Dianne Wiest

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Dianne Wiest
Dianne Wiest 2009.jpg
Wiest in 2009
BornDianne E. Wiest[1]
(1948-03-28) March 28, 1948 (age 65)
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.A
OccupationActress
Years active1969–present
 
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Dianne Wiest
Dianne Wiest 2009.jpg
Wiest in 2009
BornDianne E. Wiest[1]
(1948-03-28) March 28, 1948 (age 65)
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.A
OccupationActress
Years active1969–present

Dianne E. Wiest (born March 28, 1948)[2] is an American actress on stage, television and film. She has won two Academy Awards, two Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award. Wiest has also been nominated for a BAFTA Award.

Early life[edit]

Wiest was born in Kansas City, Missouri, United States. Her mother, Anne Stewart (née Keddie), was born in Auchtermuchty, Scotland, and worked as a nurse, and her father, Bernard John Wiest, was a college dean and former psychiatric social worker for the U.S. Army. The two met in Algiers.[3][4][5][6] She has two brothers: Greg and Don Wiest. Wiest's original ambition was to be a ballerina, but in her senior year at Nurnberg American High School she switched her goal to theatre.[7]

Wiest graduated from the University of Maryland in 1969 with a degree in Arts and Sciences.[8]

Career[edit]

Stage[edit]

Wiest studied theatre at the University of Maryland, leaving after her third term to tour with a Shakespearean troupe. Later, she had a supporting role in a New York Shakespeare Festival production of Ashes.[9] She also acted at the Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven, CT, playing the title role in Ibsen's Hedda Gabler. She was an understudy both off-Broadway and on Broadway, in Kurt Vonnegut's Happy Birthday, Wanda June in 1970.[10][11]

She made her Broadway debut in Robert Anderson's Solitaire/Double Solitaire, taking over in the role of the daughter in 1971.[12] She landed a four-year job as a member of the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.,[13] in such roles as Emily in Our Town, Honey in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and leading roles in S. Ansky's The Dybbuk, Maxim Gorky's The Lower Depths and Shaw's Heartbreak House.[3] She toured the USSR with the Arena Stage.[14]

In 1976, Wiest attended the Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference and starred in leading roles in Amlin Gray's Pirates and Christopher Durang's A History of the American Film. At Joe Papp's Public Theater she took over the lead in Ashes, and played Cassandra in Agamemnon, directed by Andrei Şerban.

She appeared in two plays by Tina Howe: Museum and The Art of Dining. In the latter, Wiest's performance as the shy and awkward author Elizabeth Barrow Colt won three off-Broadway theatre awards: an Obie Award (1980), a Theatre World Award (1979–1980), and the Clarence Derwent Award (1980), given yearly for the most promising performance in New York theatre.[15][16][17][18]

On Broadway she appeared in Frankenstein (1981), directed by Tom Moore, portrayed Desdemona in Othello (1982) opposite James Earl Jones and Christopher Plummer and co-starred with John Lithgow in Christopher Durang's romantic screwball comedy Beyond Therapy (1982), directed by John Madden.[12] (She played opposite Lithgow again in the Herbert Ross film Footloose.)

During the 1980s, she also performed in Hedda Gabler, directed by Lloyd Richards at Yale Repertory Theatre,[19] and in Harold Pinter's A Kind of Alaska (1984, Manhattan Theatre Club),[20] Lanford Wilson's Serenading Louie (1984),[21] and Janusz Glowacki's Hunting Cockroaches (1987, Manhattan Theater Club).[22]

As Wiest became established as a film actress through her work in Woody Allen's films, she was less frequently available for stage roles. However, she did appear onstage the 1990s, in In the Summer House, Square One, Cynthia Ozick's The Shawl, and Naomi Wallace's One Flea Spare.

In 2003, she appeared with Al Pacino and Marisa Tomei in Oscar Wilde's Salome. In 2005, she starred in Kathleen Tolan's Memory House. She also starred in a production of Wendy Wasserstein's final play Third (directed by Daniel Sullivan) at Lincoln Center.

