Ellen Burstyn


Ellen Burstyn
Ellen Burstyn

Burstyn at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival première of Poliwood, May 1, 2009.
Born Edna Rae Gillooly
December 7, 1932 (1932-12-07) (age 78)
Detroit, Michigan, United States
Other names credited as Ellen McRae until 1970 in nearly all her film and television appearances[clarification needed]
Occupation Actress
Years active 1958–present
Spouse William Alexander (m. 1950–1957) «start: (1950)–end+1: (1958)»"Marriage: William Alexander to Ellen Burstyn" Location: (linkback://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellen_Burstyn)divorced
Paul Roberts (m. 1958–1962) «start: (1958)–end+1: (1963)»"Marriage: Paul Roberts to Ellen Burstyn" Location: (linkback://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellen_Burstyn)divorced
Neil Burstyn (m. 1964–1972) «start: (1964)–end+1: (1973)»"Marriage: Neil Burstyn to Ellen Burstyn" Location: (linkback://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellen_Burstyn)divorced
Website
ellenburstyn.net

Ellen Burstyn (born December 7, 1932) is a leading American actress of film, stage, and television. Burstyn's career began in theatre during the late 1950s, and over the next ten years she appeared in several films and television series before joining the Actors Studio in 1967. Her performance in the 1971 ensemble drama The Last Picture Show earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress nomination and consideration for major film roles. Burstyn received a second Academy Award nomination for her lead performance in The Exorcist (1973), and won the Academy Award for Best Actress the following year for her work in Martin Scorsese's Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974). In 1975, she won a Tony Award for her work in the Broadway production of Same Time, Next Year, and received a Golden Globe Award and a fourth Academy Award nomination for her performance in the 1978 film version. Burstyn has worked consistently in film, television and theatre since, receiving multiple awards and nominations along the way, including an Emmy Award and two more Academy Award nominations for her performances in the films Resurrection (1980) and Requiem for a Dream (2000).

Contents

Early life

Burstyn was born Edna Rae Gillooly in Detroit, Michigan, the daughter of Correine Marie (née Hamel) and John Austin Gillooly, who was a building contractor.[1] She has described her ancestry as "Irish, French, Pennsylvania Dutch, a little Canadian Indian".[2][3] She was raised Catholic but is now known to practice Sufism.[4][5] Her parents divorced when she was young. She would later refer to her mother as tough, violent and controlling.[citation needed] She left Detroit's Cass Technical High School without graduating and also left home on December 7, 1950, the day she turned 18 years old.[citation needed]

Career

Burstyn debuted on Broadway in 1957 and joined Lee Strasberg's The Actors Studio in New York City, New York, in 1967. In 1975, she won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play for her performance in the comedy Same Time, Next Year (a role she would reprise in the film version in 1978).[citation needed] Until 1970, she was credited as Ellen McRae in nearly all her film and television appearances.[clarification needed]

Burstyn received Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress in 1971 for her role in the drama film The Last Picture Show and for Best Actress in 1973 for the horror film The Exorcist. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1974 for her performance in the drama Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, directed by Martin Scorsese. She also received Best Actress nominations in 1978 for Same Time, Next Year, in 1980 for the fantasy-drama Resurrection, and for the drama Requiem for a Dream in 2000.

Burstyn at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival, September 2007

In the early to mid 1960s, Burstyn played Dr. Kate Bartok on the NBC television soap opera The Doctors. She worked on several primetime television shows of the 1960s, including guest appearances on Perry Mason, The Virginian, Maverick, Wagon Train, 77 Sunset Strip, The Big Valley and Gunsmoke. She hosted NBC's Saturday Night Live, a late-night sketch comedy and variety show, in 1980.[citation needed]

In 1977, she was a member of the jury at the 27th Berlin International Film Festival[6] and in 1988, she was a member of the jury for the 38th Berlin International Film Festival.[7]

In 1986, she had her own ABC television situation comedy, The Ellen Burstyn Show costarring Megan Mullally as her daughter and Elaine Stritch as her mother; it was canceled after one season.[citation needed] From 2000 to 2002, Burstyn appeared in the CBS television drama That's Life. In 2006, she starred as an Episcopalian bishop in the controversial[citation needed] NBC comedy-drama series The Book of Daniel; although eight episodes were taped, it was canceled after four episodes.[citation needed]

In 2006, Burstyn appeared in the drama-romance film The Fountain, directed by Darren Aronofsky, with whom she worked in Requiem for a Dream. Since 2007, she has had an occasional recurring role on the HBO television drama series Big Love, playing the mother of polygamist wife Barbara Henrickson.

