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Marcia Gay Harden

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: August 14, 1959 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: La Jolla, California, USA Profession: actor, dancer, caterer, baby sitter, waitress

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Academy Award-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden took home an Oscar statuette for her portrayal of artist Lee Krasner in the biopic "Pollock" (2000), although by then the raven-haired actress - who often drew comparisons to screen goddess Ava Gardner - had already earned a solid reputation on Broadway. She began her career playing the gun-toting moll Verna Bernbaum in the Coen Brothers' ode to 1930s gangsters films, "Miller's Crossing" (1990) prior to earning Tony nominations for performances in stage productions that included Tony Kushner's "Angels in America" in 1993. Following her "Pollock" win, Harden became an in-demand central player in acclaimed dramas like "Space Cowboys" (2000), "Mystic River" (2003) and "Into the Wild" (2007); although broader portrayals in such genre fare as the adaptation of the Stephen King novella "The Mist" (2007) also proved easily within the versatile actress' wheelhouse. Whether the script called for a devoted wife, glamorous movie star, or religious zealot, Harden's name was frequently at the top of casting agents' wish lists, maintaining her status as one of film's busiest supporting actresses.

Academy Award-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden took home an Oscar statuette for her portrayal of artist Lee Krasner in the biopic "Pollock" (2000), although by then the raven-haired actress - who often drew comparisons to screen goddess Ava Gardner - had already earned a solid reputation on Broadway. She began her career playing the gun-toting moll Verna Bernbaum in the Coen Brothers' ode to 1930s gangsters films, "Miller's Crossing" (1990) prior to earning Tony nominations for performances in stage productions that included Tony Kushner's "Angels in America" in 1993. Following her "Pollock" win, Harden became an in-demand central player in acclaimed dramas like "Space Cowboys" (2000), "Mystic River" (2003) and "Into the Wild" (2007); although broader portrayals in such genre fare as the adaptation of the Stephen King novella "The Mist" (2007) also proved easily within the versatile actress' wheelhouse. Whether the script called for a devoted wife, glamorous movie star, or religious zealot, Harden's name was frequently at the top of casting agents' wish lists, maintaining her status as one of film's busiest supporting actresses.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Librarian, The (2014)
3.
 Elsa and Fred (2014)
4.
 Get a Job (2013)
5.
 Parkland (2013)
6.
 You're Not You (2013)
7.
 Cat in Paris, A (2012)
8.
 Back Roads (2012)
9.
10.
 If I Were You (2012)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Moved several times throughout her school years as the daughter of a Navy captain
1973:
At age 13, posed as a boy for a period in Japan
:
Developed interest in theater while living in Greece by attending plays at the Herodus Atticus, an old theater near base of the Parthenon (date approximate)
:
Began college in Athens, Greece
:
Continued studies in Munich, Germany
:
Began acting on Munich stage performing in plays by Edward Albee and Chekhov
1983:
Completed her BA at University of Texas
:
Moved to Washington, DC; began acting in regional theater and local TV
1987:
Appeared in "In the Lion's Den," an unsold pilot presented on "CBS Summer Playhouse"
1990:
Had title role in Rebecca Miller's short "Florence," playing an empathetic woman who develops amnesia
1990:
Made feature film acting debut as Verna in the Coen brothers' "Miller's Crossing"
1992:
Portrayed screen siren Ava Gardner in CBS miniseries biography "Sinatra"
1992:
Delivered a strong turn as a pop culture freak who dresses up as various actresses in "Used People"
1993:
Acted in off-Broadway play "The Years" alongside Frank Whaley and Paul McCrane
1993:
Appeared on Broadway as Harper Pitt in Tony Kushner's "Angels in America: Millennium Approaches"; earned a Tony nomination; later reprised role in the epic's second half "Angels in America: Perestroika"
1994:
Starred opposite Ed Harris and Beverly D'Angelo in Sam Shepard's play "Simpatico"
1995:
Delivered a monologue about the death of her character's mother in "Talking With" (PBS), directed by Kathy Bates
1996:
Offered fine supporting turn as an abused wife in "The Spitfire Grill"
1997:
Played an FBI agent in HBO docudrama "Path to Paradise: The Untold Story of the World Trade Center Bombing"
1997:
Co-starred opposite Robin Williams in "Flubber"
1998:
Portrayed a single woman who decides to have a child with her gay best friend until she meets a man she thinks may be Mr. Right in "Labor of Love" (Lifetime)
1998:
Appeared as one of Anthony Hopkins' daughters in "Meet Joe Black"
1999:
Played Susan Silverman, the girlfriend of private eye Spenser (Joe Mantegna) in "Small Vices" (A&E)
2000:
Reprised Susan Silverman in sequel "Thin Air: A Spenser Mystery" (A&E)
2000:
Had featured role as a NASA engineer romanced by astronaut Tommy Lee Jones in "Space Cowboys"
2000:
Delivered scene-stealing turn as artist Lee Krasner in biopic "Pollock," directed by and co-starring Ed Harris
2001:
Co-starred as a woman who asks a writer friend (Judy Davis) to help her locate her missing husband in "Gaudi Afternoon"
2001:
Acted in New York Shakespeare Festival summer production of "The Seagull," staged in Central Park by Mike Nichols
2001:
Again reprised Susan Silverman in A&E's "Walking Shadow"
2001:
Co-starred with Richard Dreyfuss in "The Education of Max Bickford" (CBS)
2003:
Played Tim Robbins' wife in Clint Eastwood directed "Mystic River"
2003:
Appeared opposite Julia Roberts in "Mona Lisa Smile"
2004:
Played Gene Hackman's former girlfriend in comedy "Welcome to Mooseport"
2004:
Cast opposite Laura Linney and Topher Grace in "P.S."
2005:
Cast opposite Billy Bob Thornton in remake of "Bad News Bears"
2005:
Landed recurring role as undercover agent Dana Lewis on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (NBC)
2006:
Played a Laura Bush-esque first lady opposite Dennis Quaid in Paul Weitz's political satire "American Dreamz"
2006:
Portrayed a devastated mother of a Columbine-type killer in "American Gun"
2007:
Played the mother of Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch) in Sean Penn's adaptation of non-fiction book "Into the Wild"
2007:
Co-starred in Alison Eastwood's directorial debut "Rails and Ties"
2009:
Joined cast of "Damages" (FX) for second season
2009:
Returned to the stage for Broadway production of Yasmina Reza┬┐s "God of Carnage"
2009:
Co-starred with Anna Paquin in CBS TV movie "The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler"
2009:
Played Ellen Page's overbearing mother in Drew Barrymore's directorial debut "Whip It"
2010:
Cast in multi-episode arc on USA Network's "Royal Pains" as Dr. Elizabeth Blair, a surgeon and board member of Hamptons Heritage Hospital
2013:
Appeared on "The Newsroom" as the high-powered New York attorney, Rebecca Halliday
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of Maryland: Baltimore , Maryland -
New York University: New York , New York -
Surratsville Senior High School: Clinton , Maryland - 1976
University of Texas at Austin: Austin , Texas - 1983

