Mia Farrow

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Mia Farrow

Farrow at the 2012 Time 100
BornMaría de Lourdes Villiers Farrow
(1945-02-09) February 9, 1945 (age 67)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
OccupationActress, model, humanitarian
Years active1964–present
Spouse(s)Frank Sinatra (m. 1966–68; divorced)
André Previn (m. 1970–79; divorced)
Partner(s)Woody Allen (1980-92)
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Mia Farrow

Farrow at the 2012 Time 100
BornMaría de Lourdes Villiers Farrow
(1945-02-09) February 9, 1945 (age 67)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
OccupationActress, model, humanitarian
Years active1964–present
Spouse(s)Frank Sinatra (m. 1966–68; divorced)
André Previn (m. 1970–79; divorced)
Partner(s)Woody Allen (1980-92)

Mia Farrow (born February 9, 1945) is an American actress, singer, humanitarian, and fashion model.

Farrow first gained wide acclaim for her role as Allison MacKenzie in the soap opera Peyton Place, and for her subsequent short-lived marriage to Frank Sinatra. An early film role, as the woman pregnant with Satan's baby in 1968's Rosemary's Baby, saw her portrayal nominated for many awards.

Farrow has appeared in more than 45 films and won numerous awards, including a Golden Globe award (and seven additional Golden Globe nominations), three BAFTA Film Award nominations, and a win for best actress at the San Sebastian International Film Festival.[1] Farrow is also known for her extensive humanitarian work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. She is involved in humanitarian activities in Darfur, Chad, and the Central African Republic. In 2008, Time magazine named her one of the most influential people in the world.[2]


Early life

Farrow was born as María de Lourdes Villiers Farrow in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Australian film director John Farrow and Irish actress Maureen O'Sullivan. She was raised Roman Catholic.[3][4] Her sisters are Prudence and actresses Stephanie and Tisa. She has three brothers: Michael Damien (1939–1958), Patrick Joseph (1942–2009) and John Charles (born 1946).[citation needed]

She grew up in Beverly Hills, California, and often traveled with her parents as they worked on films that were produced on location.[citation needed] She made her film debut in a 1947 short subject with her mother; the short was about famous mothers and their children modelling the latest fashions for families.[citation needed] When she was nine she came down with polio but eventually recovered.[5]


Farrow screen-tested for the role of Liesl von Trapp in The Sound of Music, but did not get the part. The footage has been preserved, and appears on the fortieth Anniversary Edition DVD of The Sound of Music. Farrow began her acting career by appearing in supporting roles in several 1960s films. However, she achieved stardom on the popular primetime soap opera Peyton Place as naive, waif-like Allison MacKenzie, a role she later abandoned at the urging of first husband Frank Sinatra. Her first leading film role was in Rosemary's Baby (1968), which was a critical and commercial success at the time and continues to be widely regarded as a classic of the horror genre.

Farrow's performance in Rosemary's Baby garnered numerous awards, including the Golden Globe Award for New Star Of The Year - Actress, and established her as a leading actress. Film critic and author Stephen Farber described her performance as having an "electrifying impact… one of the rare instances of actor and character achieving a miraculous, almost mythical match. If Ira Levin's story shrewdly taps into every pregnant woman's fears about the stranger growing inside her, Mia Farrow gives those fears an achingly real and human force".[6][dead link] Film critic Roger Ebert noted that "the brilliance of the film comes more from Polanski's direction, and from a series of genuinely inspired performances… The characters emerge as human beings actually doing these things. A great deal of the credit for this achievement must go to Mia Farrow, as Rosemary".[7] Following Rosemary's Baby, Farrow was to be cast as Mattie in True Grit and was keen on the role. However, prior to filming she made Secret Ceremony in England with Elizabeth Taylor and Robert Mitchum. While filming, Mitchum told her about True Grit director Henry Hathaway having a reputation for being rude to actresses. Farrow asked producer Hal Wallis to replace Hathaway, Wallis refused. Farrow quit the role which was then given to Kim Darby.[8] Secret Ceremony divided critics, but has gone on to develop a devoted following. Farrow's other late '60s films include John and Mary, opposite Dustin Hoffman.

In the 1970s, Farrow appeared in a number of notable films, including the thriller See No Evil (1971), French director Claude Chabrol's Docteur Popaul (1972) and The Great Gatsby (1974), in which Farrow played Daisy Buchanan. She also appeared in director Robert Altman's cult classic A Wedding (1978). In 1977, she played the title role in The Haunting of Julia. Farrow also appeared in a number of made-for-television films in the 1970s, most notably portraying the title role in a musical version of Peter Pan (1976). In 1979, Farrow appeared on Broadway opposite Anthony Perkins in the play Romantic Comedy by Bernard Slade.

