Anjelica Huston

Active - 1969 - 2021  |   Born - Jul 8, 1951 in Santa Monica, California, United States  |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Comedy Drama, Children's/Family, Romance

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Born July 8th, 1961, he daughter of director John Huston and his fourth wife, ballerina Ricki Somma, Anjelica Huston spent a privileged but troubled childhood in Ireland. Although her father didn't really want her to be an actress, he gave her substantial roles in his films Sinful Davy and A Walk With Love and Death (both 1969). The actress did little movie work during the '70s, choosing instead to pursue a successful, albeit short-term, career as a model before returning to films with a vengeance in the '80s, diligently studying with famed drama coach Peggy Feury.

In 1985, Huston earned an Oscar for her performance as the vengeful girlfriend of hit man Jack Nicholson in Prizzi's Honor, making her the first third-generation Academy winner in history. Other worthwhile roles followed in her father's final directorial effort, The Dead (1987), and Woody Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989). She was also rewardingly directed by her half-brother Danny Huston in Mr. North (1988). Huston earned additional Oscar nominations for her outstanding dramatic work in Enemies: A Love Story (1989) and The Grifters (1990). On a lighter note, she was ideally cast as Morticia Addams in the two Addams Family movies in the early '90s; neither was recognized by the Academy, although both earned her Golden Globe nominations. Despite her breakup with long-time companion Nicholson (she went on to marry Robert Graham in 1992), Huston still occasionally acted opposite him, most notably in Sean Penn's The Crossing Guard (1995). Other notable roles for the actress during the late '90s included her turn as the wicked stepmother in Ever After (1998) and a hilarious portrayal of a football-obsessed, dysfunctional mother in Buffalo '66.

In addition to her work on film, Huston accumulated an impressive roster of television credits during the 1980s and '90s, including her powerful performances as frontier woman Clara Allen in the 1989 miniseries Lonesome Dove and the beleaguered mother of an autistic child in the two-part Family Pictures (1993). She also had a supporting role in the widely acclaimed 1993 production of And the Band Played On. In 1996, Huston made her directorial debut with Bastard out of Carolina, a praised adaptation of Dorothy Allison's novel of the same name, and followed that up with another behind-the-camera effort, Agnes Browne, in 1999. She played Gene Hackman's estranged wife in the critically-acclaimed The Royal Tenenbaums in 2001. She appeared opposite Clint Eastwood in his police drama Blood Work. She continued to appear in a wide variety of films including an officious antagonist in Daddy Day Care. In 2004 she reteamed with Wes Anderson for The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, and played in the made for cable historical drama Iron Jawed Angels. In 2006 Huston took on a small role in Terry Zwigoff's Art School Confidential, and appeared in Martha Coolidge's Material Girls opposite Hilary and Haylie Duff.

In 2008, Huston joined the cast of the made-for-HBO period film Iron Jawed Angels, in which she played an activist opposed to the National Woman's Party, which encouraged rewarding American women with the right to vote and hold citizenship. After participating in several films throughout 2006 (Material Girls, Art School Confidential, Seraphim Falls), Huston reunited with Wes Anderson to play a supporting role in the multi-award winning comedy The Darjeeling Limited in 2007. The actress took on another supporting role in the critically acclaimed psychological drama The Kreutzer Sonata (2008). In 2011, she co-starred in the complex comedy drama 50/50, in which she played the overbearing mother of a public radio employee diagnosed with cancer at 27-years-old.

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  • Raised in Ireland and England.
  • Modeled for Vogue and other magazines in the 1970s.
  • Dated Jack Nicholson for almost two decades; split when she learned he was having a child with another woman.
  • With her win for Prizzi's Honor in 1985, the Hustons became the first family with three generations of Oscar winners (father John and grandfather Walter also won).
  • Turned down the role in Misery that earned Kathy Bates an Oscar.
  • Made directorial debut in 1996 with the film Bastard Out of Carolina.
  • Collaborated with director Wes Anderson in the 2000s with the films The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (2004) and The Darjeeling Limited (2007).
  • Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in January 2010.