Connie Britton

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Connie Britton
Britton seen from a profile, smiling
Born Constance Elaine Womack
(1967-03-06) March 6, 1967 (age 47)[1]
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Residence Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Occupation Actress, singer, producer
Years active 1995–present
Spouse(s) John Britton (m. 1991; div. 1995)
Children 1 (adopted)

Constance Elaine "Connie" Britton (née Womack; born March 6, 1967) is an American actress, singer and producer. Britton is most well known for her roles as Nikki Faber on the ABC sitcom Spin City (1996–2000); as Tami Taylor on the NBC/DirecTV sports drama Friday Night Lights (2006–2011), for which she was nominated for two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series;[2] and as Vivien Harmon in the FX horror-drama series American Horror Story (2011), for which she was nominated for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie.[3] Her most notable films are Friday Night Lights and A Nightmare on Elm Street. In 2012, she began playing the leading role of Rayna Jaymes in the ABC musical drama series Nashville, for which she was nominated for a Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama in 2012.[4]

Early life[edit]

Britton was born Constance Elaine Womack in Boston, Massachusetts, the daughter of Linda Jane (née Cochran) and Edgar Allen Womack, Jr., who was a physicist.[5][6][7] When she was seven years old, she moved with her parents and her fraternal twin sister Cynthia[8] to Lynchburg, Virginia where she attended E.C. Glass High School. She majored in Asian studies with a concentration in Chinese at Dartmouth College and studied in Beijing during her freshman summer with Kirsten Gillibrand.[9][10] After graduating in 1989, she moved to New York City, where she spent two years at the Neighborhood Playhouse studying with Sanford Meisner.

Career[edit]

Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler in 2008

While studying at the Neighborhood Playhouse, Britton (then Womack) made her New York theatrical debut in Caroline Kava's The Early Girl at The Courtyard Playhouse. Britton played seasoned prostitute Laurel opposite Cooper Lawrence, who played Joan. Britton's performance, while well received, nearly got her ousted from the Neighborhood Playhouse program, which prohibited students from taking professional employment during their course of study. After graduating, Britton spent two more years working in off-Broadway theatre productions. She moved to Los Angeles after the success of The Brothers McMullen.

Britton starred in Spin City as Nikki Faber from 1996 to 2000.[11] Her character was written out of the show when Charlie Sheen replaced Michael J. Fox as the main character. She had a recurring role on 24 during the fifth season as Diane Huxley, the landlady and girlfriend of protagonist Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland). She co-starred in the thriller film The Last Winter in 2006.

Britton co-starred opposite Kyle Chandler in the critically acclaimed NBC drama Friday Night Lights as Tami Taylor, the wife of a head football coach Eric Taylor (Chandler), who becomes a high school guidance counsellor.[12] The show ran for five seasons from October 3, 2006 to February 9, 2011. During that time, Britton developed a devoted following for her performance – described by The New York Times as "something of an icon, a 40-something sex symbol and role model."[12] She was first cast in the film version of the series, Friday Night Lights (2004).[13]

In 2001, Britton had a recurring role on the NBC drama The West Wing in the third season, appearing in the two-part premiere titled "Manchester" and the sixth episode titled "Gone Quiet" as Connie Tate, a member of Bruno Gianelli's team. She appeared in the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street, portraying Dr. Gwendoline "Gwen" Holbrook.[14] She was also featured on This American Life's 429th episode, "Will They Know Me at Home?", in which she performed monologues from David Finkel's nonfiction book The Good Soldiers.[15]

In 2011, Britton starred in the horror drama American Horror Story on FX as Vivien Harmon, a woman who recently relocated with her family to California after a series of tragic marital and family issues.[16] Unfortunately for The Harmons, the new house they purchase quickly reveals itself to be haunted.

Britton had stated when she wrapped American Horror Story she would be taking a couple of months off to be with her new adopted son, but that she would then begin to re-focus on developing her FX drama collaboration with David O. Russell. The project has since been in "development hell".[17]

On March 6, 2012, Britton signed on to star and produce the ABC musical drama Nashville that premiered on October 10, 2012. The show centers on Rayna Jaymes (Britton), a renowned 40-year-old country music singer whose stardom is beginning to fade.[18][19][20] Britton's portrayal of the character received critical praise,[21][22][23] and she was nominated for a third time for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama for the first time for this role.[4][12]

Personal life[edit]

Britton uses her married name as her stage name. She met John Britton at Alpha Delta House at Dartmouth College. They moved to Manhattan together in 1989, married in 1991, and divorced in 1995.[24]

In 1993, Britton joined the New York Junior League and was a member of the 1993 provisional class of volunteers where she listed her occupation as "Actress".

