FRANCES MCDORMAND Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Frances Louise McDormand                                                         
Born: 23 June 1957 Chicago, Illinois, United States                                     
Frances Louise McDormand (born June 23, 1957) is an Academy Award-winning               
American film, stage, and television actress.                                           
McDormand was born in Chicago, Illinois, the daughter of Canadian parents Noreen,       
a now retired registered nurse and receptionist, and Vernon McDormand, a               
Disciples of Christ pastor. McDormand was adopted, and her biological mother may       
have been one of the parishioners at her father's church. McDormand has a               
sister, Dorothy A. McDormand, who is an ordained Disciples of Christ minister           
and chaplain, as well as two other siblings, all of whom were adopted by the           
McDormands, who had no biological children. As her father specialized in               
restoring failing Disciples congregations, her family moved frequently, and             
McDormand lived in several small Bible Belt towns in Illinois, Georgia, Kentucky       
and Tennessee, before settling in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area town of             
Monessen, where she graduated from high school in 1975. She attended Bethany           
College in Bethany, West Virginia, and earned a B.A. in Theater in 1979.               
In 1982, McDormand earned an M.F.A. from the Yale University School of Drama.           
She was roommates with Holly Hunter at the time. Her first professional acting         
job was in Trinidad and Tobago, performing in a play written by poet Derek             
Walcott and funded by the MacArthur Foundation.                                         
McDormand's film debut was in Joel and Ethan Coen's first film, 1985's Blood           
Simple. In 1985, McDormand, the Coen brothers, Holly Hunter, and director Sam           
Raimi shared a house in the Bronx.                                                     
In addition to her early film roles, McDormand played "Connie Chapman" in the           
fifth season of the television police drama Hill Street Blues. In 1988, she             
played Stella Kowalski in a stage production of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar         
Named Desire, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award. Frances McDormand is       
an associate member of the experimental theater company The Wooster Group.             
McDormand as "Marge Gunderson" in Fargo (1996)                                         
McDormand appeared in several theatrical and television roles during the 1980s,         
1990s and 2000s. She has gained renown and critical acclaim for her dramatic           
work, and is a respected actress, having been nominated for Academy Awards four         
times. In 1988, she was nominated for a Best Actress in a Supporting Role for           
Mississippi Burning; in 1996, she won the Academy award for Best Actress for her       
performance as police chief Marge Gunderson in Fargo; in 2000, she earned her           
second nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her portrayal of a         
concerned mother in Almost Famous. Also for Almost Famous, she won the Best             
Supporting Actress nod from the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the Chicago         
Film Critics Association, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, San Diego Film         
Critics Society, Southeastern Film Critics Association, and the Florida Film           
Critics Circle. For her role in Wonder Boys (2000), she won Best Supporting             
Actress from the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the Florida Film Critics           
Circle, and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.                                   
In 2006, McDormand received her third Best Supporting Actress nod for her               
performance in 2005's North Country, although she lost to Rachel Weisz. She also       
had a role in the film Friends with Money, a dark comedy co-starring Jennifer           
Aniston, Catherine Keener and Joan Cusack, and directed by Nicole Holofcener.           
She recently received an Independent Spirit Award for her role in Friends with         
Money. She also voiced the role of the lady principal Melanie Upfoot in the             
Simpsons episode Girls Just Want to Have Sums, which aired on April 30, 2006.