Mary Steenburgen Poster


Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trade Mark (1)  | Trivia (26)  | Personal Quotes (12)

Overview (3)

Born in Newport, Arkansas, USA
Birth NameMary Nell Steenburgen
Height 5' 8" (1.73 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Mary Steenburgen is an Academy Award-winning American actress.

She was born February 8, 1953, in Newport, Arkansas, USA. Her mother, Nellie May (Wall) Steenburgen, was a school-board secretary, and her father, Maurice H. Steenburgen, was a freight-train conductor. Her surname comes from distant Dutch ancestry, and her roots also include English, Scottish, and Welsh.

Young Steenburgen was fond of arts and literature. Mary grew up tap-dancing her way through talent shows and school functions. She was active in her school drama class. After appearing in a number of high school plays, she enrolled at Hendrix College, a highly progressive Southern School located in Conway, Arkansas. Upon the recommendation of her drama professor, she left college in 1972 and moved to New York to study acting professionally. In the past several years, Mary Steenburgen has emerged as one of the most accomplished and sought-after screen actresses. Ever since Jack Nicholson 'discovered' her and cast her as a sassy adventuress in his rollicking western, Goin' South (1978), her career has skyrocketed and she has won acclaim for exceptional performances in each of her diverse film roles. In Nicholas Meyer's Time After Time (1979), Steenburgen was afforded critical praise for her portrayal of a somewhat dippy but liberated young bank clerk in San Francisco who crosses paths, via time machine, with English author H.G. Wells (played by Malcolm McDowell, who later became her husband. In 1980 she shot to fame with her role as Lynda Dummar in Melvin and Howard (1980) for which she won Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. More recently, Steenburgen again impressed audiences and critics alike with her stunning performance as the strong-willed turn-of-the-century Mother in Ragtime (1981).

Steenburgen is a notable patron of arts. She is also an active supporter of humanitarian causes. She has two children from her previous marriage to actor Malcolm McDowell. Since 1995 she has been married to actor Ted Danson, and the couple is living in Los Angeles area.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Steve Shelokhonov

Spouse (2)

Ted Danson (7 October 1995 - present)
Malcolm McDowell (29 September 1980 - 1 October 1990) ( divorced) ( 2 children)

Trade Mark (1)

High-pitched voice with southern accent

Trivia (26)

A notable patron of the arts who has set up exhibits in the past; her husband, actor Ted Danson, sculpts as a sideline.
Returned to old high school in North Little Rock, Arkansas in April 2002, to teach drama workshops to students, fulfilling promise made to parents of teenager Thea Leopoulos, who was killed in a traffic accident in 2001.
Referred to multiple times on Stargate SG-1 (1997) as the heartthrob of Colonel Jack O'Neill, played by Richard Dean Anderson.
In both Time After Time (1979) and Back to the Future Part III (1990), she played the love interest of a time traveller who later became one herself. In the former, she was from the time traveller's future and in the latter, she was from his past.
Shares a birthday with Mötley Crüe singer Vince Neil, her The Trumpet of the Swan (2001) co-star Seth Green, James Dean and Ethan Phillips.
She played Jason Ritter's mother in Joan of Arcadia (2003). Her husband Ted Danson played Ritter's father in Mumford (1999).
She appeared with Christopher Lloyd in three different films: Goin' South (1978), Back to the Future Part III (1990) and Wish You Were Dead (2001).
She was the third of four consecutive winners of the Best Supporting Actress Oscar to have the initials "M.S.". The others are: Maggie Smith for California Suite (1978), Meryl Streep for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), and Maureen Stapleton for Reds (1981).
President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton attended Steenburgen's 1995 wedding to Ted Danson. Steenburgen had personally known Clinton since he was governor of Arkansas when she resided in Little Rock. The President celebrated his 51st birthday at the Martha's Vineyard home of the couple.
Discovered by Jack Nicholson in the reception room of Paramount's New York office. Nicholson cast her as his leading lady in Goin' South (1978), Steenburgen's feature debut.
When she lived in a Manhattan apartment, her next door neighbor was Steve Martin.
She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7021 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on December 16, 2009.
Stepmother of Kate Danson and Alexis Danson.
Has Dutch, English, Scottish and Welsh ancestry. Her surname is Dutch.
Her mother, Nellie May Wall Steenburgen, died on January 26, 2010 at age 86.
Mother, with ex-husband Malcolm McDowell, of daughter Lilly McDowell (Lilly Amanda McDowell; b. January 22, 1981) and son Charlie McDowell (Charles Malcolm McDowell; b. July 10, 1983).
Has one granddaughter, Clementine Mae Walton (b. January 2012), through her daughter Lilly McDowell.
Was the 84th actress to receive an Academy Award; she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Melvin and Howard (1980) at The 53rd Annual Academy Awards (1981) on March 31, 1981.
Parents are Maurice H. Steenburgen (1914-1989) and Nellie May Wall Steenburgen (1923-2010).
Was in the film End of the Line (1987) in which she played the wife of a railroad worker. The film used Union Pacific tracks in Arkansas, which were formerly the tracks of the Missouri Pacific Railroad. Mary's father was a freight train conductor on the Missouri Pacific Railroad in Arkansas.
Is one of 6 actresses to have won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for playing a character who is pregnant at some point during the film, hers being for Melvin and Howard (1980). The others are Mary Astor for The Great Lie (1941), Kim Hunter for A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), Brenda Fricker for My Left Foot (1989), Rachel Weisz for The Constant Gardener (2005), and Jennifer Hudson for Dreamgirls (2006).
She and William H. Macy are sixth cousins, once removed; revealed in the PBS series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2012).
Was pregnant with her daughter Lilly McDowell when she completed filming on Ragtime (1981).
Returned to work five months after giving birth to her daughter Lilly McDowell to begin filming A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy (1982).
Studied with Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City.

Personal Quotes (12)

And, oh my God, I loved doing What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993). Who wouldn't love kissing Johnny Depp all day?
I know this is kind of corny, but we thought about renewing our vows again because I think my mom would really love it if we did that in Arkansas, where I came from.
It's usually, my people speak to your people and then they speak around each other and trade calls for weeks.
I think that we need to look hard at our beliefs and be responsible about how we speak out.
I helped found Artists for New South Africa, but it used to be called Artists for Free South Africa. Alfre Woodard and a bunch of us started this.
Anything to do with the South resonates with me, because I'm Southern.
There's a certain arrogance to an actor who will look at a script and feel like, because the words are simple, maybe they can paraphrase it and make it better.
It was a few days later I came out to Hollywood for a screen test, and so did a lot of other people. So I really didn't think I would get it. I was definitely the one that was least likely to get it, because everyone else was an already established star.
I'd already made the decision before I'd even read it-just because it was John Sayles. Then when I read it, the themes were actually themes that have been a big part of my life.
I was this person with this weird last name from New York that no one had ever heard of. But my screen test I guess, according to him, was the best. So I got the part, which was incredible.
I take the fact that films cost a lot of money very seriously, but once in a while to have somebody say, This is a big scene, take your time with it, is important. That's John Sayles.
There's just such a premium on hurrying, and the camera is the be all and end all, and the actors had better hurry up and get it right and get it done.

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