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Annette Bening

Annette Bening

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Also Known As: Annette Francine Bening Died:
Born: May 29, 1958 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Topeka, Kansas, USA Profession: actor, dancer, secretary, teacher, cook

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

unfortunately part of the ensemble cast of "The Women" (2008), where the gold-spinning actress was given nothing to work with in Diane English's weak update of the classic 1939 George Cukor film.In the drama "Mother and Child" (2010) Bening portrayed a bitter woman who never came to grips with the fact that she gave up a baby girl for adoption after becoming pregnant at the age of 14. While her performance in the small film was met with mostly positive notices, it was her turn in the unconventional family dramedy "The Kids Are All Right" (2010) that brought her and co-star Julianne Moore critical raves. In the film, Bening plays one half of a gay couple with two teenage children who were conceived via artificial insemination. When the kids track down their "bio dad" and invite him into their lives, the household is thrown into awkwardly comedic chaos. For her portrayal of the overbearing professional mom, Bening received Indie Spirit, Screen Actors Guild and Academy Award nominations for Best Actress. She also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy, and gave a touching shout-out to co-star Julianne Moore.d audiences alike that the supremely talented Ms. Bening was an actor...

unfortunately part of the ensemble cast of "The Women" (2008), where the gold-spinning actress was given nothing to work with in Diane English's weak update of the classic 1939 George Cukor film.

In the drama "Mother and Child" (2010) Bening portrayed a bitter woman who never came to grips with the fact that she gave up a baby girl for adoption after becoming pregnant at the age of 14. While her performance in the small film was met with mostly positive notices, it was her turn in the unconventional family dramedy "The Kids Are All Right" (2010) that brought her and co-star Julianne Moore critical raves. In the film, Bening plays one half of a gay couple with two teenage children who were conceived via artificial insemination. When the kids track down their "bio dad" and invite him into their lives, the household is thrown into awkwardly comedic chaos. For her portrayal of the overbearing professional mom, Bening received Indie Spirit, Screen Actors Guild and Academy Award nominations for Best Actress. She also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy, and gave a touching shout-out to co-star Julianne Moore.d audiences alike that the supremely talented Ms. Bening was an actor still very much in demand and at the top of her game.

Annette Bening was born in Topeka, KS on May 29, 1958, to Shirley and Grant Bening, a professional church singer and a salesman, respectively. She spent the first seven years of her life in Wichita until her father accepted a job offer in San Diego, forcing the family to relocate to the sunny West Coast. Bening was active onstage from the time she appeared in a junior high school production of "The Sound of Music." She participated in the theater program at Patrick Henry High School, graduating in 1975 and going on to study for two years at the theater program at San Diego Mesa College. Bening then headed up to San Francisco, where she earned a BA degree in Theater Arts from San Francisco State University and performed with the American Conservatory Theater. Her formative theatrical years also included starring roles in Shakespeare, Chekhov, and other classic dramas at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, and the Denver Center Theater Company, where she spent a year in 1985.

In New York, Bening's years of study culminated in a Tony-nominated performance in Tina Howe's "Coastal Disturbances," a New England-set summertime saga in which the newcomer starred as a passionate, free-spirited young photographer on a beach vacation. The play opened off-Broadway in 1986 and moved to Broadway in 1987, and its high-profile, year-long run offered the exposure that Bening hoped would help open doors in the film world. One of her earliest big screen roles, as the sexually frustrated wife of Dan Aykroyd in the lackluster comedy "The Great Outdoors" (1988), gave little indication of Bening's talent, but audiences took note of her sultry carriage and superb vocal instrument when she etched an aptly uneasy portrait of wickedness as the Marquise de Merteuil in Milos Forman's "Valmont" (1989). The cool subtlety of her performance caught the attention of Stephen Frears, who had directed his own version of the same tale, "Dangerous Liaisons," six months earlier.

Frears cast Bening alongside John Cusack and Anjelica Huston in his classy film noir "The Grifters" (1990), adapted from the novel by Jim Thompson. Although her nude scenes generated the most publicity, Bening injected considerable verve and authority into her portrayal of a tough young hustler who coolly uses her body as one of the tools of her trade â¿¿ a performance intentionally modeled after Gloria Grahame's in Fritz Lang's landmark noir "The Big Heat" (1953). The role earned Bening a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination, which helped propel her into the front ranks of Hollywood leading ladies and prompted references to her as the "thinking man's sex symbol." She went on to demonstrate her versatility by portraying nurturing, supportive wives in "Guilty By Suspicion" (1991) and "Regarding Henry" (1991) before returning to a more seductive role opposite future husband Warren Beatty in "Bugsy" (1991), earning a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress for her portrayal of the tempestuous and uncontrollable girlfriend of doomed gangster Bugsy Siegel, Virginia Hill. Her line to Beatty â¿¿ "why don't you go jerk yourself a soda" â¿¿ could not have been delivered better by Mae West herself. More important than filling out the vintage gowns and playing Hill to the hilt was winning the heart of her co-star, the most notorious Hollywood playboy of the last 30 years â¿¿ save Jack Nicholson and Hugh Hefner. Beatty fell hard for Bening â¿¿ especially impressed with her maturity and no-nonsense handling of him.

During a three year hiatus, Bening became the woman "who tamed the beast" by marrying career bachelor Beatty and immediately starting a family. She relinquished the coveted Catwoman role in "Batman Returns" (1992) to Michelle Pfeiffer when the stork first flew into her life, and dropped out of "Disclosure" (1994) due to her second pregnancy. She returned to the screen in 1994 opposite Beatty in a misbegotten remake of the 1939 film "Love Affair," where the couple played people engaged to others who fall in love after an accidental meeting. The film was oddly devoid of the couple's "Bugsy" chemistry and flopped â¿¿ though it did contain legend Katherine Hepburn's final film appearance. But Bening bounced back with a pair of highly acclaimed but very different film roles in 1995. She and Michael Douglas paired with sparkling results in the romantic comedy "The American President," in which Bening was feisty and charming as an ambitious lobbyist romanced by a handsome widowed president. The same year, she was praised for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth in Ian McKellen's adaptation of Shakespeare's "Richard III" (1995).

After appearing in Tim Burton's odd sci-fi comedy "Mars Attacks!" (1996), Bening starred alongside Bruce Willis and Denzel Washington in the controversial thriller "The Siege" (1998) and teamed with Aidan Quinn as a psychic with connections to a killer in Neil Jordan's "In Dreams" (1999). In 1999, she gave a stellar, career-defining performance as the domineering real estate broker married to a man in a midlife crisis in the acclaimed "American Beauty" (1999). For her characterization of the tightly wound, image conscious, suburban overachiever, Bening earned nominations from the Academy Awards as well as the Golden Globes. A follow-up comic turn opposite Garry Shandling in the Mike Nichols-directed comedy "What Planet Are You From?" (2000) paled in comparison, leading the actress to take another lengthy hiatus from the screen. She returned in 2003 to play actor-director Kevin Costner's spirited and refreshingly age-appropriate love interest in the under-appreciated Western revival "Open Range" (2003). She earned some of the best reviews of her career the following year when she starred as a diva stage actress caught up in a May-December romance with a young social climber in "Being Julia" (2004), a bravura turn that earned the stunner a Golden Globe award and an Oscar nomination.

Bening continued her run of memorable performances in "Running with Scissors" (2006), an adaptation of Augusten Burrough's bestselling memoir about growing up with his mother's therapist (Brian Cox). Bening earned another Golden Globe Award nomination for her role as Burrough's delusional mother, an unpublished p t dealing with a messy divorce with her son's alcoholic father (Alec Baldwin). She earned a second Golden Globe nod that year for her performance in the fact-based HBO movie "Mrs. Harris" (2006), as the emotionally disturbed school headmistress who made national headlines when she shot and killed her lover Dr. Herman Tarnower (Ben Kingsley), the famed cardiologist and creator of the Scarsdale Diet. Two years later, Bening was