She was in a relationship with comedian Jason Mantzoukas.[25] In November 2011, Britton adopted a son Eyob "Yoby" Britton from Ethiopia.[26]

Britton studied Chinese in college. In a 2012 interview on NPR she said of the experience: "I always wanted to be an actor. But when I went to college, I had to fulfill a language requirement and so I thought it would be really cool to do it speaking Chinese. My Chinese these days is real, real shaky. Let's put it this way: These days, my singing is better than my Chinese."[27]

Britton moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 2013 when she signed to star in the ABC musical drama Nashville.[28]

On 2 April 2014, Britton became the 10th Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Development Programme, the anti-poverty agency of the UN. She joins celebrities such as Antonio Banderas, Maria Sharapova, Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo in this role. She will focus her advocacy efforts on eradicating extreme poverty, fighting exclusion and empowering women.

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1995 Brothers McMullen, TheThe Brothers McMullen Molly McMullen
1996 Escape Clause Leslie Bullard TV Movie
1998 No Looking Back Kelly
2001 Child Star: The Story of Shirley Temple Gertrude Temple TV Movie
2001 One Eyed King Helen Riley
2001 Next Big Thing, TheThe Next Big Thing Kate Crowley
2004 Looking for Kitty Marcie Petracelli
2004 Friday Night Lights Sharon Gaines
2005 Special Ed Abi
2005 Life Coach, TheThe Life Coach Connie
2006 Lather Effect, TheThe Lather Effect Valinda
2006 The Last Winter Abby Sellers
2009 Women in Trouble Doris
2010 Nightmare on Elm Street, AA Nightmare on Elm Street Dr. Gwendoline Holbrook
2011 Conception Gloria
2012 Seeking a Friend for the End of the World Diane
2012 The Fitzgerald Family Christmas Nora
2013 When Angels Sing Susan Walker
2013 The To Do List Mrs. Klark
2014 This Is Where I Leave You[29]

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1995–96 Ellen Heather 3 episodes ("The Shower Scene" & "When the Vows Break (Parts 1 & 2)")
1995 Pins and Needles Cammie Barbash TV Pilot
1998 Cupid Madeleine 1 episode ("Pilot")
1996–2000 Spin City Nikki Faber Series regular, 93 episodes
2000–01 Fugitive, TheThe Fugitive Maggie Kimble Hume 3 episodes ("Pilot," "Sanctuary," "Flesh and Blood")
2001 The Fighting Fitzgeralds Sophie Series regular, 10 episodes
2001 West Wing, TheThe West Wing Connie Tate 4 episodes
2003 Lost at Home Rachel Davis Series regular, 6 episodes
2005 Life as We Know It Dianne 1 episode ("Papa Wheelie")
2006 24 Diane Huxley 6 episodes
2006–11 Friday Night Lights Tami Taylor Lead role, 76 Episodes
2011 American Horror Story: Murder House Vivien Harmon Lead role, 12 episodes
2012–present Nashville Rayna Jaymes Lead role, also producer
2013 Drunk History Patricia Shaheen 1 episode ("Boston")

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2007 Television Critics Association Awards Individual Achievement in a Drama Series Friday Night Lights Nominated
Gotham Awards 2007 Best Ensemble Cast The Last Winter Nominated
2008 Television Critics Association Awards Individual Achievement in a Drama Series Friday Night Lights Nominated
2010 Satellite Awards 2010 Best Actress – Television Series Drama Friday Night Lights Won
62nd Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Friday Night Lights Nominated
2011 Satellite Awards 2011 Best Actress – Television Series Drama Friday Night Lights Nominated
1st Critics' Choice Television Awards Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Drama Actress Friday Night Lights Nominated
63rd Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Friday Night Lights Nominated
2012 64th Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie American Horror Story Nominated
Satellite Awards 2012 Best Actress – Television Series Drama Nashville Nominated
Satellite Awards 2012 Best Television Series – Drama Nashville (as producer) Nominated
2013 70th Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Television Series Drama Nashville Nominated
65th Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Nashville Nominated
New York Women in Film & Television Award Muse Award Won[30]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions[31]
US
US Country
US
Soundtracks
The Music of Nashville: Season 1 Volume 1 14 3 1
The Music of Nashville: Season 1 Volume 2 13 5 2