In the 1980s and early '90s, Farrow's relationship with director Woody Allen resulted in numerous film collaborations. She appeared in nearly all of Allen's films during this period, including leading roles in Zelig, Broadway Danny Rose, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Hannah and Her Sisters (playing the principal title role), Radio Days and Alice (1990), again as the title character. Farrow also played Alura, mother of Kara (Helen Slater), in Supergirl (1984) and voiced the title role in the animated film The Last Unicorn (1982). She also narrated several of the animated Stories to Remember.

Citing the need to devote herself to raising her young children, Farrow worked less frequently during the 1990s. Nonetheless, she appeared in leading roles in several notable films, including the Irish film Widows' Peak (1994), Miami Rhapsody (1995) and Reckless (also 1995). She also appeared in several independent features and made-for-television films throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s. She also wrote an autobiography, What Falls Away (New York: Doubleday, 1997).

Farrow appeared as Mrs. Baylock, the Satanic nanny, in the remake of The Omen (2006). Although the film itself received a lukewarm critical reception, Farrow's performance was widely praised, with the Associated Press declaring "thank heaven for Mia Farrow" and calling her performance "a rare instance of the new Omen improving on the old one."[9][dead link] Filmcritic.com added "it is Farrow who steals the show",[10] and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer described her performance as "a truly delicious comeback role for Rosemary herself, Mia Farrow, who is chillingly believable as a sweet-talking nanny from hell."[11]

Farrow worked on several films released in 2007, including the romantic comedy The Ex and the first part of director Luc Besson's trilogy of fantasy films, Arthur and the Invisibles. In 2008, in director Michel Gondry's Be Kind Rewind, she appeared opposite Jack Black, Mos Def and Danny Glover.

In 2011, Farrow worked in the film Dark Horse, directed by Todd Solondz. The film will be shown at the Venice Film Festival in September 2011, as well as the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival the same month.

Activism and Africa

Farrow during a visit to Africa

Farrow has been a high profile advocate for children's rights, working to raise funds and awareness for children in conflict-affected regions, predominantly in Africa. She is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and has worked extensively to draw attention to the fight to eradicate polio, which she survived as a child. She has traveled to Darfur three times to advocate for Darfuri refuges. She traveled there in November 2004 and June 2006, joining her son Ronan Farrow, who has also worked for UNICEF in Sudan.[12] Farrow visited 2006 Berlin to be part of a charity auction of United Buddy Bears, which feature designs by artists representing 142 U.N. member states.[13]

Her third trip was as part of a documentary film expedition in 2007.[14] Farrow's photographs of Darfur appeared in People magazine in July 2006 and she authored an article on the crisis, published in the Chicago Tribune on July 25, 2006. On February 5, 2007, Farrow authored an editorial for the Los Angeles Times.[15] On August 7, 2007, Farrow offered to "trade her freedom" for the freedom of a rebel leader being treated in a UN hospital, but afraid to leave. She wanted to be taken captive in exchange for his being allowed to leave the country.

Farrow in 2008

Since 2007, Farrow has been involved with the Dream for Darfur campaign, which has made a major effort to focus public attention on China's support for the government of Sudan, with a special focus on the 2008 Summer Olympics held in Beijing. Swayed by Farrow's campaign to pressure him, on February 12, 2008 filmmaker, Steven Spielberg withdrew as an artistic adviser to the 2008 Olympics broadcast. During the Olympics broadcast, Farrow televised via the internet from a Sudanese refugee camp to highlight China's involvement in the region.[16]

Farrow has recently agreed to narrate a documentary film relating the struggle of many of the survivors of the Rwandan Genocide to forgive those who murdered family and friends. The documentary has been completed and is titled As We Forgive.[17]

Farrow has set up her own website, miafarrow.org, which features a guide on how to get involved with Darfur activism, along with her photographs and blog entries from Darfur, Chad, and the Central African Republic.[18]

The International Criminal Court issued a warrant for the arrest of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on March 4, 2009, after which Sudan expelled 13 international aid agencies from Darfur. To raise awareness of this situation, Farrow began a water-only fast on April 27.[19] Farrow's goal was to fast for three weeks. On May 8, after 12 days of fasting, she called a halt to the fast due to a downturn in her health.[20]

In 2008, Farrow received three awards: the France Legion of Arts and Lettres award, the Refugees International McCall-Pierpaoli Humanitarian Award for "extraordinary service to refugees and displaced people";[21] and the Tiannamen Square Award.[22]

In 2009, Farrow was the recipient of the Leon Sullivan International Service award.[citation needed] She testified in the trial against former Liberian President Charles Taylor in August 2010.[citation needed]

Personal life

Farrow married singer Frank Sinatra on July 19, 1966.[23] During the production of Farrow's 1968 film Rosemary's Baby, after she refused Sinatra's demand that she quit the film to work on his movie The Detective, he served her with divorce papers on the Rosemary's Baby set.[24] The divorce was finalized in 1968.

