Sissy Spacek Poster


Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (2)  | Trivia (60)  | Personal Quotes (6)

Overview (3)

Born in Quitman, Texas, USA
Birth NameMary Elizabeth Spacek
Height 5' 3" (1.6 m)

Mini Bio (1)

As a kid, Sissy Spacek climbed trees, rode horses, swam, and played in the woods. She was born Mary Elizabeth Spacek on December 25, 1949, in Quitman, Texas, to Virginia Frances (Spilman) and Edwin Arnold Spacek, Sr., a county agricultural agent. Her father's family was of Czech and German origin.

Sissy attended Quitman High School and was homecoming queen. After graduating, she embarked on an acting career, gaining interest in the profession through her cousin, actor Rip Torn. Sissy relocated to New York, and through him, enrolled in the New York branch of the Actors Studio. She studied acting at the Lee Strasberg Institute while also pursuing work as a model and singer, appearing in West Village showcases such as the Bitter End for $10 a night. Sissy eventually broke into film and one of her first roles was as Holly in the classic Badlands (1973). The art director on that film was Jack Fisk, with whom she would marry in 1974 and ultimately collaborate on eight films. Sissy followed this landmark film with a star-making and Oscar nominated performance in Carrie (1976), in which she played a humiliated prom queen who goes postal with her telekinesis. Sissy has had an enduring and award winning career in movies and television, which includes an Oscar as Best Actress for Coal Miner's Daughter (1980). The parents of two grown daughters, Sissy and Jack live on a large horse ranch in the foothills of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. Even though she continued to appear in film and television during the late 1980s and 1990s, Sissy devoted most of those years to her family. Then, in 2001, Sissy returned to the big screen in a major way with a powerful performance in In the Bedroom (2001), which not only earned her a sixth Best Actress Oscar nomination, but a win for Best Actress at the Golden Globes, Independent Spirit Awards, and numerous critics association awards. Sissy continues to work steadily as an actress, but in 2012, her credits expanded even further to include a memoir, My Extraordinary Ordinary Life.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: kdhaisch@aol.com (original edit)

Spouse (1)

Jack Fisk (12 April 1974 - present) ( 2 children)

Trade Mark (2)

Her sweet southern accent
Strawberry blonde hair and freckles

Trivia (60)

