Timothy Tarquin Hutton is an American actor and director. He is the youngest recipient in the Best Supporting Actor Category of the Academy Awards, he won at the age of 20 for his performance as Conrad Jarrett in Ordinary People. Hutton has since appeared in feature films and on television, with featured roles in the drama Taps, the spy film The Falcon and the Snowman, the horror film The Dark Half, among others. Between 2000 and 2002, Hutton starred as Archie Goodwin in the A&E drama series A Nero Wolfe Mystery. Between 2008 and 2012, he starred as Nathan "Nate" Ford on the TNT drama series Leverage. Timothy Hutton was born in California, his father was actor Jim Hutton. His parents divorced when Hutton was three years old, his mother took him and his older sister, with her to Boston; the family returned to California when Hutton was 12. "A lot of people think that because my father was an actor, I come from this big show-business background," Hutton told Bruce Cook of American Film magazine in 1981.
"But that's not. My mother took us to Cambridge because she wanted to get her M. A, she wound up teaching in Connecticut, but the way she saw it, after a while, if we all stayed there, my sister and I would just wind up as the proprietors of the local drugstore or something, so, why she took us to Berkeley – to get us into the world, I guess. Now she's given up teaching and she's into printing miniature books."In 1976 when he was 16, Hutton sought out his father and moved in with him in Los Angeles. At Fairfax High School, while playing Nathan Detroit in a school production of Guys and Dolls, he realized he wanted to become an actor. With encouragement from both of his parents, he built himself a career in television. On June 2, 1979, Jim Hutton died in Los Angeles two days after his 45th birthday. In 1981, Hutton dedicated his Academy Award, which he had won for his role in the movie Ordinary People, to his father. Timothy Hutton's career began with parts in several television movies, most notably the 1979 ABC TV film Friendly Fire.
That year, he played the son of Donna Reed in the Ross Hunter NBC television film, The Best Place to Be. He made two CBS made-for TV films in 1980: Young Love, First Love with Valerie Bertinelli, Father Figure with Hal Linden. For his first feature film performance, as Conrad Jarrett in Ordinary People, Hutton won both the Academy Award and the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor, his performance earned him the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year in a Motion Picture – Male. Following his success, he starred in the acclaimed 1981 ABC television film A Long Way Home co-starring Brenda Vaccaro. Hutton's next feature film, was popular with critics and audiences, but during the next several years, his motion pictures, such as Iceman, Turk 182, Made in Heaven, Q&A, struggled at the box office, his only substantial hit was 1985's The Falcon and the Snowman which teamed him again with Sean Penn. In 1984 he directed the music video for The Cars song "Drive". In 1989, he made his Broadway stage debut opposite his Ordinary People co-star Elizabeth McGovern in the A.
R. Gurney play Love Letters, he followed this with another Broadway role in the Craig Lucas hit comedy, Prelude to a Kiss, which starred Mary-Louise Parker and Barnard Hughes. During the late 1980s and into the 1990s, Hutton began to take large supporting parts in films, most notably in Everybody's All-American with Jessica Lange and Dennis Quaid and French Kiss with Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline. In 1996, he starred in the popular ensemble film, Beautiful Girls, playing opposite 14-year-old Natalie Portman in one of her early standout film roles. Moving on to television, he starred as Nero Wolfe's assistant and leg-man Archie Goodwin in the A&E television series A Nero Wolfe Mystery, his other directing credits include the family film Digging to China. In 2001 Hutton starred in the television miniseries WW3, in 2006 he had a lead role in the NBC series Kidnapped, playing Conrad Cain, the wealthy father of a kidnapped teenager, he appeared in 13 feature films from 2006 to 2008. Hutton starred in the television series Leverage from 2008 to 2012, where he played former insurance investigator Nate Ford who led a group of thieves who acted as modern-day Robin Hoods.