Recent New York theater roles include performances as Arkadina in an off-Broadway revival of The Seagull (opposite Alan Cumming's Trigorin) and as Kate Keller in a Broadway revival of Arthur Miller's All My Sons, opposite John Lithgow, Patrick Wilson, and Katie Holmes.[23] In 2009, Wiest appeared in the National Memorial Day Concert on the Mall in Washington, D.C. in a dialogue with Katie Holmes celebrating the life of an American veteran seriously wounded in Iraq, José Pequeño.[24]

Wiest spent September 2010 as a visiting teacher at Columbia University's Graduate Acting Program,[25] working with a group of 18 first-year MFA Acting students on selected plays by Anton Chekhov and Arthur Miller.

Film and television[edit]

Her early screen roles include small roles in It's My Turn and I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can, both starring Jill Clayburgh in the lead roles. In 1984, she starred in Footloose, as the reverend's wife.

Under Woody Allen's direction, Wiest won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Hannah and Her Sisters in 1987 and Bullets Over Broadway in 1995.[13][26] She also appeared in three other Woody Allen films: The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), Radio Days (1987) and September (1987).

She followed her first Oscar success with performances in The Lost Boys (1987) and Bright Lights, Big City (1988). She also starred with Steve Martin, Mary Steenburgen, Jason Robards, Keanu Reeves and Martha Plimpton in Ron Howard's Parenthood, for which she received her second Oscar nomination.

Wiest in 1990

Other major film roles include Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands (1990), Jodie Foster's Little Man Tate (1991) and The Birdcage (1996), Mike Nichols' remake of La Cage aux Folles.

On television, her performance on the series Road to Avonlea in 1989 brought her her first Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Dramatic Series. She received another nomination for her performance in the 1999 telefilm The Simple Life of Noah Dearborn, co-starring Sidney Poitier. She starred in the television mini-series The 10th Kingdom in 2000.

From 2000 to 2002, Wiest portrayed interim District Attorney Nora Lewin in the long-running NBC crime drama Law & Order. She also played the character in two episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and the pilot episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

Wiest starred alongside Steve Carell and Juliette Binoche in Dan in Real Life (2007) and had a key supporting role in Charlie Kaufman's 2008 film Synecdoche, New York.

In 2008, she appeared as Gabriel Byrne's therapist, Gina Toll, on the HBO television series In Treatment, for which she received her second Emmy Award, for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. She received another nomination (in the same category) for the second season, in 2009, but did not win.

She starred alongside Nicole Kidman in Rabbit Hole (2010), which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival. Weist also co-starred in Lawrence Kasdan's 2012 comedy Darling Companion, alongside Kevin Kline and Diane Keaton.

Personal life[edit]

Wiest was in a long-term relationship with a New York talent agent, Sam Cohn, for many years.[27] She has two adopted daughters, Emily (b. 1987) and Lily (b. 1991).[14]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1980It's My TurnGailas Diane Wiest
1982I'm Dancing as Fast as I CanJulie Addison
1983Face of RageRebecca Hammil
1983Independence DayNancy MorganUnsinkable Molly Brown
1984Falling in LoveIsabelle
1984FootlooseVi Moore
1985Purple Rose of Cairo, TheThe Purple Rose of CairoEmma
1986Hannah and Her SistersHollyAcademy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture
1987Radio DaysBeaNominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
1987SeptemberStephanie
1987Lost Boys, TheThe Lost BoysLucy Emerson
1988Bright Lights, Big CityMother
1989ParenthoodHelen BuckmanNominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated — American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture
1989CookieLenore
1990Edward ScissorhandsPeg BoggsLos Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress (2nd place)
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress (3rd place)
Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
1991Little Man TateJane Grierson
1994Bullets Over BroadwayHelen SinclairAcademy Award for Best Supporting Actress
American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress (2nd place)
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Chlotrudis Award for Best Supporting Actress
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture
Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Society of Texas Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
1994Cops and RobbersonsHelen Robberson
1994Scout, TheThe ScoutDoctor H. Aaron
1995DrunksRachel
1996Associate, TheThe AssociateSally Dugan
1996Birdcage, TheThe BirdcageLouise KeeleyAmerican Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actress in a Comedy
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
1998Practical MagicAunt Bridget 'Jet' OwensNominated — American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Nominated — Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actress in a Comedy
1998Horse Whisperer, TheThe Horse WhispererDiane Booker
2001I Am SamAnnie Cassell
2002Merci Docteur ReyElisabeth Beaumont
2005RobotsLydia Copperbottom
2006Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, AA Guide to Recognizing Your SaintsFloriSundance Film Festival - Special Jury Prize for Best Ensemble Performance
2007DedicationCarol
2007Dan in Real LifeNana Burns
2008PassengersToni
2008Synecdoche, New YorkEllen Bascomb/Millicent WeemsGotham Independent Film Award for Best Ensemble Cast
2009RageMiss Roth
2010Rabbit HoleNatNominated — Chlotrudis Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
2011The Big YearBrenda Harris
2012Darling CompanionPenny
2012Odd Life of Timothy Green, TheThe Odd Life of Timothy GreenMs. Crudstaff

