Mary Steenburgen

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Mary Steenburgen
MarySteenburgenDec09.jpg
Steenburgen at the December 2009 ceremony to receive her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
BornMary Nell Steenburgen
(1953-02-08) February 8, 1953 (age 61)
Newport, Arkansas, U.S.
OccupationActress
Years active1978–present
Spouse(s)Malcolm McDowell (1980–1990)
Ted Danson (m. 1995)
Children2 (with McDowell)
AwardsAcademy Award for Best Supporting Actress:
Melvin and Howard (1980)
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture:
Melvin and Howard (1980)
 
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Mary Steenburgen
MarySteenburgenDec09.jpg
Steenburgen at the December 2009 ceremony to receive her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
BornMary Nell Steenburgen
(1953-02-08) February 8, 1953 (age 61)
Newport, Arkansas, U.S.
OccupationActress
Years active1978–present
Spouse(s)Malcolm McDowell (1980–1990)
Ted Danson (m. 1995)
Children2 (with McDowell)
AwardsAcademy Award for Best Supporting Actress:
Melvin and Howard (1980)
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture:
Melvin and Howard (1980)

Mary Nell Steenburgen[1] (born February 8, 1953) is an American actress. She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture for playing the role of Lynda Dummar in Jonathan Demme's 1980 film Melvin and Howard. She has also starred in a number of critically acclaimed and award-winning movies including The Proposal (2009) and The Help (2011).

Steenburgen is also an active humanitarian who is involved with various groups ranging from human rights to environmental causes.[2]

Early life[edit]

Steenburgen was born in Newport, Arkansas, the daughter of Nellie Mae (née Wall), a school-board secretary, and Maurice Steenburgen, a freight-train conductor who worked at the Missouri Pacific Railroad.[3][4][5]

Career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Steenburgen moved to Manhattan in 1972, waitressing at Magic Pan and later working at Doubleday while studying acting at New York's Neighborhood Playhouse under Will Esper.[6]

Film career[edit]

Steenburgen's big break came when she was discovered by Jack Nicholson in the reception room of Paramount's New York office and was cast as the female lead in his second directorial effort, the 1978 Western Goin' South.[6]

Steenburgen had a leading role in the 1979 film Time After Time as a modern woman who falls in love with author H. G. Wells, played by her first husband-to-be Malcolm McDowell.

In only her third film, she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for the 1980 film Melvin and Howard, playing Lynda Dummar, the wife of Melvin Dummar, then a trucker and aspiring singer, who claimed to have befriended reclusive eccentric Howard Hughes. Another notable film appearance came in the well-received 1983 film Cross Creek, in which she played Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, author of The Yearling.

In Back to the Future Part III (1990), Steenburgen played Clara Clayton, a school teacher who falls in love with Doc Brown, played by Christopher Lloyd. She was persuaded to play the role by her children, as well as by fans of the Back to the Future films, and reprised the role by providing the character's voice in Back to the Future: The Animated Series.

Other performances have been: in What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993), as a woman who is having an affair with the title character (played by Johnny Depp); the role of Hannah Nixon in the Oliver Stone biopic, Nixon (1995); and in the Will Ferrell 2003 comedy Elf, as a woman who discovers that her husband is the father of one of Santa's elves.

Steenburgen in December 2000

In recent years, she has been in the comedy films, Step Brothers (2008), starring Will Ferrell, playing the mother of Ferrell's character; Four Christmases (2008) opposite Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon; and The Proposal (2009) opposite Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds.

Dirty Girl, which features Steenburgen along with Juno Temple, Milla Jovovich and William H. Macy, premiered at the Toronto Film Festival on September 12, 2010. She also appeared in the critically acclaimed film The Help (2011), starring alongside Emma Stone, Viola Davis and Bryce Dallas Howard. And she had a featured role as a lounge singer who is the romantic interest in a love triangle in the 2013 comedy Last Vegas.

Television career[edit]

In television, Steenburgen starred in the sitcom Ink (1996) with her husband, Ted Danson, and co-starred in the television miniseries Gulliver's Travels (1996) with Danson. She appeared as herself, alongside Danson, in the HBO comedy Curb Your Enthusiasm. She played the mother of the title character in the CBS drama series Joan of Arcadia. In 2011, she made guest appearances in Bored to Death, again alongside Danson. She starred in the 2011 FX pilot, Outlaw Country,[7] but FX decided against making a series.[8] Steenburgen recurred on the NBC comedy 30 Rock in 2012 and 2013, playing the role of Diana Jessup.