Notes

Harden was trained in various circus skills including the trapeze, tightrope and juggling.

Harden was nominated for two Helen Hayes awards as leading actress for the productions of "Crimes of the Heart" and "The Miss Firecracker Contest".

"Until people get to know me, they see a dark, hard, sensuous bitch." --Marcia Gay Harden to David Richards in The New York Times, November 4, 1992.

"You know, I swore that if I ever won an Oscar, that I would say thank you to all the waiters and waitresses who used to cover my shift for me so I could run downtown on the subway and audition. I wish I'd said something to the waiters." --Harden in the press room after winning her Best Supporting Actress Oscar, as reported by Amy Reiter in "Nothing Personal" at Salon (www.salon.com), March 27, 2001.

On December 15, 2003, Harden's young nephew and niece were killed in a tragic fire. The deaths occurred when the Queens, New York apartment, owned by her former sister-in-law, went up in flames after a burning candle set a sofa on fire. Her ex-sister-in-law also later died from injuries received in the fire.

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Thaddaeus D Scheel. Prop man. Met during filming of "The Spitfire Grill".

Family close complete family listing

father:
Thaddeus Harden. U.S. Naval Captain.
brother:
Thaddeus Harden.
daughter:
Eulala Grace Harden Scheel. Aka Eulala Scheel. Born in September 1998.
mother:
Beverly Bushfield Harden.
son:
Hudson Harden Scheel. Born April 22, 2004.
daughter:
Julitta Dee Harden Scheel. Born April 22, 2004.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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