Frances McDormand Poster


Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (22) | Personal Quotes (9)

Overview (4)

Born in Chicago, Illinois, USA
Birth NameFrances Louise McDormand
Nickname Fran
Height 5' 5" (1.65 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Frances Louise McDormand was born on June 23, 1957 in Chicago, Illinois. She was adopted by Canadian-born parents Noreen Eloise (Nickleson), a nurse from Ontario, and Vernon Weir McDormand, a minister from Nova Scotia, who raised her in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. She earned her B.A. in Theater from Bethany College in 1979 and her MFA from Yale in 1982. Her career after graduation began onstage, and she has retained her association with the theater throughout her career. She soon obtained prominent roles in movies as well, first starring in Blood Simple. (1984), in which she worked with filmmaker Joel Coen, whom she married that year. She frequently collaborated with Coen and his brother Ethan Coen in their films.

McDormand's skilled and versatile acting has been recognized by both the critics and the Academy and, in addition to many critics' awards, she has been nominated for an Academy Award four times - for Mississippi Burning (1988), Fargo (1996) (for which she won the Best Actress Award), Almost Famous (2000) and North Country (2005). Keenly intelligent and possessed of a sharp wit, McDormand is the antithesis of the Hollywood starlet - rather than making every role about Frances McDormand, Frances McDormand dissolves into the characters she plays. Accordingly, she has expressed some reservations about the iconic recognition she has gained from her touching and amusing portrayal of Police Chief Marge Gunderson, the quintessential Minnesota Scandinavian, in Fargo (1996).

McDormand and Coen adopted a son, Pedro, who was born in Paraguay, in 1994. They live in Manhattan, New York.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Larry-115

Spouse (1)

Joel Coen (1 April 1984 - present) (1 child)

Trivia (22)

Has one son, Pedro McDormand Coen, adopted from Paraguay in 1994.
Once lived in an apartment with Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, Sam Raimi, Scott Spiegel and Holly Hunter
Was the third and youngest child adopted by her minister father, Vernon McDormand, and his wife, Noreen.
Raised in Monessen, Pennsylvania.
Sister-in-law of Ethan Coen and Tricia Cooke.
Both of her parents were born in Canada. Her father, Vernon McDormand, was a Disciples of Christ minister and her mother, Noreen McDormand, a housewife.
She attended Bethany College, Bethany, West Virginia, and received her B.A. in theater in 1979. Then she attended Yale University School of Drama, New Haven, Connecticut, and received her M.F.A. in 1982.
Was jury president of the Berlin Film Festival, 2004.
Her Oscar-winning role, as Marge Gunderson in the film Fargo (1996), was ranked #33 in the American Film Institute's Heroes list in their 100 years of The Greatest Screen Heroes and Villains.
Was nominated for Broadway's 1988 Tony Award as Best Actress (Play) for a revival of Tennessee Williams's "A Streetcar Named Desire.".
Was listed as a potential nominee on the 2006 Razzie Award nominating ballot. She was listed as a suggestion in the Worst Supporting Actress category for her performance in the film Æon Flux (2005). However, she failed to receive a nomination. (Had she gotten the nomination, she would have been one of the few to be nominated for both Best Supporting Actress at the Oscars, for North Country (2005), and Worst Supporting Actress at the Razzies in the same year.)
Her performance as Marge Gunderson in Fargo (1996) is ranked #27 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.
As of 2013, she is one of six women who has received a Best Actress Oscar nomination, and the only one to have actually won, for a performance directed by her spouse--in McDormand's case, for Fargo (1996), directed by Joel Coen. The other five are Elisabeth Bergner for Escape Me Never (1935), directed by Paul Czinner; Joanne Woodward for Rachel, Rachel (1968), directed by Paul Newman; Jean Simmons for The Happy Ending (1969), directed by Richard Brooks; Gena Rowlands for A Woman Under the Influence (1974) & for Gloria (1980), both directed by John Cassavetes; and Julie Andrews for Victor Victoria (1982), directed by Blake Edwards. Melina Mercouri received a Best Actress Oscar nomination for Never on Sunday (1960), directed by her future husband Jules Dassin, but Mercouri and Dassin weren't yet married at the time of the nomination.
Co-starred with Charlize Theron in two films during the same year (Æon Flux (2005) and North Country (2005)).
Shared an apartment in the Bronx with Holly Hunter in the early 1980s until they moved in with Joel Coen, Ethan Coen and Sam Raimi into a house in Los Angeles.
Won a Tony for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play in 2011. She was awarded for her performance in the play "Good People".
After a break from film work to focus raising her son, she has returned to work on location in Dublin, Ireland filming This Must Be the Place (2011) with Sean Penn. Also she has been filming her scenes for the upcoming Michael Bay blockbuster sequel Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), overseeing projects as a producer and shortly begins rehearsals for her Broadway return in 'Good People' opposite Tate Donovan, previews beginning February 8, 2011. [August 2010]
Was the 111th actress to receive an Academy Award; she won the Best Actress Oscar for Fargo (1996) at The 69th Annual Academy Awards (1997) on March 24, 1997.
In 2015 she became the 23rd performer to have won the Triple Crown of Acting (an Oscar, an Emmy, and a Tony). She won the 1997 Best Actress Oscar for Fargo (1996), the 2011 Best Leading Actress in a Play Tony for "Good People," and the 2015 Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie Emmy for Olive Kitteridge (2014).
Is one of 16 actresses to have won the Triple Crown of Acting (an Oscar, an Emmy, and a Tony). The others, in chronological order, are Helen Hayes, Ingrid Bergman, Shirley Booth, Liza Minnelli, Rita Moreno, Maureen Stapleton, Jessica Tandy, Audrey Hepburn, Anne Bancroft, Vanessa Redgrave, Maggie Smith, Ellen Burstyn, Helen Mirren, Jessica Lange, and Viola Davis.
Friends with Tom Hanks.

Personal Quotes (9)

[on how she got the part in Fargo (1996)] "The fact that I'm sleeping with the director may have something to do with it."
On playing 'mothers': "Those roles weren't just mothers in a story about a male protagonist. First they were specific, three-dimensional people."
On "women's pictures": "Most women's pictures are as boring and as formulaic as men's pictures. In place of a car chase or a battle scene, what you get is an extreme closeup of a woman breaking down. I cry too, maybe three times a week, but it's not in closeup. It's a wide shot. It's in the context of a very large and very mean world."
I'm a character actress, plain and simple...Who can worry about a career? Have a life. Movie stars have careers - actors work, and then they don't work, and then they work again.
With most people when there's a pain in their life there's mental scar tissue that forms over the pain and helps you go on living. An actor's scar tissue really never covers over things the same way, not if you're going to be sensitive. With good technique, an actor can do that and walk through life without going insane.
You have to get away from the theater or from the set and live life. If you work constantly from job to job, you're living in a fantasy world and you have nothing else to offer than fantasy.
I don't like award shows. At our house we call this time of year 'the convention'. It's too bad we haven't figured out how to stop it. But I think it will come around because of the Internet - I think it will naturally go away. We'll have other ways to gather; it's not going to be this stuff. The shoes hurt too much.
I've got a rubber face. It has always served me very well and really helps, especially as I get older, because I still have all my road map intact, and I can use it at will.
[on plastic surgery] I have not mutated myself in any way. Joel (Coen, her director husband) and I have this conversation a lot. He literally has to stop me physically from saying something to people - to friends who've had work. I'm so full of fear and rage about what they've done.

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