Sissy Spacek

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This article is about the actress. For the band called Sissy Spacek, see John Wiese.
Sissy Spacek
SissySpacekHSHWOFAug2011.jpg
Spacek at a ceremony to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in August 2011
Born Mary Elizabeth Spacek
(1949-12-25) December 25, 1949 (age 64)
Quitman, Texas, U.S.
Occupation Actress, singer
Years active 1970–present
Spouse(s) Jack Fisk (1974–present)
Children 2

Sissy Spacek (born Mary Elizabeth Spacek, December 25, 1949) is an American actress and singer. She came to international prominence for her roles as Holly Sargis in Terrence Malick's film Badlands (1973) and as Carrie White in Brian De Palma's horror film Carrie (1976, based on the first novel by Stephen King), for which she earned her first Academy Award nomination. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as country star Loretta Lynn in the film Coal Miner's Daughter (1980) and received Oscar nominations for her roles in Missing (1982), The River (1984), Crimes of the Heart (1986), and In the Bedroom (2001).

Early life[edit]

Spacek was born on December 25, 1949, in Quitman, Texas. She is the daughter of Virginia Frances (née Spilman) and Edwin Arnold Spacek, Sr., a county agricultural agent.[1] Spacek's father was of three quarters Czech (Moravian) and one quarter German ancestry; her paternal grandparents were Mary (Cervenka) and Arnold A. Spacek (who served as Mayor of Granger, Texas in Williamson County).[2][3] Her mother, of Polish-English and Irish descent, was from the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.[4]

Spacek was greatly affected by the death of her eighteen-year-old brother, Robbie, in 1967, which she has called "the defining event of my whole life."[5]

Career[edit]

1970s and beginning of acting career[edit]

Spacek worked for a time as photographic model and as an extra at Andy Warhol's Factory. She appeared in a non-credited role in his film Trash (1970). With the help of Rip Torn, she enrolled in Lee Strasberg's Actors Studio and then the Lee Strasberg Institute in New York. Her first credited role was in the cult classic Prime Cut (1972), in which she played Poppy, a girl sold into sexual slavery.[4] The role led to television work, which included a guest role in The Waltons, which she played twice in 1973. Spacek received international attention after starring in Terrence Malick's Badlands (1973), in which she played Holly, the film's narrator and a 15-year old girlfriend of mass-murderer Kit (Martin Sheen).[4] Spacek has described Badlands as the "most incredible" experience of her career.[6] On the set of Badlands, Spacek met art director Jack Fisk, whom she married.[citation needed]

Spacek in Brian De Palma's Carrie, 1976

Spacek's iconic and career-defining role came in Brian De Palma's film Carrie (1976), in which she played Carietta "Carrie" White, a shy, troubled high school senior with telekinetic powers.[4] Spacek had to work hard to persuade director de Palma to engage her for the role.[4] After rubbing Vaseline into her hair and donning an old sailor dress her mother made for her as a child, Spacek turned up at the audition with the odds against her, but won the part.[7] She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her work in the film. Spacek had previously been the set dresser for DePalma's film Phantom of the Paradise (1974).

After Carrie, Spacek played the small role of housekeeper Linda Murray in Alan Rudolph's ensemble piece Welcome to LA (1976) and cemented her reputation in independent cinema with her performance as Pinky Rose in Robert Altman's classic 3 Women (1977). Altman was deeply impressed by her performance, having stated: "She's remarkable, one of the top actresses I've ever worked with. Her resources are like a deep well." Brian de Palma added: "[Spacek is] a phantom. She has this mysterious way of slipping into a part, letting it take over her. She's got a wider range than any young actress I know."[8] Spacek also helped finance then-brother-in-law David Lynch's directorial debut, Eraserhead (1976) and is thanked in the credits of the film.

