A scant three months after her grandfather, author Ernest Hemingway, took his own life with a shotgun, Mariel Hemingway came into the world. By the time Mariel was ready to launch her career, it appeared as though she would remain in the shadow of two famous relatives: her grandfather Ernest, and her older sister, model Margaux Hemingway, who was just about to star in her first feature film, Lipstick (1976). As the publicity hounds sought out Margaux for interviews and photo ops, Mariel quietly took a supporting role in her sister's first starring vehicle. Within a few years, Margaux was out of the movie-star race, but Mariel had only just begun, co-starring as Woody Allen's teenaged lover in Manhattan (1979). Oscar-nominated for her natural, relaxed performance in the Allen picture, Mariel followed this triumph with the role of a lesbian athlete in Personal Best. Thereafter, Mariel couldn't seem to stay out of the headlines: she underwent a well-publicized session of cosmetic surgery and breast enhancement to portray the unfortunate Playboy centerfold Dorothy Stratten in Star 80, then caused blue-nosed media monitors to have palpitations by appearing in the nude (actually appearing to be appearing in the nude) in an episode of the TV lawyer series Civil Wars.
She worked steadily throughout the '80s and '90s appearing in projects as diverse as Creator, Delirious, Falling From Grace, and appearing on the sitcom Roseanne. She reteamed with Woody Allen in 1997's Deconstructing Harry, and had major roles in Little Men and The Sex Monster. She appeared in a series of yoga instructional videos in the 21st century, and acted in The Golden Boys and Archie's Final Project on which she also served as co-Executive Producer.