Also in 1968, Farrow traveled to India, where she spent the early part of the year at the ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, studying Transcendental Meditation. Her visit received worldwide media attention because of the presence of all four members of The Beatles, Donovan, and Mike Love, as well as her sister Prudence Farrow, who inspired John Lennon to write the song "Dear Prudence".

In 1970, Farrow married the conductor/composer André Previn. His former wife, songwriter Dory Previn, blamed Farrow for the end of her relationship with Previn and wrote a scathing song, entitled "Beware of Young Girls", about the incident.[25] Farrow and Previn had three biological children (twins Matthew and Sascha, born February 26, 1970, and Fletcher, born March 14, 1974). In 1973 and 1976, respectively, they adopted Vietnamese infants Lark Song and Summer "Daisy" Song (born October 6, 1974), followed by the adoption of eight-year-old Soon-Yi (born October 8, 1970) from Korea around 1978. André and Mia divorced in 1979.[citation needed] Lark died on Christmas Day of 2008.[26]

In 1980, Farrow began seeing film director Woody Allen. Together they adopted Moses "Misha" Farrow (born January 27, 1978, adopted 1980) and Dylan "Eliza" Farrow (born July 11, 1985, now called Malone). On December 19, 1987, Mia gave birth to Satchel Ronan O'Sullivan Farrow, now known as Ronan Farrow. During their relationship, Farrow starred in many of Allen's films, and several of their children also made appearances.[citation needed]

Farrow and Allen parted after Farrow discovered a sexual relationship between Allen and her adopted daughter Soon-Yi. During the subsequent custody battle involving Farrow's and Allen's three children, Farrow filed charges that Allen had molested their daughter Dylan, then seven years old. Allen has adamantly denied the charges. A doctor concluded that Dylan "either invented the story under the stress of living in a volatile and unhealthy home or that it was planted in her mind by her mother" because of the inconsistent presentation of the story by Dylan.[27] In September 1993, Connecticut State Attorney Frank Maco announced that, while he had "probable cause" to prosecute Allen on charges of sexual molestation of Dylan, he was dropping the case to spare her the trauma of appearing in court.[28] Farrow has been estranged from Soon-Yi since Soon-Yi's 1997 marriage to Allen.[citation needed]

Between 1992 and 1995, Farrow adopted 6 more children: Tam Farrow (born 1979); Quincy Farrow, now known as Kaeli-Shea Farrow; Frankie-Minh (born 1991); Isaiah Justus (born 1992); Thaddeus Wilk Farrow (born 1988); and Gabriel Wilk Farrow, adopted in 1995 and named after Elliott Wilk, the judge who oversaw Farrow's 1993 legal battle with Allen.[citation needed] Her adopted daughter Tam Farrow died of heart failure in 2000 at the age of 19.[dead link][29] On Christmas Day 2008, her adopted daughter Lark Previn died after a long illness. As of March 2012, Mia Farrow has thirteen living children and nine grandchildren.[30]


1959John Paul Jonesuncredited
1964Guns at BatasiKaren Erickson
1968Secret CeremonyCenciNominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Rosemary's BabyRosemary WoodhouseDavid di Donatello Award for Best Foreign Actress (shared with Barbra Streisand for Funny Girl)
Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama
A Dandy in AspicCaroline
1969John and MaryMaryNominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1971See No EvilSarah
1972Follow Me!BelindaPrize San Sebastián for Best Actress
1974The Great GatsbyDaisy Buchanan
1977Full Circle (aka The Haunting of Julia)Julia Lofting
1978A WeddingElizabeth 'Buffy' Brenner
AvalancheCaroline Brace
Death on the NileJacqueline De Bellefort
1979HurricaneCharlotte Bruckner
1982A Midsummer Night's Sex ComedyAriel
The Last UnicornUnicorn/Amaltheavoice-over
1983ZeligDr. Eudora Nesbitt FletcherKansas City Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress (shared with Linda Hunt for The Year of Living Dangerously)
1984Broadway Danny RoseTina VitaleNominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Terror in the Aislesarchival footage
1985The Purple Rose of CairoCeciliaNominated—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
1986Hannah and Her SistersHannahNominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
1987Radio DaysSally White
1988Another WomanHope
1989New York StoriesLisa
Crimes and MisdemeanorsHalley ReedNominated—David di Donatello Award for Best Foreign Actress
1990AliceAlice TateNational Board of Review Award for Best Actress
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1992Shadows and FogIrmy
Husbands and WivesJudy Roth
1994Widows' PeakMiss Katherine O'Hare/Clancy
1995Miami RhapsodyNina Marcus
1999Forget Me NeverDiane McGowin(TV) Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
Coming SoonJudy Hodshell
2002The Secret Life of ZoeyMarcia Carter(TV)
PurposeAnna Simmons
2004Samantha: An American Girl HolidayGrandmary Edwards(TV)
2006The OmenMrs. Baylock
2007Arthur and the InvisiblesArthur's grandmother Daisy
The ExAmelia Kowalski
2008Be Kind RewindMiss Falewicz
2008As We ForgiveNarrator
2009Arthur and the Revenge of MaltazardDaisy
2010Arthur 3: The War of the Two WorldsGranny Daisy Suchot
2011Dark HorsePhyllis


