Dowd at the 2012 Peabody Awards
|Born||January 30, 1956|
Holyoke, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Education||College of the Holy Cross (BA)|
DePaul University (MFA)
Ann Dowd (born January 30, 1956) is an American actress. She has played supporting roles in several films, including Green Card (1990), Lorenzo's Oil (1992), Philadelphia (1993), Garden State (2004), The Manchurian Candidate (2004), Marley & Me (2008), Side Effects (2013), St. Vincent (2014), Captain Fantastic (2016), and Hereditary (2018). Dowd appeared as Sandra in the thriller film Compliance (2012), for which she received the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Dowd was a series regular on the HBO series The Leftovers (2014–2017), for which she received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series. In 2017, she began playing Aunt Lydia on the Hulu series The Handmaid's Tale, for which she won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.
Ann Dowd was born on January 30, 1956, in Holyoke, Massachusetts, the daughter of John (1926–1974) and Dolores (born Clark) Dowd. She is one of seven children, who were raised by their mother after her father died when Ann was a senior in high school. Her mother later married Philip Dean (1929–2010), a doctor. Her sister Kathleen (Kate) Dowd is a casting director based in London; brother John Dowd Jr. is president of The Dowd Agencies, an insurance company started by their great grandfather; sister Elizabeth Dowd is a developmental therapist and parenting coach; sister Clare Dowd is executive director of the Creative Action Institute; sister Deborah Dowd is a psychotherapist, and president of the Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis; and brother Gregory Dowd is a doctor of veterinary medicine. Her paternal grandfather was James "Kip" Dowd, a former Major League baseball player for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Dowd's family is Irish Catholic. She attended the Williston Northampton School, where she performed in school plays. Dowd became interested in acting at a young age but was dissuaded by her family at first because they did not approve of her pursuing an acting career. She graduated in 1978 from College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts where much of Dowd's family also attended and she was a premed student and took acting classes. Dowd credits her instructors and roommate at that time for persuading her to forgo medical school and follow her passion for acting. She traveled to New York City to audition for the Goodman School of Drama at Depaul University in Chicago, where she received an MFA in Acting. While at Depaul, Dowd received a prestigious scholarship from the Sarah Siddons Society, an award that had also gone to Carrie Snodgress. Dowd was classmates with Elizabeth Perkins and also worked as a waitress during this time.
Dowd spent several years performing in regional theatre in the Chicago area, performing often at the Court Theatre, later deciding in 1988 to move to New York City to pursue a bigger stage. She pounded the pavement and her first acting gig there was with the Hartford Stage Company.
Dowd starred in Shiloh (1997) and its sequels, Shiloh 2: Shiloh Season (1999) and Saving Shiloh (2006) as Louise Preston. She appears in the 1997 cult film All Over Me and in the 1998 film Apt Pupil, in which she played the mother of Brad Renfro's character. Dowd has acted in two films directed by Jonathan Demme, as Jill Beckett, sister of Tom Hanks's character, Andrew Beckett, in Philadelphia (1993), and in The Manchurian Candidate (2004), starring Meryl Streep. Also in 2004, Dowd played the mother of Natalie Portman's character in Garden State and appeared in The Forgotten starring Julianne Moore. In 2005, she starred opposite Gretchen Mol in The Notorious Bettie Page, portraying Edna Page, Bettie Page's mother. She also played the role of Mrs. Strank in the 2006 Clint Eastwood film Flags of Our Fathers.
In 2008, Dowd appeared in Marley & Me starring Jennifer Aniston. She received rave reviews for her work in the 2012 movie Compliance, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. In the film, Dowd plays Sandra, a fast food restaurant manager caught in a mysterious ethical nightmare. For this role, Dowd was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actress and received the National Board of Review award. She has played supporting roles in two Steven Soderbergh films, The Informant! in 2009, and Side Effects in 2013, in which she played the mother of Channing Tatum's character. She played the supporting role of Joan in the 2018 horror film Hereditary.
