Sissy Spacek

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Sissy Spacek
SissySpacekHSHWOFAug2011.jpg
Spacek at a ceremony to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in August 2011
BornMary Elizabeth Spacek
(1949-12-25) December 25, 1949 (age 64)
Quitman, Texas, U.S.
OccupationActress, singer
Years active1970–present
Spouse(s)Jack Fisk (1974–present)
Children2
 
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This article is about the actress. For information on the band, see John Wiese.
Sissy Spacek
SissySpacekHSHWOFAug2011.jpg
Spacek at a ceremony to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in August 2011
BornMary Elizabeth Spacek
(1949-12-25) December 25, 1949 (age 64)
Quitman, Texas, U.S.
OccupationActress, singer
Years active1970–present
Spouse(s)Jack Fisk (1974–present)
Children2

Sissy Spacek (born Mary Elizabeth Spacek, December 25, 1949) is an American actress and singer. She came to international prominence for her roles as Holly Sargis in Terrence Malick's film Badlands (1973) and as Carrie White in Brian De Palma's horror film Carrie (1976, based on the first novel by Stephen King), for which she earned her first Academy Award nomination. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as country star Loretta Lynn in the film Coal Miner's Daughter (1980) and received Oscar nominations for her roles in Missing (1982), The River (1984), Crimes of the Heart (1986), and In the Bedroom (2001).

Early life[edit]

Spacek was born on December 25, 1949, in Quitman, Texas. She is the daughter of Virginia Frances (née Spilman) and Edwin Arnold Spacek, Sr., a county agricultural agent.[1] Spacek's father was of three quarters Czech (Moravian) and one quarter German ancestry; her paternal grandparents were Mary (Červenka) and Arnold A. Špaček (who served as Mayor of Granger, Texas in Williamson County).[2][3] Her mother, of English and Irish descent, was from the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.[4]

Spacek was greatly affected by the death of her eighteen-year-old brother, Robbie, in 1967, which she has called "the defining event of my whole life."[5] After she graduated from high school she moved to New York City, hoping to become a singer. There, she lived with her first cousin, actor Rip Torn, and his wife, actress Geraldine Page.[4]

Career[edit]

Early work in New York City[edit]

For a while, Spacek sang and played guitar in many of the Greenwich Village coffeehouses, eventually landing some paying work singing commercial jingles. In late 1968, under the pseudonym "Rainbo", Spacek recorded a novelty song titled "John, You Went Too Far This Time";[4] the song proclaimed her disillusionment and shock over John Lennon, who on the cover of his newest album Two Virgins (1968) appeared in full-frontal nudity with his then-girlfriend Yoko Ono, shocking many fans.[6] The single did not appear on the record charts and failed to sell well, so the record company dropped her.[citation needed]

1970s and beginning of acting career[edit]

While singing, Spacek also worked for a time as photographic model and as an extra at Andy Warhol's Factory. She appeared in a non-credited role in his film Trash (1970). With the help of Rip Torn, she enrolled in Lee Strasberg's Actors Studio and then the Lee Strasberg Institute in New York. Her first credited role was in the cult classic Prime Cut (1972), in which she played Poppy, a girl sold into sexual slavery.[4] The role led to television work, which included a guest role in The Waltons, which she played twice in 1973. Spacek received international attention after starring in Terrence Malick's Badlands (1973), in which she played Holly, the film's narrator and a 15-year old girlfriend of mass-murderer Kit (Martin Sheen).[4] Spacek has described Badlands as the "most incredible" experience of her career.[7] On the set of Badlands, Spacek met art director Jack Fisk, whom she married.[citation needed]

Spacek in Brian De Palma's Carrie, 1976.

Spacek's iconic and career-defining role came in Brian De Palma's film Carrie (1976), in which she played Carietta "Carrie" White, a shy, troubled high school senior with telekinetic powers.[4] Spacek had to work hard to persuade director de Palma to engage her for the role.[4] After rubbing Vaseline into her hair and donning an old sailor dress her mother made for her as a child, Spacek turned up at the audition with the odds against her, but won the part.[8] She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her work in the film. Spacek had previously been the set dresser for DePalma's film Phantom of the Paradise (1974).

After Carrie, Spacek played the small role of housekeeper Linda Murray in Alan Rudolph's ensemble piece Welcome to LA (1976) and cemented her reputation in independent cinema with her performance as Pinky Rose in Robert Altman's classic 3 Women (1977). Altman was deeply impressed by her performance, having stated: "She's remarkable, one of the top actresses I've ever worked with. Her resources are like a deep well." Brian de Palma added: "[Spacek is] a phantom. She has this mysterious way of slipping into a part, letting it take over her. She's got a wider range than any young actress I know."[9] Spacek also helped finance then-brother-in-law David Lynch's directorial debut, Eraserhead (1976) and is thanked in the credits of the film.