On June 13, 2014, it was announced that Steenburgen was reportedly close to joining Orange Is the New Black for its third season.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Steenburgen married actor Malcolm McDowell in 1980 and they had two children together, Lilly and Charles. Steenburgen and McDowell split in 1989.[10]

On October 7, 1995, Steenburgen married actor Ted Danson, whom she met on the set of the movie Pontiac Moon in 1993, and became the stepmother to Danson's daughters Kate and Alexis from his previous marriage to producer Cassandra Coates.[11] In September 2005, she and Danson gave a guest lecture for students at the Clinton School of Public Service where they discussed their roles in public service as well as the foundations and causes in which they are involved.[12] An alumna of Hendrix College, Steenburgen received an honorary doctorate from the institution in 1989.[13] In 2006, Steenburgen received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas.[14] She resides in the Los Angeles area with her family.[15]

She is a close friend of former Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and supported Clinton's 2008 Presidential campaign along with Danson.[16]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1978Goin' SouthJulia Tate Moon
1979Time After TimeAmy
1980Melvin and HowardLynda Dummar
1981RagtimeMother
1982Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy, AA Midsummer Night's Sex ComedyAdrian
1983Cross CreekMarjorie Kinnan Rawlings
1983Romantic ComedyPhoebe Craddock
1985One Magic ChristmasGinny Grainger
1987Dead of WinterJulie Rose / Katie McGovern / Evelyn
1987Whales of August, TheThe Whales of AugustYoung Sarah
1987End of the LineRose Pickett
1989Miss FirecrackerElain Rutledge
1989ParenthoodKaren Buckman
1990Back to the Future Part IIIClara Clayton
1990Long Walk Home, TheThe Long Walk HomeNarrator (voice)
1991Butcher's Wife, TheThe Butcher's WifeStella Keefover
1993What's Eating Gilbert GrapeBetty Carver
1993PhiladelphiaBelinda Conine
1994CliffordSarah Davis
1994Pontiac MoonKatherine Bellamy
1994It Runs in the FamilyMrs. Parker (Mother)
1995My FamilyGloria
1995Grass Harp, TheThe Grass HarpSister Ida
1995PowderJessie Caldwell
1995NixonHannah Milhous Nixon
2001Nobody's BabyEstelle
2001Trumpet of the Swan, TheThe Trumpet of the SwanMother (voice)
2001Life as a HouseColleen Beck
2001I Am SamDr. Blake
2002Sunshine StateFrancine Pinkney
2002Wish You Were DeadSally Rider
2003Hope SpringsJoanie Fisher
2003Casa de los BabysGayle
2003ElfEmily
2005Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing & Charm SchoolMarienne Hotchkiss
2006Dead Girl, TheThe Dead GirlLeah's Mother
2007Elvis and AnnabelleGeneva
2007Nobel SonSarah Michaelson
2007NumbDr. Blaine
2007Brave One, TheThe Brave OneCarol
2007HoneydripperAmanda Winship
2008Step BrothersNancy Huff
2008Four ChristmasesMarilyn
2009In the Electric MistBootsie Robicheaux
2009Proposal, TheThe ProposalGrace Paxton
2009Open Road, TheThe Open RoadKatherine
2009Did You Hear About the Morgans?Emma Wheeler
2010Dirty GirlPeggy
2011Keepin' It Real EstateClaireVideo short
2011Help, TheThe HelpElain Stein
2012Mrs. Pilgrim Goes to HollywoodMary
2013Last VegasDiana
2013Brahmin BullsHelen West
2014Song OneKaren
2015A Walk in the WoodsFilming