Dowd's first appearance was in the 1985 television movie First Steps with fellow Chicago actor Megan Mullally. She has appeared in many popular television shows including House and Louie, on both of which she played a nun. Other shows include Chicago Hope, The X-Files, Third Watch, NYPD Blue, Judging Amy and Freaks and Geeks, in which she played the mother of Busy Philipps. Dowd has also appeared in many episodes of the Law & Order franchise. In 1995 she portrayed Rose Long, Louisiana's first female senator, in the television movie Kingfish, opposite John Goodman. In 2008 she appeared in the television movie Taking Chance starring Kevin Bacon. Dowd was a series regular on Nothing Sacred, which was filmed in Los Angeles and aired for one season (97/98), in which she played a nun. For this role she was nominated for a VQT award for Best Supporting Actress. Dowd also co-starred on The Leftovers as Patti Levin, leader of the group The Guilty Remnant. In 2017, Dowd began starring on the Hulu series The Handmaid's Tale, for which she won a Primetime Emmy Award.
Dowd has appeared on Broadway three times. In 1993 she received the Clarence Derwent Award for her Broadway debut performance in the play Candida starring Mary Steenburgen. She next appeared in Taking Sides (1996) with Elizabeth Marvel, and Vera Farmiga, who was Dowd's understudy. In 2008 she appeared in The Seagull starring Carey Mulligan and Kristin Scott Thomas. Dowd has also won three Jeff Awards for her work in Chicago theatre, including a 1987 Best Supporting Actress award for her role as Emma Brookner in The Normal Heart. In 2007, Dowd played the role of Sister Aloysius in Doubt at the George Street Playhouse. The New York Times described her performance as "chilling" and said she was "masterful in this role." In 2011, Dowd performed Off-Broadway in Blood from a Stone, playing the mother of Ethan Hawke.
Dowd and her husband, Lawrence "Larry" Arancio, both coach acting and are frequent collaborators. Arancio, who is from New York City, is a writer and acting chair for the CAP21 program who has also taught at the HB Studio and Columbia College Chicago. He has worked with Lady Gaga as her acting coach. Dowd and Arancio met while students in Chicago. They have three children, Liam, Emily, and Trust, and reside in New York City. Dowd is a foster care advocate. Her alma mater College of the Holy Cross conferred an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree on her on May 27, 2016.
|1994||It Could Happen to You||Carole|
|1997||All Over Me||Anne|
|1998||Apt Pupil||Monica Bowden|
|1999||Shiloh 2: Shiloh Season||Louise Preston|
|2001||Amy & Isabelle||Lenora|
|2004||The Manchurian Candidate||Congresswoman Beckett|
|2005||The Notorious Bettie Page||Edna Page|
|2006||Saving Shiloh||Louise Preston|
|2006||Flags of Our Fathers||Mrs. Strank|
|2007||Alice Upside Down||Aunt Sally|
|2007||Gardener of Eden||Ma Harris|
|2007||The Living Wake||Librarian|
|2007||The Babysitters||Tammy Lyner|
|2008||Familiar Strangers||Dottie Worthington|
|2008||Marley & Me||Dr. Platt|
|2009||The Informant!||FBI Special Agent Kate Medford|
|2011||The Art of Getting By||Mrs. Grimes|
|2013||Side Effects||Mrs. Taylor|
|2014||The Drop||Dottie Stipler|
|2015||Our Brand Is Crisis||Nell|
|2016||Captain Fantastic||Abigail Bertrang|
|2016||Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer||Carol Raskin|
|2016||Collateral Beauty||Sally Price|
|2016||The Great & The Small||Detective Dupre|
|2018||American Animals||Betty Jean "BJ" Gooch|
|2018||A Kid Like Jake||Catherine|
|2020||Cowboys||Detective Faith Erickson|
|2020||Rebecca||Mrs. Van Hopper||Releasing|
|1985||First Steps||Debby||Television movie|
|1990||The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd||Nurse Courtney||Episode:" Here's a Rare Photo Opportunity"|
|1991||Law & Order||Teresa Franz||Episode: "Sonata for Solo Organ"|
|1994||Law & Order||Dorothy Baxter||Episode: "Breeder"|
|1994||Heaven & Hell: North & South, Book III||Maureen||3 episodes|
|1994||The Cosby Mysteries||N/A||Television movie|
|1995||Chicago Hope||Eleanor Robertson||Episode: "Growth Pains"|
|1995||Kingfish: A Story of Huey Long||Rose McConnell Long||Television movie|
|1996||Law & Order||Patricia Smith||Episode: "Pro Se"|
|1997–1998||Nothing Sacred||Sister Maureen "Mo" Brody||20 episodes|
|1999–2000||Judging Amy||Mrs. Schleewee||2 episodes|
