DIANNE WIEST Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Dianne Wiest.                                                                   
Born: 28 March 1948 Kansas City, Missouri                                             
Dianne Wiest (born March 28, 1948) is a double Academy Award-winning, Golden           
Globe Award-winning, Emmy Award-winning and BAFTA-nominated American actress.         
She has enjoyed a successful career on stage, television, and film.                   
Wiest was born in Kansas City, Missouri, to a father who was a college dean and       
former psychiatric social worker for the U.S. Army, and a mother who worked as a       
nurse. She had two brothers: Greg and Don Wiest. Wiest's original ambition             
was to be a ballerina, but in late high school she switched her goal to theatre.       
She made her film debut in 1980 in It's My Turn, but did not establish                 
herself as a film actress until her association with Woody Allen during the 1980s.     
Wiest studied theatre at the University of Maryland, leaving after her third           
term in order to tour with a Shakespearean troupe, eventually appearing in a           
supporting role in the New York Shakespeare Festival production Ashes. She             
appeared at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, CT, playing the title role in         
Hedda Gabler, and understudied off-Broadway in Kurt Vonnegut's Happy Birthday,         
Wanda June at the Lucille Lortel Theatre. She made her Broadway debut in Robert       
Anderson's Solitaire/Double Solitaire, taking over in the role of the daughter         
in 1971. She landed a four-year job as a member of the Arena Stage in                 
Washington, D.C., appearing in many plays including a memorable Emily in "Our         
Town," Honey in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf," and leading roles in "The           
Dybbuk," "The Lower Depths," and "Heartbreak House." She also toured the USSR         
with the Arena Stage Company.                                                         
In 1976, Wiest went to the Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference and         
played leading roles in Amlin Gray's Pirates and Christopher Durang's A History       
of the American Film. At Joe Papp's Public Theatre she took over the lead in           
Ashes, and played Cassandra in Agamemnon, directed by Andrei ┼×erban. She             
appeared in two plays by Tina Howe, Museum and the The Art of Dining. In the           
latter, Wiest's role as the shy and awkward authoress Elizabeth Barrow Colt won       
every off-Broadway theatre award for her performance: an Obie Award, a Theatre         
World Award, and the Clarence Derwent Award, given yearly for the most promising       
performance in New York theatre. In early 1980, she appeared on Broadway in           
Frankenstein, directed by Tom Moore, portrayed Desdemona in Othello opposite           
James Earl Jones and Christopher Plummer, and co-starred with John Lithgow in         
Christopher Durang's romantic screwball comedy Beyond Therapy, directed by John       
Madden. (A few years later she played opposite Lithgow again in the Herbert Ross       
film Footloose). Also in the 80s she was acclaimed for her performances in Hedda       
Gabler, directed by Lloyd Richards at Yale Repertory Theatre, and in Harold           
Pinter's A Kind of Alaska, Janusz Glowacki's Hunting Cockroaches, and Lanford         
Wilson's Serenading Louie.