1980s and Oscar win[edit]

Spacek as country queen, Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner's Daughter, 1980

Spacek began the 1980s with an Oscar in 1980 for Coal Miner's Daughter (1980), in which she played country music star Loretta Lynn, who selected her for the role.[4] In the film, both she and Beverly D'Angelo, who played Patsy Cline, performed their own singing.[4] Film critic Roger Ebert has credited the movie's success "to the performance by Sissy Spacek as Loretta Lynn. With the same sort of magical chemistry she's shown before, when she played the high school kid in Carrie, Spacek at 29 has the ability to appear to be almost any age on screen. Here, she ages from about 14 to somewhere in her 30s, always looks the age, and never seems to be wearing makeup."[9] Spacek also was nominated for a Grammy Award for her singing on the film's soundtrack album. She followed this with her own country album, Hangin' Up My Heart (1983); the album spawned one hit single, "Lonely But Only For You", a song written by K. T. Oslin, which reached No. 15 on the Billboard Country chart.[citation needed]

In the film Heart Beat (1980), Spacek played Carolyn Cassady, who slipped (under the influence of John Heard's Jack Kerouac and Nick Nolte's Neal Cassady) into a combination of drudgery and debauchery.[citation needed]

Also in the 1980s, Spacek starred alongside Jack Lemmon in Constantin Costa-Gavras's political thriller Missing (1982, based on the book The Execution of Charles Horman) and appeared with Mel Gibson in the rural drama The River (1984), and with Diane Keaton and Jessica Lange in 1986's Crimes of the Heart (1986).[4] She was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar for all of these roles.[4] Other performances of the decade included star turns in husband Jack Fisk's directorial debut Raggedy Man (1981) and alongside Anne Bancroft in the suicide-themed drama 'night, Mother (1986).[4] Spacek also showed her lighter side by voicing the brain in the Steve Martin comedy The Man with Two Brains (1983).

1990s–2000s[edit]

In the 1990s Spacek slowly come back to Hollywood after her self-imposed hiatus.[citation needed] She had a supporting role as the wife of Jim Garrison (played by Kevin Costner) in Oliver Stone's JFK (1991) and made a number of comedies, TV movies, and the occasional film. Most notable of her appearances during these years was her turn as the evil Verena Talbo in the ensemble piece The Grass Harp (1995), which reunited her with both Laurie and Lemmon, as well as a supporting performance, again alongside Nick Nolte, as the waitress Margie Fogg in Paul Schrader's father-son psychodrama Affliction (1997). She also played Rose Straight in David Lynch's The Straight Story (1999).

Spacek's memoir, My Extraordinary Ordinary Life, published in May 2012

In 2001, she was again nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress, for her work in Todd Field's In the Bedroom (2001).[4] The New York Times film critic Stephen Holden said of her work in the film: "Ms. Spacek's performance is as devastating as it is unflashy. With the slight tightening of her neck muscles and a downward twitch of her mouth, she conveys her character's relentlessness, then balances it with enough sweetness to make Ruth seem entirely human. It is one of Ms. Spacek's greatest performances."[10] Her performance as Ruth Fowler, a grieving mother consumed by revenge, won extraordinary praise and garnered the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress[11] as well as the Critics' Choice Award for Best Actress, Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama, and Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead, among many others.[12] [13]

Other performances of this decade include unfaithful wife Ruth in Rodrigo García's Nine Lives (2005) and a turn as a woman suffering from Alzheimer's in the television movie Pictures of Hollis Woods (2007). In 2008, Spacek had a supporting part in the Christmas comedy Four Christmases and a lead role in the independent drama, Lake City. Spacek appeared on the HBO drama Big Love, for a multi-episode arc, as a powerful Washington, D.C. lobbyist.[14]

In 2005, she narrated the audiobook of the original Carrie novel by Stephen King[15] and, in 2006, she narrated the classic Harper Lee novel To Kill a Mockingbird (1960), which sold over 30 million copies. In 2011, she received a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.[16] Spacek was featured in The Help (2011), directed by Tate Taylor, and along with the cast, was awarded with the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture for their performance in the film.[citation needed]

