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Mackenzie Phillips

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Mackenzie Phillips
Name Laura Mackenzie Phillips
Birth Date November 10, 1959
Birth Place Alexandria, VA
Family John Phillips (father)
Susan Adams Phillips (mother)
Jeffrey Phillips (brother)
Bijou Phillips (half-sister)
Chynna Phillips (half-sister)
Jeff Sessler (ex-husband)
Mick Barakan (husband)
Shane Barakan (son)
Years Active 1952-present

Laura Mackenzie Phillips (known professionally as Mackenzie Phillips) is an American actress and singer best known for her roles on American Graffiti, One Day at a Time, and, more recently, So Weird.


Phillips was born in Alexandria, Virginia, on November 10, 1959, to John Phillips, singer of The Mamas & the Papas, and his first wife, Susan Phillips (née Adams). She has a brother, Jeffrey Phillips, and two half-sisters from John's previous marriage (actress Bijou Phillips and singer Chynna Phillips). She attended Highland Hall Waldorf School, located in Northridge, California. When she was twelve years old, Phillips formed a band with three of her classmates and was spotted by a casting agent during one of their performances, subsequently being given an audition for a role in the 1973 hit film American Graffiti, which she won; she was fourteen years old when American Graffiti was released. Because of California state law, producer Gary Kurtz became Phillips' legal guardian during production of the movie. Phillips soon gained stardom in the 1970s when she portrayed boy-crazy teenager Julie Cooper Horvath on the long-running TV sitcom One Day at a Time, for which she earned $50,000 per week. However, during the show's third season, Phillips was arrested in 1977 for public drunkenness and possession of cocaine. Because of her drug and alcohol abuse, she began arriving late and was even incoherent for several rehearsals. As a result, the producers ordered her to take a six-week break to overcome her addiction, and in 1980, she was fired from the show.

After nearly killing herself on two separate occasions, both by overdosing, Phillips entered the Fair Oaks Hospital to undergo treatment for her drug addiction. In 1981, the producers of One Day at a Time invited her back to the show, but she resumed using cocaine on the following year, collapsing on the show's set. When she refused to take a drug test, she was fired again, with her character being officially written out of the series. In 1992, Phillips entered a long-term drug rehabilitation program and underwent intensive treatment for nine months. From the mid-1980s to the early 1990s, Phillips performed with a reformed version of The Mamas & the Papas, which was known as The New Mamas and The Papas. In 1999, Phillips starred in the Disney Channel series So Weird, portraying a fictional rock star, who was coincidentally named Molly Phillips. In the show, she sang original songs written by the producers. In 2002, she appeared in the Disney Channel original movie Double Teamed. She has since guest-starred on episodes of ER, Without a Trace, 7th Heaven, Cold Case, and Criminal Minds. On March 20, 2011, Phillips won an Honorary Best Actress award at the closing night awards gala of the Female Eye Film Festival in Toronto, Canada, for her performance as Sharon in the 2010 indie film Peach Plum Pear.

Personal LifeEdit

Phillips married rock-group manager Jeffrey Sessler in 1979, but then divorced him in 1981. She then remarried to rock guitarist Michael Barakan (who is now known professionally as Shane Fontayne) in 1996 until their divorce in 2000; she has a son, musician Shane Barakan, from her marriage with Barakan. Phillips has had a lifetime troubled by drug abuse. On August 27, 2008, she was arrested by the Los Angeles Airport Police on charges of possession of cocaine and heroin after she went through airport security screening. On October 31, she pleaded guilty to one felony count of cocaine possession and was sentenced to a drug rehabilitation program. Her drug case was later dismissed after she successfully completed a drug diversion program. Phillips later appeared on the third season of Celebrity Rehab, which aired in January and February 2010, and then discussed her recovery on the March 17, 2010, episode of The View.

