skip navigation
Dianne Wiest

Dianne Wiest

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (1)

Recent DVDs

 
 

Practical Magic DVD There's a little witch in every woman.Fun and excitement abound in the Owens... more info $5.98was $5.98 Buy Now

Parenthood: Special Edition... First you grow up, then learn what life's all about. Director Ron Howard's... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Johnny Depp Triple Feature... Disc 1: BENNY AND JOON WSDisc 2: EDWARD SCISSORHANDS 10TH ANNIVERSARY WSDisc 3:... more info $19.98was $19.98 Buy Now

The Birdcage DVD Robin Williams and Nathan Lane are at the peak of their comedic brilliance in... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Hannah & Her Sisters DVD This 1986 comedy-drama, written and directed by Woody Allen, follows the... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

The Simple Life Of Noah Dearborn... "The Simple Life of Noah Dearborn" (1999) is the touching story of a carpenter,... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: Died:
Born: March 28, 1948 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Kansas City, Missouri, USA Profession: actor, director

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Academy Award-winning actress Dianne Wiest was a highly respected New York stage veteran who initially carved out a reputation for intense dramatic chops, but found herself more frequently cast in comedy when her career expanded to include feature films. A favorite of filmmaker Woody Allen, the director offered her every stage actress' dream of playing complex, well-developed characters which she brought to sparkling life in films including "Hannah and Her Sisters" (1986), "Radio Days" (1987) and "Bullets Over Broadway" (1994). Hollywood generally gave the versatile actress less adventurous work and Wiest obliged with innumerable supporting roles as underwritten moms, though some of Tinseltown's more visionary directors captured her quirky qualities in "The Lost Boys" (1987), "Parenthood" (1989) and "Edward Scissorhands" (1990). Wiest's steady Hollywood offers financed the actress' frequent returns to the New York stage, and she remained a figure both on- and off-Broadway throughout her film and eventual primetime television career, culminating in the revered role of a therapist on HBO's "In Treatment" (2008- ), all which helped cement her status as one of Hollywood's most esteemed and beloved...

