Calista Flockhart

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Calista Flockhart
Calista Flockhart at the 2009 Deauville American Film Festival-01.jpg
Flockhart at the 2009 Deauville American Film Festival
Born (1964-11-11) November 11, 1964 (age 49)
Freeport, Illinois, U.S.
Alma mater Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University
Occupation Actress
Years active 1989–present
Spouse(s) Harrison Ford (m. 2010)
Children 1

Calista Kay Flockhart (born November 11, 1964) is an American actress, known for playing the title role in the Fox television comedy-drama series Ally McBeal and for playing Kitty Walker McCallister on the ABC drama, Brothers & Sisters. During her career she has received a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award and three Emmy Award nominations.

Early life[edit]

Calista Flockhart was born on November 11, 1964 in Freeport, Illinois, the daughter of Kay, an English teacher, and Ronald Flockhart, a Kraft Foods executive.[1] Her parents are retired and live in Morristown, Tennessee. She has one older brother, Gary. Her mother, Kay Calista, [2] reversed her own first and middle names[citation needed] in naming her Calista Kay. Calista also had a great-grandmother named Calista.

Because her father's job required the family to move often, Flockhart and her brother grew up in several places including Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Norwich, New York. As a child, she wrote a play called Toyland which she performed to a small audience at a dinner party.

Flockhart attended Shawnee High School in Medford Township, New Jersey. Following graduation in 1983, Flockhart attended the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. While there, she attended a specialized and competitive class, lasting from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM. In her sophomore year at Rutgers, Flockhart met aspiring actress Jane Krakowski, the best friend of her roommate. Later, they both would work together on Ally McBeal.

People began recognizing Flockhart's acting ability when William Esper (Mason Gross' theatre director and Flockhart's acting teacher) made an exception to policy by allowing Flockhart to perform on the main stage. Though this venue usually is reserved for juniors and seniors, Harold Scott insisted that Flockhart perform there in his production of William Inge's Picnic. Flockhart graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in theatre in 1988, as one of only a few students who successfully completed the course. Rutgers inducted her into the Hall of Distinguished Alumni on May 3, 2003.

Flockhart moved to New York City in 1989 and began seeking auditions, living with three other women in a two-bedroom apartment and working as a waitress and aerobics instructor. She would remain in the city until 1997.

Career[edit]

Early career[edit]

In spring 1989, Flockhart made her first television appearance in a minor role in an episode of Guiding Light as a babysitter. She made her professional debut on the New York stage, appearing in Beside Herself alongside Melissa Joan Hart, at the Circle Repertory Theatre. Two years later, Flockhart appeared in the television movie Darrow. Though she later appeared in films Naked in New York (1993) and Getting In (1994), her first substantial speaking part in a film was in Quiz Show, directed by Robert Redford.

Flockhart debuted on Broadway in 1994, as Laura in The Glass Menagerie. Actress Julie Harris felt Flockhart should be hired without further auditions, claiming that she seemed ideal for the part. Flockhart received a Clarence Derwent Award for her performance. In 1995, Flockhart became acquainted with actors such as Dianne Wiest and Faye Dunaway when she appeared in the movie Drunks. Later that year, Flockhart starred in Jane Doe as a drug addict. In 1996, Flockhart appeared as the daughter of Dianne Wiest and Gene Hackman's characters in The Birdcage. Throughout that year, she continued to work on Broadway, playing the role of Natasha in Anton Chekhov's Three Sisters.

Ally McBeal[edit]

In 1997, Flockhart was asked to audition for the starring role in David E. Kelley's Fox television series, Ally McBeal. Kelley, having heard of Flockhart, wanted her to audition for the contract part. Though Flockhart at first hesitated due to the necessary commitment to the show in a negotiable contract, she was swayed by the script and traveled to Los Angeles to audition for the part, which she won. She earned a Golden Globe Award for the role in 1998. Flockhart also appeared on the June 29, 1998, cover of Time magazine,[3] placed as the newest iteration in the evolution of feminism, relating to the ongoing debate about the role depicted by her character.[4]

Throughout her professional career, Flockhart has maintained her naturally lean figure. However, many have commented that Flockhart had become dangerously thin, particularly when the actress made red carpet appearances in clothing that revealed a somewhat emaciated physique. She had maintained throughout the show's run that she was never diagnosed with either anorexia or bulimia, nor was she a user of illegal drugs. She did remark, however, that while starring in the show she refrained from eating sweets, retaining her slimness with intense workouts and running.[citation needed] In 2006, she admitted that she had a problem at the time, and was "exercising too much" and "eating too little".[5]

Other work[edit]

Flockhart played the role of Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream, a 1999 film version of Shakespeare's play. In 2000, she appeared in Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her and Bash: Latter-Day Plays, later accompanying Eve Ensler to Kenya in order to protest violence against women, particularly female genital mutilation. Flockhart also starred in the Off-Broadway production of Ensler's The Vagina Monologues.

