CATHERINE KEENER Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Catherine Ann Keener                                                             
Born: 23 March 1959 Miami, Florida, U.S.                                               
Catherine Ann Keener (born March 23, 1959) is a two time Academy Award-nominated       
American actress.                                                                     
Keener, the third of five children, was born in Miami, Florida, the daughter of       
Evelyn and Jim Keener, a manager of an automotive store. She is of Irish               
descent on her father's side and of Lebanese descent on her mother's. Keener           
attended Immaculate Conception Catholic School in Hialeah, Florida. Although she       
didn’t get into trouble growing up, by the time she reached high school at           
Monsignor Edward Pace High School, Keener began rebelliously acting out. She was       
eventually expelled from the 11th grade, although she later returned to school,       
and kept her grades up enough to be accepted into college.                             
She attended Wheaton College, in Norton, Massachusetts where she lived with an         
aunt in order to save on room and board, feeling out of place among her more           
privileged peers. Keener majored in English and history, enrolling in a theater       
course only when she was unable to get into a photography class. After                 
graduating in 1983 Keener moved to New York, where she interned as an assistant       
to casting agent Gail Eisenstadt. When Eisenstadt relocated to Los Angeles             
shortly afterward, Keener followed, although she was still relatively                 
unambitious. But when Eisenstadt had a heart-to-heart with her about her future,       
she admitted that she wanted to try acting - an unusual transition from the           
casting industry. Eisenstadt pulled some strings and Keener began landing small       
acting parts.                                                                         
Keener officially broke into films with one line in About Last Night (1986).           
Although she struggled professionally over the next few years one low-quality         
project had an unexpected dividend. Keener met her future husband, actor Dermot       
Mulroney in 1987 while working on Survival Quest (1989), after Mulroney became         
stuck while attempting to scale a cliff.                                               
She also guest-starred as an artist on an episode of Seinfeld called "The Letter".     
She played Jerry's girlfriend, an artist who painted the infamous portrait of         
Kramer. Keener then earned her first starring role in Johnny Suede with the then       
unknown, Brad Pitt. Her performance gained critical acclaim and earned her her         
first Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Female Lead. She went on to         
work with director Tom Dicillo, again, in Living in Oblivion (1995). Two years         
later she was once again nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for her             
performance in Walking and Talking, an independent cult-comedy film. Critics           
fell in love with Keener's naturalness onscreen.                                       
In 2000 Keener earned her first Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for       
her role in Being John Malkovich. In 2001, she again worked with director Nicole       
Holofcener in Lovely and Amazing garnering her a third Independent Spirit Award       
nomination. In 2002, she co-starred with Edward Norton in the off-Broadway             
revival of Burn This and the films Full Frontal, and Simone, all of which were         
box office disappointments at the time, but which since have gained a following.       
In 2005, she made a huge comeback starring in the 2005 political thriller The         
Interpreter, The Ballad of Jack and Rose, opposite Daniel Day-Lewis, and was           
cast the love interest of the main character in The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Keener's       
performance as writer Harper Lee in Capote (also 2005) earned her several awards       
and nominations, including her second Oscar nomination for Best Supporting             
Actress. In 2006, she starred in the film Friends with Money, directed by Nicole       
In 2007 she starred in the film An American Crime, the true story of Gertrude         
Baniszewski, a middle-aged mother who tortured and killed Sylvia Likens in her         
Indiana home. The movie is already creating a stir online with dedicated fans,         
and much Oscar buzz. Keener will play Baniszewski. Also in 2007, she played Jan       
Burres in Sean Penn's critically acclaimed film Into the Wild, based on Jon           
Krakauer's best-selling book of the same name.