In the film Heart Beat (1979), Spacek played Carolyn Cassady, who slipped (under the influence of John Heard's Jack Kerouac and Nick Nolte's Neal Cassady) into a combination of drudgery and debauchery.[citation needed]

1980s and Oscar win[edit]

Spacek as country queen, Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner's Daughter, 1980.

Spacek began the 1980s with an Oscar in 1980 for Coal Miner's Daughter (1980), in which she played country music star Loretta Lynn, who selected her for the role.[4] In the film, both she and Beverly D'Angelo, who played Patsy Cline, performed their own singing.[4] Film critic Roger Ebert has credited the movie's success "to the performance by Sissy Spacek as Loretta Lynn. With the same sort of magical chemistry she's shown before, when she played the high school kid in Carrie, Spacek at 29 has the ability to appear to be almost any age on screen. Here, she ages from about 14 to somewhere in her 30s, always looks the age, and never seems to be wearing makeup."[10] Spacek also was nominated for a Grammy Award for her singing on the film's soundtrack album. She followed this with her own country album, Hangin' Up My Heart (1983); the album spawned one hit single, "Lonely But Only For You", a song written by K. T. Oslin, which reached No. 15 on the Billboard Country chart.[citation needed]

Also in the 1980s, Spacek starred alongside Jack Lemmon in Constantin Costa-Gavras's political thriller Missing (1982, based on the book The Execution of Charles Horman) and appeared with Mel Gibson in the rural drama The River (1984), and with Diane Keaton and Jessica Lange in 1986's Crimes of the Heart (1986).[4] She was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar for all of these roles.[4] Other performances of the decade included star turns in husband Jack Fisk's directorial debut Raggedy Man (1981) and alongside Anne Bancroft in the suicide-themed drama Night Mother (1986).[4] Spacek also showed her lighter side by voicing the brain in the Steve Martin comedy The Man with Two Brains (1983).

1990s–2000s[edit]

The 1990s saw Spacek slowly come back to Hollywood after her self-imposed hiatus.[citation needed] She had a supporting role as the wife of Jim Garrison (played by Kevin Costner) in Oliver Stone's JFK (1991) and made a number of comedies, TV movies, and the occasional film. Most notable of her appearances during these years was her turn as the evil Verena Talbo in the ensemble piece The Grass Harp (1995), which reunited her with both Laurie and Lemmon, as well as a supporting performance, again alongside Nick Nolte, as the waitress Margie Fogg in Paul Schrader's father-son psychodrama Affliction (1997). She also played Rose Straight in David Lynch's The Straight Story (1999).

Spacek's memoir, My Extraordinary Ordinary Life, published in May 2012.

In 2001, she was again nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress, for her work in Todd Field's In the Bedroom (2001).[4] The New York Times film critic Stephen Holden said of her work in the film: "Ms. Spacek's performance is as devastating as it is unflashy. With the slight tightening of her neck muscles and a downward twitch of her mouth, she conveys her character's relentlessness, then balances it with enough sweetness to make Ruth seem entirely human. It is one of Ms. Spacek's greatest performances."[11] Her performance as Ruth Fowler, a grieving mother consumed by revenge, won extraordinary praise and garnered the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress[12] as well as the Critics' Choice Award for Best Actress, Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama, and Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead, among many others.[13] [14]

Other performances of this decade include unfaithful wife Ruth in Rodrigo García's Nine Lives (2005) and a turn as a woman suffering from Alzheimer's in the television movie Pictures of Hollis Woods (2007). In 2008, Spacek had a supporting part in the Christmas comedy Four Christmases and a lead role in the independent drama, Lake City. Spacek appeared on the HBO drama Big Love, for a multi-episode arc, as a powerful Washington, D.C. lobbyist.[15]

In 2005, she narrated the audiobook of the original Carrie novel by Stephen King[16] and, in 2006, she narrated the classic Harper Lee novel To Kill a Mockingbird (1960), which sold over 30 million copies. In 2011, she received a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.[17] Spacek was featured in The Help (2011), directed by Tate Taylor, and along with the cast, was awarded with the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture for their performance in the film.[citation needed]

