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Celia Weston

Celia Weston

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: December 14, 1951 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA Profession: actor, waitress

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A tall, blonde actress adept at both comedy and drama, easily adaptable to playing "real folks" such as frowsy women and po' white trash, Celia Weston is best recalled by TV audiences for the four seasons (1981-85) she served slop at Mel's Diner in the CBS sitcom "Alice." But, since the 1990s, she has proven a formidable character player on stage and in films.Born and raised in Spartanburg, South Carolina, Weston might have ended up as yet another Southern matron had not her father passed away. Believing he would have disapproved of her career choice and her move first to London to study and then to NYC to pursue acting, Weston originally enrolled in college as a psychology major. By the late 70s, though, she was marking time as a waitress in Manhattan while seeking her big break. Following stints at regional theaters, Weston finally made it to the Great White Way alongside Kevin Kline in 1979 in Michael Weller's play "Loose Ends." She then co-starred with Irene Worth in Edward Albee's "The Lady From Dubuque" before finally succumbing to the lure of the great salary on "Alice." ("I kept turning it down until the money became so phenomenal that I just had to do it.").While there was an invisible...

A tall, blonde actress adept at both comedy and drama, easily adaptable to playing "real folks" such as frowsy women and po' white trash, Celia Weston is best recalled by TV audiences for the four seasons (1981-85) she served slop at Mel's Diner in the CBS sitcom "Alice." But, since the 1990s, she has proven a formidable character player on stage and in films.

Born and raised in Spartanburg, South Carolina, Weston might have ended up as yet another Southern matron had not her father passed away. Believing he would have disapproved of her career choice and her move first to London to study and then to NYC to pursue acting, Weston originally enrolled in college as a psychology major. By the late 70s, though, she was marking time as a waitress in Manhattan while seeking her big break. Following stints at regional theaters, Weston finally made it to the Great White Way alongside Kevin Kline in 1979 in Michael Weller's play "Loose Ends." She then co-starred with Irene Worth in Edward Albee's "The Lady From Dubuque" before finally succumbing to the lure of the great salary on "Alice." ("I kept turning it down until the money became so phenomenal that I just had to do it.").

While there was an invisible barrier between TV actors and film actors at that time in the early 1980s, Weston contented herself on playing the good old Southern gal, spouting aphorisms. She wisely kept a low profile (and pursued a romance that ended badly) when the series ended its run, gradually emerging as a character actress in 1988's "Stars and Bars" and "A New Life." After a turn as Adam Horovitz's rather unpleasant mother in "Lost Angels" (1989), she went on to appear in "Little Man Tate" (1991) and made periodic forays into theater. 1995 saw her deliver a superlative dramatic turn as the mother of a murdered child in "Dead Man Walking" and the following year, she reminded audiences of her finely-honed comic capabilities playing a spirited woman Ben Stiller believes may be his birth mother in "Flirting With Disaster."

Weston won critical praise and a Tony nod for her featured turn as a Southern matron in Alfred Uhry's "The Last Night of Ballyhoo" in 1997. She had pivotal roles in several 1999 releases, playing the wife of a Civil War-era farmer in "Ride With the Devil," Cate Blanchett's snooty aunt in "The Talented Mr. Ripley" and the bitter Germanic mother of a fisherman thought to have been murdered in "Snow Falling on Cedars." Stanley Tucci tapped Weston to play the efficient secretary/receptionist at he New Yorker in "Joe Gould's Secret" before the actress returned to Broadway as the matriarch in the highly-praised staging of Sam Shepard's seminal "True West" (both 2000).

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Intern, The (2015)
2.
3.
 Brother's Keeper (2014)
4.
 Knight and Day (2010)
5.
 Extra Man, The (2010)
6.
7.
 Box, The (2009)
8.
 After Life (2009)
9.
 Happy Tears (2009)
10.
 No Reservations (2007)
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Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in South Carolina
:
Attended theater school in London
1977:
Moved to NYC
:
Acted in regional theater and Off-Off- and Off-Broadway productions
1979:
Broadway debut in "Loose Ends"
1980:
Made first TV pilot, "The Single Life" (NBC)
1981:
Acted in the short-lived Broadway play "The Lady From Dubuque", by Edward Albee
1981:
Feature film debut in "Honky Tonk Freeway"
1981:
Played waitress Jolene Hunnicut on "Alice" (CBS)
:
Moved to New Orleans to be wit then-fiance; broke off engagement and resumed career
1988:
Returned to feature films in character parts in "Stars and Bars" and "A New Life"
1995:
Acted in Tennessee Williams' "Suddenly Last Summer" alongside Elizabeth Ashley in Broadway revival
1995:
Had key role in "Dead Man Walking"
1996:
Co-starred in "Flirting With Disaster"
1997:
Earned acclaim and a Tony nomination for her turn as an upbeat assimilated Jew in 1939 Atlanta in Alfred Uhry's award-winning "The Last Night of Ballyhoo"
1999:
Appeared in "Ride With the Devil" and "The Talented Mr. Ripley"
2000:
Co-starred on Broadway in Sam Shepard's "True West"
2001:
Had featured turns in "Hearts in Atlantis" and "In the Bedroom"
2002:
Played Jeff Goldblum's wife Bunny in the indie hit "Igby Goes Down"
2002:
Appeared in the critically acclaimed "Far from Heaven" by director Todd Haynes
2003:
Cast in the Showtime series "Out of Order"
2003:
Appeared in Ang Lee's "The Hulk" based on the Marvel comic book character
2004:
Starred with William Hurt and Sigourney Weaver in M. Night Shyamalan's "The Village"
2005:
Co-starred in the southern independent drama "Junebug"; premiered at Sundance
2007:
Co-starred with Sam Rockwell in the dramedy "Joshua"; screened at sundance
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Education

Salem College: Winston-Salem , North Carolina -
Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama: -
HB Studios: New York , New York -
North Carolina School of the Arts: Winston-Salem , North Carolina - 1973

Notes

"These days, if you're in a hit series, you get your first million-dollar movie deal for the hiatus. Back then, you really closed doors for yourself by being on TV. I have no regrets about doing "Alice", but it took me several years to get beyond it.

TV life is enriching in other ways. You have a certain amount of time off, a terrific income, and a normalcy that you don't get very often as an actor. Unless you're Harrison Ford or Barbra Streisand, you can't be in this profession and not have fears about financial security." --Celia Weston quoted in InTheater, September 26, 1997.

"In a movie, you've got to have your stroke of genius on the day they're shooting that scene., There are performances that are saved [by editing] in movies that would be telltale onstage. In the theater, there's time to grow with every performance. At the risk of sounding corny, it's a very spiritual thing to go to the theater and play as an actor, to have a wonderful role and the gifts to realize it for that playwright and that audience." --Weston to InTheater, September 26, 1997.

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