Frances McDormand

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Frances McDormand
Frances McDormand 2.jpg
On the set of Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day in May 2007
BornFrances Louise McDormand
(1957-06-23) June 23, 1957 (age 56)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Alma materBethany College, Yale School of Drama
OccupationActress
Years active1984–present
Spouse(s)Joel Coen (m. 1984)
Children1
 
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Frances McDormand
Frances McDormand 2.jpg
On the set of Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day in May 2007
BornFrances Louise McDormand
(1957-06-23) June 23, 1957 (age 56)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Alma materBethany College, Yale School of Drama
OccupationActress
Years active1984–present
Spouse(s)Joel Coen (m. 1984)
Children1

Frances Louise McDormand[1] (born June 23, 1957) is an American film and stage actress. The wife of director and writer Joel Coen, she starred in some of his films, including her debut in Blood Simple (1984), Raising Arizona (1987), The Man Who Wasn't There (2001), Burn After Reading (2008), and most notably her Academy Award-winning performance as Marge Gunderson in Fargo, in 1996. She won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play in 2011 for her performance in Good People as Margie Walsh, and was nominated for the same category in 1988 for her performance in A Streetcar Named Desire.

McDormand is also a three-time nominee of the Academy Award For Best Supporting Actress for her performances in Mississippi Burning, Almost Famous, and North Country, and has also been nominated for four Golden Globes, three BAFTA Awards,[2] and an Emmy Award.

Early life[edit]

McDormand was born in Chicago, Illinois, and was adopted by a Canadian-born couple – Noreen E. (Nickleson), a registered nurse and receptionist, and Vernon W. McDormand, a Disciples of Christ pastor.[3] She has said that her biological mother may have been one of the parishioners at Vernon's church.[4] She has a sister, Dorothy A. McDormand, who is an ordained Disciples of Christ minister and chaplain,[5] as well as another sibling, both of whom were adopted by the McDormands, who had no biological children. As her father specialized in restoring congregations,[4] he frequently moved their family, and they lived in several small towns in Illinois, Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee,[6] before settling in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area town of Monessen, where she graduated from Monessen High School in 1975. She attended Bethany College, West Virginia, and earned a B.A. in Theater in 1979.

In 1982, McDormand earned an M.F.A. from the Yale University School of Drama. She was a roommate of Holly Hunter at the time. Her first professional acting job was in Trinidad and Tobago, performing in a play written by poet (and Nobel laureate) Derek Walcott and funded by the MacArthur Foundation.

Career[edit]

McDormand's film debut was in the 1984 Coen brothers first film, Blood Simple. In 1985, they, Holly Hunter, and director Sam Raimi shared a house in The Bronx.[citation needed] In 1987, she appeared as the wacky friend Dot in the hit film Raising Arizona, starring Holly Hunter and Nicolas Cage. In addition to her early film roles, McDormand played Connie Chapman in the fifth season of the television police drama Hill Street Blues. In 1988, she played Stella Kowalski in a stage production of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award. McDormand is an associate member of the experimental theater company The Wooster Group.

McDormand appeared in several theatrical and television roles during the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. She has gained renown and critical acclaim for her dramatic work,[7] and is a respected actress, having been nominated for Academy Awards four times. In 1988, she was nominated for a Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Mississippi Burning; in 1996, she won the Academy award for Best Actress for her performance as police chief Marge Gunderson in Fargo; in 2000, she earned her third nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her portrayal of an overbearing mother in Almost Famous. Also for Almost Famous, she won the Best Supporting Actress nomination from the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the Chicago Film Critics Association, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, San Diego Film Critics Society, Southeastern Film Critics Association, and the Florida Film Critics Circle. For her role in Wonder Boys (2000), she won Best Supporting Actress from the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the Florida Film Critics Circle, and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

In 2006, McDormand received her fourth nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in 2005's North Country, although she lost to Rachel Weisz. She also had a role in the film Friends with Money, a dark comedy co-starring Jennifer Aniston, Catherine Keener, and Joan Cusack, and directed by Nicole Holofcener. She received an Independent Spirit Award for her role in Friends with Money. She also voiced the role of the lady principal Melanie Upfoot in the Simpsons episode Girls Just Want to Have Sums, which aired on April 30, 2006. McDormand has recently starred in the films Burn After Reading and Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day.

