Grace Zabriskie

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Grace Zabriskie
Born (1941-05-17) May 17, 1941 (age 73)
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1978–present

Grace Zabriskie (born May 17, 1941) is an American actress. She has appeared in many popular American films, but she is best known for her work in television, including roles in the television series Twin Peaks, Seinfeld and Big Love.

Early life[edit]

Zabriskie was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is Polish American.[1] She is descended from 19th century James Zabriskie, a railroad industrialist and early pioneer of California.[2] Zabriskie has said that her family was visited by Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal and Truman Capote during her childhood.[3]

Career[edit]

After making her major film debut in 1979's Norma Rae, Zabriskie went on to appear in dozens of other works, including the 1981 Roger Corman horror film Galaxy of Terror, and the 1981 miniseries adaptation of John Steinbeck's East of Eden. She played the nanny in 1980's The Private Eyes, Debra Winger's mother in An Officer and a Gentleman and Paul Le Mat's mother in 1984's The Burning Bed (starring Farrah Fawcett). She also appeared in 1989's Drugstore Cowboy and as the ill-fated orphanage owner Grace Poole in Child's Play 2. Other movies include the 1991 film adaptation Fried Green Tomatoes and Philip Ridley's 1995 film The Passion of Darkly Noon.

Zabriskie is perhaps most familiar for her television work. After a recurring role on the soap opera Santa Barbara, she played a major role on the David Lynch series Twin Peaks and its spin-off film, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me as Sarah Palmer, the eerily psychic mother of the doomed Laura Palmer. Zabriskie also appeared in Lynch's Wild at Heart — notably as the twin sister of a character played by Isabella Rossellini, an actress eleven years her junior. David Lynch later cast her as a sinister Polish neighbour in Inland Empire in 2006.

Zabriskie may best be remembered as Mrs. Ross, a recurring character on the sitcom Seinfeld. She played the mother of another doomed daughter, Susan RossGeorge Costanza's fiancée — who died after licking cheap envelope adhesive when mailing out her wedding invitations. Zabriskie's character's husband on the series, who also appeared in a recurring role, was played by her former Twin Peaks co-star, Warren Frost.

She also made a brief but memorable appearance in the episode "S'ain't Valentine's" on the CBS sitcom The King of Queens, as the emotionally disturbed and alcoholic mother of Spence Olchin (played by Patton Oswalt). While the character Veronica Olchin would reappear throughout the series, Zabriskie would not portray her again, having been replaced by Anne Meara. She also stars as Lois Henrickson in Big Love, an HBO drama series that seriously explores the issue of polygamy, and appeared in several episodes of Aaron Spelling's series Charmed as The Crone.

She has worked in radio, collaborating with radio dramatist/monologist Joe Frank several times. In one episode of Frank's show, "Home, with Grace Zabriskie", she talks at length about her childhood in New Orleans, with a focus on her father. Zabriskie recently appeared in the American remake of The Grudge, in which she played a senile elderly woman sensitive to the paranormal occurrences in her home.

Filmography[edit]