Academy Award-winning actress Dianne Wiest was a highly respected New York stage veteran who initially carved out a reputation for intense dramatic chops, but found herself more frequently cast in comedy when her career expanded to include feature films. A favorite of filmmaker Woody Allen, the director offered her every stage actress' dream of playing complex, well-developed characters which she brought to sparkling life in films including "Hannah and Her Sisters" (1986), "Radio Days" (1987) and "Bullets Over Broadway" (1994). Hollywood generally gave the versatile actress less adventurous work and Wiest obliged with innumerable supporting roles as underwritten moms, though some of Tinseltown's more visionary directors captured her quirky qualities in "The Lost Boys" (1987), "Parenthood" (1989) and "Edward Scissorhands" (1990). Wiest's steady Hollywood offers financed the actress' frequent returns to the New York stage, and she remained a figure both on- and off-Broadway throughout her film and eventual primetime television career, culminating in the revered role of a therapist on HBO's "In Treatment" (2008- ), all which helped cement her status as one of Hollywood's most esteemed and beloved character actresses.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 Humbling, The (2014)
3.
 Big Year, The (2011)
5.
 Rabbit Hole (2010)
6.
 Rage (2009)
7.
 Passengers (2008)
8.
9.
 Dan in Real Life (2007)
10.
 Dedication (2007)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
As a child and adolescent, moved frequently due to father's military career
:
Studied at the School of American Ballet in NYC as a teenager
1964:
At age 16, dropped ballet in favor of acting
:
Left college and toured with the American Shakespeare Company
:
Spent four years with the Arena Theater in Washington, DC; travelled to the USSR with company
1975:
TV debut in a "Great Performances" (PBS) presentation of the Arena Theater's production of Elie Wiesel's "Zalmen/Zalmen, or the Madness of God"
1976:
Appeared in a supporting role in the New York Shakespeare Festival production "Ashes"
1979:
Breakthrough stage role, "The Art of Dining"
1980:
Feature film debut in "It's My Turn" starring Jill Clayburgh
1980:
Played title role in Long Wharf staging of "Hedda Gabler"
1981:
Made Broadway debut in the ill-fated "Frankenstein"
1982:
Network TV-movie debut in "The Wall" (CBS), a fictionalized account of the Jewish Resistance to the Nazis in the Warsaw Ghetto during WWII
1982:
First featured film role, supporting Jill CLayburgh in "I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can"
1982:
Returned to Broadway as Desdemona opposite James Earl Jones in "Othello"
1983:
Played the leading role of a rape victim in the ABC movie "The Face of Rage"
1984:
Portrayed Maggie (the character based on Marilyn Monroe) opposite Frank Langella in Arthur Miller's "After the Fall"
1984:
Cast as the long-suffering minister's wife in "Footloose"; first onscream teaming with John Lithgow
1985:
Directed the play "Not About Heroes" featuring Edward Hermann and Dylan Baker at the Williamstown Theatre Festival; production transferred to Off-Broadway
1985:
First film with director Woody Allen, "The Purple Rose of Cairo"; played a hooker
1986:
Breakthrough screen role, as the somewhat neurotic Holly in Allen's "Hannah and Her Sisters"; won Best Supporting Actress Academy Award
1987:
Offered a lovely turn as the high-strung Aunt Bea in Allen's nostalgic "Radio Days"
1987:
Played the mother of teenagers who fall prey to a gang of young vampires in Joel Schumacher's flashy "The Lost Boys"
1987:
Co-starred with Ron Silver (as Polish emigres) in the play "Hunting Cockroaches"
1989:
Earned second Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination as the exasperated single mother in "Parenthood"
1990:
Played the Avon Lady who befriends the title character in Tim Burton's "Edward Scissorhands"
1991:
Portrayed the child psychologist who clashes with the mother of a genius in Jodie Foster's directorial debut "Little Man Tate"
1994:
Acted with Harris Yulin in "Don Juan in Hell"
1994:
Delivered one of her best screen performances as an over-the-hill actress in Woody Allen's "Bullets Over Broadway"; won second Best Supporting Actress Academy Award; first performer to win two Oscars in films directed by same person
1994:
Created role of a Holocaust survivor in Cynthia Ozick's play "Blue Light"; directed Sidney Lumet
1995:
Acted in the film, "Drunks"; directed by Peter Cohn (the son of Wiest's agent and former off-screen companion Sam Cohn)
1996:
Cast as the wife of a conservative politician in Mike Nichols' "The Bird Cage"; film loosely based on "La Cage aux Folles"
1996:
Played the lead role in George Bernard Shaw's "Jitta's Atonement" at the Bershire Theater Festival; directed by and co-starred Harris Yulin
1996:
Won an Emmy guest-starring on The Disney Channel's "Avonlea"
1997:
Returned to the NY stage in "One Flea Spare" at the New York Shakespeare Festival
1998:
Portrayed the sister-in-law of Robert Redford in "The Horse Whisperer"
1999:
Played the restaurant owner friend to a local craftsman (Sidney Poitier) in the CBS drama "The Simple Life of Noah Dearborn"; received Emmy nomination
2000:
Cast as the Evil Queen out to usurp the throne from the heir in the elaborate NBC miniseries "The 10th Kingdom"
2000:
Reteamed with John Lithgow as husband and wife in the period comedy "Portofino"
2000:
Joined cast of the NBC drama series "Law & Order" as the district attorney
2001:
Played a neighbor who befriends a mentally retarded man (Sean Penn) and his daughter (Dakota Fanning) in "I Am Sam"
2004:
Portrayed an opera-diva mother in "Merci Docteur Rey"
2005:
Voiced Mrs. Copperbottom in the animated feature "Robots"
2006:
Cast in the coming-of-age drama "A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints"
2007:
Played the mother of Dane Cook and Steve Carell in "Dan in Real Life"
2008:
Cast as Paul's (Gabriel Byrne) own therapist and mentor on the HBO series "In Treatment"; earned Golden Globe and Emmy nominations in 2009 for Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
2010:
Played Nicole Kidman's mother in the drama "Rabbit Hole"
2011:
Cast in the comedy feature "The Big Year" opposite Owen Wilson, Jack Black, and Steve Martin
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

School of American Ballet: New York , New York -
University of Maryland: College Park , Maryland - 1969

Notes

"This character [Helen Sinclair in "Bullets Over Broadway"] was so unlike who she is in life, so different than anything she's played. But she's a tremendously gifted actress. She can play comedy to Lady Macbeth or Arthur Miller. It really just becomes a problem of exploring with her a little bit, And very quickly, she got it." --Woody Allen on Dianne Wiest's initial difficulties with her performance, quoted in THE NEW YORK TIMES, October 9, 1994

"You can't take a stage performance and put it on film. It's like painting with marble." --Dianne Wiest, quoted in THE NEW YORK TIMES, October 9, 1994

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Sam Cohn. Agent. Together in the 1980s.

Family close complete family listing

daughter:
Emily Wiest. Adopted; born c. 1987.
daughter:
Lily Wiest. Adopted; born c. 1991.

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute