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Geena Davis

Geena Davis

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Also Known As: Virginia Elizabeth Davis Died:
Born: January 21, 1956 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Wareham, Massachusetts, USA Profession: actor, writer, producer, model, salesgirl, live mannequin, waitress

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Since the early 1980s, this statuesque (about 6') former fashion model has carefully crafted a winning screen persona that has made her one of Hollywood's most sought-after actors. While Davis' somewhat goofy charm has been well deployed in quirky comedies (e.g., "Fletch" 1985; "Beetlejuice" 1988; "Quick Change" 1990), she has also displayed a flair for light drama, notably with an Oscar-winning turn in Lawrence Kasdan's "The Accidental Tourist" (1988). Strikingly attractive with just a touch of gawkiness, Davis projected an all but irresistible friendliness and vulnerability in her early appearances. More often than not, her best characterizations had her starting out as an untried and fairly ditsy naif who is forced to make decisions that allow her to grow over the course of the narrative. Davis has also avoided much of the stereotypical fare offered contemporary actresses in that she's never played a character who was dying of a terminal disease, been cast as a hooker (with a heart of gold or otherwise) or portrayed a conventional woman in peril. Her imposing physique has given her rare credibility to play athletes and other unusually physical female roles.

Since the early 1980s, this statuesque (about 6') former fashion model has carefully crafted a winning screen persona that has made her one of Hollywood's most sought-after actors. While Davis' somewhat goofy charm has been well deployed in quirky comedies (e.g., "Fletch" 1985; "Beetlejuice" 1988; "Quick Change" 1990), she has also displayed a flair for light drama, notably with an Oscar-winning turn in Lawrence Kasdan's "The Accidental Tourist" (1988). Strikingly attractive with just a touch of gawkiness, Davis projected an all but irresistible friendliness and vulnerability in her early appearances. More often than not, her best characterizations had her starting out as an untried and fairly ditsy naif who is forced to make decisions that allow her to grow over the course of the narrative. Davis has also avoided much of the stereotypical fare offered contemporary actresses in that she's never played a character who was dying of a terminal disease, been cast as a hooker (with a heart of gold or otherwise) or portrayed a conventional woman in peril. Her imposing physique has given her rare credibility to play athletes and other unusually physical female roles.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Accidents Happen (2009)
2.
 Stuart Little 2 (2002) Mrs Little
3.
 Stuart Little (1999) Mrs Little
5.
 Long Kiss Goodnight, The (1996) Samantha Caine--Charly
6.
 Cutthroat Island (1995) Morgan
7.
 Angie (1994) Angie Scacciapensieri
8.
 Speechless (1994) Julia Mann
9.
 A League Of Their Own (1992) Dottie Hinson
10.
 Hero (1992) Gale Gayley
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Performed with Mount Washington Repertory Theatre Company in New Hampshire in the late 1970s
1979:
After graduating from college, signed with the NYC-based Zoli modeling agency (date approximate)
:
Worked as a waitress in NYC
1982:
TV series debut, played a recurring role on the hit NBC sitcom "Family Ties"
1982:
Made memorable screen acting debut in "Tootsie"
1983:
Debut as a series regular, played Wendy Killian on NBC's acclaimed but short-lived sitcom "Buffalo Bill"; also credited as writer for one episode
1985:
Made debut as a series star with short-lived NBC sitcom "Sara"
1985:
First screen collaboration with future husband Jeff Goldblum (whom she met during the shoot), "Transylvania 6-5000"
1986:
First feature starring role, David Cronenberg's "The Fly" opposite Goldblum
1988:
Co-starred with William Hurt in Lawrence Kasdan's "The Accidental Tourist"; won Oscar for Best Supporting Actress
1988:
"Sara" rerun on NBC in the summer
1989:
Final screen collaboration with Goldblum before their 1990 divorce, Julien Temple's "Earth Girls Are Easy"
1990:
Founded production company Genial Pictures with partner Fanny Levy; made deal with Fox to develop own scripts and stories (date approximate)
1991:
Co-starred with Susan Sarandon in Ridley Scott's crime drama "Thelma & Louise"; garnered second Oscar nomination
1992:
Cast alongside Tom Hanks and Madonna in the women's baseball feature "A League of Their Own"
1993:
Married transplanted Finnish action film director Renny Harlin
1994:
Formed Forge Productions with Renny Harlin
1994:
Starred in and co-produced feature film "Speechless"
1996:
Co-produced (with Renny Harlin) TV-movie "Mistrial" (HBO)
1996:
Directed by husband Harlin in the action-drama "The Long Kiss Goodnight"
1997:
Split from Harlin and terminated her participation in Forge Productions
1999:
Hosted the Academy Awards telecast pre-show on ABC (March 21)
1999:
Played the mother in the feature adaptation of "Stuart Little"
2000:
Returned to the small screen as star of ABC sitcom "The Geena Davis Show"
2002:
Reprised role as Mrs. Little in "Stuart Little 2"
2005:
Cast as the first female U.S. President on Rod Lurie's ABC drama "Commander in Chief"; earned a SAG (2006) nomination for Best Actress
2006:
Earned an Emmy nomination for Best Actress in a Drama Series for "Commander in Chief"
2009:
Starred in the dysfunctional family comedy-drama "Accidents Happen"
2012:
Played a cutthroat head of psychiatry in A&E miniseries "Coma," based on 1978 film
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

