ANNETTE BENING Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Annette Carol Bening                                                             
Born: 29 May 1958 Topeka, Kansas, U.S.                                                 
Annette Carol Bening (born May 29, 1958) is a Golden Globe-, BAFTA- and Screen         
Actors Guild Award-winning American actress.                                           
Bening was born in Topeka, Kansas, the daughter of Shirley and Grant Bening, an         
insurance salesman. Her sister and two brothers are Jane Bening (born 1953),           
Bradley Bening (born 1955) and Byron Bening (born 1957). The family moved to           
Wichita, Kansas, in 1959, where she spent her early childhood. In 1965, her             
father took a job with a company in San Diego, California, and they moved there.       
She began acting in junior high school, playing the lead in The Sound of Music.         
She studied drama at Patrick Henry High School.                                         
She then spent a year working as a cook on a charter boat taking fishing parties       
out on the Pacific Ocean, and scuba diving for recreation. She attended San             
Diego Mesa College, then completed an academic degree in theatre arts at San           
Francisco State University. Bening joined the acting company at the American           
Conservatory Theater in San Francisco while studying acting as part of the             
Advanced Theatre Training Program. During this time she established herself as a       
formidable acting talent in roles like Shakespeare's Lady Macbeth.                     
Bening moved to New York City, where she debuted off-Broadway at Second Stage           
Theatre (McGinn-Cazale Theatre) in the role of 'Holly Dancer' in Tina Howe's           
widely acclaimed Coastal Disturbances (1987) opposite Tim Daly. However, despite       
the praise and recognition, it took some time for that success to translate to         
her film career. Her television debut was with the made-for-TV movie Manhunt for       
Claude Dallas (1986). Her first major role in a theatrical feature was in The           
Great Outdoors (1988) playing 'Kate Craig' opposite Dan Aykroyd and John Candy.         
Her next role was as the Marquise de Merteuil in Valmont (1989) opposite Colin         
Bening's next major feature, Stephen Frears's The Grifters (1990) starring             
Anjelica Huston and John Cusack, met with critical acclaim. She received an             
Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for The Grifters. She             
followed that with her appearance in Bugsy. Bening was offered the role as             
Catwoman in Batman Returns (1992), but after she became pregnant, the role went         
to Michelle Pfeiffer. Bening was paid $3 million to play the role of 'Elise             
Kraft/Sharon Bridger' in The Siege (1998) co-starring Denzel Washington and             
Bruce Willis. Her next role, in the 1999 film American Beauty, would give her           
the highest-profile role of her career thus far. Bening played a real-estate           
agent in three different movies: Regarding Henry, American Beauty, and What             
Planet Are You From?. She has appeared in three different Mike Nichols' movies:         
Postcards From The Edge, Regarding Henry, and What Planet Are You From?                 
She was originally cast as the mother in Disney's Freaky Friday, but dropped out.       
She replaced Julianne Moore in her most recent appearance, Running with Scissors,       
playing Deirdre Burroughs in the film adaptation of the Augusten Burroughs book.       
On December 9, 2006, Bening hosted Saturday Night Live with musical guests Gwen         
Stefani and Akon.                                                                       
Bening is a council member for the California Arts Council.