjamin and Paula Prentiss. Arriving in New York during the early '60s, she made her off-Broadway debut at the Provincetown Playhouse in Oh Say Can You See! in 1962, which got her onto her first cast album as part of a quartet called "the Girls"; she also appeared in the showcase Talent 64. She made her Broadway debut in the replacement cast of Oh! What a Lovely War and later appeared in The Mad Show. In 1968, she managed to appear in two different adaptations of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, Love and Let Love, and Your Own Thing (as Olivia), and played Bobbi Mitchell in Last of the Red Hot Lovers, working opposite James Coco. In 1970, she was cast as the doomed Patsy Newquist in Little Murders (1971), Alan Arkin's dark comedy of life in New York City, based on Jules Feiffer's off-Broadway play. Her supporting role in T.R. Baskin followed later in 1971, and then Rodd began her first foray into television, principally through the work of Norman Lear in the second season of All in the Family; she played a harried single mother driven to desperate measures to make a decent life for her young son, and in episode No. 37, which was the pilot for the series Maude, Rodd played Carol, the divorced daughter of the title character. Rodd declined to portray the role when the series was picked up, however, and the part went to the more physically endowed but less professionally adept Adrienne Barbeau.
Rodd busied herself in New York theater during the early '70s, including a production of The Merry Wives of Windsor at The New York Shakespeare Festival. She was also very briefly in the cast of the ill-fated musical Mack and Mabel as Mabel Normand (succeeded by Kelly Garrett and then Bernadette Peters). She then moved to Los Angeles, where she continued her stage work and also acted in two successive films by director Jonathan Demme, Citizens Band (1977) and The Last Embrace (1979). By the 1980s, she was no longer in the running for starring roles, but was a busy working actress in television, portraying Jack Weston's wife in the short-lived series The Four Seasons and playing the wife of Dr. Stanley Riverside on Trapper John, M.D. During the 1990s, Rodd returned to doing occasional feature films. She has also done a one-woman play about the life of Diana Vreeland, and guest starred on such series as Home Improvement and Sisters. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi