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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.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Commuter, The (2018)
2.
 Showing Roots (2016)
3.
 Swung (2015)
4.
 Unexpected (2015)
5.
6.
 Angels Crest (2011)
7.
8.
 Kick-Ass (2010)
9.
 Waska (2010)
10.
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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