Juilliard School (BFA)
(m. 1980; div. 1989)
Diane Venora (born August 10, 1952) is an American stage, television and film actress. She graduated from the Juilliard School in 1977 and made her film debut in 1981 opposite Albert Finney in Wolfen. She won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress for Bird (1988). Her other films include The Cotton Club (1984), Heat (1995), Romeo + Juliet (1996), The Jackal (1997), The Insider (1999) and Hamlet (2000).
Venora was born in East Hartford, Connecticut, one of six children of Marie (née Brooks) and Robert P. Venora, who owned a dry cleaning business. Diane graduated from East Hartford High School (class of 1970), where she was active in musicals and plays. She studied at Boston Conservatory of Music and two years later won a scholarship to Juilliard School in New York City, where she graduated in 1977. At Juilliard she was a member of the drama department's Group 6 (1973–1977), which included Kelsey Grammer, Harriet Sansom Harris and Robin Williams.
After graduation, Venora performed extensively on the stage, particularly in Shakespearean plays. She made her film debut alongside Albert Finney and Gregory Hines in Wolfen (1981). In 1983, she starred in Joseph Papp's production of Hamlet at the New York Shakespeare Festival in the lead role, the first woman to play the role at the prestigious showcase. She has a long history with Hamlet, having played the title role, as well as Ophelia opposite Kevin Kline, and Gertrude onscreen opposite Ethan Hawke.
In 1994, after taking five years off to care for her daughter, Venora landed a starring role in the TV series Thunder Alley, followed by a recurring role as plastic surgeon Geri Infante in the TV series Chicago Hope.
In 1995 she starred opposite Al Pacino and Robert De Niro in Heat, earning high regard from critics and audiences for her portrayal of Justine Hanna, the Pacino character's troubled wife. Her other performances include Juliet's mother in Romeo + Juliet (1996), The Jackal (1997), The 13th Warrior (1999), and The Insider (1999). She was most recently seen in the 2010 film All Good Things.
Venora was married to cinematographer Andrzej Bartkowiak in 1980; they divorced in 1989. That year, she took time off from show business to spend more time with her daughter Madzia, then eight. During her hiatus, Venora lived in New York City, teaching disadvantaged children and acting in an occasional play. In 1994, she and her daughter moved to Los Angeles.
|1981||Penguin Touquet||Other (Same) Woman|
|1982||A Midsummer Night's Dream||Hippolyta|
|1984||Peer Gynt||Green Woman|
|1985||Tomorrow's Monday||Dora Allen|
|A Man for All Seasons||Lady Margaret More|
|The School for Scandal||Lady Teazle|
|1989||The Winter's Tale||Hermione|
|1998||Tongue of a Bird||Mother|
|2000||The Seagull||As director|
|2002||God of Vengeance||Sara|
|2003||The Burning Deck|
|2012||As You Like It||Jaques|
|1981||Nurse||Ellen Brill||Episode: "Rivals"|
|1982||A Midsummer Night's Dream||Hippolyta||TV movie|
|1983||Cook & Peary: The Race to the Pole||Marie Fidele Hunt|
|1990||Great Performances||Ophelia||Episode: "Hamlet"|
|1993||Law & Order||Mara Feder||Episode: "Night & Fog"|
|1994||Thunder Alley||Bobbi Turner||Recurring role|
|1994–95||Chicago Hope||Dr. Geri Infante||Recurring role|
|1996||Special Report: Journey to Mars||Lt. Tanya Sadavoy||TV movie|
|2000||Race Against Time||Dr. Helen Steele|
|The Practice||Margaret Wakefield||Episode: "Appeal and Denial"|
|2004||Class Actions||Justine Harrison||TV movie|
|Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Marilyn Nesbit||Episode: "Home"|
|2005||Threshold||Andrea Hatten / Angela Hatten||4 episodes|
|C.S. Lewis: Beyond Narnia||Joy Gresham||TV movie|
|2006||Criminal Minds||Doris||Episode: "The Fisher King: Part 1"|
|2007||Medium||Sarah Jane Levitt||Episode: "Very Merry Maggie"|
|2008||Eleventh Hour||Lea Muller||Episode: "Resurrection"|
|2009||Private Practice||Sharon||Episode: "Second Chances"|
|NCIS||Shada Shakarji||Episode: "Outlaws and In-Laws"|
|2010||Grey's Anatomy||Audrey Taylor||Episode: "Push"|
|The Wish List||Brenda||TV movie|
|2016||The Victorians||Mary Rutherford|
- "Diane Venora Biography (1952-)". FilmReference.com.
- "Venora. Robert P. Venora, Sr". Hartford Courant. February 23, 1997.
- Lang, Steven (December 8, 1997). "Second Act: Having Once Left Acting to Care for Her Daughter, Diane Venora Takes a Run at Stardom in The Jackal". People.
- "Alumni News". The Juilliard School. November 2007. Archived from the original on November 11, 2011.
- "Alumni News". The Juilliard School. September 2007. Archived from the original on November 11, 2011.
- Diane Venora- Biography
- Rich, Frank (December 3, 1982). "Theater: Diane Venora Stars in Papp's 'Hamlet'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 25, 2019.