New England College: Henniker , New Hampshire -
School of Fine Arts, Boston University: Boston , Massachusetts - 1979

Notes

Davis qualified to compete in the semifinals for a slot on the US Olympic archery team in 1999, ranking among the top 32 women in the country. She failed to qualify for the finals, however, but was invited to participate at a test event in Sydney, Australia as a wildcard entry.

"'It just sort of evolved that people decided I was wacky or something', says Davis, 'and I feel like, When did THIS happen? When did I become the female Rip Taylor? Am I Phyllis Diller? I got this reputation like I'm Bette Midler or something, and I'm nothing like these people. It's a convenient thing to say: 'So you were in "The Fly" and you were in "Beetlejuice"'. But was I kooky? Let's watch the movie and see how kooky I am. In "The Fly", I'm completely serious and I'm crying and I love my lover.'" --From "Geena Soars" by Rachel Abramowitz in Premiere, February 1994.

"I went to New York planning to get a modeling career that would launch my acting career. I never stopped to consider that becoming a successful model was as hard as becoming a famous actress ... When I think about it now, it almost seems like naivete, this unshakeable, blind faith that this was supposed to happen to me. I never considered giving up and going home. I always thought, 'oh, it's just around the corner.'" --Geena Davis to Parade, September 15, 1996.

"I want to play characters who are in charge of their own destiny, who are self-determining, for good or bad, who make mistakes or not, but make their own choices and decisions. That way, I avoid playing victims and things like that. I don't feel that I need to contribute to that particular thing." --Geena Davis quoted in Scene, November-December 1994.

She reportedly has an IQ of over 150 and is a member of MENSA.

Davis had a small tattoo of a cherub with Renny Harlin's first name on her right ankle. Following their divorce, she underwent laser surgery to remove it.

Received an honorary doctorate from Boston University in 1999.

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Richard Emmolo. Restaurant manager. Married c. 1981; divorced after 18 months in 1983.
companion:
Christopher MacDonald. Actor. Together three years before Davis wed Jeff Goldblum; featured with Davis in "Thelma & Louise" (1991).
husband:
Jeff Goldblum. Actor. Married on November 1, 1987; filed for divorce in October 1990; met while filming "Transylvania 6-5000" (1985).
husband:
Renny Harlin. Director. Married on September 18, 1993; separated amicably in April 1997; Davis filed for divorce in August 1997; finalized in 1998.
husband:
Reza Jarrahy. Surgeon. Born c. 1971; began dating in 1999; on married September 1, 2001.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
William Davis. Civil engineer (retired).
mother:
Lucille Davis. Teacher's aide (retired).
brother:
Dan Davis. Geotechnical engineer.
daughter:
Alizeh Keshvar Jarrahy. Born April 2002.
son:
Kaiis Steven Jarrahy. Born May 6, 2004; twin of Kian William; father is Reza Jarrahy.
son:
Kian William Jarrahy. Born May 6, 2004; twin of Kaiis Steven; father is Reza Jarrahy.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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