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Mary McDonnell Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (2) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (18) | Personal Quotes (4)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 28 April 1952Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, USA
Birth NameMary Eileen McDonnell
Height 5' 6" (1.68 m)

Mini Bio (2)

Mary Eileen McDonnell was born on April 28, 1952 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and raised in Ithaca, New York. After graduating from the State University of New York at Fredonia, she attended drama school and joined the Long Wharf Theatre Company on the East Coast. It was not until 20 years after working on the theater stage that she had her breakthrough role in Kevin Costner's Dances with Wolves (1990). Her other films include Sneakers (1992), Passion Fish (1992), Independence Day (1996), and Donnie Darko (2001). She has since received two Academy Award nominations for Dances with Wolves and Passion Fish. She also received an Emmy Award nomination for her role as Eleanor Carter on the television series ER (1994). She also played President Laura Roslin on the re-imagined television series Battlestar Galactica (2004). She lives in Pacific Palisades, California with her husband, actor Randle Mell, and their two children: Olivia and Michael.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gustaf Molin <gumo@hem2.passagen.se>

Mary McDonnell is a two-time Oscar®-nominated actress who is known for her character portrayals in both period and present-day screen roles. McDonnell currently stars as Captain Sharon Raydor on the TNT's hit drama series Major Crimes, the follow-up to The Closer, in which McDonnell originated the role and for which she earned a Primetime Emmy® nomination.

McDonnell received her first Oscar nomination and Golden Globe® nomination for her portrayal of Stands with a Fist, a white woman raised by the Sioux Indians, in Kevin Costner's Oscar-winning film, Dances With Wolves. McDonnell also garnered a Best Actress Academy Award® nomination and Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of a paraplegic soap opera star in John Sayles' critically acclaimed Passion Fish. McDonnell's extensive list of film credits include the Lawrence Kasdan films Grand Canyon and Mumford; Sneakers, opposite Robert Redford, Sidney Poitier and Sir Ben Kingsley; Roland Emmerich's smash Independence Day, with Bill Pullman and Will Smith; acclaimed art house cult-hit Donnie Darko; and Margin Call, opposite Kevin Spacey, which also earned her the Robert Altman Award at the 2012 Independent Spirit Awards.

On the small screen, McDonnell starred in four seasons on the Syfy Network's award-winning series Battlestar Galactica in her critically praised performance as the President Laura Roslin. The series earned a Peabody Award, and AFI deemed the series TV Program of the Year for two years in a row. McDonnell garnered an Emmy nomination for her recurring guest role on the television series ER. Some of her other television credits include the ABC hit-series Grey's Anatomy, the CBS series High Society, TNT's adaptation of Arthur Miller's The American Clock, the critically acclaimed CBS movie Behind The Mask and Lifetime's Two Small Voices.

McDonnell received rave reviews for her performance opposite David Strathairn in Emily Mann's acclaimed adaptation of Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard. McDonnell began her career in theatre and has starred in a wide variety of both Broadway and off-Broadway productions. She received an Obie Award for her performance in Emily Mann's Still Life and has starred in off-Broadway productions such as Sam Shepard's Pulitzer Prize-winning Buried Child, John Patrick Shanley's Savage in Limbo, John O'Keefe's All Night Long, Michael Cristofer's Black Angel, Kathleen Tolan's A Weekend Near Madison, Paula Cizmar's Death of a Miner and Dennis McIntyre's National Anthem. Her Broadway credits include Tennessee Williams' Summer and Smoke, the title role in Wendy Wasserstein's Pulitzer Prize-winning The Heidi Chronicles and Emily Mann's Execution of Justice.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: TNT

Spouse (1)

Randle Mell (29 September 1984 - present) (2 children)

Trade Mark (1)

Deep smooth voice

Trivia (18)

Has taught acting classes with her husband, Randle Mell, even after being nominated for an Academy Award.
Listed as one of twelve "Promising New Actors of 1990" in John Willis' Screen World, Vol. 42.
Mother, with Randle Mell, of daughter Olivia Mell and son Michael Mell.
Attended Fredonia State University.
Was a cast member of the medical drama E/R (1984) and also has a recurring role on the 1990s medical drama of nearly the same name, ER (1994).
Moved to Los Angeles, California, as an adult with her husband and daughter.
Though born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, she was raised in Ithaca, New York.
Plays the First Lady during a devastating attack by aliens in Independence Day (1996), and the President after a devastating attack by robots in Battlestar Galactica (2004).
Has appeared in four films with Alfre Woodard: Grand Canyon (1991), Passion Fish (1992), Blue Chips (1994) and Mumford (1999).
Has been a huge fan of Vanessa Redgrave since the 1970s.
Twice played alongside a non-human named Boomer; a dog in Independence Day (1996) and a Cylon in Battlestar Galactica (2004).
Was offered the part of May-Alice Culhane in Passion Fish (1992) before it was even written.
The role of Laura Roslin in Battlestar Galactica (2004) was written with her in mind. She was the first actor offered the role by creator Ronald D. Moore.
Was a competitive and synchronized swimmer as a child and still swims to keep in shape.
After graduation, she moved to New York City. While looking for acting work, she supported herself by selling Fuller brushes door to door in Rockefeller Center. In the classic struggling-actress tradition, she also worked as a waitress.
Mary and her family lived for a time just outside Philadelphia in Upper Merion Township, Pennsylvania, where she attended Port Kennedy Kindergarten, 1957-58.
Went to the United Nations with Edward James Olmos to raise profile of humanitarian concerns.
Close friend of Edward James Olmos.

Personal Quotes (4)

Actors are part of a certain percentage of people on this planet who have an emotional vocabulary as a primary experience. It's as if their life is experienced emotionally and then that is translated intellectually or conceptually into the performance.
It's really important for actors to feel that they're more than something for hire.
We have to get back to the beauty of just being alive in this present moment.
Light up the world. The world needs your light.

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