In 2014, Hutton was cast opposite Felicity Huffman in John Ridley's ABC crime drama American Crime. Hutton is one of the owners of the New York City bar P. J. Clarke's. In 2003 he became president of Players, a New York actors' club, but he resigned in June 2008 due to work keeping him in Los Angeles, he has made a few forays into directing, the most famous of which includes the music video for the Cars' hit single "Drive" in 1984. In 2010, he directed the music video for "The House Rules" by country rocker/Leverage co-star Christian Kane, he directed several episodes of A&E's "A Nero Wolfe Mystery," in which he starred. Hutton starred in a Groupon commercial during the 2011 Super Bowl which drew public ire for the parodying of the Tibetan resistance movement; the commercials were pulled from rotation on February 10 after continued negative response from the public and activist groups. Hutton has married twice, his first marriage was to actress Debra Winger. Hutton dated Uma Thurman during the time they filmed Beautiful Girls and Angelina Jolie during Jolie's separation from Jonny Lee Miller.
In 2000, he married illustrator Aurore Giscard d
Baby It's You (film)
Baby It's You is a 1983 American romantic comedy film written and directed by John Sayles. It stars Vincent Spano; the film, set in 1966 New Jersey, is about a romance between an upper-middle-class Jewish girl named Jill Rosen, bound for Sarah Lawrence College, a blue-collar Italian boy nicknamed the Sheik, who aspires to follow in Frank Sinatra's footsteps. The movie follows their high school experiences during their romance: Jill's success in high school acting productions, Jill's rebuffing of Sheik's sexual advances, Sheik's one-night stand with a sexually active friend of Jill's and a subsequent suicide attempt by that friend. Sheik is expelled from school, after an attempted robbery and subsequent pursuit by local police, Sheik goes to Miami, while Jill subsequently leaves for her first year at Sarah Lawrence in the fall of 1967. At one point in her first year, Jill visits Sheik in Florida during spring break, although she sees how little he has going for him, she has sex with him. In the moments before they undress, their conversation turns to his odd nickname, which he had not explained to Jill when they dated in high school.
"Sheik" is a brand of condoms, he explains--"like Trojans." Some time after Jill returns to college, Sheik arrives at work to find that he has been unceremoniously replaced by a real singer, albeit one with no great talent. This humiliation makes Sheik self-aware of his non-existent opportunities for career success in any endeavor, in response, he steals a car and makes the long drive from Miami to New York, propelled by the romantic notion of reuniting with Jill. Jill's college experience has not been easy or happy: she has not met with the acting or social success she had in high school. Yet, the act of consummating her desire for Sheik has led her to realize that she does not love him, for having had sex with him has moved her past the point of romantic and sexual wonder, left her seeing that they inhabit different social worlds; when Sheik arrives at Sarah Lawrence and does not find Jill, he violently trashes her room and waits for her return. When she does and he declares his love for her, she tells him.
Sheik resists her response and in a moment of quiet dignity, accepts it. Jill reaches out to Sheik, asks him as a favor—for them both, in a sense—if he will take her to a college dance, for which she has otherwise been unable to find a date; the movie ends with this dance, this final scene registers the quick change of pace in popular culture in the mid-1960s. In the midst of the dance, either Jill or Sheik requests that the band, perform "Strangers in the Night", the Sinatra hit, a key part of their high school romance; the film finishes with them slow-dancing. This was Sayles' first film for a major Hollywood studio, he based the screenplay on an autobiographical story by Amy Robinson. The film was co-produced by Robinson and Griffin Dunne and was dedicated to Dunne's sister, actress Dominique Dunne, murdered around the time of the film's production. Rosanna Arquette reflected on the role shortly after the film's theatrical release: "I went to high school for a while, but my experiences were shitty.
Somebody asked me. I put on those knee socks and that skirt and - I don't know. I just felt her." In July 2008, Baby It's You was released on DVD. Film critic Janet Maslin discussed the music in the film and wrote, "Music is a major part of Baby, It's You, as the title may indicate; the score consists of rock songs that more or less correspond to the time, although Sheik's entrances are accompanied by Bruce Springsteen songs. These touches, as well as the impeccable period details and the evocative cinematography by Michael Ballhaus, suggest that Baby, It's You was a labor of love for everyone involved." In a joint review of Baby It's You and another John Sayles film, Rolling Stone's Michael Sragow commented that Sayles has his strengths but is overrated, compared both films unfavorably to his earlier Return of the Secaucus 7. He elaborated that Baby It's You is too ideologically single-minded and suffers from oversights in its storytelling. "it may take twenty minutes for an audience to realize that attends high school and isn't a dropout hanging around."Critic Dennis Schwartz wrote, "It was for indie filmmaker Sayles his first film to be made with financial backing by a major studio, but he swore it would be his last as he was pissed that he lost final editing cut.
