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Elizabeth McGovern Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (18) | Personal Quotes (40)

Overview (2)

Date of Birth 18 July 1961Evanston, Illinois, USA
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Daughter of a law professor at Northwestern University, she moved with her family to Los Angeles when he transferred to the University of California at Los Angeles (U.C.L.A.). She began acting in school plays at North Hollywood High, graduated from The Oakwood School and then continued her stage training at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco and the drama division of The Juilliard School in New York. Following a pleasant screen debut in Robert Redford's Oscar-winning Ordinary People (1980), McGovern gave a great performance as Evelyn Nesbit in Ragtime (1981) for which she earned an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress. She has continued performing on stage between film assignments rather than concentrate on being a film star.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Kieran Lee <kjl@psych.st-andrews.ac.uk>

Spouse (1)

Simon Curtis (12 December 1992 - present) (2 children)

Trivia (18)

Her younger sister Cammie McGovern is a novelist, whose latest novel [2006] is "Eye Contact."
Dropped out of college when she was studying acting at The Juilliard School in order to accept the ingénue role in Ordinary People (1980).
As a young actress on the New York stage, McGovern was required in one play to pray over some candles that were set on a bed. Realizing that the bed had caught fire halfway through her monologue, McGovern kept talking while trying to pat out the flames. She thought she had the situation pretty well under control, when firefighters suddenly arrived onstage to clear the theater.
Was engaged to Sean Penn after falling in love on the set of Racing with the Moon (1984).
Has a brother, William Montgomery McGovern, "Monty" who is a professor of mathematics.
Sings and plays guitar in her own band "Sadie and the Hotheads".
Has lived in West London (UK) since 1992.
Daughter of Katie and Bill McGovern.
Has two daughters named Matilda (b. July 1993) and Grace Curtis (b. 1998).
Counts Henry James and Edith Wharton among her favorite authors.
Now lives in England, UK [April 2006]
Is appearing in the British series "Downton Abbey" which is presently showing on PBS in the USA. [January 2011]
Recently appeared on British television in a situation comedy written by her husband Simon Curtis. [February 2008]
Appeared opposite Richard Dreyfuss and David Suchet in the disastrous production of Complicit directed by Kevin Spacey at the Old Vic. [January 2009]
Her band "Sadie and the Hotheads" (formed 2007) opened for Sting at the Montreux Jazz Festival Switzerland (July 16th, 2013).
Met husband-to-be Simon Curtis on Performance: Tales from Hollywood (1992), an episode of the popular BBC TV series Performance (1992), where Curtis was a producer.
She has Scottish, English, and more distant German, ancestry.
Can be seen in The Making of 'Amadeus' (2002), uncredited. In footage from her screen tests (in costume, apparently testing for the role of Constanze) her face has been blurred but her name can be read clearly on handwritten lists of actors that appear onscreen in a shooting log.

Personal Quotes (40)

On careers other than acting: "I probably would have become a veterinarian, or I might have lived on a ranch somewhere and raised horses, or I might have become more serious about painting, or I might have worked in a Burger King."
Honestly, I am always shocked when I see myself in the mirror because I feel exactly the same as I did when I was 18 getting off the plane to go to Juilliard in New York.
There is nothing in my life where I view myself as a 1920s person.
I turned down the opportunity to be in some films that went on to be blockbusters.
My job now is to work hard and learn all I can.
I just find it fascinating, like everybody, to be in a different life. It's an escape.
Hollywood never suited me, I didn't ever feel comfortable with it, it took me a couple of years but I found where I was always meant to be... Chiswick!
I still feel I'm doing the same work I've always done.
Most people grow up dreaming of going to Hollywood and some of them work and work and work and finally end up in Hollywood.
Whenever I work on anything, there's always the fantasy that what one is doing is the next 'Citizen Kane'-slash-'Sopranos.'
If I feel I can play a part I do everything in my power to try to play it.
We lack rituals in this modern world.
I'm someone who's done the opposite of whatever the received wisdom is, to keep your career going into your 50s.
In London, I take the Tube everywhere.
To me, the lyrics of the song define the kind of style it is.
I love having the opportunity to explore a part for a great length of time, really get deeper and deeper into it, because you only have a chance to do that once or twice in a career.
I've been in things that have impressed people and they've come up to congratulate you but in a kind of, you-must-think-you're-really-special way.
As far as I can see women who have facelifts don't look younger, just weirder. You see them on screen with these tight, little porcelain faces - then the hand goes up to the face and it looks like it belongs to an alien. I find it really freaky.
I miss sometimes the buzz of America. A sense that anything can change at the drop of a hat. In a way, it's an exhausting thing to live with.
I wasn't ecstatic about being pregnant - I wasn't somebody who actively wanted kids. Certainly there were no fantasies about nappy-changing.
North Hollywood isn't actually Hollywood, it's in the San Fernando Valley... it's not the most glamorous part of L.A.
My father was an academic, an eccentric. He was a lecturer.
So the English approach to show business and their work is more - and this is a big generalization, I hasten to say - but it's more, they work on it as a craft job.
I've found acting on stage much more challenging than on screen.
My family were all into classical music, and I found that very intimidating.
England as a culture has endured so much more than America has as a culture, so it's given them a different perspective.
By definition, an actor's life is a recipe for regret. There are always roads you could have taken. But I've lived long enough to realize that each road has its own rewards.
I have a terrible sense of direction.
Well, when I moved to England I was making a lot of personal adjustments because I was getting married and starting a family, that sort of thing.
I've got my private life - that's sacred - and I didn't have that before.
Well, I have a band, "Sadie and the Hotheads", and we have an album that is already out that is available on our website.
Now we have to contend with overstimulation and too many opportunities all the time, and too many decisions all the time.
I like writing letters and receiving letters. It's a shame that we've lost the art of letter-writing and saving correspondence. I mourn that.
That feeling of being 19 or 20 and 'hot' in Hollywood was so intense.
I can't just sit around thinking how lucky I am.
It's peaceful for people to know how their lives are going to be, pretty much.
I don't believe in villains - just people who channel their energy in the wrong way.
It's very tough when two creative people are together.
In today's world, we all live with the burden of feeling that anything is possible if we're only clever enough, smart enough, work hard enough.
I had reconciled myself to being happily out to pasture, a bit.

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