"Sissy" is a nickname given by her brothers when she was growing up.
Not only did she win an Oscar for her performance in Coal Miner's Daughter (1980), but she was nominated for a Grammy for her rendition of the title song in the category Best Country Vocal Performance, Female.
Listed as one of twelve "Promising New Actors of 1976" in John Willis' Screen World, Vol. 28.
Was the first choice for the role of Emma Greenway in Terms of Endearment (1983), which went to Debra Winger.
Decided to skip college after her older brother, Robbie, died at 18 years of age in 1967 from leukemia during her senior year in high school. She decided life was way too short to waste it in four years of college.
Lives on 300 acre farmland named "Beau Val" near Charlottesville, Virginia.
Her brother, Edwin Spacek, is a music industry consultant in Austin, Texas.
Was Homecoming Queen of her Senior Class in High School.
Godmother of Rebecca Taylor.
Her performance as Carrie White in Carrie (1976) is ranked #63 on Premiere magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.
Frequently works with Tommy Lee Jones, having appeared with him in Coal Miner's Daughter (1980), JFK (1991), and The Good Old Boys (1995). Separately, they have also each appeared in films in the Lonesome Dove series. Jones appeared in the original Lonesome Dove (1989), while Spacek appeared in Streets of Laredo (1995).
Is first cousin to actor Rip Torn and third cousin to actor Cillian De Ros.
She won an Oscar for playing Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner's Daughter (1980), making her one of 18 actors to win the Award for playing a real person who was still alive at the evening of the Award ceremony (as of 2015). The other seventeen actors and their respective performances are: Spencer Tracy for playing Father Edward Flanagan in Boys Town (1938), Gary Cooper for playing Alvin C. York in Sergeant York (1941), Patty Duke for playing Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker (1962), Jason Robards for playing Ben Bradlee in All the President's Men (1976), Robert De Niro for playing Jake La Motta in Raging Bull (1980), Jeremy Irons for playing Claus Von Bullow in Reversal of Fortune (1990), Susan Sarandon for playing Sister Helen Prejean in Dead Man Walking (1995), Geoffrey Rush for playing David Helfgott in Shine (1996), Julia Roberts for playing Erin Brockovich in Erin Brockovich (2000), Jim Broadbent for playing John Bayley in Iris (2001), Jennifer Connelly for playing Alicia Nash in A Beautiful Mind (2001), Helen Mirren for playing Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen (2006), Sandra Bullock for playing Leigh Anne Tuohy in The Blind Side (2009), Melissa Leo for playing Alice Eklund-Ward in The Fighter (2010), Christian Bale for playing Dickie Eklund in The Fighter (2010), Meryl Streep for playing Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady (2011) and Eddie Redmayne for playing Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything (2014).
Her Best Actress Oscar nomination for Carrie (1976) is notable in that performances in horror films are rarely recognized by the academy.
In 1969, under the pseudonym of "Rainbo", she recorded a novelty song about John Lennon titled, "John, You've Gone Too Far This Time".
She was inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame in March 2001 in Austin, Texas.
During her audition for Carrie (1976), she wore a dress that her mother forced her to wear to a party when she was in the seventh grade.
She has won four New York Film Critics Circle Awards, second to Meryl Streep, who's won the most with five. Sissy's wins are for Three Women (1977), Best Supporting Actress; Coal Miner's Daughter (1980), Best Actress; Crimes of the Heart (1986), Best Actress; and In the Bedroom (2001), Best Actress.
Born at 12:03 AM (CST).
According to her commentary on the DVD of Coal Miner's Daughter (1980), she initially aspired to be a singer and auditioned for Decca Records. The label liked her but told her she was too similar to another artist they had on their label. That artist was Loretta Lynn.
Her career has several connections to Robert Duvall. She and Duvall both appear in Four Christmases (2008) and Get Low (2009). Sissy starred in Streets of Laredo (1995), a sequel to Lonesome Dove (1989), starring Duvall. Further, her nephew Stephen Spacek appeared with Duvall in Gods and Generals (2003). Finally, Sissy narrates an audiobook version of To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), which was Duvall's first film.
Was the original choice for the role of Milena Flaherty in Bad Timing (1980), but the production's start date eventually coincided with her work on another film.
Mother of Schuyler Fisk and Madison Fisk.
Was David Cronenberg's first choice to play Rose in Rabid (1977).
She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6834 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on August 1, 2011.
Has starred in five films nominated for Best Picture: Coal Miner's Daughter (1980), Missing (1982), JFK (1991), In the Bedroom (2001) and The Help (2011).
Her father was of three quarters Moravian (Czech) and one quarter German ancestry. Her mother had English and Irish ancestry.
Was replaced by Debra Winger in Boychoir (2014) and Molly Shannon in Other People (2016) due to her commitment to the first and second seasons of Bloodline (2015).
Gave birth to her first child at age 32, a daughter Schuyler Fisk on July 8, 1982. Child's father is her husband, Jack Fisk.
Gave birth to her second child at age 38, a daughter Madison Fisk on September 21, 1988. Child's father is her husband, Jack Fisk.
Was the 85th actress to receive an Academy Award: she won the Best Actress Oscar for Coal Miner's Daughter (1980) at The 53rd Annual Academy Awards (1981) on March 31, 1981.
Was replaced by Debra Winger in three movies: Urban Cowboy (1980), Terms of Endearment (1983) and Boychoir (2014).
Was considered for the role of Leah in And So It Goes (2014), but dropped out later. The role eventually went to Diane Keaton.
Acting protégée of Piper Laurie.