For Sayles this is lighter fare than what he tackles, but he fights through all the teenage clichés to give his own spin on this romance, the significance of social-class differences, how it is to grow up by listening to your heart and to change with the times." Wins Boston Society of Film Critics Awards: BSFC Award. Baby It's You on IMDb Baby It's You at AllMovie Baby It's You at Rotten Tomatoes
George Clifton James was an American actor, best known for his roles as Sheriff J. W. Pepper alongside Roger Moore in the James Bond films Live and Let Die and The Man with the Golden Gun, the sheriff in Silver Streak, a Texas tycoon in The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training, as the owner of the scandalous 1919 Chicago White Sox baseball team in Eight Men Out, earlier in his acting career as a prison floorwalker in Cool Hand Luke. James was born in Spokane, the son of Grace, a teacher, Harry James, a journalist, he grew up in Oregon in the Gladstone area of Clackamas County. James was a decorated World War II United States Army veteran, he served as an infantry platoon sergeant with Co. "A" 163rd Inf. 41st Div. He served forty-two months in the South Pacific from January 1942 until August 1945, his decorations include the Silver Star, Bronze Star, two Purple Hearts. James became well known for playing the comic-relief role of Louisiana Sheriff J. W. Pepper in the James Bond films Let Die and The Man with the Golden Gun.
He played a similar character in both Silver Streak and Superman II, had a serious role in The Reivers. In that last movie, opposite Steve McQueen, James played a mean, bungling country sheriff. James was the district attorney, he played a Navy master-at-arms in The Last Detail, starring Jack Nicholson, Chicago White Sox baseball team owner Charles Comiskey in the true story Eight Men Out, a drama about the corrupt 1919 Chicago White Sox. Despite being a lifelong New Yorker, James was cast as a Southerner in many of his roles, such as his appearances in the James Bond films, as powerful Houston lawyer Striker Bellman in the daytime soap opera Texas from 1981 to 1982, he was a Southern character as the penitentiary's floor-walker in Cool Hand Luke and as Sheriff Lester Crabb, a temporary one-off replacement for regular Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane in the second season Dukes of Hazzard episode "Treasure of Hazzard". James appeared on 13 episodes of the sitcom Lewis & Clark in 1981–1982. Other television credits include the 1976 private-eye drama City of Angels and the miniseries Captains and the Kings.
He appeared in two episodes of The A-Team: as murderous prison warden Beale in the first-season episode "Pros and Cons" and as corrupt Sheriff Jake Dawson in the second season's "The White Ballot". In 1996, he played the role of Red Kilgreen on All My Children. James played the train passenger Wilkes on the Gunsmoke episode "Snow Train", his other film roles include those of a wealthy Montana land baron whose cattle are being rustled in Rancho Deluxe and as the source who tips off a newspaperman to a explosive story in The Bonfire of the Vanities. James was featured a number of times by writer-director John Sayles, including Eight Men Out, Lone Star and Sunshine State. James' last known film appearance was in Raising Flagg, although he had been cast in a starring role to appear in the feature film Old Soldiers, playing a true-to-life elderly veteran of World War II. Production on that film was halted in 2016. James married twice: to Donna Lea Beach from 1948 to 1950, with whom he had one child, to Laurie Harper, from 1951 until her death in 2015, with whom he had five children.
