Swoosie Kurtz does not come from an acting family. In fact, her father was Air Force Colonel Frank Kurtz, Jr., a much-decorated WWII American bomber pilot - and he's responsible for her unusual name.
It's derived from the sole surviving example, at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, of the B-17D Flying Fortress airplane, named "The Swoose" or simply "Swoose" - half swan, half goose - which her father piloted during World War II.
In 1978, this veteran actress got her break when was was cast on the Mary Tyler Moore variety series, which also included David Letterman and Michael Keaton.
Later, Kurtz had starring roles in the television series Love, Sidney and Sisters. She has also received an Emmy for her guest-starring performance on Carol Burnett's comedy series Carol & Company.
Recently, Kurtz as John Locke's mother on Lost and Joyce Flynn of the CBS sitcom Mike & Molly.