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Calista Flockhart

Calista Flockhart

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: November 11, 1964 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Freeport, Illinois, USA Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Although she was a stage-trained actress with an impressive theatrical résumé, audiences embraced Calista Flockhart as charming, vulnerable lawyer "Ally McBeal" (FOX, 1997-2002). She and her character became cultural touchstones, both loved and despised for many reasons: her revealing clothing, her rail-thin physique, her self-absorption, her fitness as feminist poster girl, etc. The Golden Globe-winning actress focused more on the work than on celebrity, earning good reviews in "William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream" (1999) and "Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her" (2001) as well as more well regarded stage work. After adopting a son, she resurfaced as the Republican daughter of Sally Field on the hit drama "Brothers & Sisters" (ABC, 2006- ) and made headlines by marrying movie star Harrison Ford. A quiet success, Flockhart seemed less interested in Hollywood ambition than in enjoying her work and her real life.

Although she was a stage-trained actress with an impressive theatrical résumé, audiences embraced Calista Flockhart as charming, vulnerable lawyer "Ally McBeal" (FOX, 1997-2002). She and her character became cultural touchstones, both loved and despised for many reasons: her revealing clothing, her rail-thin physique, her self-absorption, her fitness as feminist poster girl, etc. The Golden Globe-winning actress focused more on the work than on celebrity, earning good reviews in "William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream" (1999) and "Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her" (2001) as well as more well regarded stage work. After adopting a son, she resurfaced as the Republican daughter of Sally Field on the hit drama "Brothers & Sisters" (ABC, 2006- ) and made headlines by marrying movie star Harrison Ford. A quiet success, Flockhart seemed less interested in Hollywood ambition than in enjoying her work and her real life.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 Fragile (2005)
3.
 Last Shot, The (2004) Valerie Weston
4.
 Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her (1999) Christine ("This Is Dr Keener") ("Good Night Lilly, Good Night Christine")
6.
 Jane Doe (1999) Jane
7.
 Telling Lies in America (1997) Diney Majeski
8.
 Angel Passing (1997)
9.
 Milk and Money (1996) Christine
10.
 The Birdcage (1996) Barbara Keeley
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Iowa, Minnesota and upstate New York
:
Family settled in New Jersey in the late 1970s
1988:
After college, moved to NYC to pursue career
1989:
New York stage debut in "Beside Herself"
1991:
TV debut, "An American Story" (CBS)
1991:
Debut in a TV-movie, "Darrow" (PBS)
1992:
Had featured role in the Off-Broadway production of Caryl Churchill's "Mad Forrest"
1994:
Broadway debut, as Laura in revival of Tennessee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie"
1994:
Feature debut in bit part in "Quiz Show"
:
Won acclaimed for her performance in the off-Broadway play "The Loop"
1995:
First important film role, "Drunks" (received limited theatrical release as well as airings on Showtime)
1996:
Breakthrough screen role as the mousy daughter of Gene Hackman and Dianne Wiest in "The Birdcage"
1996:
Appeared on stage at the Berkshire Theater Festival in "Jitta's Atonement", opposite Wiest
1996:
Played female lead in "Milk and Money"
1997:
Co-starred in the Broadway production of "Three Sisters" alongside Lili Taylor, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Amy Irving; played Natasha
1997:
TV series debut as regular, portrayed the titular fantasy-prone lawyer seeking Mr Right in the award-winning "Ally McBeal" (Fox)
1999:
Had featured role as Helena in the big screen remake of "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
1999:
Returned to the NYC stage in Off-Broadway production "Bash: Latter-Day Plays", by Neil LaBute; reprised roles for TV adaptation aired on Showtime in 2000
2000:
Had featured role in the Sundance-screened "Things You Can Tell by Just Looking at Her"; aired on Showtime in 2001
2000:
Appeared for two-week stint in the Off-Broadway production of "The Vagina Monologues" by Eve Ensler
2004:
Appears opposite Matthew Broderick in "The Last Shot"
2006:
Played Kitty Walker, a conservative TV-news personality in the ABC drama "Brothers & Sisters"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Shawnee High School: Medford , New Jersey - 1983
Rutgers University: New Brunswick , New Jersey - 1988

Notes

Flockhart was a member of the now defunct Malaparte., a theater company whose members included Ethan Hawke, Robert Sean Leonard, Frank Whaley, Josh Hamilton and playwright Jonathan Marc Sherman.

"To get to Broadway, I thought, was the most beautiful experience imaginable." --Calista Flockhart to Patrick Pacheco in InTheater, July 5, 1999.

". . . according to the press I'm dating somebody new every other day. I get around! And I live vicariously through my rumors." --Flockhart to TV Guide, May 1, 1999.

