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Joan Cusack

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Also Known As: Joan Mary Cusack Died:
Born: October 11, 1962 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Despite living in the shadow of her superstar brother, John Cusack, actress Joan Cusack carved out a substantial career with memorable supporting roles. But unlike her better known sibling, she earned an Academy Award nomination for her performance in "Working Girl" (1988), which came hot on the heels of her breakout role in "Broadcast News" (1987). From there, she accumulated a long list of credits where she played the best friend, sidekick or scourge, most notably in "Say Anything" (1989), "My Blue Heaven" (1990) and "Addams Family Values" (1993). While she did land the occasional dramatic role, as happened with "Arlington Road" (1999) and "The Cradle Will Rock" (1999), Cusack seemed content with her position as a character actress. Though her career was not without its setbacks - a failed sitcom run in early 2001 paid testament to that - Cusack nonetheless remained secure in herself and career, becoming by the late 1990s and early 2000s, one of the most dependable supporting players working in Hollywood.

Despite living in the shadow of her superstar brother, John Cusack, actress Joan Cusack carved out a substantial career with memorable supporting roles. But unlike her better known sibling, she earned an Academy Award nomination for her performance in "Working Girl" (1988), which came hot on the heels of her breakout role in "Broadcast News" (1987). From there, she accumulated a long list of credits where she played the best friend, sidekick or scourge, most notably in "Say Anything" (1989), "My Blue Heaven" (1990) and "Addams Family Values" (1993). While she did land the occasional dramatic role, as happened with "Arlington Road" (1999) and "The Cradle Will Rock" (1999), Cusack seemed content with her position as a character actress. Though her career was not without its setbacks - a failed sitcom run in early 2001 paid testament to that - Cusack nonetheless remained secure in herself and career, becoming by the late 1990s and early 2000s, one of the most dependable supporting players working in Hollywood.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Mars Needs Moms (2011)
2.
 Arthur Christmas (2011)
4.
 Toy Story 3 (2010)
5.
6.
7.
 Acceptance (2009)
9.
 War, Inc. (2008)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
While in college joined The Ark, improvisational comedy group
1980:
Screen acting debut in "My Bodyguard"; her father also had small role
1983:
First appearance alongside brother John in "Class"
1984:
TV-movie debut, "All Together Now"
1985:
Series regular debut, NBC's "Saturday Night Live"
1988:
Made Off-Broadway debut in "Road"
1989:
Appeared Off-Broadway in the Circle Repertory Company's "Brilliant Traces"
1989:
Earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her role as Melanie Griffith's best friend in "Working Girl"
1989:
Played on-screen siblings with real life brother John Cusack in Cameron Crowe's "Say Anything"
1993:
Played a murderous nanny in "Addams Family Values"
1994:
Had a rare dramatic TV role in "The Mother" (PBS) opposite Anne Bancroft
1995:
Had a supporting role in the comedy, "Nine Months"
1997:
Once again co-starred with brother John playing his secretary in the comedy "Grosse Pointe Blank"
1997:
Played Kevin Kline's bride-to-be whose life hinges on whether he is gay or not in the comedy "In & Out"; garnered second Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination
1999:
Played Hazel Huffman in the Tim Robbins-directed "Cradle Will Rock"
1999:
Voiced a yodeling cowgirl named Jessie, in the animated film "Toy Story 2"
2000:
Had a small role in Stephen Frears' "High Fidelity" starring her brother John
2001:
Starred as a Chicago high school teacher in ABC's "What About Joan"
2003:
Played a prep school's straight-laced principal opposite Jack Black in the Richard Linklater directed "School of Rock"
2004:
Cast as Kate Hudson's sister in the comedy "Raising Helen"
2005:
Voiced Abby Mallard (aka Ugly Duckling) in the animated feature "Chicken Little"
2006:
Co-starred with Frances McDormand, Jennifer Aniston and Catherine Keener in Nicole Holofcener's "Friends with Money"
2007:
Once again played on-screen siblings with real life brother John in "The Martian Child"
2008:
Cast opposite Abigail Breslin in the family film, "Kit Kittredge: An American Girl"
2009:
Re-teamed with Abigail Breslin for "My Sister's Keeper," a Nick Cassavetes-directed adaptation of the Jodi Picoult novel
2010:
Reprised the voice of Jessie the Yodeling Cowgirl in the animated feature "Toy Story 3"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Piven Theater Workshop: Evanston , Illinois -
University of Wisconsin-Madison: Madison , Wisconsin - 1985

Notes

"For years the line on Cusack has been: Why isn't she getting better roles?

'A lot of it has to do with [the fact] there are way more different character roles for men than there are for women . . . With women, it's usually you're the babe or you're the supportive friend [who's] sort of brassy and obnoxious, cracking jokes. I'm not the babe." --From "Joan of Spark" by Lewis Beale in DAILY NEWS, September 16, 1997

"I'm not at Joanie's level as an actor." --John Cusack quoted in THE NEW YORK TIMES, September 14, 1997

"Watching Joan is like seeing a pot on the stove. There are all sorts of little bubbles and then bang, it's at full boil." --playwright Cindy Lou Johnson to THE NEW YORK TIMES, February 5, 1989 (Cusack co-starred in the Off-Broadway production of Johnson's play "Brilliant Traces")

Some sources list Ms. Cusack's birthdate as November 11.

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Richard Burke. Attorney. Met in 1993; born c. 1963.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Richard Cusack. Actor. Appeared in feature version of "The Fugitive" (1993); died June 2, 2003.
mother:
Nancy Cusack. Former math teacher.
sister:
Ann Cusack. Actor. Born on May 22, 1961.
brother:
Bill Cusack. Actor. Born c. 1964; appeared in "Ed Wood".
brother:
John Cusack. Actor. Born on June 28, 1966; starred in many films including "Eight Men Out" (1988), "Say Anything" (1989) and "The Grifters" (1990).
sister:
Susie Cusack. Actor. Born c. 1971; appeared in the film "Hero" (1992) with Cusack.
son:
Dylan John Burke. Born on June 17, 1997 in Chicago.
son:
Miles Burke. Born summer 2000.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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