Is one of 15 actresses to have won both the Best Actress Academy Award and the Best Actress in a Comedy/Musical Golden Globe for the same performance; hers being for Coal Miner's Daughter (1980). The others, in chronological order, are: Judy Holliday for Born Yesterday (1950), Julie Andrews for Mary Poppins (1964), Barbra Streisand for Funny Girl (1968), Liza Minnelli for Cabaret (1972), Glenda Jackson for A Touch of Class (1973), Diane Keaton for Annie Hall (1977), Cher for Moonstruck (1987), Jessica Tandy for Driving Miss Daisy (1989), Helen Hunt for As Good as It Gets (1997), Gwyneth Paltrow for Shakespeare in Love (1998), Reese Witherspoon for Walk the Line (2005), Marion Cotillard for La Vie En Rose (2007), Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook (2012), and Emma Stone for La La Land (2016).
She has Celtic, German, Nordic and Slavic ancestry.
Her surname pronounced as "SH:pah-chek".
She is the 22nd great granddaughter of King Edward I.
When she was told that she did not have the role in Heart Beat (1980), she broke a glass of wine in her hands. The producer was so impressed by the gesture, that he ultimately gave Spacek the role. He handed her a piece of shattered glass and said "this clinched the deal".
Sissy's paternal grandparents' last names are both the names of birds in their native Czech: Spacek (pronounced "shPAH-chek," which means "Starling") and Cervenka (pronounced "chair-VENK-ah," which means "Robin").
She was originally cast as Lee Wakefield Lacker in Marvin's Room (1996), but dropped out. Meryl Streep replaced her.
She auditioned for Princess Leia in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977). George Lucas and Brian De Palma were holding joint auditions for Star Wars and Carrie (1976) and Carrie Fisher auditioned for Carrie White. They wound up getting each other's roles.
She was the first choice for the role of Helen Kingsley in ER: Just as I Am (2005) that went to Frances Fisher.
She auditioned for the role of Phoenix in Phantom of the Paradise (1974). She worked as set dresser for this film to assist her boyfriend, Jack Fisk, who was the film's production designer. According to Spacek, she did her job so poorly that she ruined a day's worth of filming.
She was considered for the role of Kathryn Murphy in The Accused (1988) that went to Kelly McGillis.
She auditioned for the role of Thelma Dickinson in Thelma & Louise (1991), but after reading the script, she thought it was "awful".
She was considered for the role of Jacy Farrow in The Last Picture Show (1971) that went to Cybill Shepherd.
She was offered the role of Marie in Don McKay (2009) that went to Melissa Leo.
She was considered for Jessica Lange's roles in The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) and Frances (1982).
She read for the part of Myra in Save the Tiger (1973), which in the end was cast with newcomer Laurie Heineman.
She was considered for the role of Hattie in Pretty Baby (1978) that went to Susan Sarandon.
She was considered for the role of Gillian Bellaver in The Fury (1978) that went to Amy Irving, her costar from Carrie (1976). Both films were directed by Brian De Palma.
She was considered for the role of Meggie Cleary in The Thorn Birds (1983).
Is one of 12 actresses to have won a Best Actress Oscar for playing a character who is pregnant at some point during the film, hers being for Coal Miner's Daughter (1980). The others are Helen Hayes for The Sin of Madelon Claudet (1931), Luise Rainer for The Good Earth (1937), Vivien Leigh for Gone with the Wind (1939), Ginger Rogers for Kitty Foyle (1940), Olivia de Havilland for To Each His Own (1946), Jane Wyman for Johnny Belinda (1948), Anna Magnani for The Rose Tattoo (1955), Julie Christie for Darling (1965), Barbra Streisand for Funny Girl (1968), Liza Minnelli for Cabaret (1972), and Frances McDormand for Fargo (1996).
Returned to work six months after giving birth to her daughter Madison Fisk to begin filming The Long Walk Home (1990).
Returned to work fourteen months after giving birth to her daughter Schuyler Fisk to begin filming The River (1984).
She was offered the role of Buffy Brenner in A Wedding (1978). She couldn't appear in the film due to a scheduling conflict, so the role went to Mia Farrow.
Has played the daughter to fellow Best Actress Oscar winner Anne Bancroft in 'night, Mother (1986) and has played the mother to two additional fellow winners; to Charlize Theron in North Country (2005) and to Julia Roberts in Homecoming (2018).
She has appeared in two films that have been selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant: Badlands (1973) and Coal Miner's Daughter (1980).
All three of the stage productions that were written by a woman that went on to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in the 1980s were quickly adapted into feature films. She appears two of those three feature films: Crimes of the Heart (1986) written by Beth Henley, and 'night, Mother (1986) written by Marsha Norman. The only such movie adaptation in which she does not appear is The Heidi Chronicles (1995) written by Wendy Wasserstein.

Personal Quotes (6)

[on her daughter Schuyler Fisk becoming an actress] The business has been good to me. I would be a hypocrite if I tried to convince her not to do this.
[Parade magazine, April 1, 2001] I had a dozen years to act before starting a family then found that motherhood dwarfed everything else. Once or twice a year, I take a project that appeals to me for its redeeming social value.
[on why she did not want to appear in The Rage: Carrie 2 (1999)] I asked if they could use some backflashes instead. I enjoyed the sequel, but hated my role in the first film. I was awful.
My cousin, Rip Torn, persuaded me not to change my name. You shouldn't change what you are in the search for success.
There's a real danger in trying to stay king of the mountain. You stop taking risks, you stop being as creative, because you're trying to maintain a position. Apart from anything else that really takes the fun out of it.
When I started out in independent films in the early 70s, we did everything for the love of art. It wasn't about money and stardom. That was what we were reacting against. You'd die before you'd be bought.

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