She provided a supporting role as the mother of two sons in the drama-romance film The Elephant King. The film originally premièred at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival but did not open in U.S. theaters until October 2008.[citation needed]

Burstyn starred in the Broadway production of Martin Tahse's Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All, based upon the novel of the same title by Allan Gurganus. The show opened and closed on November 17, 2003.[citation needed] Burstyn returned to the stage from March 18 – May 4, 2008, in an Off-Broadway production of Stephen Adly Guirgis's[clarification needed] The Little Flower of East Orange, directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman in a co-production by LAByrinth Theater Company and The Public Theater; Burstyn played the role of Marie Therese.[clarification needed]

In addition to her stage work, Burstyn portrayed former First Lady Barbara Bush in director Oliver Stone's biographical film W in 2008.

In 2009, she won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her portrayal of the bipolar estranged mother of Detective Elliot Stabler on NBC's police procedural Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.[citation needed]

In 1990, she won the Sarah Siddons Award for her work in Chicago theatre.[citation needed]

Emmy Awards and controversy

Burstyn was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Actress in a Miniseries or Movie, for her role as Jean Harris in the biographical television film The People vs. Jean Harris (1981) and again for another television drama film, Pack of Lies (1987), an adaptation of the 1983 play.[citation needed]

In 2006, she was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for a role credited as "Former Tarnower Steady" in HBO's biographical television film Mrs. Harris. (She had played Jean Harris in The People vs. Jean Harris).[citation needed]

Soon after the nominations were announced, an outcry ensued from the press and the public regarding the worthiness of the nomination due to her minor role in the film, consisting of 14 seconds of screen time and 38 words of dialogue. One explanation for the nomination was that people were honoring Burstyn for her nominated but non-winning performance from the first Harris television film. A more popular accusation was that the nominating committee was either confused in their recollection, or merely "threw in" her name from sheer recognition, assuming a worthy performance without actually seeing it.[8]

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the administrator of the Primetime Emmy Awards, initially insisted that "based on the popular vote, this is a legitimate nomination". Meanwhile, HBO deflected the blame for submitting the nomination to the movie-production company. Burstyn's own reaction ranged from initial silence to comments such as, "I thought it was fabulous. My next ambition is to get nominated for seven seconds, and ultimately I want to be nominated for a picture in which I don't even appear," and "This doesn't have anything to do with me. I don't even want to know about this. You people work it out yourself."[9]

Ultimately, Kelly Macdonald, who starred in The Girl in the Cafe, won the award.[10] In March 2007, the Academy officially announced that eligibility for a Primetime Emmy Award in any long-form supporting-actor category required nominees to appear on-screen in at least five percent of the project.[11]

Many critics still cite this incident to criticize the Emmy Award nomination process, claiming that name recognition has played an increasingly visible role over the years.[11]

Other activities

During the 1970s, Burstyn was active in the movement to free convicted boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter from jail.[12]

In 1981, Burstyn recorded "The Ballad of the Nazi Soldier's Wife" (Kurt Weill's musical setting of Bertolt Brecht's text "Und was bekam des Soldaten Weib?")[clarification needed] for Ben Bagley's album Kurt Weill Revisited, Vol. 2.

Burstyn served as president of the Actors' Equity Association from 1982 to 1985.[citation needed]

In 1997, Burstyn was inducted into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame.[citation needed] In 2000, she was named co-president of The Actors Studio, alongside Al Pacino and Harvey Keitel.[citation needed]

Personal life

In 1950, she married Bill Alexander, but they were divorced in 1957. The following year, she married Paul Roberts, with whom she adopted a boy named Jefferson in 1962; the couple was divorced the same year.[13]

In 1964, she married fellow actor Neil Burstyn, but the union was turbulent. Neil Burstyn was schizophrenic; he would have episodes of violence, and eventually left her. He attempted to come back to her, but she rejected him, ultimately divorcing him in 1972. In her autobiography, Lessons in Becoming Myself, Burstyn revealed that he stalked her over a period of six years after she divorced him. He eventually broke into her house and raped her, but no charges were filed, as spousal rape was not yet legally a crime.[14] He committed suicide in 1978, upon which his parents sent Burstyn a telegram stating "Congratulations, you've won another Oscar; Neil killed himself".[15]

Burstyn affiliates herself to all religious faiths as she explains: "I am a spirit opening to the truth that lives in all of these religions”.[16]

