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Joan Allen Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (19) | Personal Quotes (11)

Overview (2)

Date of Birth 20 August 1956Rochelle, Illinois, USA
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Joan Allen was born on August 20, 1956 in Rochelle, Illinois, the youngest of four children. She is the daughter of homemaker Dorothea Marie (Wirth) and gas station owner James Jefferson Allen. Her mother's family was German, and her father had English, Scots-Irish, and German ancestry. She attended Rochelle Township High School where she was voted most likely to succeed. Joining Chicago's famed Steppenwolf Theatre Company ensemble in 1977, she was one of the group's original members and starred in a number of its original productions. Her first major film credits included two critically-lauded supporting performances that showcased her versatility: a comedic turn in the suburban murder mystery Compromising Positions (1985) and a dramatic role as a blind woman befriended by a serial killer in Manhunter (1986). Around the same time, Allen was making a name for herself on the New York stage; she would eventually become one of the New York theater world's most honored actresses and a winner of every major prize for her work on Broadway and off. She received a Best Actress Tony Award in 1988 for her performance, opposite John Malkovich, in Lanford Wilson's Burn This and was Tony-nominated in the same category in 1989 for the title role in The Heidi Chronicles.

Continuing her work in film as well, Allen received her first Academy Award nomination for her role as Pat Nixon in Oliver Stone's Nixon (1995), for which she also won awards from seven critics' associations, including the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the National Society of Film Critics. Allen received her second consecutive Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her role in Arthur Miller's The Crucible (1996). Subsequently, her work in The Ice Storm (1997), opposite Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver, and in Pleasantville (1998), opposite William H. Macy and Jeff Daniels, earned her high praise and several critics' awards; she also co-starred in the action blockbuster Face/Off (1997) opposite John Travolta and Nicolas Cage. For her starring role in The Contender (2000), Allen received Best Actress nominations at the Golden Globes, the Academy Awards, the SAG Awards, and the Independent Spirit Awards.

Throughout the early 2000s Allen worked in both film and television, with roles in three of the Bourne films - The Bourne Supremacy (2004), The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), and The Bourne Legacy (2012) - as well as The Notebook (2004), The Upside of Anger (2005), and Death Race (2008). Allen also received Emmy nominations for The Mists of Avalon (2001) and for the title role in the biopic Georgia O'Keeffe (2009), for which she was also executive producer. She was also recently seen in HBO's drama series Luck (2011).

Allen married actor Peter Friedman in 1990, and the two divorced in 2002; Allen's daughter Sadie was born in 1994.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jonda R. Boomgarden <actress222@excite.com>

Spouse (1)

Peter Friedman (1 January 1990 - 10 March 2002) (divorced) (1 child)

Trivia (19)

Has won many Stage awards and won a Tony in 1989 for her debut Broadway performance in Burn This.
Listed as one of twelve "Promising New Actors of 1986" in John Willis' Screen World, Vol. 38.
Transferred to Northern Illinois University in 1976 whence she graduated.
Mother of Sadie Friedman (born 1994), with Peter Friedman.
Ensemble member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company.
Has worked with two "Hannibal Lecters." She appeared in the first Lecter film, Manhunter (1986), with Brian Cox. She later played Pat Nixon in the film Nixon (1995), opposite Anthony Hopkins. Brian Cox later appeared with her again in The Bourne Supremacy (2004).
Won the 1988 Tony Award as Best Actress (Play) for her Broadway debut in Lanford Wilson's "Burn This." She was again nominated the next year (1989) in the same category for Wendy Wasserstein's "The Heidi Chronicles.".
Her Boston terrier is called Nora.
Is the youngest of 4 children.
Mother was a homemaker and father was a garage attendant.
Chosen as Most Likely to Succeed by friends when graduating from high school.
Graduated from the same university as Dan Castellaneta, Justin Mentell, and Matt Ricci.
Joan has two sisters: Mary Allen (b. 1940), Lynn Allen (b. 1954) and a brother named David Allen (b. 1943).
Parents: Dorothy Allen, a housewife, and Jeff Allen, a gas-station owner. Her father died in 1995.
Studied acting at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston under Glendon Gabbard.
She was awarded the 1983 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actress in a Principal Role in a Play for "And a Nightingale Sang", at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, Illinois.
She was awarded the 1986 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actress in a Principal Role in a Play for "A Lesson from Aloes", at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, Illinois.
She was nominated for a 1990 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actress in a Principal Role in a Play for "Reckless" at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, Illinois.
Her father was of English, German, and Scots-Irish (Northern Irish) ancestry. Her mother's family was German.

Personal Quotes (11)

I was very shy, but was desperate to meet boys. So my sister told me to be a cheerleader. I didn't make cheerleading squad, so I thought, "Why not try out for a play?" As soon as I did I found out I absolutely loved it. I could cry and scream and laugh, but in a controlled environment.
To tell you the truth, if Oliver Stone had wanted Pat Nixon to wear a G-string and swing from a chandelier, I would have played it that way.
I was a very good girl for a long time, that's what really drew me to acting. The stage was the perfect place to be outrageous, to be sad, to be angry, to be all these different things.
Over 50% of Americans don't agree with the administration [of President George W. Bush]; that's a lot of people. But they don't get the press. I know myself and my friends in New York were devastated after the last election [2004]. We could hardly stand up it was so devastating. And those are the people that I'm around a fair amount.
I'm hard to pin down. I tend to look different in films. I get recognized sometimes. But I just live my life. I get on the bus, I get on the subway, it's not a problem. I think of myself more as a character actor than that ingénue leading lady, who started out something like Michelle Pfeiffer or Jessica Lange. I'm a bit quirkier than that.
I think I knew acting was what I wanted to do. But I was from this small town and there was no place for an adult to recognize it. I think the cheerleading thing was a way of performing. There was the boy element, but more important was the performance element. Once I got to high school and auditioned for a play and got in, I thought this was really what I was looking for. Once that had got cleared up, from 13 on, that was it.
I was the good girl. The straight A student, on the honor roll, part of the choir . . . I played the cello badly. I did plays.
How do we escape who we are? I think going to college, I felt freer. I loved the clean slate. I wasn't known as the sort of nerdy, studious girl. I met gay people for the first time in my life. I needed that expansion from a very conservative little town.
I think there's been a tendency to place me in what has been characterized as the "moral center" of the film. In films like The Ice Storm (1997), The Crucible (1996) and Nixon (1995), that's the sort of the persona that emerged.
Acting gave me the opportunity to do outrageous things. It allowed me to be sad, happy, angry and lustful, even if it was just vicariously.
It's such a great feeling to make people laugh. I know I've made people cry or want to slit their wrists, but to make people laugh is a very intoxicating, wonderful thing.

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