||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (September 2009)|
Steenburgen at the December 2009 ceremony to receive her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
|Born||Mary Nell Steenburgen
February 8, 1953
Newport, Arkansas, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Malcolm McDowell (1980–1990) (divorced)
Ted Danson (1995–present)
|Children||2 (with McDowell)|
|Awards||Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress:
Melvin and Howard (1980)
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture:
Melvin and Howard (1980)
Mary Nell Steenburgen (born February 8, 1953) is an American actress. She won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for playing the role of Lynda Dummar in Jonathan Demme's 1980 film Melvin and Howard.
Early life 
Steenburgen was born in Newport, Arkansas, the daughter of Nellie Mae (née Wall), a school-board secretary, and Maurice Steenburgen, a freight-train conductor who worked at the Missouri Pacific Railroad. Steenburgen grew up in North Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Steenburgen moved to New York City in 1972, working at Doubleday while studying acting at New York's Neighborhood Playhouse under Will Esper. Her big break came when she was discovered by Jack Nicholson in the reception room of Paramount's New York office and was cast as the female lead in his second directorial effort, the 1978 Western Goin' South. She had a leading role in the 1979 film Time After Time as a modern woman who falls in love with author H. G. Wells, played by her first husband-to-be Malcolm McDowell.
In only her third film, she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for the 1980 film Melvin and Howard, playing Lynda Dummar, the wife of Melvin Dummar, then a trucker and aspiring singer, who claimed to have befriended reclusive eccentric Howard Hughes. She also appeared nude in the film. Another notable film appearance came in the well-received 1983 film Cross Creek, in which she played Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, author of The Yearling.
In Back to the Future Part III (1990), Steenburgen played Clara Clayton, a school teacher who falls in love with Doc Brown, played by Christopher Lloyd. She was persuaded to play the role by her children, as well as by fans of the Back to the Future films, and reprised the role by providing the character's voice in Back to the Future: The Animated Series.
Other performances have been: in What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993), as a woman who is having an affair with the title character (played by Johnny Depp); the role of Hannah Nixon in the Oliver Stone biopic, Nixon (1995); and in the Will Ferrell 2003 comedy Elf, as a woman who discovers that her husband is the father of one of Santa's elves.
In television, she has starred in the sitcom Ink (1996) with her husband, Ted Danson, and co-starred in the television miniseries Gulliver's Travels (1996) with Danson. She appeared as herself, alongside Danson, in the HBO comedy Curb Your Enthusiasm. She played the mother of the title character in the CBS drama series Joan of Arcadia. In 2011, she made guest appearances in Bored to Death, again alongside Danson.
In recent years, she has been in the comedy films, Step Brothers (2008), starring Will Ferrell, playing the mother of Ferrell's character; Four Christmases (2008) opposite Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon; and The Proposal (2009) opposite Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds.
Steenburgen received the 1,337th star on Hollywood Walk of Fame on December 16, 2009.
Dirty Girl, which features Steenburgen along with Juno Temple, Milla Jovovich and William H. Macy, premiered at the Toronto Film Festival on September 12, 2010. She also appeared in the critically acclaimed film The Help (2011), starring alongside Emma Stone, Viola Davis and Bryce Dallas Howard.
Personal life 
Steenburgen married actor Malcolm McDowell in 1980 and they had two children together: Lilly Amanda (now Lilly McDowell Walton), born January 31, 1981, and Charles Malcolm, born July 10, 1983. Steenburgen and McDowell divorced in 1990.
On October 7, 1995, Steenburgen married actor Ted Danson. In September 2005, she and Danson gave a guest lecture for students at the Clinton School of Public Service where they discussed their roles in public service as well as the foundations and causes in which they are involved. An alumna of Hendrix College, Steenburgen received an honorary doctorate from the institution in 1989. In 2006, Steenburgen received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas.