He resided in Gladstone and died from complications of diabetes on April 15, 2017, aged 96. Clifton James on IMDb Clifton James at the TCM Movie Database Clifton James at the Internet Broadway Database Clifton James at the Internet Off-Broadway Database Clifton James at the University of Wisconsin–Madison's Actors Studio audio collection Clips from Texas episodes Clifton James Clifton James at Find a Grave
John Thomas Sayles is an American independent film director, editor and novelist. He has twice been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, for Passion Fish and Lone Star, his film Men with Guns was nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film. His directorial debut, Return of the Secaucus 7, has been added to the National Film Registry. Sayles was born in Schenectady, New York, the son of Mary, a teacher, Donald John Sayles, a school administrator. Both of Sayles's parents were of Catholic, he attended Williams College with frequent collaborators Gordon David Strathairn. Like Martin Scorsese and James Cameron, Sayles began his career working with Roger Corman. In 1979, Sayles used $30,000 he earned writing scripts for Corman to fund his first film, Return of the Secaucus 7. To make the film on a limited budget, he set the film in a large house so that he did not have to travel to or get permits for different locations, set the story over a three-day weekend to limit costume changes, wrote about people his age so he could cast his friends in it.
The film has held its reputation. In November 1997, the National Film Preservation Board announced that Return of the Secaucus 7 would be one of the 25 films selected that year for preservation in the National Film Registry at the Library of Congress. In 1983, after the films Baby It's You and Lianna, Sayles received a MacArthur Fellowship, he put the money into the fantasy The Brother from Another Planet, a film about a black, three-toed slave who escapes from another planet and after crash-landing on Earth, finds himself at home among the people of Harlem, being pursued by white male agents from his home planet dressed as men in black. In 1989, Sayles created and wrote the pilot episode for the short-lived television show Shannon's Deal about a down-and-out Philadelphia lawyer played by Jamey Sheridan. Sayles received a 1990 Edgar Award for his teleplay for the pilot; the show ran for 16 episodes before being cancelled in 1991. Sayles has funded most of his films by writing genre scripts, such as Piranha, The Howling and The Challenge.
Having collaborated with Joe Dante on Piranha and The Howling, Sayles acted in Dante's movie, Matinee. In deciding whether to take a job, Sayles reports that he is interested in whether there is the germ of an idea for a movie which he would want to watch. Sayles gets the rest of his funding by working as a script doctor. A genre script, called Night Skies, inspired what would become the film E. T. the Extra-Terrestrial. That film's director, Steven Spielberg commissioned Sayles to write a script for the fourth Jurassic Park film, he has written and directed his own films, including Lone Star, Passion Fish, Eight Men Out, The Secret of Roan Inish, Matewan. He serves on the advisory board for the Austin Film Society. Maggie Renzi has been John Sayles' long-time companion. Renzi has produced most of his films since Lianna, they met as students at Williams College. Sayles works with a regular repertory of actors, most notably Chris Cooper, David Strathairn, Gordon Clapp, each of whom has appeared in at least four of his films.
In early 2003, Sayles signed the Not In Our Name "Statement of Conscience" which opposed the invasion of Iraq. In February 2009, Sayles was reported to be writing an HBO series based on the early life of Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers; the drama, tentatively titled Scar Tissue, centers on Kiedis's early years living in West Hollywood with his father. At that time, Kiedis's father, known as Spider, sold drugs and mingled with rock stars on the Sunset Strip, all while aspiring to get into show business. In February 2010, Sayles began shooting his 17th feature film, the historical war drama Amigo, in the Philippines; the film is a fictional account of events during the Philippine–American War, with a cast that includes Joel Torre, Chris Cooper, Garret Dillahunt. His novel A Moment in the Sun, set during the same period as Amigo, in the Philippines and the US, was released in 2011 by McSweeney's, it includes an account of the Wilmington Insurrection of 1898 in North Carolina, the only coup d'état in United States history in which a duly elected government was overthrown.
