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Judy Davis

Real name: Judy Davis
Birthdate: April 23, 1955
Status: Married
Partner: Colin Friels

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Biography

Judy Davis (born 23 April 1955) is an Academy Award-nominated and 3-time Emmy Award-winning Australian actress.

Davis was born in Perth and had a Catholic upbringing. She was educated at Loreto Convent and graduated from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in 1977. She has been married to actor and fellow NIDA graduate Colin Friels since 1984. They have two children, Jack and Charlotte.

First coming to prominence for her role as Sybylla Melvyn in the coming-of-age saga My Brilliant Career (1979), for which she won BAFTA Awards for Best Actress and Best Newcomer, she also played the lead in such Australian New Wave classics as Winter of Our Dreams (1981) (as the waif-like heroin addict) and Heatwave (1982) (as the radical tenant organizer). Her first foray into international film came in 1981 when she played the younger version of Ingrid Bergman's Golda Meir in the television docudrama A Woman Called Golda. In 1984 she was cast as Adela Quested in David Lean's final film, an adaptation of E.M. Forster's A Passage to India. Although she and Lean reportedly butted heads during the film's production, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance. She returned to Australian cinema for her next two films, Kangaroo, in which she displayed a fine affinity for accents as a German-born writer's wife, and High Tide, in which she gave what some critics believe is her finest performance as an alcoholic mother who attempts to reunite with her teenage daughter who is being raised by the paternal grandmother. She earned Australian Film Institute Awards for both roles, and a National Society of Film Critics award for High Tide's brief American theatrical run. In 1990 she played a brief cameo in Woody Allen's Alice. A busy 1991 featured acclaimed supporting roles as an ill-fated Southern ghostwriter in Joel Coen's Barton Fink, which won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival and in David Cronenberg's well-received adaptation of the hallucinogenic novel Naked Lunch. She won an Independent Spirit Award for her lively work as mannish authoress George Sand in Impromptu and returned to E.M. Forster territory in Where Angels Fear to Tread. Finally, she earned additional awards and recognition for her performance as real-life World War II heroine Mary Lindell in the CBS Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation One Against the Wind. In 1992 she played a major role in Woody Allen's Husbands and Wives as one half of a divorcing couple. For this performance she earned an array of critics' awards as well as an Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for best supporting actress.

Her stage work has been limited, and mostly confined to Australia. In the earliest stages of her career she played Juliet opposite Mel Gibson's Romeo, she also played both Cordelia and the Fool in a 1984 staging of King Lear and her 1986 assumption of the title role in Hedda Gabler was widely admired in Australia. In 2004 she starred in and co-directed Victory, as a Puritan woman determined her locate her husband's dismembered corpse. Internationally, she created the role of The Actress in Terry Johnson's Insignificance at the Royal Court in London and appeared in a brief Los Angeles production of Tom Stoppard's Hapgood in 1989.



 


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