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McDonnell at the Battlestar Galactica panel at the 2007 San Diego Comic Con International
|Born||Mary Eileen McDonnell
April 28, 1952
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Randle Mell (1984?–present; 2 children)|
Mary Eileen McDonnell (born April 28, 1952) is an American film, stage, and television actress. She received Academy Award nominations for her roles as Stands With A Fist in Dances with Wolves and May-Alice Culhane in Passion Fish. McDonnell is well known for her performances as President Laura Roslin in Battlestar Galactica, the First Lady in Independence Day, Rose in Donnie Darko, and Captain Sharon Raydor in the TNT crime drama The Closer and spinoff series Major Crimes.
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McDonnell was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and was raised in Ithaca, New York. After graduating from the State University of New York at Fredonia, she attended drama school and joined the East Coast's prestigious Long Wharf Theatre Company, with which she worked for over 20 years. McDonnell is married to Randle Mell (born 1951), who is also an actor. McDonnell and Mell currently reside in Pacific Palisades, California. They have two children: Olivia (born 1987) and Michael (born 1993).
After more than 21 years of theater and television work, McDonnell made her film breakthrough in 1990 as Stands With A Fist, the daughter of American settlers raised by Sioux Indians, in Kevin Costner's Dances with Wolves. Portraying the adopted daughter of Graham Greene's character Kicking Bird, McDonnell, then 37, was actually two months older than Greene and less than two years younger than Tantoo Cardinal, who played Black Shawl, her adoptive mother. McDonnell was extremely nervous about shooting her sex scene with Kevin Costner, requesting it to be toned down from what was scripted. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for the role.
McDonnell's role in Passion Fish (1992) brought her another Academy Award nomination, this time for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Her other notable films include Grand Canyon (1991), Sneakers (1992), Independence Day (1996), and Donnie Darko (2001). McDonnell also starred with Patrick Swayze in the 1988 movie, Tiger Warsaw. In 1997 she played the judge in the film 12 Angry Men. The film also featured future Battlestar Galactica castmate Edward James Olmos.
On television, McDonnell had her first regular part in 1980 on the soap opera As the World Turns. She starred in 1984 on the short-lived medical comedy E/R, alongside Elliott Gould and George Clooney. Coincidentally, she guest-starred in 2001 on the NBC medical series of the same name, ER, which also featured Clooney. She was nominated for an Emmy Award for her role on the show as Eleanor Carter, the mother of Dr. John Carter played by Noah Wyle, who also had a role in Donnie Darko. She plays Dr. Virginia Dixon, a surgeon with Asperger syndrome for three episodes of Grey's Anatomy in 2008 and 2009.
In 2003, McDonnell starred in the mini-series Battlestar Galactica as Laura Roslin. The mini-series led to the subsequent weekly series, with McDonnell reprising her Laura Roslin role. The series ended in March 2009. McDonnell received worldwide recognition for her performance in the show, part of which was shown when she was invited to the United Nations for a retrospective and discussion with Edward James Olmos (Admiral Adama).
McDonnell took part in a special session entitled Battlestar Galactica at the 2009 World Science Festival. The session also included Michael Hogan, as well as scientists Nick Bostrom and Kevin Warwick. In 2011, she appeared in the role of Kate Roberts, the mother of Emma Roberts's character in Scream 4.
From 2009 to 2012, McDonnell had a recurring role in The Closer as Capt. Sharon Raydor, a police captain in the Force Investigation Division, who often butts heads with Kyra Sedgwick's Golden Globe and Emmy award-winning character. McDonnell received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series in 2011 for the role.
|1980||As the World Turns||Claudia Colfax|
|1984||Garbo Talks||Lady Capulet|
|1984–1985||E/R||Dr. Eve Sheridan||TV series (20 episodes)|
|1988||Tiger Warsaw||Paula Warsaw|
|1990||Dances with Wolves||Stands With A Fist|
|1992||Passion Fish||May-Alice Culhane|
|1994||Blue Chips||Jenny Bell|
|1995–1996||High Society||Dorothy "Dott" Emerson||TV series (13 episodes)|
|1996||Independence Day||First Lady Marilyn Whitmore|
|1996||Mariette in Ecstasy||Prioress|
|1997||12 Angry Men||Judge||TV film|
|1997||Woman Undone||Terri Hansen|
|1998||You Can Thank Me Later||Diane|
|1998||Evidence of Blood||Dora Overton||TV film|
|1999||Replacing Dad||Linda Marsh||TV film|
|2000||A Father's Choice||Susan Shaw||TV film|
|2000||For All Time||Laura Brown||TV film|
|2001–2002||ER||Eleanor Carter||TV series (5 episodes)|
|2001||Donnie Darko||Rose Darko|
|2002||Locket, TheThe Locket||Helen Staples||TV film|
|2003||Battlestar Galactica||President Laura Roslin||TV miniseries (2 episodes)|
|2004–2009||Battlestar Galactica||President Laura Roslin||TV series (73 episodes)|
|2004||Crazy Like a Fox||Amy Banks|
|2005||Mrs. Harris||Vivian Schulte||TV film|
|2008–2009||Grey's Anatomy||Dr. Virginia Dixon||TV series (3 episodes)|
|2009||Killer Hair||Rose||TV film|
|2009||Hostile Makeover||Rose Smithsonian||TV film|
|2011||Scream 4||Kate Roberts|
|2011||Margin Call||Mary Rogers|
|2009–2012||Closer, TheThe Closer||Captain Sharon Raydor||TV series (26 episodes)|
|2012–present||Major Crimes||Captain Sharon Raydor||TV series|
Awards and nominations
- 1990—Dances with Wolves
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
- 1992—Passion Fish
- 2009—Battlestar Galactica
- 2011—Closer, TheThe Closer
- "Zap2it Interview". MSNBC. Retrieved November 13, 2008.
- Battlestar Galactica World Science Festival, June 10–14, 2009, New York City
- Creepy, Uncle (July 2, 2010). "And the Body Count Continues – More Scream 4 Casting: Mary McDonnell and Alison Brie". Dreadcentral.com. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
- Ausiello, Michael (March 22, 2009). "'The Closer' exclusive: It's McDonnell vs. Sedgwick!". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 2, 2009.
- "Primetime Emmy Awards nominations for 2011 – Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series". Emmys.com. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
- Fienberg, Daniel (May 18, 2011). "TNT orders 'Closer' spinoff 'Major Crimes' starring Mary McDonnell". HitFix. Retrieved May 31, 2011.
- Mary McDonnell at the Internet Movie Database
- Mary McDonnell at the Internet Broadway Database
- Mary McDonnell at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
- Mary McDonnell at TVGuide.com
- Mary McDonnell at Battlestar Wiki
- "The OBIES". Archived from the original on November 14, 2007.