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Jessica Lange

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Also Known As: Jessica Phyllis Lange Died:
Born: April 20, 1949 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Cloquet, Minnesota, USA Profession: actor, producer, model, waitress

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

In a career spanning more than 30 years and multiple Oscar and Golden Globe wins, Jessica Lange proved worthy of her status as one of the most respected American actresses of her generation. Regarded as a bit of a joke at first, following her lightweight performance in the comically bad remake of "King Kong" (1976), Lange went on to surprise her critics with the depth of her resources throughout the following decade as an A-list actress. Showcasing a docile loveliness in the comedy "Tootsie" (1982) and a fierce determination in Costa-Gavras' "Music Box" (1989), Lange was frequently entrusted with portrayals of iconic American women, including hardscrabble heartland matriarchs, wilting Southern belles, and real life women of complexity - most notably with her acclaimed portrayals of troubled 1930s actress Frances Farmer in "Frances" (1982) and brassy country singer Patsy Cline in "Sweet Dreams" (1985). In addition to her engaging onscreen appeal and luminous beauty, Lange wisely architected her own career without compromise, splitting her time between stage and screen. She would later transition to worthy independent dramas like Jane Anderson's "Normal" (2003) and HBO's "Grey Gardens" (2009) when film...

In a career spanning more than 30 years and multiple Oscar and Golden Globe wins, Jessica Lange proved worthy of her status as one of the most respected American actresses of her generation. Regarded as a bit of a joke at first, following her lightweight performance in the comically bad remake of "King Kong" (1976), Lange went on to surprise her critics with the depth of her resources throughout the following decade as an A-list actress. Showcasing a docile loveliness in the comedy "Tootsie" (1982) and a fierce determination in Costa-Gavras' "Music Box" (1989), Lange was frequently entrusted with portrayals of iconic American women, including hardscrabble heartland matriarchs, wilting Southern belles, and real life women of complexity - most notably with her acclaimed portrayals of troubled 1930s actress Frances Farmer in "Frances" (1982) and brassy country singer Patsy Cline in "Sweet Dreams" (1985). In addition to her engaging onscreen appeal and luminous beauty, Lange wisely architected her own career without compromise, splitting her time between stage and screen. She would later transition to worthy independent dramas like Jane Anderson's "Normal" (2003) and HBO's "Grey Gardens" (2009) when film offers for over-50 female leads all but vanished, even for actresses with Lange's legacy of accomplishments.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Gambler, The (2015)
2.
 Therese Raquin (2014)
3.
 Vow, The (2012)
4.
 Sybil (2008)
5.
 Grey Gardens (2007)
6.
 Bonneville (2006)
7.
 Don't Come Knocking (2005) Cast
8.
 Neverwas (2005)
9.
 Broken Flowers (2005) Cast
10.
 Prozac Nation (2004) Mrs Sarah Wurtzel
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Moved with family 12 times before she was a senior in high school
1968:
Embarked upon travels through North and South America and Europe with first husband, photographer Paco Grande
:
Settled in New York where she danced and painted; joined Ellie Klein Theatre Group
:
Spent two years in Paris where she studied mime under Marcel Marceau's teacher, Etienne Decroux
:
Returned to New York where she waited tables and modeled with the Wilhelmina Agency
1975:
Signed seven-year contract with Dino De Laurentiis
1976:
Film debut in "King Kong"
1979:
Cast as the Angel of Death in Bob Fosse's autobiographical "All That Jazz"
1980:
Theater debut in summer stock production of "Angel on My Shoulder" in North Carolina
1981:
Delivered a sizzle turn as the unfaithful wife Cora opposite Jack Nicholson in the remake of "The Postman Always Rings Twice"
1983:
Became first actress since 1942 to be nominated for two Oscars in the same year; nominated for Best Actress for "Frances" and Best Supporting Actress for "Tootsie"; won the latter award
1984:
First film as co-producer, "Country"; earned second Best Actress Oscar nomination
1984:
TV acting debut as Maggie in the Showtime production of Tennessee Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"
1985:
Received a Best Actress Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of country singer Patsy Cline in "Sweet Dreams"
1988:
Starred in "Far North"; directed by off-screen companion Sam Shepard
1989:
Garnered a Best Actress Oscar nod for her performance as a lawyer defending her father against charges he was a Nazi collaborator in "The Music Box"
1991:
Teamed with Nick Nolte and Robert De Niro for Martin Scorsese's remake of "Cape Fear"
1992:
Starred opposite De Niro in "Night and the City"
1992:
Broadway debut as Blanche DuBois in "A Streetcar Named Desire"
1992:
Played lead role of Alexandra Bergson in the CBS adaptation of Willa Cather's "O Pioneers!"
1994:
Won second Oscar as Best Actress for her performance in "Blue Sky"
1995:
Played wife to Liam Neeson's "Rob Roy"
1995:
Reprised Blanche DuBois for small screen adaptation of "A Streetcar Named Desire" (CBS)
1996:
Made London stage debut as Blanche in "A Streetcar Named Desire"
1998:
Played title role in film version of Balzac's "Cousin Bette"
1999:
Tackled first Shakespearean role as Tamora opposite Anthony Hopkins in "Titus," Julie Taymor's feature directorial debut
2000:
Returned to the London stage to star as Mary Tyrone in "Long Day's Journey Into Night"
2002:
Co-starred in the HBO movie "Normal"; received Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress in a Television Movie
2003:
Portrayed the heroine's mother in the film version of "Prozac Nation"
2003:
Joined an ensemble cast for the feature "Masked and Anonymous"
2003:
Played wife to Albert Finney in "Big Fish"
2005:
Cast as an ex-flame of Bill Murray's in Jim Jarmusch's "Broken Flowers"
2005:
Portrayed Amanda Wingfield in Tennessee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie" on Broadway
2006:
Cast in Wim Wenders' neo-Western "Don't Come Knocking," written by and starring Sam Shepard
2008:
Co-starred with Joan Allen and Kathy Bates in the drama "Bonneville"
2009:
Portrayed Edith Ewing Bouvier 'Big Edie,' opposite Drew Barrymore as 'Little Edie,' in HBO "Grey Gardens"; earned Golden Globe and SAG nominations for Best Actress in a TV Movie
2011:
Co-starred with Dylan McDermott and Connie Britton on FX thriller "American Horror Story"
2012:
Featured opposite Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum in romantic drama "The Vow"
2012:
Cast in lead role as Sister Mary Jude on "American Horror Story: Asylum" (FX)
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Cloquet High School: Cloquet , Minnesota - 1967
University of Minnesota: Minneapolis , Minnesota - 1967