In 2012, Spacek published a memoir, My Extraordinary Ordinary Life, with co-author Maryanne Vollers.[17][18] The Washington Post's Jen Chaney called it "refreshingly down-to-earth" and "beautifully written".[19] She also mentioned that Spacek's description of her childhood is so "evocative that one can almost taste the sour stalks of goatweed she chewed on steamy summer afternoons". Jay Stafford of Richmond Times-Dispatch pointed out that, unlike other actors' autobiographies, Spacek's "benefits from good writing and remarkable frankness".[20] The Austin Chronicle's Margaret Moser stated that Spacek's memoir is "as easy to read as it is a pleasure to digest".[21] Joe Muscolino of the Biographile gave the book a 5 out of 5 rating, saying that it "does not disappoint".[22] Kirkus Reviews, however, was less appreciative of the book, calling it "an average memoir" and "overly detailed", while criticizing its lack of "narrative arc", but complimented Spacek for being "truly down-to-earth".[21] It further criticized that "the book is 'ordinary' and does not have enough drama to engage readers not directly interested in Spacek and her work", and ended by saying that it's "for die-hard movie buffs and Spacek fans only".[21]

Personal life[edit]

Spacek married production designer and art director Jack Fisk in 1974, after they met on the set of Badlands.[4] Fisk later directed her in the films Raggedy Man (1981) and Violets Are Blue (1986). They have two daughters, Schuyler Fisk (born July 8, 1982) and Madison Fisk (born September 21, 1988).[23]

Filmography[edit]

Film and TV credits
Year Film Role Notes
1970 Women in Revolt Girl extra at bar Uncredited
1972 Prime Cut Poppy
1973 The Girls of Huntington House Sara TV movie
1973 The Waltons Sarah Jane Simmonds 2 episodes
1973 Badlands Holly Sargis
1974 Ginger in the Morning Ginger TV movie
1974 The Migrants Wanda Trimpin
1975 Katherine Katherine Alman TV movie (a.k.a. The Radical)
Based loosely on the life of the late Weather Underground member, Diana Oughton[24]
1976 Carrie Carrie White
1976 Welcome to L.A. Linda Murray
1977 3 Women Pinky Rose
1978 Verna: U.S.O. Girl Verna Vane TV movie
1980 Coal Miner's Daughter Loretta Lynn
1980 Heart Beat Carolyn Cassady
1981 Raggedy Man Nita Longley
1982 Missing Beth Horman
1983 The Man with Two Brains Anne Uumellmahaye Voice (uncredited)
1984 The River Mae Garvey
1984 Terror in the Aisles Archival footage
1985 Marie Marie Ragghianti
1986 Violets Are Blue Augusta 'Gussie' Sawyer
1986 'night, Mother Jessie Cates
1986 Crimes of the Heart Babe Magrath Botrelle
1990 The Long Walk Home Miriam Thompson
1991 Hard Promises Christine Ann Coalter
1991 JFK Liz Garrison
1992 A Private Matter Sherri Finkbine TV movie
1994 A Place for Annie Susan Lansing Hallmark Hall of Fame TV movie
1994 Trading Mom Various roles Also known as The Mommy Market
1995 The Good Old Boys Spring Renfro
1995 The Grass Harp Verena Talbo
1995 Streets of Laredo Lorena Parker TV miniseries
1996 Beyond the Call Pam O'Brien TV movie
1996 If These Walls Could Talk Barbara Barrows TV movie; segment: "1974"
1997 Affliction Margie Fogg
1999 Blast from the Past Helen Thomas Webber
1999 The Straight Story Rose 'Rosie' Straight
2000 Songs in Ordinary Time Marie Fermoyle TV movie
2001 In the Bedroom Ruth Fowler
2001 Midwives Sibyl Danforth
2002 Last Call Zelda Fitzgerald TV movie (also known as Fitzgerald)
2002 Tuck Everlasting Mae Tuck
2004 A Home at the End of the World Alice Glover
2005 Nine Lives Ruth
2005 The Ring Two Evelyn
2005 North Country Alice Aimes
2006 An American Haunting Lucy Bell
2006 Summer Running: The Race to Cure Breast Cancer Mrs. Flora Good
2007 Gray Matters Sydney
2007 Hot Rod Marie Powell
2007 Pictures of Hollis Woods Josie Cahill
2008 Lake City Maggie
2008 Four Christmases Paula (Brad's Mom)
2009 Appalachia: A History of Mountains and People Narrator TV miniseries
2009 Get Low Mattie Darrow
2010 Gimme Shelter Adrienne Nourse TV movie
2010–11 Big Love Marilyn Densham 5 episodes
2011 The Help Mrs. Walters
2012 Deadfall June Mills

