Kate Nelligan

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Kate Nelligan
BornPatricia Colleen Nelligan
(1950-03-16) March 16, 1950 (age 64)
London, Ontario, Canada
Years active1973–2010
Spouse(s)Robert Reale (1989-unknown) (divorced) 1 child
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Kate Nelligan
BornPatricia Colleen Nelligan
(1950-03-16) March 16, 1950 (age 64)
London, Ontario, Canada
Years active1973–2010
Spouse(s)Robert Reale (1989-unknown) (divorced) 1 child

Patricia Colleen Nelligan, known as Kate Nelligan (born March 16, 1950), is a Canadian stage, film and television actress. Nelligan received an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress for the 1991 film The Prince of Tides. The same year she won a British Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress for Frankie and Johnny. During the 1980s, Nelligan also earned four Tony nominations for her work on the Broadway stage.

Early life[edit]

Nelligan, the fourth of six children, was born in London, Ontario, the daughter of Josephine Alice (née Deir), a schoolteacher, and Patrick Joseph Nelligan, a factory repairman and municipal employee in charge of ice rinks and recreational parks.[1] Her mother, whom Nelligan has described as "very powerful, very brilliant and very, very crazy",[2] suffered from alcohol abuse and other psychological problems, and was subsequently institutionalized.[3] Nelligan attended London South Collegiate Institute in London, Ontario, then studied at Glendon College in Toronto, but did not graduate.[4] Instead, she switched to studies at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, United Kingdom.


In 1973, she made her professional stage debut, in Bristol, England, while appearing in a regular role on the British television series The Onedin Line. In 1974, she was invited to London to play the part of Jenny in David Hare's play Knuckle at the Comedy Theatre, followed by a season with the National Theatre Company: Ellie in Heartbreak House. 1975 saw her appear opposite Anthony Hopkins in the televised play, The Arcata Promise followed by the televised theatrical version of The Count of Monte Cristo that featured an all-star cast of British and American actors. That same year her first feature-length film The Romantic Englishwoman was released. In 1977, again with the National Theatre, she gave a "stunning" performance as Marianne, opposite Stephen Rea, in Tales from the Vienna Woods directed by Maximilian Schell.[5] In 1977, she played the part of Rosalind in As You Like It, directed by Terry Hands, opposite Peter McEnery, in Stratford-upon-Avon and the following year in London. This she followed with Plenty, another play from David Hare, at the National Theatre, for which she received a 1978 Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress in a New Play. The winner was Joan Plowright in Filumena.[6] She was cast in a similar role, playing against Bill Paterson, in Hare's BAFTA award-winning companion play, Licking Hitler, for BBC television.[7]

Again on screen, in 1978, she played the part of Isabella in the BBC Television Shakespeare production of Measure for Measure, a performance that led the New York Times to describe her as providing "the image of idealized faultlessness.[8] In 1979, she was the female lead with Frank Langella and Laurence Olivier in Dracula. In 1981, she starred opposite fellow Canadian Donald Sutherland in Eye of the Needle, a wartime espionage thriller based on the Ken Follett best-selling novel. Two years later, Nelligan moved to New York City where she earned four Tony Award "Best Actress" nominations between 1983 and 1989 from the five Broadway plays she appeared in. In 1991 she won a BAFTA for best actress in a supporting role For her performance in Frankie and Johnny and for her performance in the 1991 film, The Prince of Tides, she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Between 1990 and 2004, she was nominated for five Gemini Awards for her performances on Canadian television mini-series and films. In 1996 she played the wife of James Mink in the story "Captive Hearts(The James Mink Story).


Filmography (features and television)[edit]

Broadway plays[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

YearAwardNominated workResult
1978Olivier Award for Best Actress in a New PlayPlentyNominated
1979BAFTA TV Award for Best ActressMeasure for MeasureNominated
1980BAFTA TV Award for Best ActressDreams of Leaving / Therese Raquin / Forgive Our Foolish WaysNominated
1983Tony Award for Best Actress in a PlayPlentyNominated
1984Tony Award for Best Actress in a PlayA Moon for the MisbegottenNominated
1988Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a PlaySerious MoneyNominated
1989Tony Award for Best Actress in a PlaySpoils of WarNominated
1989Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama SeriesRoad to AvonleaNominated
1990Genie Award for Best Actress in a Leading RoleWhite RoomNominated
1991Academy Award for Best Supporting ActressThe Prince of TidesNominated
1991BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting RoleFrankie and JohnnyWon
1993Gemini Award for Best Actress in a Dramatic Program or Mini-SeriesThe Diamond FleeceWon
1995Genie Award for Best Actress in a Supporting RoleMargaret's MuseumWon


  1. ^ Kate Nelligan Biography (1950?-)
  2. ^ Bored with being a lady, actress Kate Nelligan gets down to earthy People Weekly 1992-01-27
  3. ^ Kate Nelligan Biography - Yahoo! Movies
  4. ^ Senior Executive Cites Liberal Arts Education for Success Glendon
  5. ^ Barber, John (30 April 1979). "Attacking the NT with ink-balls". The Times (London). p. 10. 
  6. ^ "The Nominees and Winners of The Laurence Olivier Awards for 1978". Official London Theatre Guide. Retrieved 2007-12-04. 
  7. ^ Lawson, Mark (1999-05-03). "Splitting Hares". The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-08-14. 
  8. ^ "Measure for Measure", Liner notes, The Shakespeare Collection, BBC DVD, originally broadcast 18th February 1979

External links[edit]