Sissy Spacek (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Sissy Spacek (born Mary Elizabeth Spacek; December 25, 1949) is an Academy Award-winning American actress and singer. She came to international prominence for her roles as Holly Sargis in Terrence Malick's 1973 film Badlands, and as Carrie White in Brian De Palma's 1976 horror film Carrie (based on the first novel by Stephen King) for which she earned her first Academy Award nomination. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as country star Loretta Lynn in the 1980 film Coal Miner's Daughter. She also received Oscar nominations for her roles in Missing (1982), The River (1984), Crimes of the Heart (1986) and In the Bedroom (2001).
Spacek is best known as a dramatic actress, but also has made comedies. The films that she has starred in have earned more than $1 billion worldwide.
Spacek was born on December 25, 1949, in Quitman, Texas. She is the daughter of Virginia Frances (née Spilman) and Edwin Arnold Spacek, Sr., a county agricultural agent. Spacek's father was of Czech (Moravian) and German ancestry; her paternal grandparents were Mary (?ervenka) and Arnold A. ?pa?ek (who served as Mayor of Granger, Texas in Williamson County). Her mother, of English and Irish descent, was from the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.
Spacek was greatly affected by the death of her eighteen-year old brother, Robbie, in 1967, which she has called "the defining event of my whole life."
After she graduated from high school she moved to New York City, hoping to become a singer. There, she lived with her first cousin, actor Rip Torn, and his wife, actress Geraldine Page.
Early work in New York City
For a while, Spacek sang and played guitar in many of the Greenwich Village coffeehouses, eventually landing some paying work singing commercial jingles. In late 1968, under the pseudonym of "Rainbo", Spacek recorded a novelty song titled '"John, You Went Too Far This Time"; the song proclaimed her disillusionment and shock over John Lennon, who on the cover of his newest album Two Virgins appeared in full-frontal nudity with his then-girlfriend Yoko Ono, shocking many fans. The single did not appear on the record charts and failed to sell well, so she was dropped by the record company.
1970s and beginning of acting career
While singing, Spacek also worked for a time as photographic model, and worked as an extra at Andy Warhol's Factory, appearing in a non-credited role in his 1970 film Trash. With the help of Rip Torn, she was enrolled in Lee Strasberg's Actors Studio and then the Lee Strasberg Institute in New York. Her first credited role was in the 1972 cult classic Prime Cut, in which she played Poppy, a girl sold into sexual slavery. The role led to television work, which included a guest role in The Waltons, which she played twice in 1973. Spacek received international attention after starring in Terrence Malick's 1973 Badlands, in which she played Holly, the narrator of the film and 15-year old girlfriend of mass-murderer Kit (Martin Sheen). Spacek has described Badlands as the "most incredible" experience of her career. On the set of Badlands, Spacek met art director Jack Fisk, whom she married.
Spacek's iconic and career-defining role came in 1976 with Brian De Palma's Carrie, in which she played Carietta "Carrie" White, a shy, troubled high school senior with telekinetic powers. Spacek had to work hard to persuade director de Palma to engage her for the role. Rubbing Vaseline into her hair, and donning an old sailor dress her mother made for her as a child, Spacek turned up at the audition with the odds against her, but won the part. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her work in the film (Veteran actress Piper Laurie, who played Carrie's religious, maniacal mother Margaret White, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress). Spacek had previously been the set dresser for DePalma's film Phantom of the Paradise.
After Carrie, Spacek played the small role of housekeeper Linda Murray in Alan Rudolph's ensemble piece Welcome to LA (1976), and cemented her reputation in independent cinema with her performance as Pinky Rose in Robert Altman's 1977 classic 3 Women. Altman was deeply impressed by her performance, having stated: 'She's remarkable, one of the top actresses I've ever worked with. Her resources are like a deep well.' Brian de Palma added: '[Spacek is] a phantom. She has this mysterious way of slipping into a part, letting it take over her. She's got a wider range than any young actress I know.' Spacek also helped finance then-brother-in-law David Lynch's directorial debut, Eraserhead (1976) and is thanked in the credits of the film.
In the 1979 film Heart Beat, Spacek played Carolyn Cassady, who slipped (under the influence of John Heard's Jack Kerouac and Nick Nolte's Neal Cassady) into a combination of drudgery and debauchery.
1980s and Oscar win
Spacek began the 1980s with an Oscar in 1980 for Coal Miner's Daughter, in which she played country music star Loretta Lynn, who selected her for the role. In the film, both she and Beverly D'Angelo, who played Patsy Cline, performed their own singing. Film critic Roger Ebert has credited the movie's success "to the performance by Sissy Spacek as Loretta Lynn. With the same sort of magical chemistry she's shown before, when she played the high school kid in Carrie, Spacek at 29 has the ability to appear to be almost any age on screen. Here, she ages from about 14 to somewhere in her 30s, always looks the age, and never seems to be wearing makeup." Spacek also was nominated for a Grammy Award for her singing on the film's soundtrack album. She followed this with her own country album, Hangin' Up My Heart, in 1983; the album spawned one hit single, "Lonely But Only For You", a song written by K. T. Oslin, which reached No. 15 on the Billboard Country chart.
