Mara Wilson

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Mara Wilson
Born Mara Elizabeth Wilson
(1987-07-24) July 24, 1987 (age 27)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress (1993 – 2000), Playwright, Stage Actress, Voice Actress, Writer
Years active 1993 – present
Website
www.marawilsonwritesstuff.com

Mara Elizabeth Wilson (born July 24, 1987) is an American former child actress, writer, playwright, stage actress and voice actress. She is best known for her roles as Natalie Hillard in Mrs. Doubtfire and the titular character of Matilda.[1][2]

Personal life[edit]

Wilson was born in Los Angeles, California on July 24, 1987. She is the oldest daughter of Mike Wilson, a television broadcast engineer, and the late Suzie Shapiro Wilson, a homemaker.[3] She has three older brothers, Danny, Jon, and Joel, and a younger sister, Anna.[4] Wilson's cousin is political commentator Ben Shapiro.[5] Her mother, Suzie Wilson, was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer on March 10, 1995[6] and died on April 26, 1996 while Mara was filming Matilda. Rhea Perlman and Danny Devito, real life husband and wife who portrayed Matilda's neglectful parents in the film became close to Wilson, taking care of her as her mother got worse.[7] The movie was dedicated to Suzie's memory. Mike has since remarried.

Wilson's mother was Jewish and her father is of part Irish descent; Wilson was raised in the Jewish faith,[8][9][10][11] and is now also an atheist.[12] In 2005, she graduated from Idyllwild Arts Academy.[13] She studied at New York University.[14]

Career[edit]

After watching her eldest brother Danny act in commercials, Wilson had an interest in film acting at the age of five. Wilson's film debut was in the 1993 Mrs. Doubtfire, followed by the 1994 remake of Miracle on 34th Street. In 1994, Wilson had a recurring role as Nikki Petrova on Melrose Place and played Barbara Barton in the television film A Time to Heal.

Wilson sang "Make 'Em Laugh" at the 67th Academy Awards telecast on March 27, 1995, with Tim Curry and Kathy Najimy.[15]

In 1995, she won the ShoWest Award for "Young Star of the Year". Her performances in those films caught the attention of Danny DeVito and led to her being cast as the titular character in Matilda.

Wilson won a Young Artist Award for her role in A Simple Wish in "Best Performance in a Feature Film Leading Young Actress" and a Young Star Award for Matilda in "Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Comedy Film". She was twice nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor for both Matilda and A Simple Wish. In 1999, she played Willow Johnson in the 1999 Disney Channel television film Balloon Farm. Mara auditioned for the 1998 remake of The Parent Trap, but she was considered to be too young for the role.[16] Her appearance in the 2000 film Thomas and the Magic Railroad was her last major film role to date. Once Thomas and the Magic Railroad was completed Mara decided to focus on school instead of film acting. At that point in her career, scripts were being sent to Mara so that she didn't have to go to auditions.[17]

In 2012, Wilson appeared briefly in one episode of a web series called Missed Connection in the role of Bitty and made special appearances on internet review shows for That Guy with the Glasses — most notably a comedic turn playing an adult Matilda during a review of Matilda by The Nostalgia Chick, Lindsay Ellis.

In 2012 Mara explained why she quit film acting. "Film acting is not very fun. Doing the same thing over and over again until, in the director's eyes, you 'get it right', does not allow for very much creative freedom. The best times I had on film sets were the times the director let me express myself, but those were rare."[18]

In May 2013, Wilson wrote an article for online magazine Cracked.com, offering her opinion of the delinquency of some former child stars.[19]

She now works for Publicolor and is hoping to break into young adult novels[20] and has written her first Off Broadway play called Sheeple.[21]

Wilson also has a recurring role on the podcast Welcome to Night Vale as "The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home."