McDormand starred in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, the sequel after Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. She played the US government's National Intelligence Director, alongside Burn After Reading co-star John Malkovich. She returned to the stage in the David Lindsay-Abaire play Good People, in a limited engagement on Broadway from February 8, 2011 to May 29, 2011.[8][9] Her performance garnered her a Tony Award win for Best Leading Actress in a Play.[10]

In the animated film Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, she voiced Capitain Chantal Dubois and also sang a version of the French song "Non, je ne regrette rien". She also starred in Promised Land with Matt Damon, filmed in April 2012 and released on December 28, 2012.[11]

Personal life[edit]

McDormand has been married to director Joel Coen since 1984, and the two adopted a son from Paraguay, Pedro McDormand Coen, in 1994. They live in New York City. McDormand has appeared in six of the Coen Brothers films, including a minor appearance in Miller's Crossing, a secondary role in Raising Arizona and lead roles in Blood Simple, The Man Who Wasn't There, Fargo (for which she won an Academy Award), and more recently Burn After Reading. Additionally, she contributed an uncredited offscreen (voice only) appearance to the opening scene in the Coens' Barton Fink.

Filmography[edit]

Feature films and television shows
YearTitleRoleNotes
1984Blood SimpleAbby
1985CrimewaveA nun
1985Hill Street BluesConnie Chapman6 episodes
1985Scandal SheetTV film
1985HunterNina SloanEpisode: "The Garbage Man"
1986Spenser: For HireMaryEpisode: "A Day's Wages"
1986Vengeance: The Story of Tony CimoBrigetteTV film
1986Twilight Zone, TheThe Twilight ZoneAmanda StricklandSegment: "Need to Know"
1987Raising ArizonaDot
1987Leg WorkWillie Pipal7 episodes
1988Mississippi BurningMrs. PellChicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
1989ChattahoocheeMae Foley
1990Miller's CrossingMayor's secretaryUncredited
1990DarkmanJulie Hastings
1990Hidden AgendaIngrid Jessner
1991Butcher's Wife, TheThe Butcher's WifeGrace
1991Barton FinkStage ActressVoice
Uncredited
1992Passed AwayNora Scanlan
1992Sôsei kishi GaiâsuPool GirlVoice
English version
1992Crazy in LoveClareTV film
1993Short CutsBetty WeathersGolden Globe Special Ensemble Cast Award
Volpi Cup
1994Bleeding HeartsWoman on TV
1995PalookavilleJune
1995Good Old Boys, TheThe Good Old BoysEve CallowayTV film
1995Beyond RangoonAndy Bowma
1996Primal FearDr. Molly Arrington
1996Plain PleasuresShort
1996FargoMarge GundersonAcademy Award for Best Actress
American Comedy Award for Funniest Actress in a Motion Picture (Leading Role)
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Chlotrudis Award for Best Actress
Empire Award for Best Actress
Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
London Film Critics' Circle Award for Actress of the Year
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress (2nd place)
National Board of Review Award for Best Actress
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress (2nd place)
San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress
Society of Texas Film Critics Award for Best Actress
Satellite Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Actress
1996Lone StarBunnyLone Star Film & Television Award for Best Supporting Actress
1996Hidden in AmericaGusTV film
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
1997Paradise RoadDr. Verstak
1998MadelineMiss Clavel
1998Talk of AngelsConlon
1998Johnny SkidmarksAlice
2000Wonder BoysDean Sara GaskellBoston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Florida 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 (2nd place)
Nominated—Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress
2000Almost FamousElaine MillerBlockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actress – Drama/Romance
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress (2nd place)
Florida 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 (2nd place)
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress (2nd place)
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture
Nominated—Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
2001Man Who Wasn't There, TheThe Man Who Wasn't ThereDoris CraneNominated—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
2001State of GraceNarrator, Adult Hannah (voice)unknown episodes
2001UpheavalAnneShort film
2002City by the SeaMichelle
2002Laurel CanyonJaneGijón International Film Festival Award for Best Actress
Nominated—Chlotrudis Award for Best Actress
Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female
2003Something's Gotta GiveZoe Barry
2004Last NightMarit SuchShort film
2005AEon FluxÆon FluxThe Handler
2005Precinct HollywoodNarrator (voice)TV
2005North CountryGlory DodgeLas Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominated—Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
2006Friends with MoneyJaneIndependent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female
2006Simpsons, TheThe SimpsonsMelanie UpfootEpisode: "Girls Just Want to Have Sums"
2008Miss Pettigrew Lives for a DayGuinevere Pettigrew
2008Burn After ReadingLinda LitzkeNominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated—St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
2011Transformers: Dark of the MoonCharlotte Mearing
2011This Must Be the PlaceJane
2012Moonrise KingdomMrs. BishopBoston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Cast (2nd place)
Central Ohio Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast (2nd place)
Nominated—Gotham Award for Best Ensemble Cast
2012Madagascar 3: Europe's Most WantedCaptain Chantal DuboisVoice
2012Promised LandSue Thomason
2014Olive KitteridgeOlive Kitteridge
2015The Good DinosaurMommaVoice

As producer[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]