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 made her feature film debut in the critically acclaimed independent comedy-drama film The Brothers McMullen (1995) and the following year, she was cast as Nikki Faber on the ABC sitcom Spin City (1996–2000). She later starred in the short-lived sitcoms The Fighting Fitzgeralds (2001) and Lost at Home (2003), and appeared in several films, most notable are Friday Night Lights (2004) and The Last Winter (2006).

Britton received positive reviews from critics for her performance as Tami Taylor on the NBC/DirecTV drama series Friday Night Lights (2006–2011). For this role she was nominated for two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.[2] In 2011, she starred as Vivien Harmon in the first season of FX horror-drama series American Horror Story, for which she was nominated for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie.[3]

In 2012, Britton began playing the leading role of country singer 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] In 2014, Britton was named UNDP Goodwill Ambassador.[5] Britton starred in the 2014 comedy-drama film This Is Where I Leave You and set to appear in the upcoming action comedy American Ultra (2015).

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 and an energy company executive.[6][7][8][9] She spent her early years in Rockville, Maryland.[6] When she was seven years old, she moved with her parents and her fraternal twin sister Cynthia[10] 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 at the Beijing Normal University[6] in Beijing during her freshman summer with Kirsten Gillibrand, now a U.S. Senator from New York.[11][12] 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]

1995–2005[edit]

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.[2] 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. In 1995, Britton made her feature film debut in Edward Burns' critically acclaimed comedy-drama The Brothers McMullen.[13] She moved to Los Angeles after the success of The Brothers McMullen.[2]

After The Brothers McMullen, Britton was cast for the recurring role in the ABC sitcom Ellen, and starred in the unsold Fox pilot Pins and Needles. In 1996 she began starring as Nikki Faber in the ABC sitcom Spin City opposite Michael J. Fox.[2] Her character was written out of the show when Charlie Sheen replaced Michael J. Fox as the main character. She also appeared in No Looking Back (1998) and Looking for Kitty (2004), directed by Edward Burns. She had a female lead role in the 2001 romantic comedy film The Next Big Thing. She later starred in the independent films The Life Coach, Special Ed, The Lather Effect and The Last Winter.

After leaving from Spin City, Britton had a recurring role in the ABC drama The Fugitive. In 2001, she played the role of Shirley Temple's bad mother in the ABC television film Child Star: The Shirley Temple Story, based on Temple's 1988 autobiography.[14] In the same year, she starred on the short-lived NBC sitcom The Fighting Fitzgeralds.[15] In 2002 she returned to ABC as lead in the another short-lived sitcom, called Lost at Home. In 2001, Britton also 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. In 2006, she had a recurring role on 24 during the fifth season as Diane Huxley, the landlady and girlfriend of protagonist Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland).

2006–2011[edit]

Britton and Kyle Chandler in 2008

Britton co-starred opposite Kyle Chandler in the critically acclaimed NBC drama series Friday Night Lights as Tami Taylor, the wife of a head football coach Eric Taylor (Chandler), who becomes a high school guidance counsellor.[16] 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."[16] She was first cast in the film version of the series, Friday Night Lights (2004).[17] For her role in the show she was nominated for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 2010 and 2011, for TCA Award for Individual Achievement in Drama in 2007 and 2008, and was awarded Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama in 2010.

Britton starred in the 2009 comedy film Women in Trouble, and appeared in the 2010 remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street, portraying Dr. Gwendoline "Gwen" Holbrook.[18] She appeared in the 2011 comedy film Conception.[19] 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.[20]

In 2011, Britton was cast as lead in the FX horror drama American Horror Story. She played the role of Vivien Harmon, a woman who recently relocated with her family to California after a series of tragic marital and family issues.[21] Unfortunately for The Harmons, the new house they purchase quickly reveals itself to be haunted. For this role she was nominated for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie in 2012. 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".[22]

Britton in 2012

2012–present[edit]

On March 6, 2012, Britton signed on to star in and produce the ABC musical drama series, Nashville created by Academy Award winner Callie Khouri. The series 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.[23][24][25] Britton's portrayal of the character received critical praise,[26][27][28] and she was nominated for a fourth 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][16] Britton, for her part, has said that the most nerve-wracking part of her role, at least in the beginning, has been the singing the role requires of her.