1983 MacArthur Fellowship 1990 Edgar Award, for teleplay for pilot of Shannon's Deal In June 2014 Sayles donated his film archive to the University of Michigan. It will be accessible at the Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library. Return of the Secaucus 7 Lianna Baby It's You The Brother from Another Planet Matewan Eight Men Out City of Hope Passion Fish The Secret of Roan Inish Lone Star Men with Guns Limbo Sunshine State Casa de los Babys Silver City Honeydripper Amigo Go for Sisters Piranha The Lady in Red Alligator Battle Beyond the Stars The Howling The Challenge E. T. the Extra Terrestrial Enormous Changes at the Last Minute The Clan of the Cave Bear Wild Thing Breaking In Men of War (as A Safe P
Amelia Island is the northernnmost of the barrier islands on Florida's Atlantic coast, part of a chain that stretches along the East Coast of the United States from South Carolina to Florida. Lying in Nassau County Florida, it is 13 miles long and 4 miles wide at its widest point; the communities of Fernandina Beach, Amelia City, American Beach are located on the island. The island was named for Princess Amelia, daughter of George II of Great Britain, changed hands between colonial powers a number of times, it is claimed that eight flags have flown over Amelia Island: French, British, Floridian/Patriot, Green Cross, Mexican and United States. The Amelia Island Trail is a part of the East Coast Greenway, a 3,000 mile-long system of trails connecting Maine to Florida. American Indian bands associated with the Timucua people settled on the island around 1000, which they called Napoyca, they remained there until the early 18th century. In 1562, French Huguenot explorer Jean Ribault became the first recorded European visitor to Napoyca, he named the island Île de Mai.
In 1565, Spanish forces led by Pedro Menendez de Aviles drove the French from northeastern Florida by attacking their stronghold at Fort Caroline on the Rivière de Mai. They killed Ribault and 350 other French colonists, shipwrecked further down the coast. In 1573 Spanish Franciscans established the Santa María de Sena mission on the island, which they named Isla de Santa María. In the early 17th century, the Spanish relocated people from former Mocama settlements to Santa María de Sena. In 1680, British raids on St. Catherines Island, Georgia resulted in the Christian Guale Indians abandoning the Santa Catalina de Guale mission and relocating to Spanish missions on Isla de Santa María. In 1702, the Spanish abandoned these missions after South Carolina's colonial governor James Moore led an invasion of Florida with British colonists and their Native American allies. Georgia's founder and colonial governor James Oglethorpe renamed this island as "Amelia Island" in honor of Princess Amelia, daughter of George II of Great Britain.
It was still a Spanish possession. Oglethorpe negotiated with Spanish colonial officials for the island to be transferred to British sovereignty after ordering the garrison of Scottish Highlanders to build a fort on the northwestern edge of the island; the King of Spain rescinded the agreement. Oglethorpe withdrew his troops in 1742; the area became a buffer zone between the English and Spanish colonies until the Treaty of Paris settling the Seven Years' War, in which Britain defeated France. Under the treaty, Spain traded Florida to Great Britain in order to gain control of Cuba; the Proclamation of 1763 established the St. Marys River as East Florida's northeastern boundary. During the early period of British rule, the island was known as Egmont Isle, after Lord Egmont who had a 10,000-acre plantation covering the entire island, its headquarters were the so-called “New Settlement” on the south side of the mouth of Egan's Creek adjoining the Amelia River, the site of the present-day Old Town.
Egmont had only begun his development of the island in 1770, when Gerard de Brahm prepared his map, the "Plan of Amelia, Now Egmont Island". This depicted most of the planned development at the north end. Egmont died in December 1770, whereupon his widow Lady Egmont assumed control of his vast Florida estates, she appointed Stephen Egan as her agent to manage it. With the forced labor of enslaved African Americans, he produced profitable indigo crops there; until it was destroyed by American troops from Georgia in 1776. In the late 1770s and early 1780s, during the American Revolutionary War, British loyalists fleeing Charleston and Savannah hastily erected new buildings at the settlement, calling their impromptu town Hillsborough. Spain regained possession of Florida in 1783, under the terms of the new United States settlement with Great Britain. Amelia harbor was an embarkation point for Loyalists leaving the colony. In June 1785, former British governor Patrick Tonyn moved his command to Hillsborough town, from which he sailed to England and evacuated troops and Loyalists that year.
After the British evacuation, Mary Mattair, her children, a slave worker were the sole occupants left on Amelia island. She had received a grant from Governor Tonyn of the property on the bluff overlooking the Amelia River. Following the exchange of flags in 1784, the Spanish Crown allowed Mattair to remain on the island. In trade for the earlier British grant, the Spanish authorities awarded her 150 acres within the present-day city limits of Fernandina Beach; the site of Mattair's initial grant is today's Old Town Fernandina. In 1783, the Second Treaty of Paris returned Florida to Spain. British inhabitants of Florida had to leave the province within 18 months unless they swore allegiance to Spain. In June 1795, American rebel marauders led by Richard Lang attacked the Spanish garrison on Amelia Island. Colonel Charles Howard, an officer in the Spanish military, discovered that the rebels had built a battery and were flying the French flag. On August 2, he raised a sizable Spanish force, sailed up Sisters Creek and the Nassau River, attacked them.
