Judy Davis

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Judy Davis
Judy Davis - Eye of The Storm.jpg
Davis in January 2012
Born (1955-04-23) 23 April 1955 (age 59)
Perth, Western Australia
Occupation Actress
Years active 1977–present
Spouse(s) Colin Friels (1984–present)

Judy Davis (born 23 April 1955) is an Australian film, television and stage actress. She has won seven Australian Academy Awards (AACTA) and two British Academy Awards (BAFTA).

Early in her career, Davis starred on stage opposite Mel Gibson in Romeo and Juliet in 1978. Her other theatre roles include Edith Piaf in Piaf at the Perth Playhouse (1980), Insignificance at the Royal Court London (1982), the title role in Hedda Gabler with the Sydney Theatre Company (1986), Hapgood in Los Angeles (1989) and Irina in The Seagull at the Belvoir St Theatre in Sydney (2011).

She first came to attention on screen for her role as the fiery Sybylla Melvyn in the 1979 film My Brilliant Career, which won her two BAFTA Awards. She received Academy Award nominations for A Passage to India (1984) and Husbands and Wives (1992). For her television work she has won three Emmy Awards, for Serving in Silence (1995), the title role in Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows (2001) and The Starter Wife (2007). Her other films include, Winter of Our Dreams (1981), Heatwave (1983), High Tide (1987), Impromptu (1991), Naked Lunch (1991), Absolute Power (1997), Deconstructing Harry (1997), The Reagans (2003) The Break-up (2006) and The Eye of the Storm (2011).

Personal life[edit]

Davis was born in Perth, and had a strict Catholic upbringing.[1][2] She was educated at Loreto Convent and the Western Australian Institute of Technology, and graduated from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in 1977. She has been married to actor and fellow NIDA graduate Colin Friels since 1984. They have two children, son Jack and daughter Charlotte.[3]

Career[edit]

First coming to prominence for her role as Sybylla Melvyn in the coming-of-age saga My Brilliant Career (1979),[4] for which she won BAFTA Awards for Best Actress and Best Newcomer, Judy Davis also played the lead in the Australian New Wave classics Winter of Our Dreams (1981) (as a waif-like heroin addict) and Heatwave (1982) (as a radical tenant organizer).

Her international film career began in 1981 when she played the younger version of Ingrid Bergman's Golda Meir in the television docudrama A Woman Called Golda, followed by the role of a terrorist in the British film Who Dares Wins (1982).[4]

In 1984, she was cast as Adela Quested in David Lean's final film A Passage to India, an adaptation of E. M. Forster's novel, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress.[4] She returned to Australian cinema for her next two films, Kangaroo, as a German-born writer's wife, and Hightide, as a foot-loose mother who attempts to reunite with her teenage daughter who is being raised by the paternal grandmother. She earned Australian Film Institute Awards for both roles, and a National Society of Film Critics award for Hightide's brief American theatrical run. In 1990, she played a cameo in Woody Allen's Alice.

In 1991, she was featured in Joel Coen's Barton Fink, which won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival and in David Cronenberg's adaptation of the hallucinogenic novel Naked Lunch. She won an Independent Spirit Award for her work as mannish woman author George Sand in Impromptu and returned to E. M. Forster territory in Where Angels Fear to Tread. She portrayed real-life World War II heroine Mary Lindell in the CBS Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation One Against the Wind. In 1992, she played a major role in Woody Allen's Husbands and Wives as one half of a divorcing couple. For this performance she earned both Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for best supporting actress.

Other roles have included the mysterious, schizophrenic mother of a teenager in boarding school in On My Own (1993), the lifelong Australian Communist Party member reacting to the downfall of the Soviet Union in Children of the Revolution (1996), two more Allen films, Deconstructing Harry (1997) and Celebrity (1998), a highly-strung White House chief of staff in Absolute Power (1997), a supportive mother in Swimming Upstream (2003) and supporting roles in two 2006 films, The Break-Up and Marie-Antoinette.

She co-starred with Kevin Spacey in the 1994 comedy film The Ref, portraying a married couple whose relationship is on the rocks, with Denis Leary playing a thief who counsels their marriage.