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 Seagull, The (2016)
3.
 Danny Collins (2015)
5.
 Love the Coopers (2015)
6.
7.
 Girl Most Likely (2013)
8.
 Yogawoman (2012)
9.
 Ginger & Rosa (2012)
10.
 Ruby Sparks (2012)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Wichita, KS until age seven
:
Family moved to San Diego, CA in mid-1960s
:
Spent year working as a cook on a charter scuba-diving boat at age 17 before college
:
Landed first professional job as a dancer in "The Green Show" at San Diego's famed Old Globe Theatre
1980:
Performed with Colorado Shakespeare Festival
:
Apprenticed with American Conservatory Theater
1985:
Performed with Denver Center Theater Company
1986:
Moved to New York City
1986:
Made TV movie debut in "Manhunt for Claude Dallas" (CBS)
1986:
Made off-Broadway stage debut as Holly Dancer in Tina Howe's widely acclaimed "Coastal Disturbances"
1987:
Received Tony nomination for Broadway debut in "Coastal Disturbances"
1987:
Landed guest spots on episodes of "Miami Vice" (NBC) and "Wiseguy" (CBS)
:
Moved to Los Angeles
1988:
Made feature film debut as Dan Aykroyd's wife in "The Great Outdoors"
1988:
Played a Central Park Zookeeper in off-Broadway production of Michael Weller's "Spoils of War"
1989:
Landed first leading role as manipulative and seductive Marquise de Merteuil in Milos Forman's "Valmont"
1990:
Offered strong turn as a ditsy wannabe actress in Mike Nichols' "Postcards From the Edge"
1990:
Delivered brilliant portrayal as bubbly and treacherous con-artist Myra Langtry in Stephen Frears' "The Grifters"
1991:
Garnered further acclaim in "Regarding Henry," re-teaming with director Mike Nichols
1991:
Met future husband Warren Beatty while co-starring in Barry Levinson's "Bugsy"
1994:
Re-teamed with Beatty for "Love Affair," a pallid remake of 1939 film of the same name and "An Affair to Remember" (1957)
1995:
Co-starred with Michael Douglas in Rob Reiner's "The American President"
1996:
Played Jack Nicholson's wife in Tim Burton's blockbuster spoof "Mars Attacks!"
1998:
Appeared with Denzel Washington and Bruce Willis in Edward Zwick's "The Siege"
1998:
Returned to the stage after a decade as Ibsen's "Hedda Gabler" at the Geffen Playhouse
1999:
Played the shrewish, status-seeking wife of a man undergoing a mid-life crisis in "American Beauty," the feature film debut for writer Alan Ball and director Sam Mendes
2000:
Co-starred with Garry Shandling in Mike Nichols' "What Planet Are You From?"; third collaboration with Nichols
2002:
Voiced Abigail Adams on short-lived PBS animated series "Liberty's Kids"
2003:
Starred opposite director Kevin Costner and Robert Duvall in Western epic "Open Range"
2004:
Portrayed an aging 1930s British actress in "Being Julia," based on W. Somerset Maugham's novel <i>Theatre</i>
2006:
Portrayed title role in "Mrs. Harris" (HBO)
2006:
Played author's unstable mother in film adaptation of Augusten Burroughs' "Running With Scissors"
2008:
Played the editor of a prominent fashion magazine in Diane English's female ensemble "The Women," a remake of Clare Boothe Luce's 1936 play
2010:
Co-starred in Rodrigo García's independent feature "Mother and Child"
2010:
Co-starred with Julianne Moore as lesbian partners in "The Kids Are All Right," about two children conceived by artificial insemination who invite their birth father (Mark Ruffalo) into their home
2012:
Played Paul Dano's free-spirited mother in fantasy romance "Ruby Sparks"
2012:
Co-starred with Elle Fanning and Annette Bening in 1960s drama "Ginger & Rosa"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Patrick Henry High School: San Diego , California -
San Diego Mesa College: San Diego , California -
San Francisco State University: San Francisco , California -
American Conservatory Theatre: San Francisco , California -

Notes

About her nomination for an Oscar and winner Whoopi Goldberg taking all the unsuccessful nominees to dinner: "We got together before the ceremony and we said, 'Let's get together next week and whoever wins, pays.' I was working on 'Bugsy' at the time and I got a big bouquet of flowers in my trailer from Whoopi. She did it all so well. The card said, 'Meet at such-and-such restaurant.' Whoopi's great. So Mary McDonnell, who had done 'Dances with Wolves', and Diane Ladd, who was in 'Rambling Rose', and I had dinner with her. She gave us little chocolate Oscars and gardenias. So classy."---Annette Bening to Movieline, December 1994.

"It's the essence of stardom. Bening is good at creating that little bit of mystery which keeps people leaning in."---critic Richard Schickel quoted in the Los Angeles Times Magazine, February 21, 1999.

"I knew all about Warren's reputation as a ladies' man," says Bening, "but that was never an issue. I did not start a relationship with him on the basis that it was going to end quickly. It started because I fell in love with him."---Bening to SAGA Magazine, March 2004.

"She's one of my favorite kind of actors, who really understands that the role she is playing is not her. She's not afraid to go places that might be a little crazy or a little off. I think she enjoys playing women who are on the edge, because she is so not like that in her real life."---Alan Ball, Bening's director for "American Beauty" to EW, October 22, 2004.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Ned Bellamy. Actor. Dated in college; co-founder of the Actors' Gang.
husband:
J Steven White. Theater director. Married in 1984; divorced in 1991; former director of the American Conservatory Theatre; also a noted fight choreographer; met Bening when he was directing her in 1981 production of "Romeo and Juliet".
companion:
Andrew Lack. Executive. Worked at NBC News; dated; no longer together.
companion:
Ed Begley Jr. Actor. Dated briefly.
husband:
Warren Beatty. Actor, director, producer. Married c. February 1992; couple deliberately kept exact date and place of wedding secret.
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Family close complete family listing

father:
A Grant Bening. Retired insurance salesman.
mother:
Shirley Bening. Church singer.
sister-in-law:
Shirley MacLaine. Actor.
daughter:
Kathlyn Elizabeth Bening Beatty. Born on January 8, 1992 by Caesarean section; father, Warren Beatty.
son:
Benjamin Beatty. Born on August 23, 1994; father, Warren Beatty.
daughter:
Isabel Ira Ashley Beatty. Born on January 11, 1997; father, Warren Beatty.
daughter:
Ella Corinne Beatty. Born on April 8, 2000; father, Warren Beatty.
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