skip navigation
Melissa Leo

Melissa Leo

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Recent DVDs

 
 

Last Summer In The Hamptons... Three generations of a legendary theater family reunite before selling the... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

According To Greta DVD Hilary Duff changes her tone with this dramatic look at troubled teens. Duff... more info $9.98was $9.98 Buy Now

Conviction DVD Convinced that her brother is innocent, Betty Anne puts herself through high... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Everybody's Fine DVD If Robert De Niro is your dad, you better make time for him. De Niro plays Frank... more info $9.98was $9.98 Buy Now

The Three Burials Of Melquiades Estrada... Take your breath away with this gripping tale of violence and redemption from... more info $14.99was $14.99 Buy Now

Frozen River DVD Desperation runs ice cold in "Frozen River" (2008). Courtney Hunt's... more info $14.99was $14.99 Buy Now

Also Known As: Margaret May Ii, Melissa Chessington Leo, Margaret May Died:
Born: September 14, 1960 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: actress

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Melissa Leo came to the fore as the lone female in the original cast of one of the most lauded shows in television history, "Homicide: Life on the Street" (NBC, 1993-99). Holding her own amongst the heavyweight cast of actors like Richard Belzer and Andre Braugher, she was a standout in a show unappreciated in its time. She went on to carve an indie film niche with acclaimed turns in a raft of films, most notably "21 Grams" (2003) and "Frozen River" (2008). The latter film provided the go-to character actress with a career-redefining role which drew nearly universal accolades and earned her the sobriquet of "actor's actor" from The New York Times. Two years later, Leo would once again find herself on the receiving end of universal critical acclaim with her performance as the tough-as-nails mother of a boxer in the lauded biopic, "The Fighter" (2010). Time and again, Leo demonstrated the uncanny ability to render herself nearly unrecognizable as she surrendered herself to the characters she played. While it may not have made her a household name to the average moviegoer, it undoubtedly cemented her reputation as one of the most respected - and sought after - actresses in American film. ...

Melissa Leo came to the fore as the lone female in the original cast of one of the most lauded shows in television history, "Homicide: Life on the Street" (NBC, 1993-99). Holding her own amongst the heavyweight cast of actors like Richard Belzer and Andre Braugher, she was a standout in a show unappreciated in its time. She went on to carve an indie film niche with acclaimed turns in a raft of films, most notably "21 Grams" (2003) and "Frozen River" (2008). The latter film provided the go-to character actress with a career-redefining role which drew nearly universal accolades and earned her the sobriquet of "actor's actor" from The New York Times. Two years later, Leo would once again find herself on the receiving end of universal critical acclaim with her performance as the tough-as-nails mother of a boxer in the lauded biopic, "The Fighter" (2010). Time and again, Leo demonstrated the uncanny ability to render herself nearly unrecognizable as she surrendered herself to the characters she played. While it may not have made her a household name to the average moviegoer, it undoubtedly cemented her reputation as one of the most respected - and sought after - actresses in American film.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
3.
 Ever After, The (2014)
5.
 Oblivion (2013)
6.
9.
 Prisoners (2013)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1974:
Began working in community theater at age 13 in Brattleboro, VT
1981:
Briefly left college to appear in world premiere of Tennesee Williams' "Will Mr. Merryweather Return From Memphis?"
1982:
Made New York theater debut in production of Moliere's "Don Juan"
1984:
Made feature debut with leading role in "Streetwalkin'"
1984:
Landed role of Linda Warner on ABC soap opera "All My Children"
1985:
Co-starred in Henry Jaglom's "Always"
1989:
First role as a series regular, playing Emma Shannon on first season of ABC's "The Young Riders"
1992:
Played a Senator's daughter in "Immaculate Conception"
1992:
Re-teamed with Jaglom for ensemble feature "Venice/Venice"
1993:
Landed small role in independent feature "The Ballad of little Jo"
1993:
Portrayed Det. Kay Howard on NBC series "Homicide: Life on the Street"
1994:
Appeared in CBS miniseries "Scarlett" as title character's kid sister
1995:
Third film with director Henry Jaglom, "Last Summer in the Hamptons"
1999:
Featured in "The 24 Hour Woman"
2000:
Reprised role of Det. Howard in "Homicide: The Movie"
2003:
Played Benicio Del Toro's beleaguered wife in Alejandro Inarritu's "21 Grams"
2005:
Played the grieving next door neighbor in "Hide and Seek" opposite Dakota Fanning and Robert De Niro
2005:
Guest starred on three episodes of Showtime's "The L Word"
2005:
Co-starred in drama "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada," directed by and starring Tommy Lee Jones
2007:
Featured in independent drama "Black Irish," written and directed by Brad Gann
2008:
Co-starred with Misty Upham as working class women who turn to illegal immigrant smuggling to make ends meet in "Frozen River"
2010:
Cast as a civil rights lawyer on HBO drama series "Treme"
2010:
Played a woman dealing with the death of her daughter in "Welcome to the Rileys"
2010:
Portrayed the brassy and controlling mother of nine children, including boxers Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) and Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale) in David O. Russell's "The Fighter"
2011:
Co-starred in HBO's five-part miniseries "Mildred Pierce" opposite Kate Winslet in title role
2012:
Appeared in "Flight," starring Denzel Washington
2013:
Featured in the drama "Prisoners"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

State University of New York: Purchase , New York -
Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts: London , England -

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
John Heard. Actor. Together 1985-88.
companion:
Biff Russell. Ski instructor. Together from 1994; born c. 1954.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Arnold Leo. Editor. Divorced from Leo's mother.
mother:
Peggy Leo. Teacher. Divorced from Leo's father; moved to England in 1970s; returned to US two years later.
brother:
Erik Leo. Older.
son:
John Matthew Leo. Born c. 1987; father John Heard.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute