Gena Rowlands Poster


Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (18) | Personal Quotes (9) | 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 (18)

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 2013, she is one of six women who has received a Best Actress Oscar nomination for a performance directed by her spouse. She is the only one who has received two such nominations, for A Woman Under the Influence (1974) and Gloria (1980) (both directed by John Cassavetes). The other five are Elisabeth Bergner for Escape Me Never (1935) (directed by Paul Czinner), Jean Simmons for The Happy Ending (1969) (directed by Richard Brooks), Frances McDormand for Fargo (1996) (directed by Joel Coen), Julie Andrews for Victor Victoria (1982) (directed by Blake Edwards), and Joanne Woodward for Rachel, Rachel (1968) (directed by Paul Newman). Jules Dassin also directed his future wife Melina Mercouri in a Best Actress 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.
Her father was of Welsh descent. Her mother had English ancestry.
She and her real life mother Lady Rowlands played daughter and mother in two films together, Minnie and Moskowitz (1971) and A Woman Under the Influence (1974). They also appeared together in Opening Night (1977), although did not portray daughter and mother in that film.

Personal Quotes (9)

[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.
Children are everything actors say they are. They're unpredictable; they steal scenes, but that's what makes them so much fun. They're not brainwashed and that's very exciting. You never know what they're going to do or say - how they'll respond.
[on receiving an honorary Oscar] I didn't think for a minute that I was going to get it. I think it's awfully nice.
[on A Woman Under the Influence (1974)] I liked the script very much. It was sort of a difficult role. But I like difficult roles.
[on working with her husband John Cassavetes] I was part of the acting group. He treated me no differently.
[on The Notebook (2004)] The kids -- Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling -- were such good actors. I was happy to work with Jim Garner [James Garner]. Everyone said it must be hard to work for your son [Nick Cassavetes]. I guess when you feel loved, everything is easy.
[on her son Nick Cassavetes] He is much like John [John Cassavetes] in his direction. He loves actors and doesn't throw himself around.

Salary (1)

Playing by Heart (1998) $60,000

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