In September 2009, Phillips's memoir High on Arrival was released. Afterwards, she appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show for an hour-long interview, where she told Winfrey that she first tried cocaine when she was eleven years old, and that her father did drugs with her and also injected her with cocaine. During the interview, Phillips read excerpts from her book, saying that at the age of nineteen, on the night before her first wedding, "I woke up that night from a blackout to find myself having sex with my own father." In a subsequent article in People magazine, she added that she was under the influence of drugs that were provided by her father. Phillips then told Winfrey that "[i]t became a consensual relationship"; she later reconsidered her description of it being a consensual relationship. In an interview on The Joy Behar Show, she said, "As I was writing the book, I thought, this word, it kept sitting wrong with me. But I used it for lack of a better word. Since then, I've been schooled by thousands of incest survivors all across the world that there really is no such thing as consensual incest due to the inherent power a parent has over a child. So, I wouldn't necessarily call it a consensual relationship at this time."

Phillips went on to state that the incestuous relationship had happened gradually for ten years, and that it ended when she became pregnant and did not know who had fathered the child. She added that her father paid for her to have an abortion, which apparently led to the conclusion of the relationship. Genevieve Waite, John Phillips's wife at the time she claimed the incestuous relationship first began, denied the allegations, responding that they were inconsistent with his character. Michelle Phillips, John's second wife, also made similar reactions of denial. Chynna Phillips, however, stated that she believed her half-sister's claims, saying that Phillips first told her about the relationship during a phone conversation in 1997, approximately eleven years after the supposed relationship had allegedly ended. Bijou Phillips, Mackenzie's other half-sister, stated that Phillips had informed her of the relationship when she was thirteen years old.

On Criminal MindsEdit

Phillips portrayed female killer Ellen Russell in The Pact.


  • She Made Them Do It (2013) as Jamie
  • Hercules Saves Christmas (2012) as Helen Dunn
  • Criminal Minds - The Pact (2012) TV episode - Ellen Russell
  • Interns: The Web Series (2012) as CEO
  • Peach Plum Pear (2011) as Sharon
  • Radio Needles (2009) as Tonya Taylor
  • Cold Case (2007) as Sheila Swett
  • The Jacket (2005) as Nurse Harding
  • 7th Heaven (2004) as Allison Davies
  • NYPD Blue (1996-2004) as Lorraine Stuval/Mary Donaldson (2 episodes)
  • Without a Trace (2004) as Theresa Caldwell
  • The Division (2003) as Carol Johnson
  • ER (2002) as Leslie Miller
  • Double Teamed (2002) as Mary Burge
  • Crossing Jordan (2001) as Elaine Stahler
  • So Weird (1999-2001) as Molly Phillips (63 episodes)
  • Kate Brasher (2001) as Tracy Del Rey
  • The Outer Limits (2000) as Boo Weston
  • When (1999) as Catherine Brown
  • Viper (1998) as Heidi Rosen
  • Chicago Hope (1998) as Valerie Boyd
  • True Friends (1998) as Connie
  • Walker, Texas Ranger (1997) as Ellen Simms (2 episodes)
  • Caroline in the City (1997) as Donna Spadaro
  • Melrose Place (1995) as Maureen Dodd (2 episodes)
  • Beverly Hills, 90210 (1994) as Counselor Ellen Marks
  • Kate's Secret (1986) as Deyna
  • Murder, She Wrote (1985) as Carol Needom
  • One Day at a Time (1975-1983) as Julie Cooper Horvath (124 episodes)
  • Love Child (1982) as J.J.
  • The Love Boat (1978-1982) as Rachel Johnson/Allison Scott (2 episodes)
  • The Silent Lovers (1980) as Lillian Gish
  • The Incredible Hulk (1979) as Lisa Swan
  • More American Graffiti (1979) as Carol Morrison/Rainbow
  • Fast Friends (1979) as Susan
  • Eleanor and Franklin (1976) as 14-Year-Old Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Mary Tyler Moore (1975) as Francie
  • Baretta (1975) as Mindy
  • Rafferty and the Gold Dust Twins (1975) as Frisbee
  • Miles to Go Before I Sleep (1975) as Robin Williams
  • Movin' On (1974) as Chessie
  • American Graffiti (1973) as Carol Morrison
  • Go Ask Alice (1973) as Doris (credited as Mackinzie Phillips)
  • Guiding Light (1952) as Rachel Sullivan, 1996


For an up-to-date filmography, see here.

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