  1. ^ Mia Farrow - Awards
  2. ^ Mia Farrow - The 2008 Time 100
  3. ^ Pringle, Gill (2006-06-02). "Mia Farrow: 'My faith helps me through hard times'". London: The Independent. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/features/mia-farrow-my-faith-helps-me-through-hard-times-480665.html. Retrieved 2010-05-15. "If you're brought up a Catholic and you've had 13 years of convent education with nuns, there's no way you ever get out from under that. I've accepted that fact about myself so there are certain things - like my lost saint - that sometimes are not so lost." 
  4. ^ Wood, Gaby (2006-01-29). "'I've always had a sense of the unworthiness of myself'". The Observer (London: The Guardian). http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2006/jan/29/2. Retrieved 2010-05-15. "This seems more than a little harsh, and I ask Farrow whether she thinks she would have felt less guilty about things if she had not been brought up a Catholic." 
  5. ^ "Polio Strikes Los Angeles.". The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954) (Perth, WA: National Library of Australia): p. 4. 14 August 1954. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article49874251. Retrieved 3 March 2012. 
  6. ^ Movieline.com
  7. ^ "Rosemary's Baby". Chicago Sun-Times. http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19680729/REVIEWS/807290301/1023. 
  8. ^ p.286 Davis, Ronald L. Duke: The Life and Image of John Wayne 2003 University of Oklahoma Press
  9. ^ http://wcbstv.com/moviereviews/movies_story_154012813.html
  10. ^ The Omen (2006) Movie Review, DVD Release - Filmcritic.com
  11. ^ Arnold, William (May 6, 2006). "Final warning: Don't see 'Omen'". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. http://www.seattlepi.com/movies/272809_omen06q.html. 
  12. ^ Overview | Genocide Intervention Network
  13. ^ Mia Farrow in Berlin 2006
  14. ^ "Mia Farrow's mission". CBC News. October 10, 2007. http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/sudan/mia-farrow.html. 
  15. ^ 25 July 2006 The Chicago Tribune - World must not turn away from Darfur's desperation; By Mia Farrow
  16. ^ Farrow Going to Darfur for China Protest. San Francisco Chronicle. 2008-04-04. Archived from the original on 2008-04-10. http://web.archive.org/web/20080410233747/http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2008/04/03/entertainment/e161624D52.DTL. Retrieved 2008-06-07 
  17. ^ Movie web site
  18. ^ Homepage Mia Farrow web site
  19. ^ Mia Farrow to start fast over Darfur
  20. ^ Mia Farrow ends fast after health concerns
  21. ^ McCall-Pierpaoli Humanitarian Award press release
  22. ^ "UNICEF Mia Farrow Goodwill Ambassador" UNICEF web site
  23. ^ Biography for Frank Sinatra at IMDb
  24. ^ Santopietro, Tom (2009). Sinatra in Hollywood. Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-312-36226-3. 
  25. ^ Nelson, Valerie J. (February 16, 2012). "Dory Previn dies at 86; Oscar-nominated songwriter". Los Angeles Times. http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-dory-previn-20120216,0,2450227.story?page=1. 
  26. ^ Mia Farrow mourns the death of adopted daughter Lark Previn on Christmas Day
  27. ^ Perez-Pena R. (1993). Doctor Cites Inconsistencies In Dylan Farrow's Statement. New York Times.
  28. ^ Woody Allen-Mia Farrow Custody Trial: 1993 - The Custody Trial Begins.
  29. ^ Mia Farrow Mourns Daughter NY Daily News, March 15, 2000
  30. ^ Mia Farrow grandchildren

External links


Interviews and articles