Filmography

Film and television
Year Title Role Notes
1963 Greatest Show on Earth, TheThe Greatest Show on Earth Television series
1964 Goodbye Charlie Franzie Salzman
1964 For Those Who Think Young Dr. Pauline Thayer
1969 Virginian, TheThe Virginian Kate Burden (as Ellen MacRae) Television series, season 7, episode 16: "Last Grave at Socorro Creek"
1969 Winner, TheThe Winner Ellen McLeod
1970 Alex in Wonderland Beth Morrison
1970 Tropic of Cancer Mona Miller
1971 Last Picture Show, TheThe Last Picture Show Lois Farrow National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
1972 King of Marvin Gardens, TheThe King of Marvin Gardens Sally
1973 Exorcist, TheThe Exorcist Chris MacNeil Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
1974 Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore Alice Hyatt Academy Award for Best Actress
BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
1974 Harry and Tonto Shirley Mallard
1974 Thursday's Game Lynne Evers television film
1977 Providence Sonia Langham
1978 Dream of Passion, AA Dream of Passion Brenda
1978 Same Time, Next Year Doris Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated — American Movie Award for Best Actress
1980 Resurrection Edna Mae McCauley Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Actress
1981 Silence of the North Olive Frederickson Nominated — Genie Award for Best Performance by a Foreign Actress
1981 People vs. Jean Harris, TheThe People vs. Jean Harris Jean Harris Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
1984 Ambassador, TheThe Ambassador Alex Hacker
1984 Terror in the Aisles archival footage
1985 Into Thin Air Joan Walker Television film
1985 Twice in a Lifetime Kate MacKenzie
1985 Surviving: A Family in Crisis Tina Brogan Television film
1986 Ellen Burstyn Show, TheThe Ellen Burstyn Show Ellen Brewer Television series
1986 Act of Vengeance Margaret Yablonski Television film
1986 Something in Common Lynn Hollander Television film
1987 Look Away Mary Todd Lincoln television film
1987 Pack of Lies Barbara Jackson Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
1988 Hanna's War Katalin
1990 When You Remember Me Nurse Cooder television film
1991 Grand Isle Mademoiselle Reisz
1991 Dying Young Mrs. O'Neil
1991 Mrs. Lambert Remembers Love Lillian "Lil" Lambert television film
1992 Taking Back My Life: The Nancy Ziegenmeyer Story Wilma Television film
1993 Shattered Trust: The Shari Karney Story Joan Delvecchio Television film
1993 Cemetery Club, TheThe Cemetery Club Esther Moskowitz
1994 Trick of the Eye Frances Griffin Television film
1994 Getting Gotti Jo Giaclone Television film
1994 When a Man Loves a Woman Emily
1994 Getting Out Arlie's Mother Television film
1994 Color of Evening, TheThe Color of Evening Kate O'Reilly
1995 How to Make an American Quilt Hy Dodd Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
1995 Baby-Sitters Club, TheThe Baby-Sitters Club Emily Haberman
1995 Follow the River Gretel Television film
1995 My Brother's Keeper Helen Television film
1995 Roommates Judith
1996 Timepiece Maud Gannon television film
1996 Our Son, the Matchmaker television film
1996 Spitfire Grill, TheThe Spitfire Grill Hannah Ferguson
1997 Flash Laura Strong Television film
1997 Deceiver Mook
1997 Deadly Vision, AA Deadly Vision Yvette Watson Television film
1998 Playing by Heart Mildred
1998 Patron Saint of Liars, TheThe Patron Saint of Liars June Clatterbuck Television film
1998 You Can Thank Me Later Shirley Cooperberg
1999 Walking Across Egypt Mattie Rigsbee
1999 Night Ride Home Maggie Television film
2000 Mermaid Trish Gill Television film
Nominated— Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in a Children's Special
2000 Requiem for a Dream Sara Goldfarb Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
Independent Spirit Award for Best Lead Female
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress
Satellite Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Stockholm International Film Festival Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Chlotrudis Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
2000 Yards, TheThe Yards Val Handler
2001 Within These Walls Joan Thomas Television film
2001 Dodson's Journey Mother
2002 Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood Viviane Joan 'Vivi' Abbott Walker
2002 Red Dragon Grandma Dolarhyde (voice only)
2003 Brush with Fate Rika Television film
2004 Five People You Meet in Heaven, TheThe Five People You Meet in Heaven Ruby Television film
2004 Madam's Family: The Truth About the Canal Street Brothel, TheThe Madam's Family: The Truth About the Canal Street Brothel Tommie Television film
2005 Mrs. Harris Ex-lover #3 Television film
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
2005 Down in the Valley Ma
2005 Our Fathers Mary Ryan television film
2006 Fountain, TheThe Fountain Dr. Lilian Guzetti
2006 Wicker Man, TheThe Wicker Man Sister Summersisle
2006 Elephant King, TheThe Elephant King Diana Hunt
2006 30 Days Maura
2007 Stone Angel, TheThe Stone Angel Hagar Shipley Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
2007 For One More DayFor One More Day Pauline Benetto Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
2007–11 Big Love Nancy Davis Dutton Television series
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress – Drama Series
2008 Lovely, Still Mary
2008 Loss of a Teardrop Diamond, TheThe Loss of a Teardrop Diamond Miss Adie
2008 W. Barbara Bush
2008 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Bernie Stabler Television series, episode: "Swing"
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress – Drama Series
Nominated — Prism Award for Performance in a Drama Episode
2009 Velveteen Rabbit, TheThe Velveteen Rabbit Swan voice
2009 According to Greta Katherine
2009 PoliWood Herself Documentary
2010 Mighty Macs, TheThe Mighty Macs Mother St. John
2010 Main Street Georgiana Carr
2011 Another Happy Day Doris
2011 Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You Nanette filming

