|Born||Patricia Colleen Nelligan
March 16, 1950
London, Ontario, Canada
|Spouse(s)||Robert Reale (1989–unknown; divorced); 1 child|
Patricia Colleen Nelligan (born March 16, 1950) is a Canadian stage, film and television actress, known professionally as Kate Nelligan. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for the 1991 film The Prince of Tides, and the same year won the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Frankie and Johnny. She is also a four-time Tony Award nominee for her work on Broadway, receiving nominations for Plenty (1983), A Moon for the Misbegotten (1984), Serious Money (1988) and Spoils of War (1989).
Nelligan, the fourth of six children, was born in London, Ontario, the daughter of Patrick Joseph Nelligan and his wife Josephine Alice (née Deir). Her father was a factory repairman and municipal employee in charge of ice rinks and recreational parks and her mother was a schoolteacher.
Her mother, whom Nelligan has described as "very powerful, very brilliant and very, very crazy", suffered from alcohol abuse and other psychological problems, and was subsequently institutionalized. Nelligan attended London South Collegiate Institute in London, Ontario, then studied at Glendon College in Toronto, but did not graduate. Instead, she switched to studies at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, UK.
In 1973 she made her professional stage debut, in Bristol, England, while appearing in a regular role in the British television series The Onedin Line. In 1974 she was invited to London to play the part of Jenny in David Hare's play Knuckle at the Comedy Theatre, followed by a season with the National Theatre Company playing Ellie in Heartbreak House. 1975 saw her appear opposite Anthony Hopkins in the televised play The Arcata Promise followed by the televised theatrical version of The Count of Monte Cristo that featured an all-star cast of British and American actors. That same year her first feature-length film The Romantic Englishwoman was released.
In 1977, again with the National Theatre, she gave a "stunning" performance as Marianne, opposite Stephen Rea, in Tales from the Vienna Woods directed by Maximilian Schell. Also in 1977, she played the part of Rosalind in As You Like It, directed by Terry Hands, opposite Peter McEnery in Stratford-upon-Avon and the following year in London. This she followed with Plenty, another play from David Hare, at the National Theatre, for which she received a 1978 Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress in a New Play. The winner was Joan Plowright in Filumena. She was cast in a similar role, playing opposite Bill Paterson, in Hare's BAFTA-award-winning companion play Licking Hitler, for BBC television.
Again on screen, in 1978 she played the part of Isabella in the BBC Television Shakespeare production of Measure for Measure, a performance that led the New York Times to describe her as providing "the image of idealized faultlessness". In 1979 she was the female lead alongside Frank Langella and Laurence Olivier in Dracula. In 1981 she starred opposite fellow Canadian Donald Sutherland in Eye of the Needle, a wartime espionage thriller based on the Ken Follett best-selling novel. Two years later Nelligan moved to New York City, where she earned four Tony Award "Best Actress" nominations between 1983 and 1989 from the five Broadway plays she appeared in.
In 1991 she won a BAFTA for "Best Actress in a Supporting Role" for her performance in Frankie and Johnny, and for her performance in the 1991 film The Prince of Tides, she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Between 1990 and 2004 she was nominated for five Gemini Awards for her performances in Canadian television mini-series and films. In 1996 she played the wife of James Mink in the story "Captive Hearts (The James Mink Story).
Filmography (features and television)
- The Onedin Line (1973–74; TV)
- The Count of Monte Cristo (1975)
- The Romantic Englishwoman (1975)
- The Lady of the Camellias (1976)
- Dracula (1979)
- Thérèse Raquin (1980) (TV)
- Eye of the Needle (1981)
- Victims (1982) (TV)
- Without a Trace (1983)
- Eleni (1985)
- Control (1987)
- White Room (1990)
- Frankie and Johnny (1991)
- The Prince of Tides (1991)
- Fatal Instinct (1993)
- Spoils of War (1994)
- Wolf (1994)
- How to Make an American Quilt (1995)
- A Mother's Prayer (1995)
- Margaret's Museum (1995)
- Up Close & Personal (1996)
- Calm at Sunset (1996)
- U.S. Marshals (1998)
- Boy Meets Girl (1998)
- The Cider House Rules (1999)
- A Wrinkle in Time (2003)
- Human Cargo (2004)
- In from the Night (2005)
- Premonition (2007)
- Plenty (1983)
- A Moon for the Misbegotten (1984)
- Serious Money (1988)
- Spols of War (1988)
- Love Letters (1989)
- An American Daughter (1997)
Awards and nominations
- Kate Nelligan profile, filmreference.com; accessed February 16, 2015.
- Bored with being a lady, actress Kate Nelligan gets down to earthy People Weekly, 1992-01-27.
- Kate Nelligan Biography - Yahoo! Movies
- Senior Executive Cites Liberal Arts Education for Success Glendon
- Barber, John (April 30, 1979). "Attacking the NT with ink-balls". The Times (London). p. 10.
- "The Nominees and Winners of The Laurence Olivier Awards for 1978". Official London Theatre Guide. Retrieved 2007-12-04.
- Lawson, Mark (1999-05-03). "Splitting Hares". The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-08-14.
- "Measure for Measure", Liner notes, The Shakespeare Collection, BBC DVD, originally broadcast February 18, 1979.