Taxi Driver is a 1976 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese, written by Paul Schrader, starring Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Harvey Keitel, Peter Boyle, Albert Brooks and Leonard Harris. Set in a decaying and morally bankrupt New York City following the Vietnam War, the film tells the story of a lonely veteran working as a taxi driver, who descends into insanity as he plots to assassinate both the presidential candidate for whom the woman he is infatuated with works, the pimp of an underage prostitute he befriends. A critical and commercial success upon release and nominated for four Academy Awards, including for Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress, Taxi Driver won the Palme d'Or at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival; the film generated controversy upon release because of its depiction of violence and casting of a 12-year old Foster as the child prostitute. It is cited by critics, film directors, audiences alike as one of the greatest films of all time.
In 2012, Sight & Sound named it the 31st-best film in its decennial critics' poll, ranked with The Godfather Part II, the fifth-greatest film of all time on its directors' poll. The film was considered "culturally or aesthetically" significant by the US Library of Congress and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry in 1994. Travis Bickle, a 26-year-old honorably discharged U. S. Marine, is a depressed young man living in isolation in New York City, he takes a job as a taxi driver to cope with his chronic insomnia, driving passengers every night around the city's boroughs. He frequents the porn theaters on 42nd Street and keeps a diary in which he consciously attempts to include aphorisms, such as "You're only as healthy as you feel." Travis becomes infatuated with Betsy, a campaign volunteer for Senator and presidential candidate Charles Palantine. After watching her interact with fellow worker Tom through her window, Travis enters to volunteer, as a pretext to talk to her, takes her out for coffee.
On a date, he naively takes her to see a pornographic film, which offends her, she goes home alone. His attempts at reconciliation by sending flowers are rebuffed, so he berates her at the campaign office, before being kicked out by Tom. Travis is disgusted by the sleaze and prostitution that he witnesses throughout the city, his worldview is furthered when an adolescent prostitute and runaway, enters his taxi, attempting to escape her pimp, Sport. Sport drags Iris from the taxi and throws Travis a crumpled $20 bill, which continually reminds Travis of her and the corruption that surrounds him. A influential event occurs when an unhinged passenger gloats to Travis of his intentions to murder his wife and her lover. Travis confides in fellow taxi driver Wizard about his thoughts, which are beginning to turn violent. In attempting to find an outlet for his frustrations, Travis begins a program of intense physical training. A fellow taxi driver refers him to an illegal gun dealer, "Easy" Andy, from whom Travis buys four handguns.
At home, Travis practices drawing his weapons, modifies one to allow him to hide and deploy it from his sleeve. He begins attending Palantine's rallies to scope out their security. One night, Travis enters a convenience store moments before an attempted armed robbery, he fatally shoots the robber; the owner takes responsibility for the deed. Travis encounters Iris again and hires her, but attempts to dissuade her from continuing in prostitution rather than having sex with her, he fails to turn her from her course, but she does agree to meet with him for breakfast the next day. Travis leaves at his apartment a letter with money for Iris saying he will soon be dead, she should return home. Travis cuts his hair into a mohawk, attends a public rally where he plans to assassinate Palantine, but Secret Service agents notice him putting his hand inside his coat; that evening he drives to Sport's brothel in the East Village. He kills Sport before killing the bouncer and Iris' customer, a mafioso. Iris witnesses the fight and, pleads with Travis to stop the killing.
After the gunfight, Travis attempts suicide, but has run out of ammunition and resigns himself to lying on a sofa. When the police arrive, he mimes shooting himself with his index finger. Due to not being identified at the rally and having killed criminals, rescuing Iris in the process, Travis is hailed as a local hero in the press, he receives a letter from Iris' father, thanking him for saving her life and revealing that she has returned home to Pittsburgh, where she is going to school. Travis has an awkward encounter with Betsy when dropping her off in his taxi at her home; when she tries to pay her fare, he turns off the meter. As Travis drives off, he becomes agitated after noticing something in his rear-view mirror. Sources: While Martin Scorsese, Robert de Niro and Paul Schrader made one of the most iconic films in cinema history, the cast, first chosen by the producers was quite different. Robert Mulligan was the first choice as the director for Taxi Driver and Jeff Bridges was the one, supposed to incarnate Travis Bickle.
However, it was the screenwriter, Paul Schrader that had the last word, chose the cast that we all know. He was not keen on trusting anyone with the script as this film reflects on his life when he first arrived in L
Valentina Cortese is an Italian actress. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in François Truffaut's Day for Night. Born in Milan to a family from Stresa, Cortese married Richard Basehart, her co-star in The House on Telegraph Hill, in 1951, had one son with him, the actor Jackie Basehart, she never remarried. Jackie Basehart died in Milan in 2015, she made her screen debut in Italian films in 1940, leading to her first internationally acclaimed roles in Riccardo Freda's 1948 Italian film Les Misérables with Marcello Mastroianni, in which she played both Fantine and Cosette, the 1949 British film The Glass Mountain, which led to a number of roles in American films of the period, but continued to make films in Europe with such directors as Michelangelo Antonioni, Federico Fellini and François Truffaut. She signed a contract with 20th Century Fox in 1948, she starred in Malaya, a Second World War film about smuggling and guerrilla warfare against the Japanese with Spencer Tracy and James Stewart, Jules Dassin's Thieves' Highway with Richard Conte and Lee J. Cobb, The House on Telegraph Hill directed by Robert Wise and co-starring Richard Basehart and William Lundigan, Joseph L. Mankiewicz's The Barefoot Contessa, with Humphrey Bogart, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien.
In Europe she starred in Michelangelo Antonioni's Le Amiche, Gérard Brach's The Boat on the Grass, Terry Gilliam's British film The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, in Franco Zeffirelli projects such as the film Brother Sun, Sister Moon, the miniseries Jesus of Nazareth and the film Sparrow. Her final American film role was in; the Queen of Navarre Girl of the Golden West The Ten Commandments Bullet for Stefano Thieves' Highway Malaya The Glass Mountain Shadow of the Eagle Women Without Names The House on Telegraph Hill The Rival of the Empress Secret People The Walk Angels of Darkness The Barefoot Contessa as Eleanora Torlato-Favrini Square of Violence Barabbas The Girl Who Knew Too Much Juliet of the Spirits The Legend of Lylah Clare The Love Mates The Boat on the Grass The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire Brother Sun, Sister Moon The Assassination of Trotsky Day for Night Kidnap Syndicate Jesus of Nazareth When Time Ran Out The Adventures of Baron Munchausen Sparrow Valentina Cortese on IMDb
Dame Jane Elizabeth Ailwên Phillips, known professionally as Siân Phillips, is a Welsh actress. Phillips was born in Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen, Wales, the daughter of Sally, a teacher, David Phillips, a steelworker who became a policeman, she is a Welsh-speaker: in the first volume of her autobiography Private Faces she notes that she spoke only Welsh for much of her childhood, learning English by listening to the radio. She attended Pontardawe Grammar School and was known there as Jane, but her Welsh teacher called her Siân, the Welsh form of Jane, she took up English and philosophy at University College Cardiff. Phillips graduated from the University of Wales in 1955, she entered the RADA with a scholarship in September 1955, the same year as Diana Rigg and Glenda Jackson. She went on to win the Bancroft Gold Medal for Hedda Gabler and was offered work in Hollywood when she left the RADA. While still a student, she was offered three film contracts to work for an extended period of time in the United States, but she declined, preferring to work on stage instead.
Phillips began acting professionally at the age of 11 with the Home Service of BBC Radio in Wales. Her first role was as a ginger tom cat. At the same age she won her first speech-and-drama award, for her performance at the National Eisteddfod held at Llandybïe in 1944, where she and a schoolfriend played the parts of two elderly men in a dramatic duologue, she made her first British television appearance at 17 and won a Welsh acting award at 18. In 1953, while still a student at Cardiff University, she worked as a newsreader and announcer for the BBC in Wales and toured Wales in Welsh-language productions of the Welsh Arts Council. From 1953 to 1955 Phillips was a member of the BBC Repertory Company and the National Theatre Company and toured Wales performing Welsh and English plays for the Welsh Arts Council. For the Nottingham Playhouse in 1958, she was Masha in Three Sisters, she performed as Princess Siwan in Saunders Lewis' The King's Daughter at the Hampstead Theatre Club in 1959 and as Katherine in Taming of the Shrew for the Oxford Playhouse in 1960.