Notes

"In all the interviews I've done lately, I always get asked about plastic surgery. I think, would this same interviewer be asking this question of males in my age group? Would they actually say to De Niro, hey, you're 50 years old, have you thought of having work done on your face? It's such bullshit. It's very insulting to assume that every woman as she ages is going to become so anxious about it that she'll consider it." --Jessica Lange quoted in ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, April 14, 1995

"In acting classes I knew right away it was something I could do. The only time I felt my acting wasn't up to par is when I'd overthink it. But as long as I did it as though it were a child's game, in terms of total commitment of the imagination, then I'd be good at it." --Jessica Lange quoted in VANITY FAIR, October 1991

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Paco Grande. Photographer. Married in July 1970; divorced in 1982; born c. 1942; met c. 1968 while she was a student at University of Minnesota and his father taught at university; began losing his sight from retinitis pigmentosa in the early 1970s; Lange paid him alimony after divorce.
companion:
Bob Fosse. Director, choreographer, dancer, singer, actor. On-again-off-again relationship began in 1975; Lange played the Angel of Death in Fosse's semi-autobiographical film, "All That Jazz" (1979).
companion:
Mikhail Baryshnikov. Dancer, actor. Together c. 1976-82; introduced in 1976 by Milos Forman at a party thrown by Buck Henry in Hollywood.
companion:
Sam Shepard. Playwright, actor, director. Together since 1982; met while filming "Frances" (1982).
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Albert Lange. Teacher, traveling salesman. Born c. 1911; died c. 1988.
mother:
Dorothy Lange. Born c. 1913; suffered a cerebral hemorrhage c. 1968.
sister:
Jane Lange. Older.
brother:
George Lange. Pilot.
daughter:
Alexandra Baryshnikov. Born in 1981; father, Mikhail Baryshnikov.
daughter:
Hannah Jane Shepard. Born c. 1985; father, Sam Shepard.
son:
Samuel Walker Shepard. Born on June 14, 1987 in Virginia; father, Sam Shepard.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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