Television[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1983Faerie Tale TheatreMary / Little Red Riding HoodEpisode: "Little Red Riding Hood"
1985Tender Is the NightNicole Warren DiverMiniseries
1988Attic: The Hiding of Anne Frank, TheThe Attic: The Hiding of Anne FrankMiep GiesMovie
1991–92Back to the FutureClara Clayton (voice)Main role (26 episodes)
1994Gift, TheThe GiftCatherineTV short
1995FrasierMarjorie (voice)Episode: "Retirement Is Murder"
1996Gulliver's TravelsMary GulliverMiniseries
1996–97InkKate MontgomeryMain role (22 episodes)
1998About SarahSarah Elizabeth McCaffreyMovie
1999Noah's ArkNaamahMovie
2000PicnicRosemary SydneyMovie
2000/07/09Curb Your EnthusiasmMary Steenburgen5 episodes
2002Living with the DeadDet. Karen CondrinMovie
2002Law & Order: Special Victims UnitGrace RinatoEpisode: "Denial"
2003–05Joan of ArcadiaHelen GirardiMain role (45 episodes)
2004BeckerPatientEpisode: "DNR"
2004It Must Be LoveClem GazelleMovie
2004Capital CityElaine SummerMovie
2007Reinventing the WheelersClaire WheelerMovie
2009Happiness Isn't EverythingAudrey VeillMovie
2010Southern DiscomfortMovie
2011–13WilfredCatherine Newman4 episodes
2011Robot ChickenAthena (voice)Episode: "The Core, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover"
2011Bored to DeathJosephine4 episodes
201230 RockDiana Jessup5 episodes
2012Outlaw CountryAnastasia LeeMovie
2014JustifiedKatherine Hale3 episodes
2015Orange Is the New BlackTBARecurring

Awards and nominations[edit]

YearNominated workAwardResult
1978Goin' SouthGolden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – ActressNominated
1979Time After TimeSaturn Award for Best ActressWon
1980Melvin and HowardAcademy Award for Best Supporting ActressWon
1980Melvin and HowardBoston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting ActressWon
1980Melvin and HowardGolden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion PictureWon
1980Melvin and HowardKansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting ActressWon
1980Melvin and HowardLos Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting ActressWon
1980Melvin and HowardNational Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting ActressWon
1980Melvin and HowardNew York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting ActressWon
1981RagtimeGolden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion PictureNominated
1985One Magic ChristmasGenie Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading RoleNominated
1985Tender Is the NightBritish Academy Television Award for Best ActressNominated
1988The Attic: The Hiding of Anne FrankPrimetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a MovieNominated
1989Miss FirecrackerChicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting ActressNominated
1990Back to the Future Part IIISaturn Award for Best Supporting ActressNominated
1995NixonScreen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion PictureNominated
1998About SarahScreen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television MovieNominated
2002Wish You Were DeadDVD Premiere Award for Best Supporting ActressNominated
2004Joan of ArcadiaSatellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Television SeriesWon
2011The HelpScreen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion PictureWon

In addition to these recognitions, Steenburgen received the 1,337th star on Hollywood Walk of Fame on December 16, 2009.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mary Steenburgen Sees Herself in Her Latest Role". 3 October 1998. 
  2. ^ "PBS Interview". PBS. Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  3. ^ "Mary Steenburgen Biography (1953-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2010-09-07. 
  4. ^ "Stony Reception in Little Rock; Film by Mary Steenburgen Draws Cries of Foul in Arkansas - The Washington Post | HighBeam Research - FREE trial". Highbeam.com. 1988-04-03. Retrieved 2010-09-07. 
  5. ^ "Mary Nell Steenburgen (1953â€")". Encyclopedia of Arkansas. Retrieved 2010-09-07. 
  6. ^ a b Mary Steenburgen: Biography. TV Guide.com.
  7. ^ "Mary Steenburgen Saddles Into Outlaw Country Pilot". TVGuide.com. 
  8. ^ "FX says no to ‘Outlaw Country’". Retrieved 18 September 2013. 
  9. ^ "Oscar-winner Mary Steenburgen joins the cast of Orange is the New Black in season three". dailymail.co.uk. 
  10. ^ Sheridan, Emily (April 19, 2013). "See, some Hollywood marriages do last! Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen look as in love as ever on sunny stroll". Daily Mail. Retrieved February 8, 2014. 
  11. ^ Sheridan, Emily (April 19, 2013). "See, some Hollywood marriages do last! Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen look as in love as ever on sunny stroll". Daily Mail. Retrieved February 8, 2014. 
  12. ^ "The Clinton School Speaker Series - Inspiring Ideas and Action". Clintonschoolspeakers.com. Retrieved 2010-09-07. 
  13. ^ "Hendrix College". Encyclopedia of Arkansas. Retrieved 2010-09-07. 
  14. ^ "Acclaimed actress, Arkansas native to receive honorary Lyon degree". Lyon College Newsletter. 2 October 2006. Retrieved 10 July 2010. 
  15. ^ "Current Home". Clinton School of Public Service. Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  16. ^ "Danson to Hit the Road for Clinton Again". The Washington Post. 15 February 2008. Retrieved 10 July 2010. 

External links[edit]