She was Princess Siwan again in the BBC's production of Siwan: The King's Daughter alongside Peter O'Toole with Emyr Humphrys as producer. It was broadcast on BBC One on 1 March 1960. From October 1958 to April 1959 she was compere of the Land of Song monthly programme at TWW Channel 10 with baritone Ivor Emmanuel, she made her first appearance on the London stage in 1957 when she appeared in Hermann Sudermann's Magda for RADA. Magda, about an opera diva, was her first real success in London; the play benefited her career greatly. In 1957 Phillips performed the title role in Ibsen's Hedda Gabler. Many sources consider this her London stage debut but she did Magda before Hedda Gabler. In September 1958 she was performing as Margaret Muir in John Hall's The Holiday at Oxford New Theatre. In May 1958 Phillips performed as Joan in G. B. Shaw's Saint Joan, at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry, which had opened just six weeks before, produced by Bryan Bailey. An observer described her performance: "Sian Phillips' portrayal of Joan defies the law of averages, after seeing Siobhan McKenna in the 1955 Arts Theatre production, I reckoned it impossible to equal within half a century.
Like the Irish girl, the Welsh girl is perfect...'This girl doesn't act Joan – she is Joan.' In short, perfection."She was Julia in the Royal Shakespeare Company's 1960–1961 version of The Duchess of Malfi. Her Royal Shakespeare Company performances are: Julia in The Duchess of Malfi: at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre. Julia in The Duchess of Malfi: at the Aldwych Theatre Bertha in Ondine: at the Aldwych Theatre Miss Havisham in Great Expectations: at Royal Shakespeare Company, her long career has included many films and television programmes, but she is best known for starring as Livia in the popular BBC adaptation of Robert Graves's novel I, for which she won the 1977 BAFTA Television Award for Best Actress, for many appearances on the original run of Call My Bluff. She appeared opposite her then-husband Peter O'Toole and Richard Burton in Becket. Another popular role was that of the Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam in David Lynch's Dune and Charal from Ewoks: The Battle for Endor, she appeared in seasons 2 and 4 of the Canadian TV series La Femme Nikita as Adrian, the renegade founder of the powerful Section One anti-terrorist organisation.
In 2001, she appeared as herself in Lily Savage's Blankety Blank. and in Ballykissangel as faith healer Consuela Dunphy in Episode 7. Her most recent film is The Gigolos by Richard Bracewell. In 2010, she appeared in New Tricks in the episode
Body Double is a 1984 American erotic thriller film co-written and directed by Brian De Palma and starring Craig Wasson, Gregg Henry, Melanie Griffith, Deborah Shelton. The original musical score was composed by Pino Donaggio; the film was a direct homage to the films of Alfred Hitchcock Rear Window and Dial M for Murder taking plot lines and themes from the first two films. The film received a lukewarm result at the box office and mixed reviews, but has subsequently become a cult film; when Twilight Time released the film on Blu-ray in the United States in 2013, it sold out. Jake Scully is a struggling actor who has lost his role as a vampire in a low-budget horror movie after his claustrophobia thwarts shooting. After returning home to discover his girlfriend cheating on him, he splits and is left without a place to stay. At a method acting class he meets Sam who monitors Scully's revelation of his fears and the childhood cause of his claustrophobia, they go to a bar. During the tour of the house with Scully, Sam is enthusiastic about showing Scully one feature: a telescope, through it a female neighbor, Gloria Revelle, who erotically dances at a specific time each night.
Scully voyeuristically watches Gloria each night until he sees her being abused by a man she appears to know. The next day he follows her. Gloria makes calls to an unknown person promising to meet them. Scully notices a disfigured "Indian," a man he had noticed was watching Gloria a few days prior. Scully follows her to a seaside motel where Gloria has been stood up by the person she was there to meet. On the beach the Indian snatches her purse. Scully is overcome by his claustrophobia. Gloria walks him out of it, they passionately kiss before she retreats. That night Scully is again watching through the telescope when the Indian returns and breaks into Gloria's home. Scully is attacked by Gloria's vicious dog. Gloria is brutally murdered by the Indian with a huge handheld drill. Scully alerts the police. Detective McLean, becomes suspicious after finding a pair of Gloria's panties in Scully's pocket. Although McLean does not arrest him, he tells Scully that his voyeuristic behavior, as well as not alerting the police sooner, helped cause Gloria's murder.