The rebels fled across the St. Marys to Georgia. In 1811, surveyor George J. F. Clarke platted the town of Fernandina, named in honor of King Ferdinand VII of Spain by Enrique White, the governor of the Spanish province of East Florida. On March 16, 1812
Lianna is a 1983 drama film written and directed by John Sayles and starring Linda Griffiths, Jane Hallaren, Jon DeVries. Lianna is the wife of a college professor teaching film and media at a university in a small to midsized town in New Jersey, the mother of two children. In an attempt to give her husband more freedom, at his request, cure her boredom in being a housewife, she takes a child psychology class with her friend Sandy. Becoming more involved in the class and interacting with the female professor, she realizes she has a crush on the instructor, Ruth. Ruth invites Lianna over to her home for dinner and they talk into the night, Lianna explaining that she was a graduate student at one time who married the professor, they sleep together and begin an affair, complicated by Lianna's husband's affair with one of his students. Lianna expresses interest in leaving her husband for Ruth, but Ruth backs away, warning Lianna that living with another woman would jeopardize her career as a child psychologist—and, to complicate matters, she has a partner in another city.
Lianna leaves her husband after a ugly fight to live alone for the first time in years. Lianna visits a lesbian bar and attempts to connect with other lesbians through a string of affairs to explore her new identity; the film explores her loneliness, her changing relationships with her children, her new relationship with Sandy, shocked at Lianna's revelations at first, but begins to accept it and support Lianna. Lianna gets a job as a super market cashier. By the end of the film, Ruth moves out of town to California to take another teaching job. Despite now being alone in the world and her friend Sandy reconcile in the final scene which mirrors the opening scene of Lianna and Sandy talking at a park playground; the staff at Variety magazine gave the film a positive review and wrote "John Sayles again uses a keen intelligence and finely tuned ear to tackle the nature of friendship and loving in Lianna." They praised the acting and the supporting characters' reactions to Lianna's lesbian affair.
In his New York Times review, Vincent Canby wrote "Though Mr. Sayles's methods are antidramatic, the film is full of the kind of middle-class desperation that finds its way into movies, where emotions are bigger than life. Lianna is never dull but it is so finely tuned that one has to pay attention to receive it properly, it doesn't slam you against the wall or leave you gasping for breath. It's civilized."In a joint review of Lianna and another John Sayles film, Baby It's You, Michael Sragow commented that Sayles has his strengths but is overrated, compared both films unfavorably to his earlier Return of the Secaucus 7. He elaborated that Lianna is too ideologically single-minded while failing to offer any new insight or perspective on the subject of lesbianism, he criticized the "truly embarrassing audiovisual montages", citing as an example the lesbian love scene being accompanied by the sounds of the women whispering in French. Reviewing Lianna's release on DVD, film critic Glenn Erickson called it "daring" and "sophisticated".
He found the film's strongest point to be that rather than becoming a "melodrama" of scandal, it focuses on the protagonist's isolation and self-discovery. By his analysis, the film "stresses intimate character touches. Lianna doesn't ask us to condemn or condone anything, but to be understanding and sympathetic with each other."Critics Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat wrote "The screenplay by John Sayles is both congenial and wise... Viewers are sure to find much to savor in the emotional confrontations. Lianna muses upon love and camaraderie in a fresh but unspectacular way, it is an appealing movie worth experiencing." The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists: 2002: AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions – Nominated Lianna on IMDb Lianna at AllMovie Lianna at Box Office Mojo Lianna at Rotten Tomatoes Lianna film scene at YouTube
Mary Nell Steenburgen is an American actress and singer. She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress for playing the role of Lynda Dummar in Jonathan Demme's 1980 film Melvin and Howard. Steenburgen, who studied at New York's Neighborhood Playhouse in the 1970s received a Golden Globe nomination for the 1981 film Ragtime, a BAFTA TV Award nomination for the 1985 miniseries Tender is the Night and an Emmy Award nomination for the 1988 TV film The Attic: The Hiding of Anne Frank, her other film appearances include Cross Creek, Back to the Future Part III, What's Eating Gilbert Grape, The Brave One, Step Brothers, The Proposal, The Help. Steenburgen was born in Newport, Arkansas, to Nellie Mae, a school-board secretary, Maurice Hoffman Steenburgen, a freight-train conductor who worked at the Missouri Pacific Railroad, she has Nancy Kelly, a teacher. Her ancestry includes Dutch, English and Welsh. In 1971, she enrolled at Hendrix College to study drama.