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak chart
positions
Album
US Country
[32]
US
[33]
2012 "No One Will Ever Love You" (with Charles Esten)A 36 117 The Music of Nashville: Season 1 Volume 1
"Wrong Song" (with Hayden Panettiere) 39
2013 "Stronger Than Me" 42 The Music of Nashville: Season 1 Volume 2
"The Best Songs Come from Broken Hearts" 48 N/A
2014 "He Ain't Gonna Change" (with Hayden Panettiere) 50
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Monitor". Entertainment Weekly (1249). Mar 8, 2013. p. 20. 
  2. ^ "Connie Britton Biography - Yahoo! Movies". Movies.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  3. ^ Prudom, Laura (July 19, 2012). "'American Horror Story' Earns 17 Emmy Nominations". The Huffington Post. Retrieved July 19, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b First Golden Globe Nominations Announced
  5. ^ "Connie Britton Biography (1968-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  6. ^ Special to The New York Times (1963-12-29). "Womack-Cochran - Article - NYTimes.com". Select.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ "Interview with Chris Hardwick". Nerdist Podcast #157. Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  9. ^ Ayers, Sydney (October 11, 2012). "‘Nashville’ star Connie Britton ’89 sits down to discuss her new show". Retrieved October 8, 2013. 
  10. ^ Caitlin, McDevitt (October 8, 2013). "Connie Britton on roomie Kirsten Gillibrand". Politico. Retrieved November 28, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Connie Britton's". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  12. ^ a b c Dominus, Susan (13 February 2013). "Connie Britton Is a Late Bloomer". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  13. ^ "Connie Britton: 'The audience will feel socked in the gut'". Nypost.com. Retrieved 2012-10-22. [dead link]
  14. ^ "Nancy’s Mother Talks ‘Elm Street’ Remake and Keeping it Fresh". Bloody-disgusting.com. Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  15. ^ "Will They Know Me Back Home?". This American Life. Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  16. ^ Stransky, Tanner (March 18, 2011). "'Friday Night Lights' star Connie Britton cast in Ryan Murphy's 'American Horror Story' pilot". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 18, 2011. 
  17. ^ Michael Ausiello (February 4, 2011). "Exclusive: Connie Britton Developing FX Drama with The Fighter's David O. Russell". TVLine. 
  18. ^ Nellie andreeva (March 6, 2012). "Connie Britton To Star In ABC’s ‘Nashville’". Deadline.com. Retrieved March 6, 2012. 
  19. ^ Nellie andreeva (March 6, 2012). "Connie Britton cast in ABC drama pilot 'Nashville'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 6, 2012. 
  20. ^ Michael Ausiello (March 6, 2012). "Scoop: Connie Britton Heads for Nashville With Lead in ABC Musical Drama Pilot". TV Line. Retrieved March 6, 2012. 
  21. ^ Nashville: TV Review
  22. ^ 'Nashville' is a smash
  23. ^ Singing its praises: ABC's Nashville is fall's best newcomer
  24. ^ "Connie Britton- Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved June 17, 2013. 
  25. ^ http://www.redbookmag.com/fun-contests/celebrity/connie-britton-interview-3
  26. ^ Jennifer Garcia (November 16, 2011). "Connie Britton Adopts a Baby Boy". People. 
  27. ^ "TV's Britton Fights To Stay In Nashville's Lights". NPR. 7 October 2012. Retrieved 7 October 2012. 
  28. ^ Dominus, Susan (February 13, 2013). "Connie Britton Is a Late Bloomer". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  29. ^ Anthony Breznican (April 11, 2013). "Connie Britton to romance Adam Driver in all-star 'This Is Where I Leave You' -- EXCLUSIVE". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2013-04-15. 
  30. ^ Gordon Cox Legit Editor @GCoxVariety. "Ellen Barkin, Connie Britton Among NY Women in Film and Television’s 2013 Honorees". Variety. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  31. ^ Keith Caulfield (December 21, 2012). "Chart Moves: 'Nashville' Nets Year's Best Sales Week for TV Soundtrack on Billboard 200 Read more at http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/industry/retail/chart-moves-nashville-nets-year-s-best-sales-1008058992.story#xqxBjWcR7kCzcBHA.99". Billboard. Retrieved 2013-01-19. 
  32. ^ "Hot Country Songs Week of November 10, 2012". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 1, 2012. 
  33. ^ "Bubbling Under Hot 100 Week of November 10, 2012". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 1, 2012. 

External links[edit]