Unable to sleep, Scully watches a pornography TV channel. He observes that the actress, Holly Body, dances in the same sensual manner that Gloria did. To meet Holly, he pretends to be a porn producer hiring for a new film. Scully learns from Holly that Sam hired her to impersonate Gloria each night, dancing in the window, knowing Scully would be watching and witness the real Gloria's murder. Holly, offended at the suggestion she was involved in a killing, storms out of the house, she is picked up by the Indian who drives her away. Scully follows them to an aqueduct. During their fight, Scully discovers. Scully was a scapegoat providing Sam, Gloria's abusive husband, with an alibi during the murder. Scully is incapacitated by his claustrophobia. However, he climbs out as Sam is knocked into the aqueduct and drowned. During the end credits, Scully is shown having been recast in his previous vampire role as Holly watches from the sidelines. Director Brian De Palma considered Annette Haven to play the lead female role that went to Griffith.
Before filming he commented, "I'm thinking of casting. I don't know if there're any good young porno stars out here, but the older ones - Annette Haven, Seka - some of them can act, and Annette Haven has a terrific body."Slavitza Jovan, who appeared as Gozer the Gozerian in Ghostbusters the same year, 1984 appears as a saleslady. Prolific voice actor Rob Paulsen appears in the film as a cameraman for a pornographic movie. Body Double contains a film within a film sequence in which pop band Frankie Goes to Hollywood performs their song "Relax" on the set of a porn film, in which scream queen Brinke Stevens, adult actresses Cara Lott and Annette Haven appear; the film was shot in the Los Angeles area and includes such locations as Tail o' the Pup, the Beverly Center, Barney's Beanery, the LA Farmer's Market, the Rodeo Collection mall on Rodeo Drive, the Spruce Goose dome in Long Beach, the Hollywood Tower and adjacent Hollywood Freeway, Tower Records, the Chemosphere. The movie was dismissed by some critics upon release and denounced outright by others.
Roger Ebert praised the movie. The film developed a cult following due to its directorial and aesthetic indulgences, its early 1980s new wave soundtrack, the use of iconic Los Angeles locations. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 78% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 32 reviews, with an average rating of 6.3/10. The movie's trailer won a Clio Award in 1984. Body Double is referenced throughout the Bret Easton Ellis novel American Psycho as the favorite film of the protagonist serial killer Patrick Bateman, he mentions that he has seen the film 37 times and rents the tape of it from a video store several times
Jessica Phyllis Lange /læŋ/ is an American actress. She is the thirteenth actress in history to achieve the Triple Crown of Acting, winning two Academy Awards, three Primetime Emmy Awards, one Tony Award and five Golden Globe Awards. Additionally, she is the second actress in history to win the Academy Award for Best Actress after winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, she is the only performer to win Primetime Emmy Awards in both the supporting and lead acting categories for the same miniseries. Lange has garnered one Screen Actors Guild Award, one Critics Choice Award and three Dorian Awards, making her the most honored actress by the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association. In 1998, Entertainment Weekly listed Lange among the 25 Greatest Actresses of the 1990s. In 2014, Lange was scheduled to receive a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame, though she has yet to claim it. Lange was discovered by fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez in Europe in 1974. While modeling part-time for the Wilhelmina modelling agency, she auditioned for and made her professional film debut in Dino De Laurentiis' 1976 remake of the 1933 action-adventure classic King Kong, for which she won her first Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year.
In 1983, she won her second Golden Globe Award and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as a soap opera star in Tootsie and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of the troubled actress Frances Farmer in Frances. Lange received three more nominations for Country, Sweet Dreams and Music Box, before winning her third Golden Globe Award, the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance as a manic depressive housewife in Blue Sky. In 2010, she won her first Primetime Emmy Award for her portrayal of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' famed aunt, Big Edie, in HBO's Grey Gardens. Between 2011 and 2014, she won her first Screen Actors Guild Award, first Critics Choice Award, fifth Golden Globe Award, three Dorian Awards and her second and third Emmy Awards for her performances in the first and third seasons of FX's horror anthology series, American Horror Story. In 2016, Lange won her first Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play, an Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Lead Actress in a Play and a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play for her critically acclaimed performance in the Broadway revival of Long Day's Journey into Night.
She had a supporting role in Louis C. K.'s Peabody Award-winning web series and Pete. In 2017, she received praise for her portrayal of legendary Hollywood actress Joan Crawford in the television series Feud, for which she received her eighth Emmy, sixteenth Golden Globe, sixth Screen Actors Guild Award and second TCA Award nominations. In addition to acting, Lange is a photographer with four published works, she has been a foster parent and holds a Goodwill Ambassador position for UNICEF, specializing in HIV/AIDS in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Russia. Her most ardent and notable supporters in the film industry include renowned film critic Pauline Kael and actress Meryl Streep. Lange was born in Cloquet, Minnesota, on April 20, 1949, her father, Albert John Lange, was a teacher and traveling salesman, her mother, Dorothy Florence, was a housewife. Third of four children, she has two older sisters and Ann, a younger brother named George, her paternal ancestry originates in Germany and the Netherlands, while her maternal ancestry originates in Finland.
Due to the nature of her father's professions, her family moved over a dozen times to various towns and cities in Minnesota before settling back down in her hometown, where she graduated from Cloquet High School. In 1967, she received a scholarship to study art and photography at the University of Minnesota, where she met and began dating Spanish photographer Paco Grande. After the two married in 1971, Lange left college to pursue a more bohemian lifestyle, traveling in the United States and Mexico in a minivan with Grande; the couple moved to Paris, where they drifted apart. While in Paris, Lange studied mime theatre under the supervision of Étienne Decroux, joined the Opéra-Comique as a dancer, she studied acting at HB Studio in New York City. While sharing an apartment with Jerry Hall and Grace Jones, she was discovered by fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez and subsequently became a model for the Wilhelmina modelling agency. In 1973, she returned to the States and began work in New York City as a waitress at the Lion's Head Tavern in Greenwich Village.
While modelling, Lange was discovered by Hollywood producer Dino De Laurentiis, looking to cast his next leading lady, an ingenue for his remake of the 1933 King Kong. Lange made her film debut in the 1976 King Kong, beating actresses Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn for the role of damsel-in-distress. Despite being a box-office success – it became the fifth-highest-grossing film of 1976 – and receiving an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, the film and her performance were panned. However, renowned film critic Pauline Kael praised her, noting, "The movie is sparked by Jessica Lange's fast yet dreamy comic style. Has the high, wide forehead and clear-eyed transparency of Carole Lombard in My Man Godfrey, one liners so dumb that the audience laughs and moans at the same time, yet they're in character, when Lange says the
Academy Award for Best Actress
The Academy Award for Best Actress is an award presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. It is given in honor of an actress who has delivered an outstanding performance in a leading role while working within the film industry; the award was traditionally presented by the previous year's Best Actor winner. The 1st Academy Awards ceremony was held in 1929 with Janet Gaynor receiving the award for her roles in 7th Heaven, Street Angel, Sunrise. Nominees are determined by single transferable vote within the actors branch of AMPAS. In the first three years of the awards, actresses were nominated as the best in their categories. At that time, all of their work during the qualifying period was listed after the award. However, during the 3rd ceremony held in 1930, only one of those films was cited in each winner's final award though each of the acting winners had two films following their names on the ballots; the following year, this unwieldy and confusing system was replaced by the current system in which an actress is nominated for a specific performance in a single film.
Starting with the 9th ceremony held in 1937, the category was limited to five nominations per year. One actress has been nominated posthumously, Jeanne Eagels. Since its inception, the award has been given to 76 actresses. Katharine Hepburn has won the most awards with four Oscars. With 17 nominations, Meryl Streep is the most nominated in this category, resulting in two wins; as of the 2019 ceremony, Olivia Colman is the most recent winner in this category for her portrayal of Anne, Queen of Great Britain in The Favourite. In the following table, the years are listed as per Academy convention, correspond to the year of film release in Los Angeles County. For the first five ceremonies, the eligibility period spanned twelve months from August 1 to July 31. For the 6th ceremony held in 1934, the eligibility period lasted from August 1, 1932, to December 31, 1933. Since the 7th ceremony held in 1935, the period of eligibility became the full previous calendar year from January 1 to December 31. All Academy Award acting nominees Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Actress Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role César Award for Best Actress Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role Oscars.org The Academy Awards Database Oscar.com
Patricia Davies Clarkson is an American actress. She has starred in numerous leading and supporting roles in a variety of films, ranging from independent features to major studio productions, her accolades include one Academy Award nomination, two Golden Globe Award nominations, four Screen Actors Guild Award nominations, one Tony Award nomination, two Primetime Emmy Awards, two National Society of Film Critics Awards, one British Independent Film Award. Born and raised in New Orleans to a politician mother and school administrator father, Clarkson earned a degree in drama from Fordham University before attending the Yale School of Drama, where she graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree, she made her feature film debut in Brian De Palma's mob drama The Untouchables, followed by a supporting role in Clint Eastwood's The Dead Pool. After appearing in numerous minor roles in the early and mid-1990s, she garnered critical attention for her portrayal of a drug-addicted actress in the independent drama High Art.
