Frances McDormand is an American producer and actress. She is renowned for her portrayals of eccentric, headstrong female characters and is one of the most successful actresses of her generation. McDormand’s worldwide box office gross exceeds $2.2 billion, despite the fact that she is best known for her roles in low-budget indie films. She is one of the few actors who have achieved the “Triple Crown of Acting”, she has won two Academy Awards, two Primetime Emmy Awards, and a Tony Award. She’s nominated for an Academy Award for her most recent film Nomaland (2020), in the Best Actress category.
Frances McDormand was born in Gibson City, Illinois. Noreen (Nickelson) and Vernon McDormand adopted her at the age of one and a half years and renamed her Frances Louise McDormand. Her adoptive mother worked as a nurse and receptionist, and her adoptive father served as a Disciples of Christ pastor; both were Canadian natives. Dorothy A. “Dot” McDormand, an ordained Disciples of Christ minister and chaplain, and Kenneth McDormand, her brother, were both adopted by the McDormand’s, who had no biological children. McDormand’s father, who worked in rebuilding congregations, moved his family regularly, and they lived in a number of small towns in Illinois, Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee until settling in Monessen, Pennsylvania, where McDormand graduated from Monessen High School in 1975. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in theatre from Bethany College in West Virginia in 1979. She graduated from Yale School of Drama with a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1982. While living in New York City, she shared a room with actress Holly Hunter.
Film Career (Frances McDormand)
McDormand made her professional acting debut in Derek Walcott’s play In a Fine Castle, also known as The Last Carnival, which was produced in Trinidad and sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation. In 1984, she made her film debut in Blood Simple, her new husband Joel Coen’s first film. She starred alongside Holly Hunter and Nicolas Cage in the 1987 film Raising Arizona as wacky friend Dot. McDormand played Connie Chapman in the fifth season of the television police procedural Hill Street Blues, in addition to her early film roles. She was nominated for a Tony Award for her role as Stella Kowalski in a stage production of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Called Desire in 1988. McDormand earned renowned and critical recognition for her dramatic work in film after starring in many theatrical and television roles during the 1980s. Mississippi Burning won her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in 1988. “Hackman’s mastery hits a pinnacle here, but McDormand soars right with him,” Sheila Benson wrote in her Los Angeles Times review, praising McDormand, who was cast alongside Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe. And since she is the film’s sole moral voice, it’s only natural that she should be remembered.” Her success as pregnant Police Chief Marge Gunderson in Fargo, written and directed by her husband and brother-in-law, won her first Academy Award for Best Actress in 1996. Fargo is “one of the best films I’ve ever seen,” according to Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times, who also believes that McDormand “should have a lock on an Academy Award nomination with this score, which is valid in every individual moment, but slyly, quietly, over the top in its cumulative effect.”
In 2000, for her depiction of an overbearing mother in Almost Famous, she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture. She won Best Supporting Actress from the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the Florida Film Critics Circle, and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association for her role in Wonder Boys (2000).
McDormand was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in North Country (2005), in 2006. . Her supporting role in Nicole Holofcener’s dark comedy Friends with Money (2006) won her an Independent Spirit Award the same year. She also voiced the role of the principal Melanie Upfoot in The Simpsons episode “Girls Just Want to Have Sums”, which aired on April 30, 2006.
McDormand made her film debut in 2008 with the films Burn After Reading and Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. She then starred alongside her Burn After Reading co-star John Malkovich in the action film Transformers: Dark of the Moon as the US government’s National Intelligence Director.
She returned to Broadway for a limited engagement in David Lindsay-play Abaire’s Good People, which ran from February 8, 2011, to May 29, 2011. She won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her performance. In 2012, She played Captain Chantel Dubois and sang a version of the French song “Non, Je ne regrette rien” in the animated film Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (2012).
In December 2012, Frances McDormand co-starred with Matt Damon in the film Promised Land. She starred in and co-produced an HBO four-part miniseries, which was based on short stories by Elizabeth Strout, and Olive Kitteridge. She won a Primetime Emmy Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actress for the role. McDormand became the 12th actress in history to earn the “Triple Crown of Acting,” consisting of competitive Oscar, Emmy, and Tony Award wins in acting categories, with her Emmy win. McDormand received her second Academy Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama, the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama, and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role for her role in the 2017 film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. She gained considerable media coverage during that year’s awards season for her feminist-provoking remarks, which coincided with the Time’s Up and Me Too movements.
She played God in Good Omens (2019). And in 2020, she starred in and produced Normaland, Chloe Zhao’s drama film. For her, in this film, she has received multiple award nominations including an Oscar nomination in the Best Actress category.
McDormand is a member of The Wooster Party, an experimental theatre organization. McDormand appeared as Oenone in the Wooster Group’s production of To You, the Birdie!, an “exhilarating dissection” of Racine’s tragedy Phèdre, at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, New York, in 2002.
Personal Life (Frances McDormand)
Since 1984, McDormand has been married to director Joel Coen. Pedro McDormand Coen, their son from Paraguay, was adopted in 1995.
Amazing Facts about Frances McDormand
- On the night she won an Oscar award, her award statuette was stolen, and she was really excited by the fact that it was stolen. She even asked to place no charges on the person who stole it.
- Ruth Reichl, the legendary food blogger, is one of her friends.
- When she first arrived in New York City, she shared a room with actress Holly Hunter.
- In 2004, at the Berlin Film Festival, she was the Jury President.
- She doesn’t put on any make-up. Her face has been dubbed “a map” by McDormand.
- In the American Film Institute’s 100 years of The Greatest Screen Heroes and Villains, her Oscar-winning performance as Marge Gunderson in the film Fargo (1996) was named #33 on their Heroes list.
- On Premiere Magazine’s 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time, her role as Marge Gunderson in Fargo (1996) is ranked #27.
Frances McDormand’s Best Movies
|2012||Moonrise Kingdom||Laura Bishop|
|2017||Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri||Mildred Hayes|
|1988||Mississippi Burning||Mrs. Pell|
|2008||Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day||Miss Guinivere Pettigrew|
|2001||The Man Who Wasn’t There||Doris Crane|
|2008||Burning After Reading||Linda Litzke|
|2012||Promised Land||Sue Thomason|
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