Lindsay Crouse

Active - 1976 - 2020  |   Born - May 12, 1948 in New York, New York, United States  |   Genres - Drama

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Biography by Jason Buchanan

Tall, thin, and blonde, Oscar-nominated actress Lindsay Crouse has been appearing onscreen since the mid-'70s -- though contemporary, television-savvy fans may be more familiar with her thanks to memorable small-screen roles on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Providence, and Hack. Crouse is a New York City native and the daughter of Life With Father author Russel Crouse; her literary father named her after his longtime writing partner Howard Lindsay. An education at Radcliffe first led Crouse to a career as a dancer, though it wasn't long before she began leaning toward acting; she made her screen debut in 1976's All the President's Men. Roles in Slap Shot (1977) and The Verdict (1982) found Crouse managing to hold her own opposite screen heavy Paul Newman, and after remaining under the direction of Sidney Lumet for Daniel (1983), Crouse earned an Oscar nod for her performance opposite Sally Field in the 1984 drama Places in the Heart. With the exception of a season of Hill Street Blues, Crouse would stick mainly to feature films for the remainder of the 1980s. Her leading role as a conflicted psychiatrist in 1987's House of Games (under the direction of then-husband David Mamet) seemed to capitalize on her status as one of John Willis' Screen World's "Most Promising New Actors of 1984."

If the 1990s found Crouse edging almost exclusively into small-screen work, the occasional feature, such as The Juror (1996) and Prefontaine (1997), proved that she had lost none of her enduring big-screen appeal. Indeed, Crouse was equally effective in both film and television; small-screen roles in Norma Jean and Marilyn and If These Walls Could Talk (both 1996) proved just as compelling as her turn in Michael Mann's acclaimed 1999 drama The Insider. In 2000, Crouse took on the role of Caroline Ingalls in the made-for-TV family film Beyond the Prairie: The True Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Before returning to the character in the 2002 sequel, she played supporting roles in Imposter and Cherish (both 2002).

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  • Named Lindsay in honor of her dramatist father's longtime writing partner, Howard Lindsay.
  • Began her performing career as a dancer following college.
  • Made her Broadway debut in 1972 at the Winter Garden Theatre, acting alongside Sam Waterston in the Shakespearean comedy Much Ado About Nothing.
  • Received a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her turn as Margaret Lomax in the 1984 drama Places in the Heart, starring Ed Harris and Sally Field. 
  • Starred in the psychodrama feature film House of Games in 1987, which was the directorial debut of her first husband, David Mamet.
  • Has taught acting both privately and at major universities around the country.
  • An ardent Buddhist, she was accredited by the Asian Classics Institute teacher-training program in 2004, and helped found The Mahasukha Center in Los Angeles.