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General information  

  • Real name : Mary Nell Steenburgen
  • Place of birth : Arkansas
  • Date of birth : 08/02/1953

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  • Steenburgen Mary

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Mary Steenburgen (1953)

Mary Nell Steenburgen

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  Summary  

Mary Nell Steenburgen is an American actress. She won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for playing the role of Lynda Dummar in Jonathan Demme's 1980 film Melvin and Howard.

  Biography  

 early life
Steenburgen was born in Newport, Arkansas, the daughter of Nellie Mae (née Wall), a school-board secretary, and Maurice Steenburgen, a freight-train conductor who worked at the Missouri Pacific Railroad. Steenburgen grew up in North Little Rock, Arkansas.

 career
Steenburgen moved to New York City in 1972, working at Doubleday's while studying acting at New York's Neighborhood Playhouse under Will Esper. Her break came when she was discovered by Jack Nicholson in the reception room of Paramount's New York office and was cast as the lead in his second directorial effort, the 1978 Western Goin' South.
She had a leading role in the 1979 film Time After Time as a modern woman who falls in love with author H. G. Wells, played by her husband-to-be Malcolm McDowell.

In only her third film, she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for the 1980 film Melvin and Howard, playing the wife of a man who claims to have befriended reclusive eccentric Howard Hughes. Another notable film appearances came in the well-received 1983 film Cross Creek.

In Back to the Future Part III , Steenburgen played Clara Clayton, a school teacher who falls in love with Doc Brown, played by Christopher Lloyd. She was persuaded to play the role by her children, as well as by fans of the Back to the Future films, and reprised the role by providing the character's voice in Back to the Future: The Animated Series. In The Butcher's Wife , also starring Demi Moore and Jeff Daniels, Steenburgen plays a lead role in which she also sings. Film critic Charles Taylor, in The New York Times, said Steenburgen's "slow-drip voice comes to your ears like honey arriving on a moonbeam".

Other performances were in What's Eating Gilbert Grape as a woman who is having an affair with the title character, played by Johnny Depp, her role as Hannah Nixon in the Oliver Stone biopic Nixon , and as a woman who discovers her husband is the father of a North Pole elf in the Will Ferrell 2003 comedy Elf.


In television, she has starred in the sitcom Ink with her husband Ted Danson, and co-starred in the television miniseries Gulliver's Travels with Danson. She appeared as herself alongside Danson in the HBO comedy Curb Your Enthusiasm. She played mother of the title character in the CBS drama series Joan of Arcadia. In 2011, she made guest appearances in Bored to Death, again alongside Danson.

In recent years, she has been in the comedy films, Step Brothers , starring Will Ferrell, playing the mother of Ferrell's character; Four Christmases opposite Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon; and The Proposal opposite Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds.

Steenburgen received the 2,395th star on Hollywood Walk of Fame on December 16, 2009.

It was announced in June 2010 that Steenburgen would star in a 2011 FX pilot, Outlaw Country.

Dirty Girl, which features Steenburgen along with Juno Temple, Milla Jovovich and William H. Macy, premiered at the Toronto Film Festival on September 12, 2010. She also appeared in the critically acclaimed film The Help , starring opposite Emma Stone, Viola Davis and Bryce Dallas Howard.

 personal life
Steenburgen married Malcolm McDowell in 1980 and they had two children together: Lilly Amanda , born January 31, 1981, and Charles Malcolm, born July 10, 1983. Charlie, who runs a popular blog and twitter feed titled "Dear Girls Above Me" recently had his website, which details the many vapid and airheaded things his upstair neighbors can be overheard saying, optioned for a movie produced by Ashton Kutcher. Steenburgen and McDowell divorced in 1990. On October 7, 1995, Steenburgen married actor Ted Danson.

In September 2005, she and Danson gave a guest lecture for students at the Clinton School of Public Service where they discussed their roles in public service as well as the foundations and causes in which they are involved. An alumna of Hendrix College, Steenburgen received an honorary doctorate from the institution in 1989. In 2006, Steenburgen received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas.

She is a close friend of Secretary of State and former Senator Hillary Clinton, and supported Clinton's 2008 Presidential campaign along with her husband.

She splits her time living in Ojai, California and Martha's Vineyard, in addition to sharing a condominium with Danson in the River Market District of Little Rock.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Mary Steenburgen", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.