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Jill Clayburgh Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (18) | Personal Quotes (3)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 30 April 1944New York City, New York, USA
Date of Death 5 November 2010Lakeville, Connecticut, USA  (chronic lymphocytic leukemia)
Height 5' 8" (1.73 m)

Mini Bio (1)

It came as no surprise to film aficionados when, in 1999, Entertainment Weekly named Jill Clayburgh on its list of Hollywood's 25 Greatest Actresses. For decades, she delivered stellar performances in a wide variety of roles.

Jill Clayburgh was born in 1944 in New York City, into a wealthy family, the daughter of Julia Louise (Dorr), an actress and secretary, and Albert Henry Clayburgh, a manufacturing executive. Her father was from a Jewish family that has lived in the United States since the 1700s, and her mother had English ancestry, also with deep American roots. Jill was educated at the finest schools, including the Brearley School and Sarah Lawrence College. It was while at Sarah Lawrence that she decided on a career in acting, and joined the famous Charles Street Repetory Theater in Boston. She moved to New York in the late 1960s and had featured roles in a number of Broadway productions, including "The Rothschilds" and "Pippin". She began her career in films in 1970 and got her first major role in Portnoy's Complaint (1972) in 1972. In 1978, she rose to screen prominence with her performance in An Unmarried Woman (1978), for which she received an Oscar nomination. She was again nominated for the Academy Award in 1979 for her role in Starting Over (1979). But after giving a riveting portrayal as a Valium addict in I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can (1982), her career went into a rapid decline, mainly because of her poor choices of scripts. She seemed destined for a comeback after appearing in Where Are the Children? (1986), with multi-talented child actress Elisabeth Harnois, but her excellent performance was largely ignored by critics, who opted to give the credit for the thriller's success to the performance of the precocious, six year old Harnois.

After the late 1980s, Jill worked mainly in television and low-budget films, and also had a leading role in the drama Never Again (2001), with Jeffrey Tambor.

Jill was married to playwright David Rabe, with whom she had two children, including actress Lily Rabe.

Jill Clayburgh died of chronic lymphocytic leukemia on November 5, 2010, in Salisbury, Connecticut.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Tom McDonough

Spouse (1)

David Rabe (8 March 1979 - 5 November 2010) (her death) (2 children)

Trivia (18)

Lived with Al Pacino from 1970-1975.
Daughter Lily Rabe, born in 1982, is an actress. In 2005, Lily garnered major attention in a Broadway production of "Steel Magnolias", playing the role of naive beautician "Annelle". Jill's son, Michael Rabe, was born in 1986.
Attended the prestigious Brearley School in Manhattan.
Mother, Julia Clayburgh, was a former theatrical production secretary to David Merrick. Father, Albert Clayburgh, was an industrial textiles salesman.
Returned to Broadway in 2005 co-starring with Richard Thomas in "A Naked Girl on the Appian Way", in which she played a television cooking show maven. She was also making plans to co-star in a Broadway revival of "Barefoot in the Park" that was scheduled for February, 2006.
During her independent woman film mold in the late 1970s, Jill turned down the role of Norma Rae (1979), which won Sally Field her first Oscar.
Stepmother of Jason Rabe.
Longtime friend of Jennifer Salt. They met at Sarah Lawrence College where both were students.
Friend of Meryl Streep. They first met in their roles as mothers.
She studied drama at HB Studio in Greenwich Village in New York City.
The daughter of Albert and Julie Clayburgh, her father was an industrial textile salesman.
She was among the first generation of 70s actresses - including Jane Fonda, Ellen Burstyn, Diane Keaton, Carrie Snodgress and Marsha Mason - who was known for portraying characters sprung from the New Age feminism era -- smart independent, capable, but often times neurotic. Jill's film decline coincided with the conservative Reagan administration and a loss of interest in the feminist movement.
Suffered from chronic leukemia for 21 years before her death in 2010.
Sister of Jim Clayburgh.
Graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1966 with a bachelor in theater.
Mother, with David Rabe, of daughter Lily Rabe and son Michael Rabe.
She has no grave, upon her death she was cremated and her ashes are in the possession of family.
Jill's father was from a well-established Jewish family (from Germany, Portugal, and France), with roots in the United States going back to the 1700s. Jill's paternal great-great-great-grandfather, Major Benjamin Nones, fought in the American Revolution. Jill's mother had English, distant Welsh, and remote Dutch, ancestry.

Personal Quotes (3)

Topless is just topless. That's nothing. Why is it OK for men to go around topless when some of them have bigger boobs than many women?
People think about me, "This wonderful lucky woman, she's got it all". But, gee, that's how I feel about Meryl Streep [New York Times interview, 1982].
I guess people look at me and they think I'm a ladylike character, but it's not what I do best. I do best with characters who are coming apart at the seams.

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