Family & Companions
Caroline Goodall began her career on the British stage before embarking on a successful career as a supporting player on the international film scene. Her American breakthrough came with her casting as the wife of reluctant adult Peter Pan in "Hook" (1990), after which she turned in solid performances in films including "Schindler's List" (1993) and "Disclosure" (1994). Her "mom" role in the super popular "Princess Diaries" films (2002, 2004) raised her profile and led to a string of similar castings in family films like "Chasing Liberty" (2004), though her visits to big budget Hollywood were regularly tempered by independent film dramas and overseas productions in Europe and Australia. In every respect, Goodall proved herself a competent and dependable character actress comfortable in any genre or medium.
Goodall was born Nov. 13, 1959 and raised in London by a literary publisher father and journalist mother. While she did seem poised to follow in the family footsteps with her literary studies at Bristol University, Goodall's early interest in the stage was stoked by her discovery and casting in the British children's series "The Moon Stallion" when she was 18 years old. She added drama to her college curriculum and launched her career with the Royal Court, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and the Royal National Theatres, with whom she apprenticed and eventually toured internationally in productions ranging from contemporary comedies to the Bard's tragedies.
Throughout the 1980s, Goodall worked on stage and became an increasingly frequent television performer, seen in the States in small roles in "Charles & Diana: A Royal Love Story" (ABC, 1982), and in the middling Tom Hanks romantic drama, "Every Time We Say Goodbye" (1986). In 1990, her screen career began to take off with her performance in the Masterpiece Theater production "After the War," as well as with her starring role in the taut Australian miniseries "Cassidy" (1990), which earned her a Best Actress nomination from the Australian Film institute. Goodall went on to give a lovely glow to the role of the adult Peter Pan's (Robin Williams) wife in Steven Spielberg's fantasy "Hook" (1991), the director tapped her again for his Holocaust epic "Schindler's List" (1993), where she played the eponymous hero's wife. A sizable role in the Sylvester Stallone actioner "Cliffhanger" (1993) as an airplane pilot in cahoots with the villainous John Lithgow, further raised the actress' international profile.
Next, Goodall played opposite Michael Douglas in the Michael Crichton thriller "Disclosure" (1994) and the following year, her leading role in "Hotel Sorrento" as an author whose supposedly fictional hit novel upsets her suspiciously similar family, earned her another Best Actress nod from the Australian Film Institute. Ridley Scott tapped Goodall to play the physician wife of the skipper of a floating school in his adventure "White Squall" (1996) before she starred as a battered wife who has an affair with a charming but psychotic man (Mark Harmon) in the psychological thriller, "Casualties" (1997). In 1998, her lead role in the romantic dramedy "The Secret Laughter of Women" was well received in critic's circles. In 2001, Goodall played Igraine, mother of King Arthur, in the medieval miniseries "Mists of Avalon" (TNT), which told the warrior legend based on the experiences of the women involved. From that top-rated cable offering, Goodall joined another royal production, the Disney megahit "The Princess Diaries" (2001), in which she played the fun-loving, artist mother of a teen (Anne Hathaway) who discovers she is European royalty and called upon to behave as such.
Her next pair of film appearances were lesser-seen indies - "Harrison's Flowers" (2002), a drama set in war-torn Yugoslavia, and the romantic comedy "Easy" (2003), in which she played the lesbian assistant and ex-wife of an Irish cable talk show host (Brian F. O'Byrne). Goodall reprised her role in the sequel, "The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement" (2004) and moved on to a similarly-themed family-friendly comedy, "Chasing Liberty" (2004), in which she played the First Lady of the United States and mother of a teen daughter (Mandy Moore) whose insistence on nonstop protection from the Secret Service has comic romantic consequences. Goodall next appeared as part of the ensemble of the dark, drug-fueled indie film "The Chumscrubber" (2005), and made a few guest appearances on American television dramas including "Alias" (ABC, 2001-06).
Goodall's high-profile parenting roles continued to earn her more work in family-friendly films, including the Venice-set adventure "The Thief Lord" (2006) and "River's End" (2006), in which she played the wife of a Texas sheriff (Barry Corbin) and mother of a troubled teen (Sam Huntington). After a supporting role as a snooty British tourist in the comic misfire "My Life in Ruins" (2009), Goodall fared better playing Lady Radly in "Dorian Gray" (2009), an adaptation of the beloved Oscar Wilde novel about a vain young man's attempt to maintain his youth.
By Susan Clarke
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
At age 18, spotted in school play by BBC director and hired for first TV role in the British children's serial "The Moon Stallion"
First major US TV credit, acting on the ABC movie, "Charles & Diana: A Royal Love Story"
Acted on two-part episode ("Steele Searching") of NBC detective drama, "Remington Steele"
Feature film debut, "Every Time We Say Goodbye"
Toured Australia with the Royal Shakespeare Company in "Richard III"
Played Sally Raglan on the ten-part "Masterpiece Theatre" dramatic miniseries, "After the War"
Nominated as Best Actress by the Australian Film Institute for her role in the thriller, "Cassidy"
Co-starred as Mrs. Peter Pan in "Hook", directed by Steven Spielberg
Appeared in "Cliffhanger" with Sylvester Stallone; met future husband Nicola Pecorini during filming
Cast by Spielberg as the wife of Oskar Schindler in the Holocaust drama "Schindler's List"
Cast as Michael Douglas' wife in "Disclosure"
Had featured role in "White Squall"
Co-starred in the BBC drama "The Sculptress" (aired on PBS in 1997)
Starred as producer of a live late night TV show in the British situation comedy "Sex and Death" (BBC-2)
Had supporting role of a career woman engaged to a widower in "Rhapsody in Bloom" (aired on Starz! after festival screenings)
Appeared in the TNT miniseries "The Mist of Avalon"
Played featured role in "The Princess Diaries"
Reprised role as Anne Hathaway's mother in "The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement"
Co-starred in Arie Posin's ensemble "The Chumscrubber," a darkly satiric story about life crumbling in the midst of a seemingly idyllic suburbia
Played Orlando Bloom's mother in "Haven"