When her career was at its height, Teri Garr was named one of twelve "Promising New Actors of 1977" by John Willis in Screen World (Vol. 29).
Aside from talk shows and interviews, multiple sclerosis has prevented Teri Garr from appearing in many live action or filmed roles recently. She did star in a sit-down role in a Los Angeles production of The Vagina Monologues in December of 2000.
Teri Garr has said that she learned a passable German accent in twenty four hours after Mel Brooks told her that she had lost the role she had originally tried out for in Young Frankenstein to Madeline Kahn.
Despite her reputation as a fairly "lightweight" actress, Teri Garr has acted in films directed by Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg, Sydney Pollack, Mel Brooks, and Martin Scorsese.
Though she often played "spacey" and somewhat un-intelligent characters on film and television, Garr competed well on celebrity Jeopardy in 1999 and tied for second place.
One of Garr's earliest jobs on film was performing a stunt dive into a swimming pool in the movie Pajama Party. She asked for two hundred and fifty dollars for the feat.
Garr was billed under many names early in her career, usually with the first name "Terry" or "Terri." She settled on Teri Garr at the suggestion of a Los Angeles numerologist who thought that double "R's" in a first name were unlucky.
Teri Garr has written an autobiography that chronicles her many successes and challenges in life called Speedbumps: Flooring It Through Hollywood (co-authored by Henrietta Mantel).
Among her romantic relationships, Garr was married to actor John O'Neil from 1993-1996. She has one adopted daugher, Molly, who was born in 1993.
When promoting her movie Young Frankenstein in 1974, Teri Garr first met David Letterman. Her friendship with him led to numerous later appearances on his late night shows, including those that featured his odd requests that she shower in his office on camera.
Garr has served as an official ambassador for MS (multiple sclerosis) LifeLines, a support organization for people and their families that suffer from the degenerative nervous system disease.
Teri Garr has made television commercials for Crest toothpaste, Folger's coffee, Tide and Cheer laundry detergents, and Joy dishwashing soap.
The parents of Teri Garr also had entertainment backgrounds. Her father Eddie Garr was in vaudeville and her mother Phyllis was a part-time dancer (once a Rockette) and wardrobe manager.
Garr received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Tootsie.
Teri Garr attended North Hollywood High School and California State University at Northridge.
Garr's first show business experience was in dance. She began her dancing professionally at the age of 13 and performed with the San Francisco Ballet, in a touring production of West Side Story, and in a number of films.
Teri Garr appeared (uncredited} in the 1964 Elvis Presley movie Roustabout as a Carny dancer. She danced in a total of nine Elvis Presley films.
Teri Garr: (on her quirky personality) I've always been this insane. Isn't that interesting?
Teri Garr: (speaking in her memoir on her multiple sclerosis) People always ask, "what was it like when you got the diagnosis?" It was anything but traumatic. After twenty years it was a relief to finally have someone say, "this is what you have, let's deal with it."