In January 2012, Steenburgen became a grandmother when her daughter Lilly gave birth to a girl named Clementine Mae.
|1978||Goin' South||Julia Tate / Moon|
|1979||Time After Time||Amy Robbins|
|1980||Melvin and Howard||Lynda Dummar|
|1982||A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy||Adrian|
|1983||Faerie Tale Theatre||Mary / Little Red Riding Hood||Little Red Riding Hood|
|Cross Creek||Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings|
|Romantic Comedy||Phoebe Craddock|
|1985||One Magic Christmas||Ginny Hanks Grainger|
|Tender Is the Night||Nicole Warren Diver|
|1987||The Whales of August||Young Sarah|
|Dead of Winter||Julie Rose / Katie McGovern / Evelyn|
|1988||The Attic: The Hiding of Anne Frank||Miep Gies|
|End of the Line||Rose Pickett|
|Miss Firecracker||Elain Rutledge|
|1990||The Long Walk Home||Narrator|
|Back to the Future Part III||Clara Clayton|
|1991||The Butcher's Wife||Stella Keefover||Did her own singing|
|Back to the Future: The Animated Series||Clara Clayton-Brown||Voice|
|What's Eating Gilbert Grape||Betty Carver|
|1994||Pontiac Moon||Katherine Bellamy|
|It Runs in the Family||Mrs. Parker (mother)|
|The Grass Harp||Sister Ida|
|1996||Gulliver's Travels||Mary Gulliver||TV miniseries|
|Ink||Kate Montgomery||TV Series|
|1998||About Sarah||Sarah Elizabeth McCaffrey|
|2000||Curb Your Enthusiasm||Herself||4 episodes|
|2001||I Am Sam||Dr. Blake|
|Life as a House||Colleen Beck|
|The Trumpet of the Swan||Mother||Voice|
|2002||Wish You Were Dead||Sally Rider|
|Sunshine State||Francine Pinkney|
|Talking to Heaven / Living with the Dead||Detective Karen Condrin||TV|
|Law and Order: Special Victims Unit||Grace Rinato||Episode: "Denial"|
|2003–05||Joan of Arcadia||Helen Girardi|
|Casa de los Babys||Gayle|
|Hope Springs||Joanie Fisher|
|2004||Capital City||Elaine Summer||TV|
|It Must Be Love||Clem Gazelle||TV|
|2005||Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing and Charm School||Marienne Hotchkiss|
|2006||The Dead Girl||Beverley, Leah's Mother|
|Inland Empire||Visitor #2|
|2007||Reinventing the Wheelers||Claire Wheeler||TV|
|Elvis and Anabelle||Geneva|
|Numb||Dr. Cheryl Blaine|
|Nobel Son||Sarah Michaelson|
|The Brave One||Carol|
|2008||Step Brothers||Nancy Huff|
|2009||In the Electric Mist||Bootsie Robicheaux|
|The Open Road||Katherine|
|The Proposal||Grace Paxton|
|Did You Hear About the Morgans?||Emma Wheeler|
|2011||The Help||Elain Stein|
|Bored to Death||Josephine||4 episodes|
|Wilfred||Ryan's Mother Katherine||2 episodes|
|2012||30 Rock||Diana Jessup||3 episodes|
|The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea||Julia|
Awards and nominations 
- . 3 October 1998 http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=PI&s_site=philly&p_multi=PI&p_theme=realcities&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0EB3308F017FD757&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM. Missing or empty
- "Mary Steenburgen Biography (1953-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2010-09-07.
- "Mary Steenburgen Biography - Yahoo! Movies". Movies.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2010-09-07.
- "Stony Reception in Little Rock; Film by Mary Steenburgen Draws Cries of Foul in Arkansas - The Washington Post | HighBeam Research - FREE trial". Highbeam.com. 1988-04-03. Retrieved 2010-09-07.
- "Mary Nell Steenburgen (1953â€")". Encyclopedia of Arkansas. Retrieved 2010-09-07.
- Mary Steenburgen: Biography. TV Guide.com.
- "Mary Steenburgen Saddles Into Outlaw Country Pilot". TVGuide.com.
- "The Clinton School Speaker Series - Inspiring Ideas and Action". Clintonschoolspeakers.com. Retrieved 2010-09-07.
- "Hendrix College". Encyclopedia of Arkansas. Retrieved 2010-09-07.
- "Acclaimed actress, Arkansas native to receive honorary Lyon degree". Lyon College Newsletter. 2 October 2006. Retrieved 10 July 2010.
- "Danson to Hit the Road for Clinton Again". The Washington Post. 15 February 2008. Retrieved 10 July 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Mary Steenburgen|
- Mary Steenburgen at the Internet Movie Database
- Mary Steenburgen at AllRovi
- Mary Steenburgen Named 27th Sexiest Woman Over 50
- Mary Steenburgen: The Gift of Giving