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Gena Rowlands Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (16) | Personal Quotes (3) | Salary (1)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 19 June 1930Madison, Wisconsin, USA
Birth NameVirginia Cathryn Rowlands
Height 5' 6" (1.68 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Gena Rowlands was born on June 19, 1930 in Madison, Wisconsin, USA as Virginia Cathryn Rowlands. She is an actress, known for The Notebook (2004), The Skeleton Key (2005) and Night on Earth (1991). She was previously married to John Cassavetes.

Spouse (1)

John Cassavetes (9 April 1954 - 3 February 1989) (his death) (3 children)

Trivia (16)

Born to Edwyn Myrwyn Rowlands, a banker and a state legislator (Assembly, 1927-1935; Senate, 1935-1939), and his wife Mary Allen Neal, a painter, she was raised in Cambria, Wisconsin, until her father was appointed to a position in the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1939. After the Washington years, the family moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1942.
Attended the University of Wisconsin from 1947 to 1950, when she left for New York City to study drama at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
She and John Cassavetes made 10 movies together: A Child Is Waiting (1963), Faces (1968), Gloria (1980), Love Streams (1984), Minnie and Moskowitz (1971), Opening Night (1977), A Woman Under the Influence (1974), Machine Gun McCain (1969), Two-Minute Warning (1976) and Tempest (1982).
Sister of David Rowlands.
Her performance as Mabel Longhetti in A Woman Under the Influence (1974) is ranked #63 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
Name rhymes with henna.
Has suppressed the first version of her husband's (John Cassavetes) film Shadows (1959) and will neither allow it to be shown, nor acknowledge its existence.
Favorite actress of Maggie Gyllenhaal.
As of 2007, she is one of seven women who have received Best Actress nominations for performances directed by their spouses. She is the only one who has had two Best Actress nominations directed by her spouse, those two being for A Woman Under the Influence (1974) and Gloria (1980). The other five women are Frances McDormand for Fargo (1996), Joanne Woodward for Rachel, Rachel (1968), Julie Andrews for Victor Victoria (1982), Elisabeth Bergner for Escape Me Never (1935), Susan Sarandon for Dead Man Walking (1995), and Jean Simmons for The Happy Ending (1969). Jules Dassin also directed his future wife Melina Mercouri in an Oscar-nominated performance (Never on Sunday (1960)), but they weren't married yet at the time of the nomination.
Daughter of Lady Rowlands.
Mother-in-law of Heather Wahlquist.
Pedro Almodóvar dedicated his movie All About My Mother (1999) to her, Bette Davis and Romy Schneider.
Graduated from Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Virginia, class of 1947. Other alumni include Forrest Tucker, Shirley MacLaine, Warren Beatty and Sandra Bullock.
Sister of Kappa Kappa Gamma women's fraternity.

Personal Quotes (3)

[on working with Bette Davis on the TV movie Strangers: The Story of a Mother and Daughter (1979)] When they offered that part opposite her, I didn't want to do it. I thought, what if all my illusions were broken? But I couldn't resist the temptation. She's no pussycat -- she's just a great and independent artist and I loved every minute working with her.
[on John Cassavetes] We had a great deal of freedom when John acted. We traveled a lot and it was fun. But with directing ... really. I think people don't have all their marbles who prefer directing to acting because you write for three months, you cut for maybe six months. He's the most terrifying perfectionist about what he wants. As an artist, I love him. As a husband, I hate him.
[on her role in A Woman Under the Influence (1974)] I knew many girls who had had breakdowns. I drew little touches from each of them and a lot from myself. I don't mean I'm really going mad, but I'm a little crazy - we all are - and sometimes I let things go.

Salary (1)

Playing by Heart (1998) $60,000

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