Colonel Frank Kurtz Jr. of the United States Air Force piloted an aircraft in World War II colloquially known as “The Swoose” – a portmanteau of the words swan and goose. Having become greatly attached to the plane, Colonel Kurtz eventually named his daughter after it, endowing her with the wonderful name of Swoosie Kurtz. He was an accomplished man. According to his daughter, he was the most decorated Air Force pilot of World War II, as well as a diving champion.
That famous plane got its strange name from the song Alexander the Swooze, performed by Kay Kiser, about a bird that was “half swan, half goose : Alexander is a Swooze”. It sounds like a classic. In its many years of duty in the air, the plane flew quite a few luminaries around, among them President-to-be Lyndon Johnson. Adding to its lasting fame, Colonel Kurtz named her daughter after the plane, and saw her achieve worldwide fame as an actress.
Swoosie is not only fun to say, (it rhymes with Lucy) she’s also a delightful actress with a long career behind her. She was born in Omaha, Nebraska, the finest city in America, in 1944. She has won two Tony awards in her career, including one for the role of Bananas in House of Blue Leaves. If you are unfamiliar with the play, this is highly amusing. Come to think of it, it’s kind of amusing either way.
She also briefly appeared in the classic hockey film Slap Shot, and has had regular spots on hit TV shows like Sisters, ER, and Pushing Daisies. She also appeared in 90’s classic Liar, Liar alongside Jim Carrey. Currently, Swoosie can be seen weekly on NBC’s Mike & Molly, delighting viewers both with her performances and the flash of her name in the credits.