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Jessica Lange

Lange at the 1990 Academy Awards
Born Jessica Phyllis Lange
April 20, 1949 (1949-04-20) (age 60)
Cloquet, Minnesota, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1976–present
Spouse(s) Paco Grande (1970–1981)
Domestic partner(s) Sam Shepard (1982–present)

Jessica Phyllis Lange (born April 20, 1949) is an American stage and screen actress. With a career that has spanned thirty-five years and six Academy Award nominations (including two wins), she may be most notable for her performances in Frances, Tootsie, Sweet Dreams, Blue Sky, and Grey Gardens.

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Early life

Lange, the third of four children, was born in Cloquet, Minnesota, the daughter of Dorothy Florence (née Sahlman) and Albert John Lange, who was a teacher and salesman.[1] Her maternal grandparents were of Finnish descent, while her paternal grandparents were German and Dutch.[2][3][4] She studied art briefly at the University of Minnesota before going to Paris, France, where she studied mime with Étienne Decroux. She returned to New York City, New York in 1973 and took acting lessons while working as a waitress and a fashion model for the Wilhelmina Models agency. She was discovered by the fashion illustrator Antonio in 1974.[5]

Career

Film

In 1976, Dino De Laurentiis cast her in his motion picture remake of King Kong, which started and almost ended her career. Although the King Kong remake was a top moneymaker for Paramount Pictures, critics were not kind to the film and Lange did not appear in another film for three years, when Bob Fosse cast her as the glamorous figure of death in All That Jazz (1979). The unfavorable reviews were devastating but critics took notice with her impressive turn in Bob Rafelson's remake of The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981).

Her performance in her next film, Frances (1982), in which she portrayed actress Frances Farmer, was highly lauded and earned her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. She received two Academy Award nominations that year, the other for Best Supporting Actress in the comedy Tootsie (1982), for which she won. She continued giving impressive performances through the 1980s and 1990s in films such as Sweet Dreams (1985) (playing country/western singer Patsy Cline), Music Box (1989), Men Don't Leave (1990), and Blue Sky (1994), directed by Tony Richardson, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress. She portrayed the wife to the legendary Scottish hero in Rob Roy alongside Liam Neeson (1995).

Since 2000, Lange has mostly appeared in supporting roles on screen. In her most recent film, Grey Gardens (2009) , a remake of the 1970s cult documentary, she played Edith "Big Edie" Bouvier Beale which earned her an Emmy Award.

Broadway/Stage

In 1992, Lange made her Broadway-theatre début in New York City opposite Alec Baldwin in Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire. She appeared in the West End in London, United Kingdom, in 2000, as Mary Tyrone in Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night. In 2005, she returned to Broadway in another Tennessee Williams play, The Glass Menagerie with Christian Slater.

Humanitarian work and political views

She is a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). She has also been a public critic of former U.S. President George W. Bush, once calling his administration, "a self-serving regime of deceit, hypocrisy and belligerence."[6]

Personal life

Lange was married to photographer Paco Grande from 1970-1981. Since 1982, she has lived with playwright/actor Sam Shepard. She has three children, Aleksandra (born 1981) from her relationship with dancer/actor Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Hannah Jane (born 1985) and Samuel Walker [7] (born 1987) with Shepard.

Lange currently lives in New York City.

Filmography

Year Film Role Notes
1976 King Kong Dwan Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actress
1979 All That Jazz Angelique
1980 How to Beat the High Co$t of Living Louise
1981 Notre Dame of the Cross uncredited documentary
The Postman Always Rings Twice Cora Papadakis
The Best Little Girl in the World TV
1982 Tootsie Julie Nichols Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Frances Frances Farmer Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actress
Moscow International Film Festival Prize for Best Actress
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
1984 Country Jewell Ivy Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
1985 Sweet Dreams Patsy Cline Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actress
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Maggie TV
1986 Crimes of the Heart Margaret 'Meg' Magrath
1988 Far North Kate
Everybody's All-American Babs Rogers Grey
1989 Music Box Ann Talbot Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
1990 Men Don't Leave Beth Macauley
1991 Cape Fear Leigh Bowden
1992 O Pioneers! Alexandra Bergson Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
Night and the City Helen Nasseros
1994 A Century of Cinema Herself documentary
Blue Sky Carly Marshall Academy Award for Best Actress
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
1995 Losing Isaiah Margaret Lewin
Rob Roy Mary MacGregor
A Streetcar Named Desire Blanche DuBois Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated — Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
1997 A Thousand Acres Ginny Cook Smith Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
Off the Menu: The Last Days of Chasen's Herself uncredited; documentary
1998 Hush Martha Baring
Cousin Bette Cousin Bette
1999 Titus Tamora Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
2001 Prozac Nation Mrs. Wurtzel
2003 XXI Century documentary
Masked and Anonymous Nina Veronica
Big Fish Older Sandra Bloom
Normal Irma Applewood Nominated — Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
2004 Peace by Peace: Women on the Frontlines Narrator documentary
2005 The Needs of Kim Stanley documentary
Broken Flowers Carmen
Don't Come Knocking Doreen
Neverwas Katherine Pierson
2006 Bonneville Arvilla
2007 Sybil Dr. Cornelia Wilbur TV
Nominated — Prism Award for Performance in a TV Movie or Miniseries
2009 Grey Gardens "Big Edie" TV
Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie

References

External links








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