In 2004, Flockhart appeared as Matthew Broderick's deranged girlfriend in The Last Shot. In the same year, Flockhart travelled to Spain for the filming of Fragile, which premiered in September 2005 at the Venice Film Festival.

She was offered the role of Susan Mayer on Desperate Housewives, but declined. The role went to Teri Hatcher. Flockhart's last appearance on television was as Kitty Walker, opposite Sally Field, Rachel Griffiths and Matthew Rhys, in the ABC prime time series Brothers & Sisters, which premiered in September 2006 in the time slot after Desperate Housewives. The show was cancelled in May 2011 after running for five years. Flockhart's character was significant throughout the series' first four years, but her appearances were reduced for the 2010–2011 season, coinciding with the departure of TV husband Rob Lowe.

Personal life[edit]

Flockhart has been in a relationship with actor Harrison Ford since their meeting at the Golden Globe Awards on January 20, 2002. They became engaged on Valentine's Day in 2009, and were married on June 15, 2010, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The ceremony was presided over by Governor Bill Richardson and New Mexico Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles W. Daniels.[6] Flockhart and Ford are raising a son, Liam, whom Flockhart adopted as an infant on January 11, 2001.[6]

As of 2008, Flockhart is the national spokesperson for Peace Over Violence.[7]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role
1993 Naked in New York Acting student
1994 Clear Cut
1994 Gettin In Amanda Morel
1994 Quiz Show Barnard Girl
1995 Pictures of Baby Jane Doe Jane
1995 Drunks Helen
1996 Birdcage, TheThe Birdcage Barbara Keeley
1996 Milk & Money Christine
1997 Telling Lies in America Diney Majeski
1999 Midsummer Night's Dream, AA Midsummer Night's Dream Helena
2000 Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her Christine Taylor
2004 Last Shot, TheThe Last Shot Valerie Weston
2005 Fragile Amy Nicholls

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1989 Guiding Light Elise
1991 Darrow Lillian Anderson Movie
1992 Lifestories: Families in Crisis Mary-Margaret Carter Episode: "The Secret Life of Mary Margaret: Portrait of a Bulimic"
1997–2002 Ally McBeal Ally McBeal Lead Role (112 episodes)
1998 Practice, TheThe Practice Ally McBeal Episode: "Axe Murderer"
2000 Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child Vanna Van (voice) Episode: "Rip Van Winkle"
2001 Bash: Latter-Day Plays Movie
2006–2011 Brothers & Sisters Kitty Walker Lead Role (110 episodes)
2012 The Penguins of Madagascar Doris (voice) Episode: "The Penguin Who Loved Me"

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
1998 Emmy Award[8] Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Ally McBeal Nominated
1998 Golden Globe Award Best Actress in a TV Series - Comedy or Musical Ally McBeal Won
1998 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Ally McBeal Nominated
1998 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Ally McBeal Nominated
1999 Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Ally McBeal Nominated
1999 Golden Globe Award Best Actress in a TV Series - Comedy or Musical Ally McBeal Nominated
1999 Satellite Award Best Actress in a TV Series - Comedy or Musical Ally McBeal Nominated
1999 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Ally McBeal Nominated
1999 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Ally McBeal Won
2000 Golden Globe Award Best Actress in a TV Series - Comedy or Musical Ally McBeal Nominated
2000 Peoples Choice Award Favorite Female Television Performer Ally McBeal Won
2000 Satellite Award Best Actress in a TV Series - Comedy or Musical Ally McBeal Nominated
2000 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Ally McBeal Nominated
2000 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Ally McBeal Nominated
2001 Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Ally McBeal Nominated
2001 Golden Globe Award Best Actress in a TV Series - Comedy or Musical Ally McBeal Nominated
2001 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Ally McBeal Nominated
2001 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Ally McBeal Nominated
2002 Golden Globe Award Best Actress in a TV Series - Comedy or Musical Ally McBeal Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ Schneider, Karen S. (1998-11-09). "Arguing Her Case". People Magazine. Retrieved 2010-11-12. 
  2. ^ "Calista Flockhart child of Ronald and Kay Calista"
  3. ^ "TIME Magazine Cover: Is Feminism Dead?". Time. June 29, 1998. 
  4. ^ Ginia Bellafante (June 29, 1998). "It's All About Me!". Time. 
  5. ^ Jenifer Goodwin (September 24, 2006). "Taking beauty's measure". The San Diego Union-Tribune. 
  6. ^ a b Mike Haederle (June 16, 2010). "Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart get married!". People.com. Retrieved February 19, 2013. 
  7. ^ "National Spokesperson". Peace Over Violence. Retrieved January 8, 2008. [dead link]
  8. ^ Calista Flockhart Emmy Nominated

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Theatre World Award
Preceded by
Beverly D'Angelo
for Simpatico
Theatre World Award
1995
for The Glass Menagerie
Succeeded by
Kevin Kilner
for The Glass Menagerie