Patricia Clarkson

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Patricia Clarkson
Patricia Clarkson 2011.jpg
Clarkson at the Hugo premiere, New York City, November 2011
Born Patricia Davies Clarkson
(1959-12-29) December 29, 1959 (age 54)
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1985–present

Patricia Davies Clarkson (born December 29, 1959) is an American actress. She has starred in many leading and supporting roles in films such as The Station Agent, The Green Mile, Far from Heaven, High Art, Dogville, Good Night, and Good Luck, Easy A, and Cairo Time. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and the Golden Globe for her performance in Pieces of April (2003). She twice won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her recurring role in Six Feet Under. In 1998 she was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her Off-Broadway performance in The Maiden's Prayer.

Early life[edit]

Clarkson was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, the daughter of Jacquelyn (née Brechtel), a local New Orleans politician and councilwoman, and Arthur, a school administrator who worked at Louisiana State University's Department of Medicine.[1][2] She studied drama at Fordham University, where she graduated summa cum laude, and earned her MFA at the Yale School of Drama[3] before making her film debut in The Untouchables in 1987.

Career[edit]

Clarkson's Broadway theatre credits include The House of Blue Leaves and Eastern Standard. She had supporting roles in a series of high-profile films in her early career. Her first movie role, at age 27, was as the wife of Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner) in The Untouchables. She was also featured in The Dead Pool, Rocket Gibraltar and Everybody's All-American. She starred in the short-run television series Davis Rules, and in the miniseries Alex Haley's Queen.

More often a character actor than a leading woman, she has also appeared in such major films as The Green Mile (1999), Far from Heaven (2002), Good Night, and Good Luck (2005) and Lars and the Real Girl (2007). Her breakthrough role was in High Art (1998) where her portrayal of Greta, a German, drug-addicted lesbian former model, gained rave reviews. She has said about acting, "I’m deeply invested in everything I do, and it’s a good thing, because acting is the only thing I know how to do."[4]

Clarkson at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival premiere of Whatever Works

In 2002, she originated her role as Sarah O'Connor (a.k.a. "Aunt Sarah") in HBO's Six Feet Under. She went on to win the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series that year for her performance, she repeated for the same role in 2006. In 2003, she gained critical acclaim and a Special Jury Prize for her work in four films that debuted at the Sundance Film Festival: All the Real Girls, The Baroness and the Pig, The Station Agent and Pieces of April.[5][6] Later that same year, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Pieces of April, in which she played an acerbic mother dying of cancer. In 2006, she portrayed Sadie Burke, in All the King's Men, set in her native New Orleans. In 2008, she had supporting roles in Elegy, as a womanizer's put-upon girlfriend, and Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona as an unhappily married housewife.

In 2008, producer Gerald Peary approached Clarkson to do the voice-over for the documentary film For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism. Says Peary, "She agreed to do the narration ... And she was so nice, and so cooperative, and so prepared, and so intelligent. And one of the key reasons she wanted to do the movie was that she regularly reads criticism, and has a genuine respect for the critic profession.[7]

Clarkson returned to New Orleans for the January 17, 2009 reopening of the Mahalia Jackson Theatre for the Performing Arts. She served as Master of Ceremonies for a gala featuring Plácido Domingo in concert with the New Orleans Opera, conducted by Robert Lyall.[8] She also made a cameo appearance in the Saturday Night Live Digital Short "Motherlover" on May 9, 2009. The video featured Andy Samberg, Justin Timberlake, and Susan Sarandon. She reprised the role on May 21, 2011 in the Digital Short "3-Way (The Golden Rule)". In 2010, she starred in Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island.[9] Clarkson was honored by the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival when she received one of the 2010 Volta awards for achievements in her career.[10]

In the fourth season of the NBC mockumentary Parks and Recreation, Clarkson began portraying the recurring role of Tammy One, Parks Department head Ron Swanson's first wife.[11]

Personal life[edit]

In response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Clarkson published a post for Natural Resources Defense Council's magazine OnEarth. She also released a public service announcement talking about her experiences growing up in New Orleans. Both pieces were released on July 26, 2010.[12]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1987 Untouchables, TheThe Untouchables Catherine Ness
1988 Dead Pool, TheThe Dead Pool Samantha Walker
1988 Rocket Gibraltar Rose Black
1988 Everybody's All-American Leslie Stone
1990 The Old Man and the Sea Mary Pruitt Television film
1990 Tune in Tomorrow Aunt Olga
1992 Four Eyes and Six Guns Lucy Laughton
1992 Blind Man's Bluff Dr. Virginia Hertz Television movie
1992 American Story, AnAn American Story Barbara Meade Television movie
1992 Legacy of Lies Pat Rafael Television movie
1992 Four Eyes and Six Guns Lucy Laughton Television movie
1993 Queen Elizabeth "Lizzie" Perkins Television movie
1993 Caught in the Act Meg Television movie
1994 She Led Two Lives Desiree Parnell Television movie
1995 Pharaoh's Army Sarah Anders
1995 Jumanji Carol Anne Parrish
1996 London Suite Diana Nichols Television movie
1996 Wedding, TheThe Wedding Della McNeil Television movie
1998 Playing by Heart Allison
1998 High Art Greta Nominated—National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
1999 Green Mile, TheThe Green Mile Melinda Moores Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
1999 Wayward Son Wesley
1999 Simply Irresistible Lois McNally
2000 Falling Like This Caroline Lockhart
2000 Joe Gould's Secret Vivian Marquie
2001 Safety of Objects, TheThe Safety of Objects Annette Jennings Deauville American Film Festival Award for Best Female Performance
San Diego Film Critics Society - Body of Work Award
2001 Pledge, TheThe Pledge Margaret Larsen
2001 Wendigo Kim
2002 Welcome to Collinwood Rosalind
2002 Far from Heaven Eleanor Fine National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress
2002 Heartbreak Hospital Lottie Ohrwasher
2002 Baroness and the Pig, TheThe Baroness and the Pig The Baroness
2002 Carrie Margaret White Television movie
2003 Dogville Vera
2003 Station Agent, TheThe Station Agent Olivia Harris Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress
San Diego Film Critics Society - Body of Work Award
Sundance Film Festival - Special Jury Prize
Nominated—Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
2003 All the Real Girls Elvira Fine San Diego Film Critics Society - Body of Work Award
Sundance Film Festival - Special Jury Prize
2003 Pieces of April Joy Burns Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress
San Diego Film Critics Society - Body of Work Award
San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture
Sundance Film Festival - Special Jury Prize
Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female
Nominated—Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
2004 Miracle Patti Brooks
2005 Good Night, and Good Luck. Shirley Wershba Nominated—Gotham Award for Best Ensemble Cast
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2005 Dying Gaul, TheThe Dying Gaul Elaine Tishop
2006 Woods, TheThe Woods Ms. Traverse
2006 All the King's Men Sadie Burke
2007 No Reservations Paula
2007 Lars and the Real Girl Dagmar
2007 Married Life Pat Allen
2008 Blind Date Janna
2008 Phoebe in Wonderland Miss Dodger
2008 Elegy Carolyn
2008 Vicky Cristina Barcelona Judy Nash
2009 Whatever Works Marietta
2009 2081 Narrator voice
2009 For the Love of Movies Narrator
2009 Cairo Time Juliette Grant
2010 Shutter Island 2nd Rachel Solando
2010 Legendary Sharon Chetley
2010 Main Street Willa
2010 Easy A Rosemary Penderghast
2011 Friends with Benefits Lorna
2011 One Day Alison Mayhew
2012 The Dust Bowl Hazel Lucas Shaw Television movie
2012 Five Mia Knowles Television movie
2013 The East Sharon
2014 The Maze Runner Chancellor Ava Paige
2014 Last Weekend Celia Green

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1985 Spenser: For Hire Elizabeth Haller Episode: "The Choice"
1986 Equalizer, TheThe Equalizer Deborah Wade Episode: "Breakpoint"
1990 Tales from the Crypt Suzy Episode: "Mute Witness to Murder"
1990 Law & Order Laura Winthrop Episode: "By Hooker, By Crook"
1991 Davis Rules Cosmo Yeargin 13 episodes
1995–1996 Murder One Annie Hoffman 23 episodes
2000 Wonderland Mrs. Tammy Banger 2 episodes
2001 Frasier Claire French 4 episodes
2002–2005 Six Feet Under Sarah O'Connor 7 episodes
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series (2002, 2006)
2007 American Masters Narrator Episode: "The American Dream"
2009–2011 Saturday Night Live Mother 2 episodes
2011 Parks and Recreation Tammy Swanson I 2 episodes

References[edit]

  1. ^ Patricia Clarkson profile, filmreference.com; accessed July 9, 2014.
  2. ^ Patricia Clarkson Biography, movies.yahoo.com; accessed July 9, 2014.
  3. ^ "Clarkson Shifts Her Weight" in the Washington Times (March 28, 2008), p. D1
  4. ^ Altmann, Howard 'Patricia Clarkson', BOMB Magazine, Spring 2010; retrieved July 21, 2011
  5. ^ Gordon, Devin, "A Woman on the Verge of a Breakthrough" in Newsweek, October 20, 2003, pp. 11
  6. ^ "Move Over Sundance Kids, There's a New ... Star of Indies", New York Post, January 23, 2003, p. 39
  7. ^ :SXSW '09 Interview: For the Love of Movies Director & Film Critic Gerald Peary", efilmcritic.com; accessed July 9, 2014.
  8. ^ Theodore P. Mahne, "Star Emcee Patricia Clarkson Shares in the Excitement over Tonight's Opera Gala", The Times-Picayune, 2009 January 17, pp. C1, C3
  9. ^ "Video Interviews: Shutter Island - Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Kingsley, Dennis Lehane", DreadCentral.com
  10. ^ JDIFF announce recipients of this year's Volta Awards, Filmbase; retrieved February 24, 2010.
  11. ^ Michael Ausiello (July 28, 2011). "Patricia Clarkson to Raise Hell as Tammy 1". TVLine. Retrieved July 9, 2014. 
  12. ^ Patricia Clarkson (July 26, 2010). "Returning to the Gulf After BP Destroyed It". OneEarth.org. 

External links[edit]