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Anna Gunn

Anna Gunn

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: August 11, 1968 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA Profession: actress

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

The consummate working actor, Anna Gunn consistently delivered credible, grounded performances in such a constant stream of stage and television roles that her work was familiar, while Gunn herself remained relatively unknown. She was a veteran of New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles stages, and a regular face on episodic television by the time she landed her breakthrough role as the long-suffering Martha Bullock on "Deadwood" (HBO, 2004-06), a character that the show's creator, David Milch wrote with Gunn in mind after seeing her stunning work in a guest role on his previous series, "NYPD Blue" (ABC, 1993-2005). Whether playing a desperate but hopeful New York junkie, or the stalwart wife of a frontier sheriff, Gunn invested her work with a transformative sense of realism. She would bring that same quality to her performance as Skyler White on the critically acclaimed drama "Breaking Bad" (AMC, 2008-2013), taking a dramatic journey from pregnant housewife to knowing accomplice in her husband's methamphetamine operation without ever straining the credibility of her character. In a career that placed quality and consistency over celebrity, Anna Gunn established herself as a genuine and reliable...

The consummate working actor, Anna Gunn consistently delivered credible, grounded performances in such a constant stream of stage and television roles that her work was familiar, while Gunn herself remained relatively unknown. She was a veteran of New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles stages, and a regular face on episodic television by the time she landed her breakthrough role as the long-suffering Martha Bullock on "Deadwood" (HBO, 2004-06), a character that the show's creator, David Milch wrote with Gunn in mind after seeing her stunning work in a guest role on his previous series, "NYPD Blue" (ABC, 1993-2005). Whether playing a desperate but hopeful New York junkie, or the stalwart wife of a frontier sheriff, Gunn invested her work with a transformative sense of realism. She would bring that same quality to her performance as Skyler White on the critically acclaimed drama "Breaking Bad" (AMC, 2008-2013), taking a dramatic journey from pregnant housewife to knowing accomplice in her husband's methamphetamine operation without ever straining the credibility of her character. In a career that placed quality and consistency over celebrity, Anna Gunn established herself as a genuine and reliable talent.

Gunn was born on Aug. 11, 1968 in Cleveland, OH, and moved with her family to Santa Fe, NM as a child, discovering a passion for the theater while taking drama classes at Santa Fe Preparatory School. She attended Northwestern University and studied abroad for a semester, working with the British American Drama Academy, and performing with her final college project at London's Royal Court Theater. Gunn would be cast in her first professional acting job while still in school, playing Lucy Lockit in a Court Theater production of "The Beggar's Opera." After graduating from Northwestern University, Gunn began to split her time auditioning between Chicago and New York, and in 1992 would first reach a nationwide audience on the short-lived Fox series, "Down the Shore" (1992-93). While pursuing television work in Los Angeles, Gunn still made time for her first love, the stage, appearing in the 1995 American premiere of "Hysteria" at LA's Mark Taper Forum. More television guest roles would follow, including a two-episode arc on "NYPD Blue" (ABC, 1993-2005), playing Kimmy, a junkie who dreams of escaping New York to swim with dolphins. The role would bring Gunn to the attention of the show's writer-producer, David Milch, who would keep Gunn in mind while creating his next series.

Constantly moving between stage and television, Gunn would make her Broadway debut in 1997 in "The Rehearsal" at the Roundabout Theater, at the same time having recurring roles on two series: key witness Melissa Griotte on the first season of "Murder One" (ABC, 1995-97), and Assistant District Attorney Jean Ward on David E. Kelly's "The Practice" (ABC, 1997-2004). As if her work schedule were not busy enough, Gunn would also break into independent feature films with "Nobody's Baby" (2001) starring Gary Oldman, and voice the character of Ariel in the popular "Legacy of Kain" videogame series. In 2004, David Milch would recall Gunn's work on "NYPD Blue" and create a role on his new series, "Deadwood" (HBO, 2004-06) with her in mind: Martha Bullock, the long suffering wife of Timothy Olyphant's lawman Seth Bullock. One of the few female characters in the talented ensemble cast, Gunn's Martha served as the loveless corner of a love triangle with Olyphant's Bullock and Molly Parker's Alma Garrett, as well as a rare civilizing influence in the midst of Deadwood's chaos. While the part was small and unremarkable compared to some of the program's showier characters, Gunn would make the most of her limited screen time to create an indelible portrait of a woman forced to compromise. She would play the role for two seasons before the show's unceremonious cancellation in 2006.

