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Joan Allen

Joan AllenBorn: 20-Aug-1956
Birthplace: Rochelle, IL

Gender: Female
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Actor

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Mother in Pleasantville

Joan Allen is an actress on stage and film, familiar to moviegoers as Pat Nixon in Oliver Stone's Nixon, and as a reluctant swinger in The Ice Storm, among other roles. Hollywood doesn't have much use for older women, and Allen was almost 40 before she was famous, but she's made the most of her "average housewife" appearance. She played the mother of a chess genius in Searching for Bobby Fischer, a faux-Donna Reed in Pleasantville, and a widowed mother in The Upside of Anger.

Allen says she went into acting to overcome her shyness, so she could meet boys. Her first stage appearance came at age 14, as "girl with braces" in the school play Once upon a Playground. In college, she met John Malkovich, who worked with her in drama classes and invited her to join his upstart Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Allen dropped out of college, worked with Steppenwolf for seven years, and eventually moved to New York, where she won a Tony for her Broadway debut in Burn This. After her next play, The Heidi Chronicles, she married her co-star Peter Friedman.

Her film debut was in 1985's Compromising Positions, but she had a meatier, more memorable role in Manhunter, the pre-Anthony Hopkins introduction to Hannibal Lecter. In Peggy Sue Got Married (1986), Allen was one of Kathleen Turner's high school friends.

The movie roles got progressively larger, until Allen's breakthrough opposite Hopkins' Nixon, which nabbed her an Oscar nomination. She was nominated again for The Contender, in 2000, as a vice presidential candidate who's controversial because she's [gasp] an atheist with a libido.

Father: Jeff Allen (gas station operator)
Mother: Dorothy Allen (housewife)
Husband: Peter Friedman (actor, m. 1-Jan-1990, div. 2000)
Daughter: Sadie Friedman (b. Mar-1994)

    High School: Rochelle Township High School, Rochelle, IL (1974)
    University: Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL
    University: Northern Illinois University (1978)

    John Kerry for President
    Tony 1989

    Room (4-Sep-2015)
    A Good Marriage (3-Oct-2014)
    The Bourne Legacy (30-Jul-2012)
    Hachiko: A Dog's Story (13-Jun-2009)
    Death Race (21-Aug-2008)
    Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh (27-Jul-2008) [VOICE]
    Trumbo (10-Sep-2007) · Herself
    The Bourne Ultimatum (25-Jul-2007)
    The Rape of Europa (12-Nov-2006) · Narrator
    Bonneville (11-Sep-2006) · Carol Brimm
    The Upside of Anger (11-Mar-2005)
    Yes (4-Sep-2004)
    The Bourne Supremacy (15-Jul-2004) · Pamela Landy
    The Notebook (20-May-2004) · Anne Hamilton
    Off the Map (22-Jan-2003)
    The Mists of Avalon (15-Jul-2001)
    The Contender (10-Sep-2000) · Laine Hanson
    When the Sky Falls (26-Jun-2000)
    All the Rage (11-Sep-1999)
    Pleasantville (17-Sep-1998)
    Face/Off (27-Jun-1997) · Eve Archer
    The Ice Storm (12-May-1997)
    The Crucible (27-Nov-1996) · Elizabeth Proctor
    Nixon (20-Dec-1995) · Pat Nixon
    Mad Love (26-May-1995)
    Josh and S.A.M. (24-Nov-1993)
    Searching for Bobby Fischer (11-Aug-1993) · Bonnie Waitzkin
    Ethan Frome (12-Mar-1993) · Zeena
    Without Warning: The James Brady Story (16-Jun-1991)
    In Country (7-Sep-1989)
    Tucker: The Man and His Dream (12-Aug-1988)
    All My Sons (19-Jan-1987)
    Peggy Sue Got Married (10-Oct-1986) · Maddy Nagle
    Fat Guy Goes Nutzoid (Sep-1986)
    Manhunter (22-Aug-1986)
    Compromising Positions (30-Aug-1985)
    Evergreen (24-Feb-1985)

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