In 2012, Spacek published a memoir, My Extraordinary Ordinary Life, with co-author Maryanne Vollers.[18][19] The Washington Post's Jen Chaney called it "refreshingly down-to-earth" and "beautifully written".[20] She also mentioned that Spacek's description of her childhood is "evocative that one can almost taste the sour stalks of goatweed she chewed on steamy summer afternoons". Jay Stafford of Richmond Times-Dispatch pointed out that, unlike other actors' autobiographies, Spacek's "benefits from good writing and remarkable frankness".[21] The Austin Chronicle's Margaret Moser stated that Spacek's memoir is "as easy to read as it is a pleasure to digest".[22] Joe Muscolino of the Biographile gave the book a 5 out of 5 rating, saying that it "does not disappoint".[23] Kirkus Reviews, however, was less appreciative of the book, calling it "an average memoir" and "overly detailed", while criticizing its lack of "narrative arc", but complimented Spacek for being "truly down-to-earth".[22] It further criticized that "the book is 'ordinary' and does not have enough drama to engage readers not directly interested in Spacek and her work", and ended by saying that it's "for die-hard movie buffs and Spacek fans only".[22]

Personal life[edit]

Spacek married production designer and art director Jack Fisk in 1974, after they met on the set of Badlands.[4] Fisk later directed her in the films Raggedy Man (1981) and Violets Are Blue (1986). They have two daughters, Schuyler Fisk (born July 8, 1982) and Madison Fisk (born September 21, 1988).[24]

Filmography[edit]

Film and TV credits
YearFilmRoleNotes
1970Women in RevoltGirl extra at barUncredited
1972Prime CutPoppy
1973The Girls of Huntington HouseSaraTV movie
1973The WaltonsSarah Jane Simmonds2 episodes
1973BadlandsHolly SargisNominated – BAFTA Award for Best Newcomer
1974Ginger in the MorningGingerTV movie
1974The MigrantsWanda Trimpin
1975KatherineKatherine AlmanTV movie (a.k.a. The Radical) based loosely on the life of the late Weather Underground member Diana Oughton[25]
1976CarrieCarietta "Carrie" WhiteWon – Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival – Special Distinction Award
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress (3rd place)
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Actress
1976Welcome to L.A.Linda Murray
19773 WomenPinky RoseNational Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress (3rd place)
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
1978Verna: U.S.O. GirlVerna VaneTV movie
1980Coal Miner's DaughterLoretta LynnWon – Academy Award for Best Actress
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
National Board of Review Award for Best Actress
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
1980Heart BeatCarolyn Cassady
1981Raggedy ManNita LongleyNominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
1982MissingBeth HormanNominated – Academy Award for Best Actress
BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
1983The Man with Two BrainsAnne UumellmahayeVoice (uncredited)
1984The RiverMae GarveyNominated – Academy Award for Best Actress
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
1984Terror in the AislesArchival footage
1985MarieMarie Ragghianti
1986Violets Are BlueAugusta 'Gussie' Sawyer
1986'night, MotherJessie Cates
1986Crimes of the HeartBabe Magrath BotrelleWon – Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Actress
1990The Long Walk HomeMiriam Thompson
1991Hard PromisesChristine Ann Coalter
1991JFKLiz Garrison
1992A Private MatterSherri FinkbineTV movie
Nominated – CableACE Award for Actress in a Movie or Miniseries
1994A Place for AnnieSusan LansingHallmark Hall of Fame TV movie
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
1994Trading MomVarious Rolesalso known as The Mommy Market
1995The Good Old BoysSpring RenfroNominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
1995The Grass HarpVerena Talbo
1995Streets of LaredoLorena ParkerTV miniseries
Bronze Wrangler for Television Feature Film Television Feature Film
1996Beyond the CallPam O'BrienTV movie
1996If These Walls Could TalkBarbara BarrowsTV movie (Segment: "1974")
1997AfflictionMargie Fogg
1999Blast from the PastHelen Thomas WebberNominated – Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
1999The Straight StoryRose 'Rosie' StraightNominated – Chlotrudis Award for Best Supporting Actress
Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress
Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture
2000Songs in Ordinary TimeMarie FermoyleTV movie
2001In the BedroomRuth FowlerWon – American Film Institute Award for Actress of the Year
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
Independent Spirit Award for Best Lead Female
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress (2nd place)
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
Satellite Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize for Dramatic Acting (shared with Tom Wilkinson)
Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Actress
BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Chlotrudis Award for Best Actress
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2001MidwivesSibyl DanforthNominated – Satellite Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
2002Last CallZelda FitzgeraldTV movie (also known as Fitzgerald)
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
Satellite Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
2002Tuck EverlastingMae TuckNominated – Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
2004A Home at the End of the WorldAlice Glover
2005Nine LivesRuthWon – Locarno International Film Festival Award for Best Actress Ensemble
Nominated – Gotham Award for Best Ensemble Cast
2005The Ring TwoEvelyn
2005North CountryAlice Aimes
2006An American HauntingLucy Bell
2006Summer Running: The Race to Cure Breast CancerMrs. Flora Good
2007Gray MattersSydney
2007Hot RodMarie Powell
2007Pictures of Hollis WoodsJosie CahillNominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
2008Lake CityMaggie
2008Four ChristmasesPaula (Brad's Mom)
2009Appalachia: A History of Mountains and PeopleNarratorTV miniseries
2009Get LowMattie DarrowNominated – Chlotrudis Award for Best Supporting Actress
2010Gimme ShelterAdrienne NourseTV movie
2010–11Big LoveMarilyn Densham5 episodes
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series
2011The HelpMrs. WaltersWon – Hollywood Film Festival Award for Ensemble of the Year
National Board of Review Award for Best Cast
Satellite Award for Best Cast – Motion Picture
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated – Central Ohio Film Critics Association for Best Cast
2012DeadfallJune Mills

