SISSY SPACEK Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Mary Elizabeth Spacek                                                         
Born: 25 December 1949 Quitman, Texas                                               
Mary Elizabeth "Sissy" Spacek (born December 25, 1949) is an Academy Award-winning 
American actress and singer.                                                       
Spacek was born in Quitman, Texas, the daughter of Virginia Frances (nee Spilman)   
and Edwin Arnold Spacek, Sr., a county agricultural agent. Her paternal             
grandparents, Mary Cervenka and Arnold A. Spacek (who served as Mayor of Granger,   
Texas in Williamson County), were of Moravian/Czech/Bohemian descent. Spacek's     
mother was from the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Spacek was given the nickname       
Sissy by her older brothers. She was greatly affected by the death of her           
eighteen-year old brother, Robbie, in 1967. Spacek decided life was too short to   
waste in college and moved to New York City to pursue acting.                       
Spacek started out as a country singer, recording one single ("John, You Went       
Too Far This Time", about John Lennon, an expression of her shock over the Two     
Virgins cover) under the name "Rainbo." With the help of her cousin, actor Rip     
Torn, she was able to enroll in Lee Strasberg's Actors Studio and then the Lee     
Strasberg Institute in New York City. Her first credited role was in the 1972       
movie Prime Cut, in which she played a young woman sold into sexual slavery. The   
first role that brought her notice was the 1973 film Terrence Malick's Badlands,   
where she met art director Jack Fisk, whom she would later marry.                   
Her breakout role came in 1976 with Brian De Palma's Carrie, in which she played   
the title character, an unpopular and emotionally troubled teenager with           
telekinetic powers. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for   
her work in the film. She won the Oscar in 1980 for Coal Miner's Daughter, in       
which she played country music star Loretta Lynn.                                   
The handprints of Sissy Spacek in front of The Great Movie Ride at Walt Disney     
World's Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park.                                     
Spacek was also nominated for a Grammy Award for her singing on that film's         
soundtrack album. She followed this with her own country album in the 1980s.       
In 2001, she was nominated again for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her     
work in Todd Field's In the Bedroom. Her portrayal of a grieving mother, Ruth       
Fowler, won extraordinary praise and garnered the New York and Los Angeles Film     
Critics Awards for Best Actress.