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Mara Wilson
Born Mara Elizabeth Wilson
July 24, 1987 (1987-07-24) (age 22)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1993–2000

Mara Elizabeth Wilson (born July 24, 1987) is an American actress, best known for her roles as a child star, particularly in Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Miracle on 34th Street (1994) and Matilda (1996). She was born in Los Angeles, California.



Wilson's mother, Susan Shapiro, was from the Chicago, Illinois suburb of Northbrook, and was heavily involved in drama in high school; her mother died from breast cancer in 1996, when Mara was 9.[1] She first became interested in acting when she was four. Wilson's film debut was in the 1993 hit Mrs. Doubtfire, followed by the 1994 remake of Miracle on 34th Street. In 1995, she won the ShoWest Award for "Young Star of the Year." Her performances in those films caught the attention of Danny DeVito and led to her being cast as the title character in Matilda, adapted from the popular children's book by author Roald Dahl. Wilson won a Young Artist Award for her role in A Simple Wish in "Best Performance in a Feature Film Leading Young Actress" and a YoungStar Award for Matilda in "Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Comedy Film." She was twice nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor for both Matilda and A Simple Wish. Her appearance in Thomas and the Magic Railroad was her last major film role to date.

In 1993, Wilson had a recurring role as Nikkie Petrova on the primetime soap opera Melrose Place. She also played Barbara Barton in the 1994 television film, A Time to Heal; and Willow Johnson in the 1999 television film, Balloon Farm.

Mara Wilson sang "Make 'Em Laugh" at the 67th Academy Awards telecast on March 27, 1995, with Tim Curry and Kathy Najimy.[2]

In August 2005, she starred as the lead character in a production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella performed at the Ector Theater in Odessa, Texas.[3]

She currently attends New York University's Tisch School of the Arts for Drama. In an interview she said she does not want to be a celebrity.[4]




Year Film Role Other notes
1993 Mrs. Doubtfire Natalie "Nattie" Hillard first film role
1994 A Time to Heal Barbara Barton made for television
Miracle on 34th Street Susan Walker
1996 Matilda Matilda Wormwood
1997 A Simple Wish Anabel Greening
1999 Balloon Farm Willow Johnson made for television
2000 Thomas and the Magic Railroad Lily Stone


Year Title Role Other notes
1993 Melrose Place Nikki Petrova 5 episodes: "Hot and Bothered" (season 2 episode 6)
"Flirting with Disaster" (season 2 episode 7)
"Married to It" (season 2 episode 9)
"Duet for One" (season 2 episode 13)
"Under the Mistletoe" (season 2 episode 15)
1996 Pearl Samantha Stein Episode: "The Tutor" (season 1 episode 11)
1999 Batman Beyond Tamara (voice) Episode: Mind Games (season 2 episode 10)


Year Title Role
2005 Cinderella





  1. ^ Mills, Nancy (July 25, 2000). Showbiz growing pains Mara Wilson gets training in first "Thomas" film. Daily News.
  2. ^ Archerd, Army (March 14, 1995). Oscars plan to 'Make 'em Laugh'. Variety.
  3. ^ Temple, Georgia (August 3, 2005). "Former child star taking on 'Cinderella' for Ector Theatricals." Midland Reporter Telegram.
  4. ^ Grudnikov, Karina (January 19, 2009). Mara Wilson On Child Stardom, Morons Wanting to “Party With Matilda”. NYULocal.

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