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Mary Steenburgen        

Character Actress; Best Known for her Role in "Philadelphia"

Born in Arkansas on February 8, 1953, Steenburgen was the daughter of a railroad employee. Pursuing drama in college, she headed to New York in 1972, where she worked with an improvisational troupe. She was spotted by Jack Nicholson, who cast her as his feisty "in name only" frontier wife in 1978's Goin' South. Two years later, she won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance as Melvin Dummar's inamorata in Melvin and Howard (1980).

Gentle, intelligent and possessing a scathing wit, Steenburgen has turned in several memorable roles in big and small films throughout her career, including Miss Firecracker (1989) and Life as a House (2001). Other more recent films she's been in are: Four Christmases (2008), The Proposal (2009), The Help (2011), and Last Vegas (2013), a comedy in which she was able to express her inner chanteuse, as well as her self-described late blooming talents for song writing; (she co-wrote the song she performs in the film.)

Able to convey a wide age and character range, Steenburgen was effectively cast as a free-spirited Frisco girl in Time After Time (1979), the corseted matriarch of a turn-of-the-century household in Ragtime (1981), prim authoress Marjorie Rawlins in Cross Creek (1983), a long-suffering suburban housewife in Parenthood (1989), and a Marcia Clark-like attorney in Philadelphia (1993). She also portrayed the Jules Verne-loving Western schoolmarm Clara in Back to the Future 3 (1990), a role she perpetuated (via voice-over) on the Back to the Future TV cartoon series. In 1988, she was executive producer of End of the Line, in which she also appeared. Formerly married for several years to actor Malcolm McDowell, Steenburgen married former Cheers star Ted Danson in 1995. The two have collaborated on a number of projects, including 1994's Pontiac Moon and the made-for-TV Gulliver's Travels in 1996.

Recently, Steenburgen was cast in season three of the Netflix original series, "Orange is the New Black."

Among Steenburgen's philanthropic pursuits, she, along with Danson, are heavily involved in preserving the oceans through the organization Oceana, which helps to educate and change policy on overfishing around the world.


Mary Steenburgen On The Double Standard That Exists In Hollywood
With over three decades of Hollywood experience under her belt, Mary Steenburgen is no stranger to the pressures women face to look a certain way in the ...
How Mary Steenburgen Is Sharing Her Love Of Reading
Mary Steenburgen partnered with the SAG-AFTRA Foundation's children's literacy website Storyline Online to bring everyone's favorite stories to life.
Mary Steenburgen on 'Last Man on Earth' Midseason Finale ...
In Sunday's midseason finale of Last Man on Earth, Gail (Mary Steenburgen) found herself stranded in an elevator after days of being trapped, and to add injury ...
#ImWithHer: Jamie Lee Curtis, Shonda Rhimes among celebs backing Hillary Clinton
In a new video accompanied by the hashtag #ImWithHer, 17 celebrity women express their support for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Mary Steenburgen joins Will Forte's 'Last Man on Earth' |
Image Credit: Jordin Althaus/Fox Mary Steenburgen has joined the cast of Fox's new comedy The Last Man on Earth, Will Forte and executive producers Phil ...
'Orange Is the New Black' Taps Mary Steenburgen for Season 3 ...
Mary Steenburgen is closing a deal to join the new season of Netflix's original scripted dramedy, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. Details of ...

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