Just two years later, Gunn would find success as a series regular once again, but this time with the latitude to explore far greater emotional territory than ever before. Cast as the morally conflicted Skyler White on "Breaking Bad" (AMC, 2008-2013), Gunn's character began the series as a dramatic foil and simple obstacle to Bryan Cranston's unhinged Walter. Her portrayal of the pregnant wife from whom he must hide his burgeoning methamphetamine business emerged over successive seasons as a multi-layered character in her own right, coping with complications of her own questionable choices while learning to first accept, and then aid and abet her husband's criminal operation. After more than a decade of constant work in every imaginable medium, Gunn garnered popular and critical praise alike for her textured and deeply sympathetic portrayal on "Breaking Bad," and after four seasons finally received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, the first such honor of her career. Never one to stand still for long, Gunn continued to make guest appearances on other television series during the run of "Breaking Bad," including episodes of "Law and Order" (NBC, 1990-2010) and "Lie to Me" (Fox, 2009-2011), as well as appearing in the independent features "Red State" (2011) and "Sassy Pants" (2012). In September of 2013 Gunn won her first Emmy Award for her role as Skyler White on "Breaking Bad." She was also nominated the previous year, but lost to Maggie Smith of "Downton Abbey" (PBS, 2010- ). Following the end of "Breaking Bad," Gunn returned to television in the limited-run series "Gracepoint" (Fox 2014), an American remake of the British police procedural series "Broadchurch" (ITV 2013). Both series starred David Tennant; Gunn took the role of a police detective and mother played in the original by Olivia Colman.

By John Crye

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Equity (2016)
2.
 Sully (2016)
3.
 Secrets of Eden (2012)
4.
 Sassy Pants (2012)
5.
 Red State (2011)
6.
 Twelve Mile Road (2003) Leah
7.
 Nobody's Baby (2001) Stormy
8.
 Lost Souls (2000) Sally Prescott
9.
 Enemy of the State (1998) Emily Reynolds
10.
 Without Evidence (1996) Liz Godlove
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1996:
Made Broadway debut opposite Roger Rees in "The Rehearsal" at the Roundabout Theater
1997:
Cast in the indie film "Santa Fe" with Lolita Davidovich
1995:
First major film role, the independent feature "Without Evidence"
1994:
First worked with David Milch on the ABC drama series "NYPD Blue"; played a junkie on two episodes
2001:
Starred alongside Gary Oldman and Mary Steenburgen in the dark comedy "Nobody's Baby"
:
Starred as Isabella in "Measure for Measure," at the Ahmanson Theatre; helmed by famed director Sir Peter Hall
1998:
Appeared opposite Jon Voight and Will Smith in the Tony Scott film "Enemy of the State"
2008:
Cast as Walter White's (Bryan Cranston) wife Skyler on the AMC original drama series "Breaking Bad"
2004:
Landed recurring role on the HBO series "Six Feet Under" as the wealthy divorcée who has a fling with Peter Krause
2005:
Cast as Martha Bullock on David Milch's acclaimed HBO series "Deadwood"
1998:
Played a recurring role on David E. Kelley's "The Practice" (ABC) as ADA Jean Ward
2011:
Appeared in Kevin Smith's horror-thriller, "Red State"
2013:
Won first Emmy Award for her role as Skyler White on "Breaking Bad"
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Education

Santa Fe Prep: Santa Fe, New Mexico -
Northwestern University: Chicago, Illinois -

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