On the set of Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day in May 2007
June 23, 1957 |
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Alma mater||Bethany College, Yale School of Drama|
Frances Louise McDormand (born June 23, 1957) is an American film and stage actress. She has starred in a number of films, including her Academy Award-winning performance as Marge Gunderson in Fargo, in 1996. She won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play in 2011 for her performance in Good People as Margie Walsh, and was nominated for the same category in 1988 for her performance in A Streetcar Named Desire.
McDormand is also a three-time nominee of the Academy Award For Best Supporting Actress for her performances in Mississippi Burning, Almost Famous, and North Country, and has also been nominated for four Golden Globes, three BAFTA Awards, and an Emmy Award. She also starred in the Coen Brothers debut, Blood Simple.
Early life 
McDormand was born in Chicago, Illinois, and was adopted by a Canadian-born couple – Noreen E. (Nickleson), a registered nurse and receptionist, and Vernon W. McDormand, a Disciples of Christ pastor. She has said that her biological mother may have been one of the parishioners at Vernon's church. She has a sister, Dorothy A. McDormand, who is an ordained Disciples of Christ minister and chaplain, as well as another sibling, both of whom were adopted by the McDormands, who had no biological children. As her father specialized in restoring congregations, he frequently moved their family, and they lived in several small towns in Illinois, Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee, before settling in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area town of Monessen, where she graduated from Monessen High School in 1975. She attended Bethany College, West Virginia, and earned a B.A. in Theater in 1979.
In 1982, McDormand earned an M.F.A. from the Yale University School of Drama. She was a roommate of Holly Hunter at the time. Her first professional acting job was in Trinidad and Tobago, performing in a play written by poet (and Nobel laureate) Derek Walcott and funded by the MacArthur Foundation.
McDormand's film debut was in Joel and Ethan Coen's first film, 1984's Blood Simple. In 1985, McDormand, the Coen brothers, Holly Hunter, and director Sam Raimi shared a house in The Bronx. In 1987, she appeared as the wacky friend Dot in the hit film Raising Arizona, starring Holly Hunter and Nicolas Cage. In addition to her early film roles, McDormand played Connie Chapman in the fifth season of the television police drama Hill Street Blues. In 1988, she played Stella Kowalski in a stage production of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award. McDormand is an associate member of the experimental theater company The Wooster Group.
McDormand appeared in several theatrical and television roles during the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. She has gained renown and critical acclaim for her dramatic work, and is a respected actress, having been nominated for Academy Awards four times. In 1988, she was nominated for a Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Mississippi Burning; in 1996, she won the Academy award for Best Actress for her performance as police chief Marge Gunderson in Fargo; in 2000, she earned her second nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her portrayal of an overbearing mother in Almost Famous. Also for Almost Famous, she won the Best Supporting Actress nomination from the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the Chicago Film Critics Association, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, San Diego Film Critics Society, Southeastern Film Critics Association, and the Florida Film Critics Circle. For her role in Wonder Boys (2000), she won Best Supporting Actress from the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the Florida Film Critics Circle, and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.
In 2006, McDormand received her third nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in 2005's North Country, although she lost to Rachel Weisz. She also had a role in the film Friends with Money, a dark comedy co-starring Jennifer Aniston, Catherine Keener, and Joan Cusack, and directed by Nicole Holofcener. She received an Independent Spirit Award for her role in Friends with Money. She also voiced the role of the lady principal Melanie Upfoot in the Simpsons episode Girls Just Want to Have Sums, which aired on April 30, 2006. McDormand has recently starred in the films Burn After Reading and Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day.
McDormand starred in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, the sequel after, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. She played the US government's National Intelligence Director, alongside Burn After Reading co-star John Malkovich. She returned to the stage in the David Lindsay-Abaire play Good People, in a limited engagement on Broadway from February 8, 2011 to May 29, 2011. Her performance garnered her a Tony Award win for Best Leading Actress in a Play.
In the animated film Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, she voiced Capitain Chantal Dubois and also sang a version of the French song "Non, je ne regrette rien". She also starred in Promised Land with Matt Damon, filmed in April 2012 and released on December 28, 2012.
Personal life 
McDormand has been married to director Joel Coen since 1984, and the two adopted a son from Paraguay, Pedro McDormand Coen, in 1994. They live in New York City. McDormand has starred in six of the Coen Brothers films, including a minor appearance in Miller's Crossing, a secondary role in Raising Arizona and lead roles in Blood Simple, The Man Who Wasn't There, Fargo, for which she won an Academy Award, and more recently Burn After Reading. Additionally, she contributed an uncredited offscreen (voice only) appearance to the opening scene in the Coens' Barton Fink. She also participates as a member of the Jury for the NYICFF, a local New York City Film Festival dedicated to screening films for children between the ages of 3 and 18.
- Crowe, Cameron. Frances McDormand interview. Interview. October 2000. FindArticles.com. 25 December 2007[dead link]
- "Frances McDormand listing" Internet BroadwayDatabase, accessed May 4, 2011
- "''Naked ambition''. theage.com.au. 25 October 2003". Melbourne: Theage.com.au. October 25, 2003. Retrieved 2010-07-29.
- "''Disciples "PK" wins best actress' award''. Disciples News Service Release. 31 March 2007". Disciples.org. Retrieved 2010-07-29.
- "''I'd love to play a psycho killer''. film.guardian.co.uk. 26 January 2001". London: Film.guardian.co.uk. 2001-02-14. Retrieved 2010-07-29.
- "Story Medium". Imagine Fashion. Interview with Frances McDormand (2011).
- Jones, Kenneth." 'Good People', Play of Aspiration and Escape, With Frances McDormand and Tate Donovan, Begins on Broadway" playbill.com, February 8, 2011
- Jones, Kenneth."Broadway's 'Good People' Gets Final Extension, Shifting Dates of 'Master Class' " playbill.com, March 22, 2011
- Jones, Kenneth and Gans, Andrew."2011 Tony Nominations Announced; 'Book of Mormon' Earns 14 Nominations" playbill.com, May 3, 2011
- Gerhardt, Tina (31 December 2012). "Matt Damon Exposes Fracking in Promised Land". The Progressive.
- "NYICFF Jury". Gkids.com. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Frances McDormand|
- Frances McDormand at the Internet Movie Database
- Frances McDormand at the Internet Broadway Database
- Frances McDormand at the Internet Off-Broadway Database