BLYTHE DANNER Biography - Actors and Actresses


Biography » actors and actresses » blythe danner


Name: Blythe Katharine Danner                                                                 
Born: 3 February 1943 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.                                         
Blythe Katharine Danner (born February 3, 1943) is an Emmy- and Tony Award-winning             
American actress. She is the mother of actress Gwyneth Paltrow.                               
Danner was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Katharine and                   
Harry Earl Danner, a bank executive. She has two brothers: opera singer/actor                 
Harry Danner and violin maker William Moennig (half-brother). Danner, of part                 
Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry, attended George School, a private Quaker secondary               
school in Newtown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and Bard College, where she                     
graduated in 1965.                                                                             
Danner first appeared on stage with the Theater Company of Boston and the                     
Trinity Square Repertory Company (now Trinity Repertory Company) in Providence,               
Rhode Island. She first gained national attention at age 25 by winning the                     
Theatre World Award for her performance in the Lincoln Center Rep's production                 
of The Miser. In 1970, she appeared in her first film role, in a television                   
production of Dr. Cook's Garden. Danner was a close friend of actor Christopher               
Reeve and appeared with him in several plays.                                                 
With her WASPy appearance and husky voice, Danner has most frequently been cast               
as a middle class or upper class wife, or more lately, matriarch; although in                 
1986 in Brighton Beach Memoirs, she portrayed a middle-aged Jewish woman, and in               
the 1982 TV movie Inside the Third Reich, she played the wife of Albert Speer.                 
Her earliest starring film roles were opposite Alan Alda in To Kill a Clown (1972)             
and in the title role of Lovin' Molly (1974), directed by Sidney Lumet. She has               
appeared in two films based on the novels of Pat Conroy, The Great Santini (1979)             
and The Prince of Tides (1991), as well as two television movies adapted from                 
books by Anne Tyler, Saint Maybe and Back When We Were Grownups, both for the                 
Hallmark Hall of Fame.                                                                         
Danner is more recently known for her roles opposite Robert De Niro in the 2000               
comedy hit Meet the Parents and its 2004 sequel, Meet the Fockers (with Barbra                 
Streisand and Dustin Hoffman). From 2004 to 2006 she starred in the TV series                 
From 2001 to 2006, she regularly appeared on Will & Grace as Will's mother                     
Marilyn. In 2005, she was nominated for three Emmy Awards, for her work on Will               
& Grace, Huff and Back When We Were Grownups. Emmy host Ellen DeGeneres poked                 
fun at Blythe Danner during the award ceremony, saying that Danner should not be               
nervous because she was almost certain to win at least one Emmy. She did, for                 
Huff. In July 2006, she won a second consecutive Emmy award for Huff. For 25                   
years, she has been a regular performer at the Williamstown Summer Theater                     
Festival, where she also serves on the Board of Directors.                                     
In 2006, Danner was awarded an inaugural Katharine Hepburn Medal, alongside                   
fellow honoree Lauren Bacall, which recognizes "women whose lives, work and                   
contributions embody the intelligence, drive and independence of the four-time-Oscar-winning   
actress," by Bryn Mawr College's Katharine Houghton Hepburn Center.                           
In addition to her acting work, Blythe Danner has been involved in environmental               
issues such as recycling and conservation for over 30 years, having seen                       
firsthand the contrast between her rural youth and her later residence in Los                 
Angeles and New York. She has been active with INFORM Inc., is on the Board of                 
Environmental Activists and the Board of Directors of the Environmental Media                 
Association, and won the 2002 EMA Board of Directors Ongoing Commitment Award.                 
She was instrumental in implementing curbside recycling in Santa Monica and in                 
retaining the New York City recycling program despite threatened budget cuts in               
1991, has driven an electric car since the first General Motors EV1 was                       
available, and has installed solar panels at her house. In 2002 Danner, her                   
husband Bruce Paltrow, and her daughter Gwyneth Paltrow worked together on a                   
series of public service announcements encouraging use of alternative energy                   
sources and alternative fuel vehicles.                                                         
After the passing of her husband Bruce Paltrow to oral cancer, she became                     
involved with the Oral Cancer Foundation, a national 501(c)3 non profit                       
charity. In 2005 she filmed a public service announcement that played on TV                   
stations around the country about the risks associated with oral cancer, and                   
through that shared the personal pain associated with the loss of her husband                 
publicly to further awareness of the disease and the need for early detection.                 
She continues to donate her time to the foundation, and has appeared on morning               
talk shows, and has done interviews in high profile magazines such as People to               
further public awareness of the disease and its risk factors. Through The Bruce               
Paltrow Oral Cancer Fund, administered by the Oral Cancer Foundation, she                     
continues to raise awareness and funding for oral cancer issues, particularly                 
those involving communities in which disparities in health care exist.