Much of her recent work has been on television, where she has a collection of Emmy Award nominations. She won her first Emmy for portraying the woman who gently coaxes rigid militarywoman Glenn Close out of the closet in Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story, with subsequent nominations for her repressed Australian outback mother in The Echo of Thunder (1998), her portrayal of Lillian Hellman in Dash and Lilly (1999), her frigid society matron in A Cooler Climate (1999) and her interpretation of Nancy Reagan in the controversial biopic The Reagans (2003).

She earned a second Emmy for her portrayal of Judy Garland in the 2001 television biographical film Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows.[5] In July 2006, she received her ninth Emmy nomination for her performance in the television film A Little Thing Called Murder. Her tenth nomination came in 2007 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in the U.S. miniseries The Starter Wife for which she was awarded the Emmy. In August 2007, she appeared opposite Sam Waterston in an episode of ABC's anthology series Masters of Science Fiction. She appeared on the TV mini-series, Diamonds from 2008–2009.

In 2011, Davis appeared in a television drama film, Page Eight, for which she was nominated for an Emmy. She played Dorothy de Lascabanes in The Eye of the Storm, an adaptation of Patrick White's novel of the same title, for which, in 2012, she won the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. She has a major role as Woody Allen's psychiatrist wife in his To Rome with Love.

In 2013, Davis co-starred with Helena Bonham Carter and Callum Keith Rennie in The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet. She reprised her role of Jill Tankard in 2014's Salting the Battlefield. She is also due to star in "The Surrealist" which is about Salvidor Dali. She co-stars with Kate Winslet in The Dressmaker which began filming in 2014.

Stage[edit]

Davis's stage work has been limited, and mostly confined to Australia. Early in her career, she played Juliet opposite Mel Gibson's Romeo. In 1978, she appeared in Visions by Louis Nowra at the Paris Theatre Company in Sydney. In 1980, she portrayed French chanteuse Edith Piaf in Stephen Barry's production of the Pam Gems play Piaf at the Perth Playhouse.[6] She played both Cordelia and the Fool in a 1984 staging of King Lear by the Nimrod Theatre Company, and also starred in its productions of Strindberg's Miss Julie, Chekhov's The Bear, Louis Nowra's Inside The Island and, in 1986, the title role of Ibsen's Hedda Gabler for the Sydney Theatre Company

In 2004, she starred in and co-directed Howard Barker's play Victory, as a Puritan woman determined to locate her husband's dismembered corpse.[7] Other stage directorial efforts include Sheridan's The School For Scandal and Barrymore by William Luce[8] (all three for the Sydney Theatre Company). She created the role of The Actress in Terry Johnson's Insignificance at the Royal Court in London,[9] receiving an Olivier Award nomination, and appeared in a brief 1989 Los Angeles production of Tom Stoppard's Hapgood.

In 2011, she portrayed the role of fading actress Irina Arkadina in Anton Chekhov's The Seagull at Sydney's Belvoir St Theatre.

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1977 High Rolling Lynn
1979 My Brilliant Career Sybylla Melvyn BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
BAFTA Award for Best Newcomer
Nominated — Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
1981 Hoodwink Sarah Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
1981 Winter of Our Dreams Lou Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
13th Moscow International Film Festival - Award for Best Actress[10]
1982 Who Dares Wins Frankie Leith Also entitled The Final Option
1983 Heatwave Kate Dean
1984 A Passage to India Adela Quested Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actress
1986 Kangaroo Harriet Somers Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
1987 High Tide Lilli Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress
1988 Georgia Nina Bailley/Georgia White Nominated — Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
1990 Alice Vicki
1991 Barton Fink Audrey Taylor London Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
1991 Impromptu George Sand Independent Spirit Award for Best Lead Female
1991 Where Angels Fear to Tread Harriet Harriton Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
1991 Naked Lunch Joan Lee/Joan Frost London Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated — National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
1992 On My Own The Mother Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominated — Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
1992 Husbands and Wives Sally Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
London Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Nominated — New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
1993 Dark Blood Buffy (completed in 2012)
1994 Ref, TheThe Ref Caroline Chasseur
1994 New Age, TheThe New Age Katherine Witner
1996 Children of the Revolution Joan Fraser Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Film Critics Circle of Australia Award for Best Actor - Female
1997 Deconstructing Harry Lucy
1997 Absolute Power Gloria Russell Nominated — Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actress - Suspense
1997 Blood and Wine Suzanne Gates
1998 Celebrity Robin Simon
2001 Man Who Sued God, TheThe Man Who Sued God Anna Redmond
2001 Gaudi Afternoon Cassandra Reilly
2003 Swimming Upstream Dora Fingleton Film Critics Circle of Australia Award for Best Supporting Actor - Female
Nominated — Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Nominated — IF Award for Best Actress
2006 Break-Up, TheThe Break-Up Marilyn Dean
2006 Marie Antoinette Comtesse de Noailles
2011 Eye of the Storm, TheThe Eye of the Storm Dorothy de Lascabanes AACTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Nominated — Asia Pacific Screen Award for Best Performance by an Actress
Nominated — Film Critics Circle of Australia Award for Best Actress - Leading Role
Nominated — IF Award for Best Actress
2012 To Rome with Love Phyllis
2013 The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet Jibsen
2015 The Dressmaker Molly Dunnage Post-production