Also in the 1980s, Spacek starred alongside Jack Lemmon in Constantin Costa-Gavras's 1982 political thriller Missing (which was based on the book The Execution of Charles Horman), appeared with Mel Gibson in the rural drama The River (1984), and with Diane Keaton and Jessica Lange in 1986's Crimes of the Heart. She was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar for all of these roles. Other performances of the decade included star turns in husband Jack Fisk's directorial debut Raggedy Man (1981) and alongside Anne Bancroft in the suicide-themed drama Night Mother (1986). Spacek also showed her lighter side by voicing the brain in the Steve Martin comedy The Man with Two Brains (1983).
1990s - 2000s
The 1990s saw Spacek slowly come back to Hollywood after her self-imposed hiatus. She had a supporting role as Jim Garrison's wife (played by Kevin Costner) in Oliver Stone's JFK (1991), and made a number of comedies, TV movies and the occasional film. Most notable of her appearances during these years was her turn as the evil Verena Talbo in the 1995 ensemble piece The Grass Harp, which reunited her with both Laurie and Lemmon, as well as a supporting performance, again alongside Nick Nolte, as the waitress Margie Fogg in Paul Schrader's father-son psychodrama Affliction (1997). She also played Rose Straight in David Lynch's The Straight Story (1999).
In 2001, she was again nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress, for her work in Todd Field's In the Bedroom. New York Times film critic Stephen Holden said of her work in the film: "Ms. Spacek's performance is as devastating as it is unflashy. With the slight tightening of her neck muscles and a downward twitch of her mouth, she conveys her character's relentlessness, then balances it with enough sweetness to make Ruth seem entirely human. It is one of Ms. Spacek's greatest performances." Her performance as Ruth Fowler, a grieving mother consumed by revenge, won extraordinary praise and garnered the New York and Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress.
Other performances of this decade include unfaithful wife Ruth in Rodrigo García's Nine Lives (2005) and a turn as a woman suffering from Alzheimer's in the television movie Pictures of Hollis Woods (2007). In 2008, Spacek had a supporting part in the Christmas comedy Four Christmases and a lead role in the independent drama, Lake City. Spacek appeared on the HBO drama Big Love, for a multi-episode arc, as a powerful Washington, D.C. lobbyist.
In 2006, she narrated the audiobook of the classic 1960 Harper Lee novel To Kill a Mockingbird and it sold over 30 million copies. In 2011, she received a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame. In 2011, Spacek was featured in The Help, directed by Tate Taylor. Spacek, along with the cast, was awarded with the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture for their performance in the film.
In 2012, Spacek published a memoir, "My Extraordinary Ordinary Life", written along with Maryanne Vollers.
Spacek married production designer and art director Jack Fisk in 1974, after meeting on the set of Badlands. Fisk later directed her in the films Raggedy Man and Violets Are Blue. They have two daughters, Schuyler Fisk (born July 8, 1982) and Madison Fisk (born September 21, 1988).
Academy Award for Best Actress Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress National Board of Review Award for Best Actress National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress Nominated " BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Nominated " Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama
Nominated " Academy Award for Best Actress Nominated " BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role Nominated " Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama
The Man with Two Brains
Nominated " Academy Award for Best Actress Nominated " Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama
Terror in the Aisles
Violets Are Blue
Augusta 'Gussie' Sawyer
Crimes of the Heart
Babe Magrath Botrelle
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress Nominated " Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated " Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
The Straight Story
Rose 'Rosie' Straight
Nominated " Chlotrudis Award for Best Supporting Actress Nominated " Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress Nominated " Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture
Songs in Ordinary Time
In the Bedroom
AFI Actress of the Year Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama Independent Spirit Award for Best Lead Female Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress Satellite Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress Special Jury Prize for Dramatic Acting (Shared with Tom Wilkinson) Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress Nominated " Academy Award for Best Actress Nominated " BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role Nominated " Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress Nominated " Chlotrudis Award for Best Actress Nominated " Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress Nominated " Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role Nominated " Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated " Satellite Award for Best Actress - Miniseries or Television Film Nominated " Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
Nominated " Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress - Miniseries or a Movie Nominated " Satellite Award for Best Actress - Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated " Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
A Home at the End of the World
Locarno International Film Festival Award for Best Actress Ensemble Nominated " Gotham Award for Best Ensemble Cast
The Ring Two
An American Haunting
Summer Running: The Race to Cure Breast Cancer
Mrs. Flora Good
Pictures of Hollis Woods
Nominated " Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Miniseries or Television Film
Paula (Brad's Mom)
Appalachia: A History of Mountains and People
Nominated " Chlotrudis Award for Best Supporting Actress