Clarkson went on to appear in numerous supporting roles in such films as The Green Mile, The Pledge, Dogville. She garnered further critical acclaim in 2003 for her performances in the drama films The Station Agent, which earned her a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination, Pieces of April, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Clarkson appeared as a recurring guest star on the HBO series Six Feet Under from 2002 to 2006, won two Primetime Emmy Awards for her performance. Other credits from the 2000s include Good Night, Good Luck and the Real Girl, Elegy. In 2010, Clarkson had a supporting role in Martin Scorsese's thriller Shutter Island, followed by roles in the mainstream comedies Easy A and Friends with Benefits, she subsequently portrayed the villainous Ava Paige in its two sequels. She returned to theater in 2014, playing the role of Madge Kendal in a Broadway production of The Elephant Man, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress.
In 2017, she won a British Independent Film Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Sally Potter's drama The Party, guest-starred on the Netflix series House of Cards. She co-starred with Amy Adams on the HBO miniseries Sharp Objects in 2018, for which she won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries, or Television Film. Clarkson was born in New Orleans, the daughter of Jackie Clarkson, a New Orleans politician and councilwoman, Arthur "Buzz" Clarkson, a school administrator who worked at the Louisiana State University School of Medicine, she is one of five sisters. She was raised on the West Bank of the Mississippi River. From 1977 to 1979, Clarkson studied speech pathology at Louisiana State University before deciding she wanted to pursue a drama degree. In 1980, she transferred to Fordham University in New York City to enroll in their undergraduate acting program, from which she graduated summa cum laude in 1982, she earned her Master of Fine Arts at the Yale School of Drama in 1985.
After graduating from the Yale School of Drama, Clarkson was cast in a 1986 Broadway production of The House of Blue Leaves as a replacement in the role of Corrinna Stroller. The following year, she made her feature film debut in Brian De Palma's The Untouchables, portraying Catherine Ness, the wife of US Treasury Prohibition agent Elliott Ness. Clarkson stated she was financially struggling during this time and was paying student loans, that De Palma expanded her role in the film as she only had several days' worth of shooting; the next year, she was cast in Clint Eastwood's The Dead Pool, the fifth installment in the Dirty Harry film series. In 1989, she returned to Broadway portraying a Wall Street investment counselor whose brother is diagnosed with AIDS. Clarkson has stated that beginning in the early 1990s, she went through a turbulent period in her career and was unable to find significant work, she had a small role in Jumanji before being cast in the independent drama High Art, portraying a drug-addicted German actress in New York City.
Her performance earned her an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. In 1999, Clarkson appeared in a supporting role as an ailing wife of a prison warden in The Green Mile, nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Ensemble Cast; the same year, she had a supporting part in the romantic comedy Simply Irresistible, followed by a supporting part in Stanley Tucci's biopic Joe Gould's Secret. Next, she portrayed a single mother in the drama The Safety of Objects, had a supporting role opposite Jack Nicholson in the Sean Penn-directed thriller The Pledge, playing the mother of a murder victim, she had a leading role in the independent horror film Wendigo, directed by Larry Fessenden, in the comedy Welcome to Collinwood. Roger Ebert praised the performances in the former, noting: "The actors have an unforced, natural quality that looks easy but is hard to do." In 2002, Clarkson was cast in a supporting role in Todd Haynes's period drama Far from Heaven, opposite Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid, playing the neighbor of a repressed housewife in the 1950s.
The same year, she starred as Margaret White in the television film adaptation of Stephen King's Carrie. Between 2002 and 2005, Clarkson had a guest-starring role on the HBO drama series Six Feet Under, playing Sarah O'Connor, the arti