In 2012, Britton starred opposite Edward Burns in the comedy-drama film The Fitzgerald Family Christmas.[29] The film has been met with positive reviews from critics.[30] In same year she had a supporting role in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World opposite Steve Carell and Keira Knightley.[31] She starred opposite Harry Connick, Jr. in the Christmas family film Angels Sing and played the mother of Aubrey Plaza's Brandy Klark in The To Do List.[32]

Britton starred as a cougar therapist in the 2014 ensemble cast comedy film This Is Where I Leave You, based on the 2009 best-selling novel by Jonathan Tropper.[33] She replaced Sharon Stone in a key role in the 2015 action-comedy American Ultra opposite Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart.[34][35][36] Also in 2014 she starred as lead character mother (played by Thomas Mann) in the upcoming drama film Me & Earl & the Dying Girl directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and based on Jesse Andrews‘‍ novel, a wry coming-of-age story about a teenage oddball, Greg, forced to befriend a classmate with cancer.[37]

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.[38]

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 dated comedian Jason Mantzoukas.[39] In November 2011, Britton adopted a son Eyob "Yoby" Britton from Ethiopia.[40]

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."[41]

Britton moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 2012 when she signed to star in the ABC musical drama Nashville.[16]

On April 2, 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.[5][42][43][44]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1995 Brothers McMullen, TheThe Brothers McMullen Molly McMullen
1996 Escape Clause Leslie Bullard Television film
1998 No Looking Back Kelly
2001 Child Star: The Story of Shirley Temple Gertrude Temple Television film
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 Wing It Parenthood Sharon Shoshonnesy Short film
2012 Seeking a Friend for the End of the World Diane
2012 The Fitzgerald Family Christmas Nora
2013 Angels Sing Susan Walker
2013 The To Do List Jean Klark
2014 This Is Where I Leave You Tracy Sullivan
2015 American Ultra Victoria Lasseter
2015 Me & Earl & the Dying Girl

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1995–1996 Ellen Heather 3 episodes
1995 Pins and Needles Cammie Barbash Unsold TV pilot
1998 Cupid Madeleine Episode: "Pilot"
1996–2000 Spin City Nikki Faber Series regular, 100 episodes
2000–2001 Fugitive, TheThe Fugitive Maggie Kimble Hume 3 episodes
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 Episode: "Papa Wheelie"
2006 24 Diane Huxley 6 episodes
2006–2011 Friday Night Lights Tami Taylor Series regular, 76 episodes
2011 American Horror Story Vivien Harmon Series regular, 12 episodes
2012–present Nashville Rayna Jaymes Series regular, also co-executive producer
2013 Drunk History Patricia Shaheen Episode: "Boston"

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions[45]
UK Compilations US
US Country
US
Soundtracks
The Music of Nashville: Season 1 Volume 1
  • Released: December 11, 2012 (USA)
  • Released: February 25, 2013 (UK)
  • Label: Big Machine Records
  • Format: CD, digital download
5[46] 14 3 1
The Music of Nashville: Season 1 Volume 2
  • Released: May 7, 2013 (USA)[47]
  • Released: May 20, 2013 (UK)
  • Label: Big Machine Records
  • Format: CD, digital download
9[48] 13 5 2
The Music of Nashville, Season 1: The Complete Collection
The Music of Nashville: Season 2, Volume 1
  • Released: December 10, 2013 (USA)
  • Released: February 17, 2014 (UK)
  • Label: Big Machine Records
  • Format: CD, digital download
34 7 4
The Music of Nashville: Season 2, Volume 2 13 4 2

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak chart
positions
Album
US Country
[50]
US
[51]
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

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
TV Guide Award Favorite Actress 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[52]


References[edit]

