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Mare Winningham

Mare Winningham

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Also Known As: Mary Megan Winningham Died:
Born: May 16, 1959 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Phoenix, Arizona, USA Profession: actor, singer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A multi-talented performer who excelled in numerous critically-acclaimed roles, actress Mare Winningham actually had her breakthrough as a would-be member of the famed Brat Pack in the coming-of-age teen drama, "St. Elmo's Fire" (1985). After gaining a following while performing onstage in high school, Winningham transitioned to the small screen for several memorable performances, including the epic miniseries, "The Thorn Birds" (ABC, 1983). But following her breakout with "St. Elmo's Fire," the actress was unable to capitalize on that movie's popularity, instead choosing to take offbeat roles that turned out to be a mixed bag of success and quality. She delivered a hailed performance in the nuclear apocalypse drama, "Miracle Mile" (1988), only to see that film relegated to cult status following box office failure. After a wasted effort in "Turner and Hooch" (1989), Winningham had a higher profile turn in Kevin Costner's version of "Wyatt Earp" (1994). The following year, however, she delivered one of her most praised performances in the bleak addiction drama, "Georgia" (1995), before winning an Emmy for the supporting role as the cancer-ridden wife of Alabama governor "George Wallace" (TNT, 1997)....

A multi-talented performer who excelled in numerous critically-acclaimed roles, actress Mare Winningham actually had her breakthrough as a would-be member of the famed Brat Pack in the coming-of-age teen drama, "St. Elmo's Fire" (1985). After gaining a following while performing onstage in high school, Winningham transitioned to the small screen for several memorable performances, including the epic miniseries, "The Thorn Birds" (ABC, 1983). But following her breakout with "St. Elmo's Fire," the actress was unable to capitalize on that movie's popularity, instead choosing to take offbeat roles that turned out to be a mixed bag of success and quality. She delivered a hailed performance in the nuclear apocalypse drama, "Miracle Mile" (1988), only to see that film relegated to cult status following box office failure. After a wasted effort in "Turner and Hooch" (1989), Winningham had a higher profile turn in Kevin Costner's version of "Wyatt Earp" (1994). The following year, however, she delivered one of her most praised performances in the bleak addiction drama, "Georgia" (1995), before winning an Emmy for the supporting role as the cancer-ridden wife of Alabama governor "George Wallace" (TNT, 1997). Her award-winning success with that film opened the doors to a host of attention-grabbing guest spots and feature roles that were finally deserving of Winningham's immense talents.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Philomena (2013)
2.
 Shakespeare High (2011)
3.
 War Eagle (2009)
4.
 Brothers (2009)
5.
 Graduation (2008)
6.
 Swing Vote (2008)
7.
 Magic of Ordinary Days, The (2005) Martha
8.
 Dandelion (2004) Layla Mullich
9.
 Maldonado Miracle, The (2003) Maisie
10.
 Snap Decision (2001) Jen Bradley
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1971:
Made stage debut at age 12 in "Hansel and Gretel" with the Teenage Drama Workshop at CSUN
:
Performed with Los Angeles Free Shakespeare Company for two seasons while in high school
1976:
First appeared on TV at age 16 singing the Beatles song "Here, There, and Everywhere" on "The Gong Show" (NBC)
1977:
Received her Screen Actors Guild card for saying three lines on an episode of "James at 15" (NBC)
1978:
Made series debut as Nettie Peters on the short-lived ABC drama "The Young Pioneers"
1980:
Made feature acting debut in "One Trick Pony"
1980:
Co-starred in the critically acclaimed ABC movie "Amber Waves"
1981:
Sang in the ABC TV-movie "Freedom"; also starred
1981:
Appeared in the futuristic drama "Threshold"
1983:
Played Justine O'Neill in the epic miniseries "The Thorn Birds" (ABC)
1984:
Played the title role in the TV-movie "Helen Keller: The Miracle Continues"
1985:
Joined an ensemble cast dubbed 'the Brat Pack' for the drama "St. Elmo's Fire"
1985:
Earned an Emmy nomination for her role in the made-for-TV movie "Love is Never Silent" (NBC)
1987:
Landed small role in the critically acclaimed drama "Shy People"
1988:
Co-starred in the nuclear disaster drama "Miracle Mile"; received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress
1988:
Starred in the Los Angeles stage production of "Hurlyburly" with Sean Penn and Danny Aiello
1989:
Appeared opposite Tom Hanks in "Turner & Hooch"
1992:
Released debut album <i>What Might Be</i>
1994:
Returned to features for Lawrence Kasdan's "Wyatt Earp"
1995:
Portrayed Jennifer Jason Leigh's sister in "Georgia"; earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination
1997:
Co-starred as Lurleen Wallace in the TNT biopic "George Wallace"
1998:
Guest starred on NBC's medical drama series "ER" as a pathological liar
2001:
Co-starred with Felicity Huffman in the based-on-fact Lifetime movie "Snap Decision"
2003:
Cast on the short-lived CBS' series "The Brotherhood of Poland, New Hampshire"
2004:
Guest starred on an episode of NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"; received an Emmy nomination for Best Guest Actress in a Drama Series
2006:
Landed the role of Susan Grey, the stepmother of Dr. Meredith Grey on the ABC drama "Grey's Anatomy"
2007:
Released third album <i>Refuge Rock Sublime</i>
2009:
Played the mother of Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal in Jim Sheridan's remake of "Brothers"
2011:
Landed a supporting role opposite Kate Winslet in the HBO miniseries "Mildred Pierce"
2011:
Nominated for the 2011 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
2012:
Co-starred with Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton in The History Channel miniseries "Hatfields & McCoys"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Chatsworth High School: Chatsworth , California -
California State University, Northridge: Northridge , California -

Notes

"Winningham and ["Georgia"] costar Jennifer Jason Leigh have been friends since their days at a summer camp in Northridge, CA. Winningham, then 17, serenaded her campers, occaisonally tossing in an original. 'Jennifer would say, 'Who wrote that?' And--totally red--I'd say 'Well, I did.'

'Jennifer wrote home about her,' explains Leigh's mother (and later "Georgia" scriptwriter) Barbara Turner. 'Voice from God was something she said. She never stopped saying it, actually." --From Entertainment Weekly, December 8, 1995.

"In her early 20s, Ms. Winningham looked young enough to portray adolescents without strain. 'I wanted to dig into those teen-age years when you really think that every day is the one that matters the most, when you wear your heart on your sleeves just by virtue of your hormones. . . . But I was glad to be just that much older, so I could have some objectivity about that period in my life." --From "She Can Act. And She Can Sing, Too" in The New York Times, December 3, 1995.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Val Kilmer. Actor. Dated for three years while in high school.
husband:
Bill Mapel. Technical advisor. Married c. 1980; filed for divorce in 1996.

Family close complete family listing

son:
Riley Sam Mapel. Born on November 7, 1981.
son:
Paddy Mapel. Born on September 30, 1983.
son:
Jack Walter Mapel. Born on April 15, 1985.
daughter:
Calla Louise Mapel. Born c. 1987.
son:
Hap Atticus Mapel. Born on September 13, 1988.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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