ELIZABETH MCGOVERN Biography - Actors and Actresses


Biography » actors and actresses » elizabeth mcgovern


Name: Elizabeth McGovern                                                               
Born: 18 July 1961 Evanston, Illinois, United States                                   
Elizabeth McGovern (born July 18, 1961) is an American film and theater actress,       
who later became a singer songwriter. In 1992, she married English producer and       
director Simon Curtis, with whom she lives in Chiswick. London, together with         
their two daughters.                                                                   
McGovern was born in Evanston, Illinois, the daughter of Katharine Woolcot Watts,     
a high school teacher, and William Montgomery McGovern, a university professor.       
Her family moved to Los Angeles, where her father accepted a position with UCLA.       
McGovern started acting in plays in high school. Agent Joan Scott saw her             
performance in The Skin of Our Teeth by Thornton Wilder, was impressed by her         
talent, and recommended that she take acting lessons. McGovern followed her           
advice and studied, first at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco,       
and then at The Juilliard School in New York City.                                     
While studying at Juilliard, she was offered in 1980 a part in her first movie,       
Ordinary People, in which she played the girlfriend of troubled teenager Timothy       
Hutton. It was also Robert Redford's first film as director. The movie won four       
Oscars. The next year she earned an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting       
Actress for her portrayal of the early 20th century actress Evelyn Nesbit in the       
movie Ragtime.                                                                         
The following year she completed her education as an actress at the American           
Conservatory Theatre and at The Juilliard School, and began to act in theater         
plays, first off-Broadway and later in famous theaters.                               
Since then she has continued performing on stage between film assignments rather       
than concentrating on becoming a film star. As a movie actress, big-eyed and           
slightly baby-faced, McGovern gave preference to eccentric roles over those           
parts typically tailored for actresses of her age. In 1989 she played Mickey           
Rourke's sweet girlfriend in Johnny Handsome, directed by Walter Hill, and the         
same year she appeared as a rebellious lesbian in Volker Schlöndorff's thriller       
The Handmaid's Tale.                                                                   
Summing up her screen career in 1991, film critic David Quinlan wrote: "After a       
striking debut at 19, she has proved not quite forceful enough to become a big         
star. On the tall side, she has been described by one of her directors as 'talented,   
intelligent. committed and complex', atrributes that should keep her busy even         
if she's not set to become a box office power."                                       
Besides cinema and theater, she has also played in several television films, the       
most recent, a Law & Order segment Harm, where she played a Psychiatrist, Dr.         
She has listed her television work as including Broken Glass (Arthur Miller,           
1996); Tales from the Crypt; The Changeling; Tales from Hollywood; HBO Men and         
Women series; The Man in the Brooks Brothers Shirt; Faerie Tale Theatre - Snow         
White; and If Not For You (CBS 1995, own series).                                     
In May 2007, McGovern played Ellen Doubleday, Daphne du Maurier's lesbian lover,       
in Daphne, a BBC2 television drama by Amy Jenkins, based on Margaret Forster's         
biography of the author.                                                               
In the same year she appeared in a three-part BBC comedy series, the                   
metrocentric Freezing, written by James Wood and directed and co-produced by her       
husband Simon Curtis. First broadcast on BBC Four, it received a further three         
consecutive evening transmissions on BBC2 in February 2008. In it she played an       
American expat actress Elizabeth, living in Chiswick with her publisher husband,       
played by Hugh Bonneville and co-starring Tom Hollander as her theatrical agent.       
Music has now taken over as McGovern's ruling passion. In 2008 she became a           
singer songwriter, fronting the band Sadie and the Hotheads at The Castle pub         
venue in Balham. They also released an album of a selection of songs she has           
developed with The Nelson Brothers, musicians and producers, who are now part of       
the band; plus Ron Knights on bass and Rowan Oliver, borrowed from Goldfrapp, as       
drummer for the recording sessions.