Andie MacDowell

Active - 1984 - Present  |   Born - Apr 21, 1958 in Gaffney, South Carolina, United States  |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Romance

Share on

Biography by Hal Erickson

The product of a profoundly unhappy home life, Andie MacDowell was compelled to make her own way from an early age. The Gaffney, SC, native spent her teenage years working a number of minimum-wage jobs before dropping out of Winthrop College when she was a sophomore in order to become an Elite model. Her innocent, well-scrubbed good looks were not only suited to her job as a cosmetics model, but, in 1984, they won her the role of Jane Porter in Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes. Unable to overcome her natural Carolina cadence, MacDowell's lines were dubbed by Glenn Close in the film -- the first and last time that audiences were denied the actress' warm, relaxing vocal shadings. Joining the Brat Pack brigade with St. Elmo's Fire (1985), MacDowell just as quickly broke away from it with her riveting performance in sex, lies and videotape (1989); her role as a dissatisfied housewife earned her a number of accolades, and helped to establish her as a "serious" actress.

MacDowell's likability enabled her to weather such disasters as Hudson Hawk (1991) and Bad Girls (1994), and allowed her to shine in a number of other films, including Groundhog Day (1993), Short Cuts (1993), and the hit romantic comedy Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994). Although she starred in a series of disappointing films during the late '90s, she remained highly visible, popping up in such movies as Unstrung Heroes (1995), The Muse (1999), and Town and Country (2000). She earned good reviews playing a middle-age woman infatuated with a younger man in Crush, but the film was poorly distributed and little seen. She appeared in a string of direct-to-video efforts including the supernatural thriller The Last Sign opposite Tim Roth. She returned to the multiplexes after landing a major part in the Queen Latifah film Beauty Shop in 2005. The next year she lent her distinct vocal qualities to the 2006 animated film Barnyard, twenty years after having her voice dubbed out of her film debut.

In 2010 MacDowell surpised her fans with a villainous turn in the tense low-budget thriller As Good As Dead, which was quickly followed by an appearance as Vi Moore (a role originally played by Diane Wiest) in Craig Brewer's remake of Footloose.

Movie Highlights

See Full Filmography


  • Goes by Rose or Rosie to family and close friends.
  • Dropped out of Winthrop University and moved to New York in order to pursue a modeling career.
  • First big modeling break was a series of Calvin Klein jeans commercials in 1983.
  • Played Jane in Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes in her big-screen debut only to have her lines dubbed over by Glenn Close due to MacDowell's thick southern accent.
  • Signed as a spokesperson with L'Oreal cosmetics in 1986.
  • Won the Independent Spirit Award and Los Angeles Film Critics Association awards for Best Actress for her breakthrough role as a repressed wife in 1989's Sex, Lies, and Videotape.
  • Made her debut as an executive producer with the comedy Just the Ticket (1998), in which she also starred.
  • Received Winthrop University's Medal of Honor in the Arts in 2004.
  • Sponsors separate summer camps for children with diabetes, cancer and asthma.