Film
Year Title Role Notes
1978 They Went That-A-Way & That-A-Way Lem's Wife
1979 Norma Rae Linette Odum
1980 The Private Eyes Nanny
1981 Galaxy of Terror Captain Trantor
1982 An Officer and a Gentleman Esther Pokrifiki
1984 Nickel Mountain Ellie Wells
1984 Body Rock Chilly's Mother
1986 Big Easy, TheThe Big Easy Mama
1987 Rampage Naomi Reece
1987 Leonard Part 6 Jefferson
1988 Boost, TheThe Boost Sheryl
1989 Drugstore Cowboy Bob's Mother
1990 Megaville Mrs. Palinov
1990 Wild at Heart Juana Durango
1990 Child's Play 2 Grace Poole
1991 Ambition Mrs. Merrick
1991 Servants of Twilight Grace Spivey
1991 My Own Private Idaho Alena
1991 Fried Green Tomatoes Eva Bates
1992 Waterdance, TheThe Waterdance Pat
1992 FernGully: The Last Rainforest Magi Lune (voice)
1992 Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me Sarah Palmer
1992 Chain of Desire Linda Bailey
1993 Stone Soup Olympia
1993 Even Cowgirls Get the Blues Mrs. Hankshaw
1994 Last Laugh, TheThe Last Laugh Louise Short film
1994 Crew, TheThe Crew Gloria Pierce
1994 Drop Zone Winona
1995 Desert Winds Jackie's Mother
1995 Passion of Darkly Noon, TheThe Passion of Darkly Noon Roxy
1996 Family Thing, AA Family Thing Ruby
1996 Bastard Out of Carolina Granny
1997 Seed Mother's Voice Short film
1997 Psycho Sushi Great Aunt
1997 George B. The Mother
1997 Dead Men Can't Dance Brig. Gen. Burke
1997 Annie's Garden Mrs. Barnes
1997 Sparkler Sherri
1998 Armageddon Dottie
1998 Dante's View Geraldine
1999 Trash Mrs. DeMarie
1999 Texas Funeral, AA Texas Funeral Murtis
1999 Me and Will Edith
2000 Home the Horror Story Grace Parkinson
2000 Fate Foretold, AA Fate Foretold Olga Short film
2000 Puppy Love Jeanette Foley Short film
2000 Gone in 60 Seconds Helen Raines
2001 They Crawl Mrs. Gage
2002 R.S.V.P. Mary Franklin
2002 No Good Deed Mrs. Quarre
2003 Wind Effect, TheThe Wind Effect Allison Short film
2004 Last Letter, TheThe Last Letter Mrs. Allison
2004 Chrystal Gladys
2004 Grudge, TheThe Grudge Emma
2004 Sabine and the Two-Headed Baby Sabine Short film
2006 Inland Empire Visitor #1
2007 Careless Adrienne
2007 License to Wed Grandma Jones
2007 Alternate Endings Mom Short film
2008 Brothel, TheThe Brothel Madam
2009 Bob Funk Mrs. Funk
2009 My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done? Mrs. McCullum
2013 Wrong Cops Donna
Television
Year Title Role Notes
1978 Million Dollar Dixie Deliverance, TheThe Million Dollar Dixie Deliverance Widow Cummins TV movie
1979 Concrete Cowboys Mrs. Barnaby Episode: "Concrete Cowboys"
1979 Freedom Road Ruth Lait TV movie
1980 CBS Afternoon Playhouse Episode: "Lost in Death Valley"
1980 Blinded by the Light TV movie
1981 East of Eden Mrs. Ames TV miniseries
1981 Hart to Hart Ethyl Episode: "A Couple of Harts"
1982 Executioner's Song, TheThe Executioner's Song Kathryne Baker TV movie
1983 Tales of the Gold Monkey Dr. Clouet Episode: "Last Chance Louie"
1983 M.A.D.D.: Mothers Against Drunk Drivers Silvie Alice Kohler TV movie
1983 Cagney & Lacey Adele Episode: "Affirmative Action"
1984 My Mother's Secret Life Maggie Ryan TV movie
1984 Knots Landing Chambermaid Episode: "Negotiations"
1984 Burning Bed, TheThe Burning Bed Flossie Hughes TV movie
1984 Paper Dolls Cathy Episode: "1.8"
1985 ABC Afterschool Special Mrs. Linton Episode: "One Too Many"
1985 Santa Barbara Theda Bassett 17 episodes
1985 North Beach and Rawhide Hearings Officer TV movie
1985 Shadow Chasers Mary Komatar Episode: "Shadow Chasers: Part 1"
1986 Hill Street Blues Terry Sylvestri Episode: "Das Blues"
Episode: "Scales of Justice"