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1993 Mrs. Doubtfire Natalie "Nattie" Hillard
1994 Miracle on 34th Street Susan Walker
A Time to Heal Barbara Barton TV movie
1996 Matilda Matilda Wormwood Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor
Nominated—Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a Feature Film
Won—Young Star Award for Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Comedy Film
1997 A Simple Wish Anabel Greening Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor
Nominated—Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a Feature Film
Nominated—Young Star Award for Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Comedy Film
1999 Balloon Farm Willow Johnson TV movie
2000 Thomas and the Magic Railroad Lily Stone Nominated—Young Star Award for Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Comedy Film
Nominated—Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a Feature Film

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1994 Melrose Place Nicole "Nikki" Petrova 5 Episodes
1996 Pearl Samantha Stein Episode: "The Tutor" (season 1 episode 11)
1999 Batman Beyond Tamara (voice) Episode: Mind Games (season 2 episode 10)

Internet[edit]

Year Series Role Notes
2012 Nostalgia Critic Herself Episode: "A Simple Wish"[22]
Nostalgia Chick Episode: "Matilda"[23]
Demo Reel Donnie DuPre's wife (voice) Episode: "Lost in Translation (Bromance Version)"
Shut Up and Talk Herself Episode: "Guest: Mara Wilson"
Missed Connection Bitty Episode: "Bad Dates"[24]
Filmed in 2011
2013 Welcome to Night Vale The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home Episode: "26 - Faceless Old Woman"
Episode: "31 - A Blinking Light up on the Mountain"
Episode: "Condos"[25]

Episode: "The Debate"
Episode: "49 - Old Oak Doors"

2014 Keith and The Girl Herself Episode: "2002"[26]
2014 Nostalgia Chick Herself Episode: "Nostalgic Foods of Yore"

Awards[edit]

1995 – ShoWest Award – Young Star of the Year[27]

Stage[edit]

Cinderella (2005)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Young Mara Wilson Builds A Fairy-Tale Film Career
  2. ^ Being Matilda
  3. ^ Mara Wilson Biography (1987-)
  4. ^ MALHAM Jr, HOWELL J. (July 26, 1994). "To Her, It's Kids' Stuff : Movies: Mara Wilson, 7, is earning praise from her co-stars in the upcoming 'Miracle on 34th Street,' but acting is just something she says she likes--for now". Los Angeles Times. 
  5. ^ http://www.ktth.com/2014/01/24/justin-bieber-symptom-big-problem/
  6. ^ Lessons in Courage
  7. ^ Mara Wilson - Matilda Star: 'Danny Devito And Perlman Helped Me When Mum Lost Cancer Battle'
  8. ^ "Twitter". Mobile.twitter.com. Retrieved 2014-08-13. 
  9. ^ "Twitter". Mobile.twitter.com. Retrieved 2014-08-13. 
  10. ^ RunningLateShow (2013-03-16). "Mara Wilson Interview Pt. 2 — Running Late with Scott Rogowsky". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-08-13. 
  11. ^ Wilson, Mara (May 28, 2013). "7 Reasons Child Stars Go Crazy (An Insider's Perspective)". Cracked.com. Retrieved June 13, 2013. 
  12. ^ Reconciling Your Religious Differences with a Sibling, Patheos, By Hemant Mehta, January 2, 2013
  13. ^ "Theatre Alumni". Idyllwild Arts Academy. Retrieved January 30, 2012. 
  14. ^ "What happened to the original Matilda? As the hit musical dominates Olivier awards, former child star Mara Wilson". London: Daily Mail. 17 April 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  15. ^ Archerd, Army (March 14, 1995). Oscars plan to 'Make 'em Laugh'. Variety.
  16. ^ Mara Wilson Reviews Matilda the Musical
  17. ^ Mara Wilson Interview
  18. ^ Child Star Mara Wilson: Why I Quit Film Acting
  19. ^ 7 reasons child stars go crazy (an inside view) on Cracked.com, May 28, 2013
  20. ^ Where Are They Now? #1: Mara Wilson
  21. ^ Sheeple
  22. ^ "A Simple Wish". Thatguywiththeglasses.com. 2012-05-01. Retrieved 2014-08-13. 
  23. ^ "Matilda". Thatguywiththeglasses.com. 2012-10-11. Retrieved 2014-08-13. 
  24. ^ "Missed Connection: "Bad Dates"". Comediva. 2012-01-30. Retrieved 2014-08-13. 
  25. ^ "31 - A Blinking Light up on the Mountain from Welcome to Night Vale on podbay". Podbay.fm. Retrieved 2014-08-13. 
  26. ^ June 25, 2014 (2014-06-25). "Boobs (Keith and The Girl) - Comedy Talk Show & Podcast". Keith and The Girl. Retrieved 2014-08-13. 
  27. ^ Mara Wilson Awards

External links[edit]