|1999||Providence||Mary||Episode: "Home Again"|
|1999||The X-Files||Mrs. Reed||Episode: "Rush"|
|2000||NYPD Blue||Ann Collins||Episode: "Along Came Jones"|
|2000||Freaks and Geeks||Cookie Kelly||2 episodes|
|2000||Family Law||N/A||Episode: "Love and Money"|
|2001–2002||The Education of Max Bickford||Jean||3 episodes|
|2001||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Louise Durning||Episode: "Victims"|
|2002–2003||Third Watch||Sgt. Beth Markham||3 episodes|
|2003||Law & Order||Dr. Beth Allison||Episode: "Compassion"|
|2003||Touched by an Angel||Paula||Episode: "Song for My Father"|
|2003||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Sally Wilkens||Episode: "Soulless"|
|2004||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Laurie Manotti||Episode: "Inert Dwarf"|
|2004||House||Mother Superior||Episode: "Damned If You Do"|
|2005||Law & Order: Trial by Jury||Karen Ames||Episode: "Truth or Consequences"|
|2007||House||Mother Superior||Episode: "Damned If You Do"|
|2009||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Lillian Siefeld||Episode: "Lead"|
|2009||Taking Chance||Gretchen||Television movie|
|2011||Pan Am||Marjorie Lowrey||Episode: "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang"|
|2013–2014||Masters of Sex||Estabrook Masters||7 episodes|
|2014||True Detective||Betty Childress||Episode: "Form and Void"|
|2014||Love's a Bitch||Wes' Mom||Episode: "Family Time"|
|2014||The Divide||Ida Bankowski||2 episodes|
|2014–2017||The Leftovers||Patti Levin||14 episodes|
|2014||Olive Kitteridge||Bonnie Newton||4 episodes|
|2014||Big Driver||Ramona Norville||Television movie|
|2016–2017||Good Behavior||FBI Agent Rhonda Lashever||7 episodes|
|2017||Girls||Phaedra||Episode: "Goodbye Tour"|
|2017–present||The Handmaid's Tale||Aunt Lydia Clements||29 episodes|
|2018–2019||3Below: Tales of Arcadia||Zeron Omega (voice)||6 episodes|
|2019||Lambs of God||Sister Margarita||4 episodes|
|1987||The Normal Heart||Dr. Emma Brookner||Ivanhoe Theatre, Chicago|
|1993||Candida||Miss Proserpine Garnett|
|1996||Taking Sides||Tamara Sachs|
|2007||Doubt||Sister Aloysius||George Street Playhouse, New Brunswick|
Awards and nominations
This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (September 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
- Date of birth, familysearch.org; accessed May 31, 2014.
- "Kate Dowd". IMDb.
- "Creative Action Institute | Nonprofit | United States". Creative Action Inst.
- "Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis | A Home for Comparative Psychoanalysis".
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 5, 2012. Retrieved December 7, 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "The Profile". magazine.holycross.edu. December 18, 2012. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
- "`Normal Heart` Even Stronger - tribunedigital-chicagotribune". Articles.chicagotribune.com. July 2, 1987. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
- "Jeff Awards". Jeff Awards. April 24, 2017. Archived from the original on January 2, 2018. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
- Naomi Siegel (December 9, 2007). "Moral Uncertainty Never Looked So Good". The New York Times. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 23, 2012. Retrieved December 7, 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Ann Dowd Theatre Credits and Profile". Abouttheartists.com. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 15, 2012. Retrieved December 5, 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Kabaker, Marion (February 20, 1987). "Romance Behind The Scenes In Chicago". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
- "Lawrence Arancio". CAP21 Conservatory. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
- "Archived copy". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on November 27, 2012. Retrieved December 9, 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "FPA-Foundation-The People's Movement". Fpafoundation.org. July 22, 2016. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
- "Honorary Degree Citation – Ann Dowd". College of the Holy Cross. May 27, 2016. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
- Bradley, Laura (January 8, 2018). "Golden Globes 2018: See Laura Dern's Inspiring Acceptance Speech". Vanity Fair. Retrieved January 8, 2018.