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Connie Nielsen

Connie Nielsen

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Also Known As: Connie Inge-Lise Nielsen Died:
Born: July 3, 1965 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Denmark Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A talented actress whose formidable onscreen persona saw her specializing in cool, competent women, Connie Nielsen was more interested in honing her craft than in becoming a celebrity. The Danish actress received her start in French and Italian projects, but broke through internationally with a small role as Al Pacino's evil temptress sidekick in "The Devil's Advocate" (1997). She notched memorable supporting roles in "Rushmore" (1998), "Soldier" (1998) and "Mission to Mars" (2000) before landing the female lead of the Oscar-winning "Gladiator" (2000) opposite Russell Crowe. Her searing turn as the proud-but-powerless Lucilla, older sister of the corrupt emperor (Joaquin Phoenix) earned her raves, and she used her newfound fame to springboard into art house films with leading roles in the Robin Williams thriller "One Hour Photo" (2002) and the challenging "Demonlover" (2002). Nielsen won the Danish equivalent of the Oscar for her starring role in the drama "Brødre" ("Brothers") (2004), which was remade into an American film in 2009. Consistently cast as tough, powerful women, Nielsen memorably filled in during the maternity leave of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (NBC, 1999- ) star Mariska...

A talented actress whose formidable onscreen persona saw her specializing in cool, competent women, Connie Nielsen was more interested in honing her craft than in becoming a celebrity. The Danish actress received her start in French and Italian projects, but broke through internationally with a small role as Al Pacino's evil temptress sidekick in "The Devil's Advocate" (1997). She notched memorable supporting roles in "Rushmore" (1998), "Soldier" (1998) and "Mission to Mars" (2000) before landing the female lead of the Oscar-winning "Gladiator" (2000) opposite Russell Crowe. Her searing turn as the proud-but-powerless Lucilla, older sister of the corrupt emperor (Joaquin Phoenix) earned her raves, and she used her newfound fame to springboard into art house films with leading roles in the Robin Williams thriller "One Hour Photo" (2002) and the challenging "Demonlover" (2002). Nielsen won the Danish equivalent of the Oscar for her starring role in the drama "Brødre" ("Brothers") (2004), which was remade into an American film in 2009. Consistently cast as tough, powerful women, Nielsen memorably filled in during the maternity leave of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (NBC, 1999- ) star Mariska Hargitay and enjoyed a long-term relationship with Metallica's Lars Ulrich. Almost too talented a chameleon, Nielsen disappeared so completely into her characters that she never achieved widespread mainstream fame, but was universally hailed for the gravity she brought to every performance.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Runner, The (2015)
2.
3.
6.
 Perfect Sense (2011)
7.
8.
9.
 Situation, The (2006)
10.
 Ice Harvest, The (2005) Renata
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in a small coastal village in Denmark
:
Began performing as a teenager, appearing in sketch comedy and cabaret scenes, some written by her actress mother
:
Studied acting and opera in France and Italy
1993:
American TV debut, the made-for-cable movie "Voyage" (USA Network)
1994:
While living in Paris, auditioned for Lawrence Kasdan for a role in "French Kiss"; was not cast by Kasdan who suggested she move to the USA
:
Settled in NYC
1997:
Breakthrough screen role as Satan's daughter in "The Devil's Advocate"
1998:
Co-starred with Kurt Russell in "Soldier"
1998:
Had small role as Mason Gamble's attractive mother in the quirky comedy "Rushmore"
2000:
Portrayed the lone female member of a "Mission to Mars"
2000:
Cast as Lucilla, the daughter of Marcus Aurelius, in the epic "Gladiator"
2002:
Cast as a wife and mother who becomes the object of a stalker in "One Hour Photo"; screened at Sundance
2003:
Female lead in the action feature "The Hunted"
2003:
Cast opposite John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson in "Basic"
2005:
Appeared in "The Great Raid," based on a true story of the liberation of 500 POWs during WWII
2005:
Starred as a woman who comes between two brothers in "Brødre/Brothers"
2005:
Cast opposite John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton in the "Ice Harvest," a dark comedy directed by Harold Ramis
2006:
Appeared in several episodes of "Law & Order: SVU," (NBC) as a temporarily replacement for a pregnant Mariska Hargitay
2007:
Cast as a journalist in the Iraq war drama, "The Situation"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

"A role can go from being a babe to anything, as long as it's something that makes me curious." --Connie Nielsen quoted in Premiere, June 2000.

"I'm getting used to working with guys and being the only female on the set." --Nielsen to Movieline, March 2000.

"Making a movie is like meeting a lover; you just don't know how much of it is your projection." --Nielsen to Movieline, March 2000.

Family close complete family listing

brother:
Ulrich Nielsen. Born c. 1969.
son:
Sebastian. Born c. 1990.

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