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Album US Country Label
1983 Hangin' Up My Heart 17 Atlantic

Singles[edit]

Year Single Chart Positions Album Notes
US Country US Bubbling CAN Country
1980 "Coal Miner's Daughter" 24 7 Coal Miner's Daughter (Soundtrack) Nominated — Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance (for "Coal Miner's Daughter")[25]
"Back in Baby's Arms" 71
1983 "Lonely but Only for You" 15 10 13 Hangin' Up My Heart
1984 "If I Can Just Get Through the Night" 57 41
"If You Could Only See Me Now" 79

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Nominated work Result
1973 BAFTA Award for Best Newcomer Badlands Nominated
1976 Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival – Special Distinction Award Carrie Won
1976 National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress Carrie Won
1976 New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress (3rd place) Carrie Won
1976 Academy Award for Best Actress Carrie Nominated
1977 National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress (3rd place) 3 Women Won
1977 New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress 3 Women Won
1980 Academy Award for Best Actress Coal Miner's Daughter Won
1980 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Coal Miner's Daughter Won
1980 Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress Coal Miner's Daughter Won
1980 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress Coal Miner's Daughter Won
1980 National Board of Review Award for Best Actress Coal Miner's Daughter Won
1980 National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress Coal Miner's Daughter Won
1980 New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress Coal Miner's Daughter Won
1980 BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role Coal Miner's Daughter Nominated
1982 Academy Award for Best Actress Missing Nominated
1982 BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role Missing Nominated
1982 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama Missing Nominated
1984 Academy Award for Best Actress The River Nominated
1984 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama The River Nominated
1986 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Crimes of the Heart Won
1986 Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress Crimes of the Heart Won
1986 New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress Crimes of the Heart Won
1986 Academy Award for Best Actress Crimes of the Heart Nominated
1992 CableACE Award for Actress in a Movie or Miniseries A Private Matter Nominated
1994 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie A Place for Annie Nominated
1995 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie The Good Old Boys Nominated
1995 Bronze Wrangler for Television Feature Film Television Feature Film Streets of Laredo Won
1999 Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress Blast from the Past Nominated
1999 Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress The Straight Story Nominated
1999 Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture The Straight Story Nominated
2001 American Film Institute Award for Actress of the Year In the Bedroom Won
2001 Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress In the Bedroom Won
2001 Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress In the Bedroom Won
2001 Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress In the Bedroom Won
2001 Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress In the Bedroom Won
2001 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama In the Bedroom Won
2001 Independent Spirit Award for Best Lead Female In the Bedroom Won
2001 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress In the Bedroom Won
2001 National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress (2nd place) In the Bedroom Won
2001 New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress In the Bedroom Won
2001 Satellite Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama In the Bedroom Won
2001 Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress In the Bedroom Won
2001 Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize for Dramatic Acting (shared with Tom Wilkinson) In the Bedroom Won
2001 Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress In the Bedroom Won
2001 Academy Award for Best Actress In the Bedroom Nominated
2001 BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role In the Bedroom Nominated
2001 Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress In the Bedroom Nominated
2001 Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress In the Bedroom Nominated
2001 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role In the Bedroom Nominated
2001 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture In the Bedroom Nominated
2001 Satellite Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film Midwives Nominated
2001 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie Midwives Nominated
2002 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie Last Call Nominated
2002 Satellite Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film Last Call Nominated
2002 Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress Tuck Everlasting Nominated
2005 Locarno International Film Festival Award for Best Actress Ensemble Nine Lives Won
2005 Gotham Award for Best Ensemble Cast Nine Lives Nominated
2007 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film Pictures of Hollis Woods Nominated
2011 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series Big Love Nominated
2011 Hollywood Film Festival Award for Ensemble of the Year The Help Won
2011 National Board of Review Award for Best Cast The Help Won
2011 Satellite Award for Best Cast – Motion Picture The Help Won
2011 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture The Help Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sissy Spacek biography. Film Reference.com.
  2. ^ "Sissy Spacek The Coal Miner's Daughter". New Straits Times. 1981-10-09. Retrieved 2010-07-28. 
  3. ^ Ancestry of Sissy Spacek. Wargs.com.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Stated on Inside the Actors Studio, 2002
  5. ^ Ouzounian, Richard (April 27, 2012). "Big Interview: Sissy Spacek". Toronto Star. Retrieved April 30, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Sissy Spacek's shy career". BBC.co.uk. 7 February 2002. 
  7. ^ Brian De Palma.net; accessed 27 May 2007
  8. ^ "Show Business: Basic Spacek: Keeping Life Tidy". Time. 1976-12-06. Retrieved 2010-05-23. 
  9. ^ Roger Ebert (1980-01-01). "Coal Miner's Daughter". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  10. ^ Holden, Stephen (November 23, 2001). "When Grief Becomes A Member of the Family". The New York Times. 
  11. ^ King, Susan (16 December 2001). "'Bedroom' Is Top Pick of L.A. Film Critics". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 March 2013. 
  12. ^ Broadcast Film Critics Association. "7th Critics' Choice Movie Awards Winners and Nominees". Broadcast Film Critics Association. Retrieved 28 March 2013. 
  13. ^ LaSalle, Mick (21 January 2002). "Golden Globes 2002 / A night for the Aussies / 'Beautiful Mind,' 'Moulin Rouge,' cable TV take top Golden Globes". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 28 March 2013. 
  14. ^ Gina DiNunnot (17 September 2009). "Sissy Spacek Signs On for Big Love". TVGuide.com. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  15. ^ "StephenKing.com - Carrie". Retrieved 26 October 2013. 
  16. ^ "Actress Sissy Spacek To Receive Star On Hollywood Walk Of Fame Next Monday". Beverly Hills Courier. July 26, 2011. 
  17. ^ Sissy Spacek & Maryanne Vollers (May 2012). My Extraordinary Ordinary Life. Hyperion. Retrieved May 6, 2012. 
  18. ^ Douglass K. Daniel (April 30, 2012). "Quitman Native Sissy Spacek Writes Tender, Touching Book". Tyler Morning Telegraph (Associated Press). Retrieved May 6, 2012. 
  19. ^ Chaney, Jen. "Book review: Sissy Spacek's "My Extraordinary Ordinary Life"". Denver Post. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  20. ^ Stafford, Jay. "Nonfiction review: My Extraordinary Ordinary Life". timedispatch.com. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  21. ^ a b c Moser, Margaret. "My Extraordinary Ordinary Life". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  22. ^ Muscolino, Joe. "Review Roundup: "My Extraordinary, Ordinary Life" by Sissy Spacek, and Richard Perry’s Haunting Tale of True Crime in Tokyo". biographile.com. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  23. ^ Finlayson, Ariana. "Sissy Spacek's Daughter, Schuyler Fisk, Is Married!". US Weekly. Retrieved 23 March 2013. 
  24. ^ "Virgin Movies: Katherine (1975)". Virgin Media. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  25. ^ Coyne, Kevin John. "Grammy Flashback: Best Female Country Vocal Performance". Country Universe. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 

External links[edit]