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1980 Water Under the Bridge Carrie Mazzini
1982 Woman Called Golda, AA Woman Called Golda Golda Myerson/Meir Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
1983 Merry Wives of Windsor, TheThe Merry Wives of Windsor Mistress Ford BBC Television Shakespeare
1986 Rocket to the Moon Cleo Singer
1991 One Against the Wind Mary Lindell Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
1995 Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story Dianne Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
1998 The Echo of Thunder Gladwyn Ritchie Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
1999 Dash and Lilly Lillian Hellman Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
1999 Cooler Climate, AA Cooler Climate[11] Paula Tanner Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie[12]
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie[11]
2001 Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows Judy Garland American Film Institute Award for Actor of the Year – Female – Movie or Mini-Series
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress in a Picture Made for Television
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
Satellite Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
2003 Reagans, TheThe Reagans Nancy Reagan Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
2003 Coast to Coast Maxine Pierce
2006 Little Thing Called Murder, AA Little Thing Called Murder Sante Kimes Satellite Award for Best Actress - Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress - Miniseries or a Movie
2007 Starter Wife, TheThe Starter Wife Joan McAllister Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
Gracie Allen Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress - Mini-Series
Nominated — Australian Film Institute International Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Prism Award for Performance in a TV Movie or Miniseries
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
2007 Masters of Science Fiction: A Clean Escape Dr. Deanna Evans
2009 Diamonds Senator Joan Cameron Nominated — Gemini Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
2011 Page Eight Jill Tankard Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
2014 Salting the Battlefield

Other awards[edit]

  • 1994 Film Critics Circle of Australia Award Special Achievement Award ("* For her outstanding body of Australian and international work and for her considerable contribution to the profession of screen acting.")
Nominations

References[edit]

  1. ^ Maslin, Janet (22 February 1980). "New Face: Judy Davis Don't Call Her Sybylla; A Last-Minute Replacement 'I'm Not Good at Reading Scripts' Elizabeth Swados at Club". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  2. ^ Rovi, Hal Erickson. "Judy Davis Biography". TV Squad. Retrieved 10 October 2010. 
  3. ^ Colin Friels biography at IMDb
  4. ^ a b c Ryan Gilbey (25 April 2013). "Judy Davis: 'I never wanted celebrity'". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  5. ^ Bernard Weinraub (10 December 2000). "The Rewards And the Risks of Playing an Icon". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  6. ^ Allen, Paul Stephen Barry (obituary) The Guardian, London, 9 November 2000
  7. ^ Fitzgerald, Michael The Restoration of Judy at Time Magazine, 24 April 2004
  8. ^ Kerry O'Brien (9 August 1999). "Judy Davies takes on directing". ABC 7.30 report. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  9. ^ "Society of West End Theatre Awards 1982" at West End Theatre.com
  10. ^ "13th Moscow International Film Festival (1983)". MIFF. Retrieved 2013-01-31. 
  11. ^ a b "6th Annual SAG Awards Nominees". Screen Actors Guild Awards. Archived from the original on 23 January 2010. Retrieved 23 January 2010. 
  12. ^ "The Starter Wife – Character Profiles & Bios – Judy Davis as Joan McAllister". USANetwork.com. NBC Universal. Archived from the original on 23 January 2010. Retrieved 23 January 2010. 

External links[edit]