Bibliography

References

  1. ^[verification needed]Staff writer (undated)."Ellen Burstyn Biography (1932–)". filmreference.com. Accessed December 20, 2009.
  2. ^ Clark, John (October 19, 2009).Movies; Independent Minded; Academy Award Winner Ellen Burstyn, "A 'Tough Cookie,' Is Back with Two Gritty Films and a TV Show"(Abstract; (subscription required) for full article). Los Angeles Times (via ProQuest Archiver). Accessed December 20, 2009.
  3. ^ Staff writer (February 17, 1975). "Show Business: Gillooly Doesn't Live Here Anymore". Time. Accessed December 20, 2009.
  4. ^ Staff writer (November 20, 2006). "Ellen Burstyn: U.S. Acting 'Needs Some Help'". Reuters (via Newsmax Media). Accessed December 20, 2009.
  5. ^ Reiss, Valerie (Undated; circa 2006). "Ellen Burstyn's True Face — The Oscar-Winning Actress Talks about Embracing Her Essence, a Love of Sufi Poetry, and Her Scorchingly Honest New Memoir". Beliefnet. Accessed December 20, 2009.
  6. ^ "Berlinale 1977: Juries". berlinale.de. http://www.berlinale.de/en/archiv/jahresarchive/1977/04_jury_1977/04_Jury_1977.html. Retrieved 2010-07-19. 
  7. ^ "Berlinale: 1988 Juries". berlinale.de. http://www.berlinale.de/en/archiv/jahresarchive/1988/04_jury_1988/04_Jury_1988.html. Retrieved 2011-03-04. 
  8. ^ Robert Bianco (August 27, 2006). "Emmys need a fast fix". The Associated Press (via USA Today). http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/televisionawards/emmys/2006-08-24-emmy-main_x.htm. Retrieved March 13, 2011. 
  9. ^ Staff writer (November 3, 2006). "Ellen Burstyn Sounds Off on Her Emmy Nod". The Associated Press (via USA Today). http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/news/2006-11-03-burstyn_x.htm. Retrieved December 20, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Scots star wins Emmy for TV role". bbc. August 28, 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/5292128.stm. Retrieved 2011-03-14. 
  11. ^ a b Lisa de Moraes (March 17, 2007). "Emmy Rules Change After Burstyn Nomination Flap". The Washington Post). http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/16/AR2007031602142.html. Retrieved March 13, 2011. 
  12. ^ "N.J. Won't Seek a Retrial of Hurricane Carter". Los Angeles Times. February 20, 1988. http://articles.latimes.com/1988-02-20/news/mn-11377_1_carter-hurricane-seeking/16/AR2007031602142.html. Retrieved 2011-03-14. 
  13. ^ Staff writer (undated). "Timeline — A Chronology of Key Events from Lessons in Becoming Myself". ellenburstyn.net (Burstyn's official website). Accessed December 20, 2009.
  14. ^ Staff Writer. "Burstyn Feared Death as Abusive Husband Stalked Her" contactmusic.com. December 1, 2006.
  15. ^ Staff writer (December 1, 2006).Ellen Burstyn — Burstyn Feared Death as Abusive Husband Stalked Her". contactmusic.com. Accessed December 20, 2009.
  16. ^ "Ellen Burstyn's True Face Belief.net. Retrieved on 2009-12-27.

External links

Preceded by
Paul Newman
President of the Actors Studio
1994-Present
With: Al Pacino
and Harvey Keitel
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
Lee Strasberg (1982)
Carlin Glynn (2007)
Lee Grant (2007)
Artistic Director of the Actors Studio
1982-1988
2007-Present
With: Al Pacino (1982)
Succeeded by
Frank Corsaro (1988)
Incumbent

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