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Melissa Leo

Melissa Leo

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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)

2.
 All the Way (2016)
3.
4.
 Battlecreek (2016)
5.
 Snowden (2016)
6.
 Fixer, The (2016)
7.
 Big Short, The (2015)
9.
 Ever After, The (2014)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1985:
Co-starred in Henry Jaglom's "Always"
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"
1994:
Appeared in CBS miniseries "Scarlett" as title character's kid sister
1995:
Third film with director Henry Jaglom, "Last Summer in the Hamptons"
2000:
Reprised role of Det. Howard in "Homicide: The Movie"
2005:
Played the grieving next door neighbor in "Hide and Seek" opposite Dakota Fanning and Robert De Niro
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:
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"
2013:
Featured in the drama "Prisoners"
2016:
Cast as Defence Secretary Ruth Macmillan in "London Has Fallen"
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

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