She subsequently traveled to Dallas at the suggestion of her drama teacher where she auditioned for New York City's Neighborhood Playhouse. Steenburgen moved to Manhattan in 1972 after being selected by the Neighborhood Playhouse to study acting, she worked for Doubleday while studying under Will Esper. Steenburgen's break came when she was discovered by Jack Nicholson in the reception room of Paramount's New York office, was cast as the female lead in his second directorial work, the 1978 Western Goin' South. Steenburgen 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 future first husband, Malcolm McDowell. In her third film, she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for the 1980 film Melvin and Howard, playing Lynda Dummar, the wife of Melvin Dummar a trucker and aspiring singer, who claimed to have befriended reclusive eccentric Howard Hughes. Another notable film appearance came in the well-received 1983 film Cross Creek, in which she played Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, author of The Yearling.
In 1985, she starred in the movie One Magic Christmas as a mother and wife who falls on devastating times at Christmas only to rely on a Christmas miracle to save her family. In 1989 she played the wife of Steve Martin's character in Parenthood. 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, reprised the role by providing the character's voice in Back to the Future: The Animated Series. Other performances have been: in What's Eating Gilbert Grape, as a woman, having an affair with the title character, she has appeared in the comedy films Step Brothers, starring Will Ferrell, playing the mother of Ferrell's character. Dirty Girl, which features Steenburgen along with Juno Temple, Milla Jovovich and William H. Macy, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 12, 2010, she appeared in the critically acclaimed film The Help, starring alongside Emma Stone, Viola Davis and Bryce Dallas Howard, had a featured role as a lounge singer, the romantic interest in a love triangle, in the 2013 comedy Last Vegas.
She had a small part in the 2015 film A Walk in the Woods as Jeannie. In 2018, Steenburgen starred opposite Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen in the romantic comedy film Book Club. In television, Steenburgen appeared as Kate Montgomery in Ink with her husband, Ted Danson, co-starred with Danson as Mary Gulliver in Gulliver's Travels, she has a recurring role as herself with Danson in Curb Your Enthusiasm. Steenburgen co-starred as Helen Girardi, the mother of Amber Tamblyn's title character in Joan of Arcadia. In 2011, she had a recurring role as Josephine in the HBO sitcom Bored to Death with Danson again. Steenburgen starred as Anastasia Lee in the 2011 FX pilot, Outlaw Country, but it was passed by the network, she appeared on FX in the dark sitcom Wilfred from 2011 through 2013 as Catherine Newman, the title character's eccentric and mentally ill mother. Steenburgen had a recurring role on the NBC sitcom 30 Rock from 2012 to 2013 where she played Diana Jessup. In 2014, she began a recurring role as former Dixie Mafia boss Katherine Hale in the fifth and sixth seasons of Justified.
On June 13, 2014, it was announced that Steenburgen would have a recurring role as Delia in the Netflix crime comedy-drama Orange Is the New Black in the third season. From 2015 to 2018, she starred as Gail Klosterman on the comedy series The Last Man on Earth. After minor surgery on her arm, on April 17, 2007, which required a general anesthetic, Steenburgen developed a new passion for singing and songwriting, she by 2017 had composed more than 40 songs. She has collaborated with musicians from Nashville and was signed to Universal Music as a songwriter. In Last Vegas, Steenburgen plays a lounge singer and performs one of her original compositions on screen. In 1978, Steenburgen met and began dating actor Malcolm McDowell while both were co-starring in