1986 Cagney & Lacey Eva Sikorski Episode: "Model Citizens"
1987 Falcon Crest Mabel Burton Episode: "When the Bough Breaks"
Episode: "The Cradle Will Fall"
1987 Mistress Deanie TV movie
1988 Bronx Zoo, TheThe Bronx Zoo Mrs. Barris Episode: "Ties That Bind"
1988 My Father, My Son Mouza TV movie
1988 Shooter Sister Marie TV movie
1988 Empty Nest Eva Barrett Episode: "Pilot"
1989 The Ryan White Story Gloria White TV movie
1989 Unsub Alma Episode: "White Bone Demon"
1989 Deadly Silence, AA Deadly Silence Psychologist TV movie
1989 Moonlighting (uncredited) Episode: "In 'N Outlaws"
1990 Tales from the Crypt Mrs. Colbert Episode: "The Secret"
1990 Hometown Boy Makes Good Helen Geary TV movie
1990–1991 Twin Peaks Sarah Palmer 13 episodes
1991 Prison Stories: Women on the Inside Genevieve TV movie
1991 Blood Ties The Woman TV movie
1991 Intimate Stranger Dana P. Ashley TV movie
1992 Freshman Dorm Episode: "Pilot"
1992 House of Secrets and Lies, AA House of Secrets and Lies Ruby TV movie
1992 Seinfeld Mrs. Ross Episode: "The Cheever Letters"
1993 Bonds of Love Emma TV movie
1993 Miracle Child Adeleine Newberry TV movie
1993 Black Widow Murders: The Blanche Taylor Moore Story Ethel TV movie
1993 Banner Times Momma TV movie
1993 Double Deception TV movie
1993 Sirens Female Store Owner Episode: "Keeping the Peace"
1993 Angel Falls Cuema 1 episode
1994 Lifestories: Families in Crisis Sandy Henry Episode: "A Body to Die For: The Aaron Henry Story"
1995 Crazy for a Kiss Pearl Kinross TV movie
1995 Children of the Dust Rose TV movie
1995 Under Suspicion Lily Cassins Episode: "Hostage Standoff"
Episode: "Wrongful Shooting"
1995 Empty Nest Scarlett Episode: "Life Goes On: Part 1"
Episode: "Life Goes On: Part 2"
1995 Fallen Angels Virna Episode: "The Black Bargain"
1995 NYPD Blue Wanda Padzik Episode: "The Bookie and the Kooky Cookie"
1996 Promise to Carolyn, AA Promise to Carolyn Francie Harper TV movie
1996 Second Noah Mrs. Cheval Episode: "Stormy Weather"
1996 Murder at My Door Grandma TV movie
1996 Burning Zone, TheThe Burning Zone Retired CIA Agent Episode: "Touch of the Dead"
1996 Seinfeld Mrs. Ross Episode: "The Rye"
Episode: "The Foundation"
1997 NYPD Blue Millie Banks Episode: "A Remington Original"
1997 High Incident Episode: "Remote Control"
1997 Over the Top Dolly Episode: "The Southern Story"
1997 Devil's Child, TheThe Devil's Child Rose DeMarco TV movie
1998 Seinfeld Mrs. Ross Episode: "The Wizard"
Episode: "The Finale"
1998 Dharma & Greg Naomi Episode: "It Takes a Village"
1998 Houdini Mrs. Weiss TV movie
1998 Profiler Mrs. Boudreaux Episode: "The Sum of Her Parts"
1999 King of Queens, TheThe King of Queens Veronica Episode: "S'ain't Valentine's"
2000 Jesse Grandma Rose Episode: "Jesse Gives Birth"
2000 West Wing, TheThe West Wing Isabel Episode: "In the Shadow of Two Gunmen: Part II"
2002 Guardian, TheThe Guardian Judith Episode: "The Dead"
2002 Glow, TheThe Glow Sylvia Goodstein TV movie
2002–2003 John Doe Yellow Teeth 6 episodes
2003 Charmed The Crone Episode: "Baby's First Demon"
Episode: "Sense and Sense Ability"
2005 Medium Connie Buckley Episode: "The Other Side of the Tracks"
2006–2011 Big Love Lois Henrickson 52 episodes
2013 The Killing Mama Dips 3 episodes

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://polishamericancenter.org/PANews/April12/page10.pdf
  2. ^ Wanda Tomczykowska. The Silent Heroes: Polish Contributions to California. Polish Arts and Culture Foundation, 1994
  3. ^ HBO: Big Love - Interviews - Grace Zabriskie

External links[edit]