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Elizabeth Mcgovern

Elizabeth Mcgovern

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: July 18, 1961 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Evanston, Illinois, USA Profession: Actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A stage-trained actress with a vulnerable, vibrant screen presence, Elizabeth McGovern made her film debut as the sympathetic girlfriend to Timothy Hutton in the Oscar-winning "Ordinary People" (1980), and followed it up with an Oscar- and Golden Globe-nominated turn as chorus girl Evelyn Nesbit in Milos Forman's "Ragtime" (1981). She was memorably paired with Robert De Niro in "Once Upon a Time in America" (1984) and Kevin Bacon in "She's Having a Baby," (1988), as well as impressed as a lesbian rebel in the dystopia-set "The Handmaid's Tale" (1990) and in the unusual romantic comedy "The Favor" (1994). She moved to Great Britain to marry English producer-director Simon Curtis in 1992 but returned to the States for work, appearing in Jean-Jacques Annaud's "Wings of Courage" (1995), various theatrical productions, and starring with Hank Azaria on her own sitcom, "If Not for You" (CBS, 1995). The actress took supporting roles in a string of highly acclaimed, literary-inspired projects, including the Oscar-nominated "The Wings of the Dove" (1997) and "The House of Mirth" (2000). She landed big screen roles as mothers to the heroes of "Kick-Ass" (2010) and "Clash of the Titans" (2010) but dazzled...

A stage-trained actress with a vulnerable, vibrant screen presence, Elizabeth McGovern made her film debut as the sympathetic girlfriend to Timothy Hutton in the Oscar-winning "Ordinary People" (1980), and followed it up with an Oscar- and Golden Globe-nominated turn as chorus girl Evelyn Nesbit in Milos Forman's "Ragtime" (1981). She was memorably paired with Robert De Niro in "Once Upon a Time in America" (1984) and Kevin Bacon in "She's Having a Baby," (1988), as well as impressed as a lesbian rebel in the dystopia-set "The Handmaid's Tale" (1990) and in the unusual romantic comedy "The Favor" (1994). She moved to Great Britain to marry English producer-director Simon Curtis in 1992 but returned to the States for work, appearing in Jean-Jacques Annaud's "Wings of Courage" (1995), various theatrical productions, and starring with Hank Azaria on her own sitcom, "If Not for You" (CBS, 1995). The actress took supporting roles in a string of highly acclaimed, literary-inspired projects, including the Oscar-nominated "The Wings of the Dove" (1997) and "The House of Mirth" (2000). She landed big screen roles as mothers to the heroes of "Kick-Ass" (2010) and "Clash of the Titans" (2010) but dazzled critics on the small screen with her masterful portrayal of the Countess of Grantham on the international smash "Dowtown Abbey" (ITV, 2010). A fascinating talent, Elizabeth McGovern brought a unique intelligence and beauty to her roles that only deepened and improved with age.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Angels Crest (2011)
2.
3.
 Kick-Ass (2010)
4.
 Waska (2010)
5.
 Art in Las Vegas (2008)
6.
7.
 Daphne (2007)
8.
9.
 Buffalo Soldiers (2001) Mrs Berman
10.
 Flamingo Rising, The (2001) Edna Lee
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1980:
Made her film debut playing the girlfriend of troubled teenager, Conrad (Timothy Hutton) in "Ordinary People"
1981:
Made stage debut in "To Be Young, Gifted and Black"
1981:
Earned an Academy Award nomination for her role as Evelyn Nesbit in the film, "Ragtime"
1984:
Starred as Robert De Niro's romantic interest in Sergio Leone's gangster epic, "Once Upon a Time in America"
1984:
Co-starred with Sean Penn and Nicolas Cage in "Racing with the Moon"
1987:
Starred in the Curtis Hanson thriller, "The Bedroom Window"
1988:
Played Kevin Bacon's wife in John Hughes' "She's Having a Baby"
1989:
Played Mickey Rourke's girlfriend in "Johnny Handsome"
1990:
Made her TV debut in "The Man in the Brooks Brothers Suit," a segment of HBO's "Women & Men: Stories of Seduction"
1994:
Directed by husband, Simon Curtis in the BBC production of "The Changeling"
1995:
Cast as regular in the short-lived CBS sitcom, "If Not for You"
1997:
Had featured role in "The Wings of the Dove"
1999:
Played Marguerite St. Just in the BBC/A&E adaptation of "The Scarlet Pimpernel"
1999:
Appeared in the London stage production of "Three Days of Rain," alongside Colin Firth and David Morrissey
2000:
Had featured role in the big screen adaptation of "The House of Mirth"
2001:
Acted in the London stage production of "Dinner With Friends"
2001:
Performed in "The Vagina Monologues" in London
2003:
Co-starred in the feature "Buffalo Soldiers"
2003:
Had a featured role in the short-lived CBS series, "The Brotherhood of Poland, New Hampshire"
2006:
Starred in the ABC Family channel's "Three Moons Over Milford"
2007:
Featured in the BBC2 television drama "Daphne"
2007:
Appeared in the three-part BBC comedy series "Freezing"; written by James Wood and directed and co-produced by her husband, Simon Curtis
2010:
Had a small role in the superhero comedy "Kick-Ass"
2010:
Played the leading role of Cora, Countess of Grantham on the British TV series "Downton Abbey" (PBS)
2011:
Nominated for the 2011 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie
2012:
Co-starred with Felicity Jones in "Cheerful Weather for the Wedding"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

American Conservatory Theatre: San Francisco , California -
The Juilliard School: New York , New York -
Oakwood High School: Los Angeles , California - 1979

Notes

"In a way, I'm burdened because my parents are both people who didn't construct their values in accordance with society's definition of success. I never felt any pressure to be a success in the eyes of the world. It drives me crazy sometimes because I think I might be a lot farther--richer more famous--if I had ... The things ... I value. They don't have anything to do with making the most money or being on the cover of a magazine. They have to do with integrity and treating other people with respect--other human beings, I don't care who they are. I believe in the basic respect for human life, and that to me is more important than anything." --McGovern quoted by Michael Kilian in The Chicago Tribune Magazine, March 18, 1990.

"I think a lot of the best comedy today can be found on television. The networks aren't afraid to cater to a sophisticated, adult audience. I wanted to be connected to a show that is meaningful and special ... The cornerstone of humor in this show ("If Not For You") is human psychology." --McGovern quoted in a press release on the premiere of her 1995 series.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Sean Penn. Actor; director. Met on set of "Racing With the Moon"; engaged in 1984; no longer together.
companion:
Rob Reiner. Director. Together in the late 1980s.
husband:
Simon Curtis. Director, producer. English; married c. 1992;.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Bill McGovern. Law professor.
mother:
Katie McGovern. Teacher.
brother:
William Montgomery McGovern. Math professor.
sister:
Katherine Margaret McGovern. Writer. Penned a novel about a writer with an actress sister.
daughter:
Matilda Curtis. Born in July 1993; father, Simon Curtis.
daughter:
Grace Curtis. Born c. January 1998.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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