Television[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1997Road to AvonleaLillian HepworthTV-series
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series
1999The Simple Life of Noah DearbornSarah McClellanTelevision film
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
2000The 10th KingdomThe Evil Queen/Christine WhiteTelevision miniseries
2000–02Law & OrderD.A. Nora LewinSeasons 11 & 12: 48 episodes
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2000–01)
2001–02Law & Order: Special Victims UnitD.A. Nora Lewin2 episodes
2004The Blackwater LightshipLilyTelevision film
Satellite Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
2004Category 6: Day of DestructionSecretary of Energy Shirley AbbottTelevision miniseries
2008In TreatmentDr. Gina TollSeason 1 & 2: 17 episodes
Gracie Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Drama Series
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Drama Series (2008)
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Drama Series (2009)
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film (2009)
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film (2008)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Deaths: Wiest, Dr. Bernard". The Advocate (Louisiana) (NewsBank). 3 May 1986. Retrieved 2013-12-29. 
  2. ^ Stated as being 44, at the time, in an interview published on January 15, 1991, see here [1]
  3. ^ a b Dianne Wiest biography. Film Reference.com.
  4. ^ Bennetts, Leslie (March 18, 1987). "Dianne Wiest Makes Neurosis A Success Story". The New York Times. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  5. ^ Moment of truth for Weist *** Anne Wiest shares daughter's triumph at Oscar presentations
  6. ^ DEATHS
  7. ^ "Dianne Wiest Lauded in German Press for Role in Senior Play 'Pygmalion,' NHS Trichter, Vol 15, No 3, fall 2003, p. 19.
  8. ^ The Women of Maryland: Alumni Who Have Made A Difference. University of Maryland Women Alumni.
  9. ^ Dianne Wiest Profile. E!Online.
  10. ^ Happy Birthday, Wanda June listing at the Internet Broadway Database. Internet Broadway Database, accessed October 30, 2010
  11. ^ Happy Birthday, Wanda June listing, Internet Off-Broadway Database listing. Internet Off-Broadway Database, accessed October 30, 2010
  12. ^ a b Dianne Wiest at the Internet Broadway Database
  13. ^ a b Dianne Wiest Biography. Yahoo! Movies.
  14. ^ a b Biography. tcm.com, accessed October 30, 2010
  15. ^ The Art of Dining listing, Internet Off-Broadway Database. Internet Off-Broadway Database, accessed October 30, 2010
  16. ^ Wiest Obie Awards. villagevoice.com, accessed October 30, 2010
  17. ^ Theatre World Awards History. theatreworldawards.org, accessed October 30, 2010
  18. ^ Derwent Awards. actorsequity.org, accessed October 30, 2010
  19. ^ Gussow, Mel.Review: 'HEDDA GABLER' BY YALE REP". New York Times, March 11, 1981
  20. ^ New York Magazine listing. New York Magazine, April 30, 1984
  21. ^ Rich, Frank."Review:'Serenading Louie'. New York Times, February 3, 1984
  22. ^ Rich, Frank.Review, 'Hunting Cockroaches'. New York Times, March 4, 1987
  23. ^ The New York Times, “Two Fathers Are Learning Lessons of ‘All My Sons’.” Cohen, Patricia. November 12, 2008
  24. ^ "The Concert 2009 Features Families of Disabled Vets" PBS.org
  25. ^ Faculty. columbia.edu, accessed October 30, 2010
  26. ^ Wiest Academy Award wins and nominations. awardsdatabase.oscars.org, accessed October 31, 2010
  27. ^ Weber, Bruce (May 6, 2009). "Sam Cohn, Powerful Talent Broker, Dies at 79". The New York Times. Retrieved May 7, 2009. 

External links[edit]