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Mary Mcdonnell

Mary Mcdonnell

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: April 28, 1952 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, USA Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

After a highly respected and long-running career on stage, actress Mary McDonnell broke into movie stardom as Stands With A Fist, a white woman raised by Native Americans in Kevin Costner's Oscar-winning Western "Dances With Wolves" (1990). Prior to her breakout performance, McDonnell made her feature debut in John Sayles' acclaimed "Matewan" (1987), and followed "Dances" with a long and impressive stint in features, where McDonnell often played complex and fiercely independent women. She appeared as an unhappy wife in "Grand Canyon" (1991) and a self-absorbed actress who rediscovers herself after a tragic accident in "Passion Fish" (1992). McDonnell alternated easily between features and television, playing the First Lady in the blockbuster "Independence Day" (1996), the judge in "12 Angry Men" (Showtime, 1997) and the mother of a delusional teenager in the indie favorite, "Donnie Darko" (2001). But it was her performance as the reluctant president of a group of ragtag survivors on the cult hit series "Battlestar Galactica" (The Sci Fi Channel, 2004-09) that elevated her status and career to the next level. Through her widely hailed performance on "Battlestar," McDonnell had finally found the...

After a highly respected and long-running career on stage, actress Mary McDonnell broke into movie stardom as Stands With A Fist, a white woman raised by Native Americans in Kevin Costner's Oscar-winning Western "Dances With Wolves" (1990). Prior to her breakout performance, McDonnell made her feature debut in John Sayles' acclaimed "Matewan" (1987), and followed "Dances" with a long and impressive stint in features, where McDonnell often played complex and fiercely independent women. She appeared as an unhappy wife in "Grand Canyon" (1991) and a self-absorbed actress who rediscovers herself after a tragic accident in "Passion Fish" (1992). McDonnell alternated easily between features and television, playing the First Lady in the blockbuster "Independence Day" (1996), the judge in "12 Angry Men" (Showtime, 1997) and the mother of a delusional teenager in the indie favorite, "Donnie Darko" (2001). But it was her performance as the reluctant president of a group of ragtag survivors on the cult hit series "Battlestar Galactica" (The Sci Fi Channel, 2004-09) that elevated her status and career to the next level. Through her widely hailed performance on "Battlestar," McDonnell had finally found the perfect vehicle to showcase her commanding strength and presence.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Scream 4 (2011)
2.
 Margin Call (2011)
3.
 Hostile Makeover (2009)
4.
 Killer Hair (2009)
5.
 Crazy Like A Fox (2006) Cast
6.
 Mrs. Harris (2006)
7.
 Nola (2003) Margaret
8.
 Locket, The (2002) Helen Staples
9.
 Donnie Darko (2001) Rose Darko
10.
 Amargosa (2000) Narrator
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Grew up in Ithaca, NY
1978:
Made stage debut in Sam Shepard's Pulitzer Prize-winning "Buried Child"
1981:
First gained attention for her stage work in Emily Mann's "Still Life"
1982:
Made TV-movie debut in small role in "Money on the Side" (ABC)
1984:
Landed a small role in feature film "Garbo Talks"
:
Began teaching drama at Vassar College summer theater (later continued at New York Stage and Film Company)
1984:
Co-starred with Elliott Gould on CBS sitcom "E/R"
1986:
Made her Broadway debut in the ensemble of Emily Mann's "Execution of Justice"
1987:
Cast in first major film role in "Matewan," directed by John Sayles
1990:
Took over the title role in Wendy Wasserstein's Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway play "The Heidi Chronicles"
1990:
Delivered breakthrough performance as 'Stands With A Fist,' a European-American raised by Sioux Indians in Kevin Costner's epic drama "Dances with Wolves"; received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress
1991:
Played leading role of Alexandra Bergson in the PBS adaptation of "O, Pioneers!"
1991:
Played Kevin Kline's wife in Lawrence Kasdan's emsemble drama "Grand Canyon"
1992:
Reteamed with John Sayles for "Passion Fish;" garnered a Best Actress Oscar nomination
1995:
Returned to series TV in CBS sitcom "High Society"
1996:
Played featured role of the First Lady in "Independence Day"
1996:
Returned to Broadway opposite Harry Hamlin in a revival of Tennessee Williams' "Summer and Smoke"
1998:
Reteamed with Lawrence Kasdan for "Mumford," which also reunited her with Alfre Woodard
2001:
Earned an Emmy nomination for her guest-starring role as the mother of Noah Wyle's Dr. John Carter on "ER" (NBC)
2002:
Cast in the Hallmark Hall of Fame television feature "The Locket"
2003:
Featured in the romantic comedy "Nola"
2003:
Cast as Laura Roslin on the cult hit remake of "Battlestar Galactica" (Sci-Fi Channel)
2004:
Reprised role of Laura Roslin for the series "Battlestar Galactica" (Sci Fi Channel)
2006:
Co-starred with Roger Rees in the independent feature "Crazy Like a Fox"
2008:
Joined the cast of "Grey's Anatomy" (ABC) for a multi-episode guest arc
2011:
Joined the cast of TNT's "The Closer" as LAPD Internal Affairs' Capt. Sharon Raydor
2011:
Joined the ensemble cast of the financial drama thriller "Margin Call"
2012:
Reprised role of Capt. Raydor on "The Closer" spin-off "Major Crimes" (TNT)
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Education

State University of New York at Fredonia: Fredonia , New York -

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Randle Mell. Actor. Played homeless man who startles McDonnell in "Grand Canyon".

Family close complete family listing

daughter:
Olivia Mell. Born c. 1987.

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