"I've always been called fragile, a waif. What do they mean? Fragile in my soul? . . . I'm fierce. . . . I don't believe my weight is a problem. It's society's obssesion with my weight that's the problem." --Calista Flockhart to TV Guide, May 1, 1999.

"I cast her because she's a very gifted actress who has a remarkable facility with the language. I didn't even understand that she meant anything at the box office." --director Michael Hoffman ("William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream") to Los Angeles, June 1999.

On receiving the offer to audition for "Ally McBeal", Flockhart told Steve Pond in Los Angeles (June 1999): "I was busy rehearsing for 'Three Sisters' but every time I turned around, they had called back. And finally I sat down and read it, and I saw this opportunity. It's about a woman--she's the protagonist--and her inner thoughts, and it's emotional, and it can be pretty much whatever I want it to be. It's this huge playing field full of contradictions and complexities. But then there was the reality of, What if it goes? So the entire cast of 'Three Sisters' spent a weekend deciding whether I was going to fly out to L.A. to audition.

". . . I was really tired of being poor. It's very difficult to make a living in the theater, and I was so sick to death of living hand to mouth. I thought, What do you have to lose?"

"There's this idea that if you're on television, you must not be a very good actress. That's a stigma that's going to take time to go away." --Flockhart quoted in The New York Times, May 2, 1999.

"One of the reasons it's been said that I'm so hard on myself is because coming from the theater, the pace on television is so different, so incredibly fast.

"You do these 14-hour days, then you go home and memorize lines for the next day. You've never had a rehearsal, so the lines are sitting precariously in your head, and you're never fully on top of them. It can take a toll on your self-esteem, because you're not doing the best work that you know you can do." --Calista Flockhart quoted in Daily News, May 2, 1999.

"I refuse to be put on the defensive. I'm an actress playing a fictional character. It's important to accept the character in the spirit in which it's given. The show's purpose is entertainment, not to provide a representation of all women. Ally is an individual. She doesn't necessarily behave the way all women behave." --Flockhart on her TV alter ego, quoted in Newsday, April 25, 1999.

"Onstage, I feel at home, comfortable, accepted, whole. It's like a drug for me." [She laughed.] "It doesn't sound too healthy, does it?" --From "The Risks She Takes" by Dotson Rader in Parade Magazine, January 13, 1999.

"She's getting torn apart for her body. I can show you pictures of her when she was my age and she was skinny-skinny then. The best thing I can think of, saying it in a nice way, is that she's neurotic. Her mind works really fast. I really vaue her friendship--she was like a sister to me--especially because it's harder to make friends with girls than with guys. Girls can be so catty and back-stabbing." --former stage co-star Melissa Joan Hart on Flockhart, quoted in Movieline, August 1999.

"She's just gifted. There's never a day when I'm writing when I ask myself, 'Can Calista do this?' It never gives me pause. There's nothing she can't do." --"Ally McBeal" creator David E Kelley quoted in the Los Angeles Times, September 9, 1998.

". . . this society is so voyeuristic and intrusive. And when you're the object of that, it can be . . . hurtful. People love to stir things up. Even before I was in the tabloids, I didn't really believe them. . . .

"You know what? Gossip has been around since the beginning of time. It gives people a common ground. So there must be some value in it, right? But it kills me, this fascination with celebrities' personal lives. When I started reading the press about this couple who broke up and were on the cover of every newspaper as if they were the royal family [Flockhart mouths the names Brad and Gwyneth], I just thought the fascination with that was . . . unbelievable." --From US, May 1998.

"I've come to realize that being famous has no other worth than to use that fame for bettering and enriching the lives of others--and by 'enrichment' I don't mean my persona as a TV or movie star!" --Flockhart to syndicated columnist Liz Smith, reported by Smith on June 21, 2000.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Jeffrey Kramer. Producer. Was reported to have been dating in 1998; at the time he separated from his wife with whom he had three children.
companion:
Ben Stiller. Actor, director. Romantically linked in the press, although both declared they were "just friends".
companion:
Sam Mendes. Director. Reportedly dated; was her date for the Emmy awards in 1999.
companion:
Garry Shandling. Actor, comedian. Reportedly dated in 2000; Flockhart has denied they were romantically involved and are nothing more than "just good friends".
companion:
Harrison Ford. Actor. Reportedly dating as of early 2002.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Ronald Flockhart. Retired business executive. Worked for Kraft Foods.
mother:
Kay Flockhart. Teacher.
brother:
Gary Flockhart. Born c. 1961; arrested in July 2001 for heroin possession.
son:
Liam Flockhart. Adopted; born on January 1, 2001 in San Diego.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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