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

YearAlbumUS CountryLabel
1983Hangin' Up My Heart17Atlantic

Singles[edit]

YearSingleChart PositionsAlbumNotes
US CountryUS BubblingCAN Country
1980"Coal Miner's Daughter"247Coal Miner's Daughter (Soundtrack)Nominated — Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance (for "Coal Miner's Daughter")[26]
"Back in Baby's Arms"71
1983"Lonely but Only for You"151013Hangin' Up My Heart
1984"If I Can Just Get Through the Night"5741
"If You Could Only See Me Now"79

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sissy Spacek biography. Film Reference.com.
  2. ^ "Sissy Spacek The Coal Miner's Daughter". New Straits Times. 1981-10-09. Retrieved 2010-07-28. 
  3. ^ Ancestry of Sissy Spacek. Wargs.com.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Stated on Inside the Actors Studio, 2002
  5. ^ Ouzounian, Richard (April 27, 2012). "Big Interview: Sissy Spacek". Toronto Star. Retrieved April 30, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Biography of Sissy Spacek". Biography.com. 
  7. ^ "Sissy Spacek's shy career". BBC.co.uk. 
  8. ^ Brian De Palma.net; accessed 27 May 2007
  9. ^ "Show Business: Basic Spacek: Keeping Life Tidy". Time. 1976-12-06. Retrieved 2010-05-23. 
  10. ^ Roger Ebert (1980-01-01). "Coal Miner's Daughter". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  11. ^ Holden, Stephen (November 23, 2001). "When Grief Becomes A Member of the Family". The New York Times. 
  12. ^ King, Susan. "'Bedroom' Is Top Pick of L.A. Film Critics". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 March 2013. 
  13. ^ Broadcast Film Critics Association. "7th Critics' Choice Movie Awards Winners and Nominees". Broadcast Film Critics Association. Retrieved 28 March 2013. 
  14. ^ LaSalle, Mick. "Golden Globes 2002 / A night for the Aussies / 'Beautiful Mind,' 'Moulin Rouge,' cable TV take top Golden Globes". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 28 March 2013. 
  15. ^ Gina DiNunnot (17 September 2009). "Sissy Spacek Signs On for Big Love". TVGuide.com. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  16. ^ "StephenKing.com - Carrie". Retrieved 26 October 2013. 
  17. ^ "Actress Sissy Spacek To Receive Star On Hollywood Walk Of Fame Next Monday". Beverly Hills Courier. July 26, 2011. 
  18. ^ Sissy Spacek & Maryanne Vollers (May 2012). My Extraordinary Ordinary Life. Hyperion. Retrieved May 6, 2012. 
  19. ^ Douglass K. Daniel (April 30, 2012). "Quitman Native Sissy Spacek Writes Tender, Touching Book". Tyler Morning Telegraph (Associated Press). Retrieved May 6, 2012. 
  20. ^ Chaney, Jen. "Book review: Sissy Spacek's "My Extraordinary Ordinary Life"". Denver Post. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  21. ^ Stafford, Jay. "Nonfiction review: My Extraordinary Ordinary Life". timedispatch.com. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  22. ^ a b c Moser, Margaret. "My Extraordinary Ordinary Life". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  23. ^ Muscolino, Joe. "Review Roundup: "My Extraordinary, Ordinary Life" by Sissy Spacek, and Richard Perry’s Haunting Tale of True Crime in Tokyo". biographile.com. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  24. ^ Finlayson, Ariana. "Sissy Spacek's Daughter, Schuyler Fisk, Is Married!". US Weekly. Retrieved 23 March 2013. 
  25. ^ "Virgin Movies: Katherine (1975)". Virgin Media. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  26. ^ Coyne, Kevin John. "Grammy Flashback: Best Female Country Vocal Performance". Country Universe. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 

External links[edit]