  1. ^ "Monitor". Entertainment Weekly (1249). Mar 8, 2013. p. 20. 
  2. ^ a b c d "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. ^ a b Perlman, Jake (2014-04-02). "Connie Britton named UN goodwill ambassador | News Briefs | EW.com". News-briefs.ew.com. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 
  6. ^ a b c Rozen, Leah (March 2013). "Connie Britton on Her Risky Path to Happiness". More Magazine. Retrieved July 25, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Connie Britton Biography (1968-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  8. ^ Special to The New York Times (1963-12-29). "Womack-Cochran - Article - NYTimes.com". Select.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  9. ^ [1][dead link]
  10. ^ "Interview with Chris Hardwick". Nerdist Podcast #157. Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  11. ^ Ayers, Sydney (October 11, 2012). "‘Nashville’ star Connie Britton ’89 sits down to discuss her new show". Retrieved October 8, 2013. 
  12. ^ Caitlin, McDevitt (October 8, 2013). "Connie Britton on roomie Kirsten Gillibrand". Politico. Retrieved November 28, 2013. 
  13. ^ By Peter Travers (1995-08-09). "The Brothers McMullen | Movie Reviews". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2014-06-03. 
  14. ^ "Child-Star-The-Shirley-Temple-Story - Trailer - Cast - Showtimes". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2014-06-03. 
  15. ^ "USATODAY.com - What nobody learned from 'Peaks'". Usatoday30.usatoday.com. 2001-05-02. Retrieved 2014-06-03. 
  16. ^ a b c d Dominus, Susan (13 February 2013). "Connie Britton Is a Late Bloomer". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  17. ^ "Connie Britton: 'The audience will feel socked in the gut'". Nypost.com. Retrieved 2012-10-22. [dead link]
  18. ^ "Nancy’s Mother Talks ‘Elm Street’ Remake and Keeping it Fresh". Bloody-disgusting.com. Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  19. ^ "'Conception' Trailer: Connie Britton, David Arquette And More Take On The Road To Parenthood (VIDEO)". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2014-06-03. 
  20. ^ "Will They Know Me Back Home?". This American Life. Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  21. ^ 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. 
  22. ^ Michael Ausiello (February 4, 2011). "Exclusive: Connie Britton Developing FX Drama with The Fighter's David O. Russell". TVLine. 
  23. ^ Nellie andreeva (March 6, 2012). "Connie Britton To Star In ABC’s ‘Nashville’". Deadline.com. Retrieved March 6, 2012. 
  24. ^ Nellie andreeva (March 6, 2012). "Connie Britton cast in ABC drama pilot 'Nashville'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 6, 2012. 
  25. ^ Michael Ausiello (March 6, 2012). "Scoop: Connie Britton Heads for Nashville With Lead in ABC Musical Drama Pilot". TV Line. Retrieved March 6, 2012. 
  26. ^ Nashville: TV Review
  27. ^ 'Nashville' is a smash
  28. ^ Singing its praises: ABC's Nashville is fall's best newcomer
  29. ^ Posted: 10/15/2012 5:22 pm Updated: 10/15/2012 5:26 pm (2012-10-15). "'The Fitzgerald Family Christmas' Trailer: Ed Burns Returns to Long Island For The Holidays (VIDEO)". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2014-06-03. 
  30. ^ "The Fitzgerald Family Christmas". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2014-06-03. 
  31. ^ Apocalypse? Road Trip!
  32. ^ Greco, Patti (2014-05-16). "To-Do List Director on Casting Connie Britton". Vulture. Retrieved 2014-06-03. 
  33. ^ 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. 
  34. ^ "Connie Britton Replaces Sharon Stone in Kristen Stewart Movie 'American Ultra'". TheWrap. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 
  35. ^ "Connie Britton Replaces Sharon Stone in Kristen Stewart Comedy ‘American Ultra’". Variety. 2014-05-01. Retrieved 2014-06-03. 
  36. ^ Deadline, The. "Connie Britton Cast In 'American Ultra' Movie". Deadline.com. Retrieved 2014-06-03. 
  37. ^ Barbara Vancheri (June 23, 2014). "Philip Roth novel 'American Pastoral' to be filmed in Pittsburgh". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 6 August 2014. 
  38. ^ "Connie Britton- Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved June 17, 2013. 
  39. ^ "Connie Britton Interview - Connie Britton On Friday Night Lights - Redbook". Redbookmag.com. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 
  40. ^ Jennifer Garcia (November 16, 2011). "Connie Britton Adopts a Baby Boy". People. 
  41. ^ "TV's Britton Fights To Stay In Nashville's Lights". NPR. 7 October 2012. Retrieved 7 October 2012. 
  42. ^ Apr 3, 2014 09:42 AM ETby Liz Raftery (2014-04-03). "Connie Britton Named U.N. Goodwill Ambassador - Today's News: Our Take". TVGuide.com. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 
  43. ^ "Connie Britton Named UN Goodwill Ambassador | E! Online UK". Uk.eonline.com. 2014-04-03. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 
  44. ^ CBS/APApril 2, 2014, 3:16 PM (2014-04-02). "Connie Britton named goodwill ambassador for United Nations Development Program". CBS News. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 
  45. ^ Caulfield, Keith (December 21, 2012). "Chart Moves: 'Nashville' Nets Year's Best Sales Week for TV Soundtrack on Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved 5 October 2013. 
  46. ^ "2013 Top 40 Compilation Albums Archive - 13th April 2013". Official Charts Company. The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 5 October 2013. 
  47. ^ "Music of Nashville (Season 1, Volume 2) [Soundtrack]". Amazon. Retrieved March 30, 2013. 
  48. ^ "2013 Top 40 Compilation Albums Archive - 1st June 2013". Official Charts Company. The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 5 October 2013. 
  49. ^ "Music of Nashville Season One: The Complete Collection [Soundtrack, Box Set]". Amazon. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  50. ^ "Hot Country Songs Week of November 10, 2012". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 1, 2012. 
  51. ^ "Bubbling Under Hot 100 Week of November 10, 2012". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 1, 2012. 
  52. ^ Gordon Cox Legit Editor @GCoxVariety. "Ellen Barkin, Connie Britton Among NY Women in Film and Television’s 2013 Honorees". Variety. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 

External links[edit]