Jessica Phyllis Lange (born April 20, 1949) is an American actress. She is part of a handful of performers to achieve the Triple Crown of Acting, having won two Academy Awards, three Primetime Emmy Awards, and a Tony Award, along with a Screen Actors Guild Award and five Golden Globe Awards. The other winners include Triple Crown of Acting (Academy Award, Emmy, Tony): Helen Hayes, Thomas Mitchell, Ingrid Bergman, Shirley Booth, Melvyn Douglas, Paul Scofield, Jack Albertson, Rita Moreno, Maureen Stapleton, Jason Robards, Jessica Tandy, Jeremy Irons, Anne Bancroft, Vanessa Redgrave, Maggie Smith, Al Pacino, Geoffrey Rush, Ellen Burstyn, Christopher Plummer, Helen Mirren, Frances McDormand, Viola Davis, and Glenda Jackson
Lange made her film debut in John Guillermin’s King Kong (1976), with Jeff Bridges and Charles Grodin. Other early films include Bob Fosse’s All That Jazz (1979), with Roy Scheider, Ann Reinking, Leland Palmer, Cliff Gorman, and Ben Vereen; Robert Scheerer’s How to Beat the High Cost of Living (1980), with Jane Curtin, Susan Saint James, Dabney Coleman, Fred Willard, Richard Benjamin, Eddie Albert, Scott Elliott, Cathryn Damon, and a cameo by Garrett Morris; and Bob Rafelson‘s The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981), with Jack Nicholson.
Lange won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Sydney Pollack’s Tootsie (1982), with Dustin Hoffman, Teri Garr, Coleman, Bill Murray, Charles Durning, George Gaynes, Geena Davis, and Doris Belack; the same year she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for Frances (1982), with Kim Stanley, Sam Shepard, Bart Burns, Christopher Pennock, Jonathan Banks, and Jeffrey DeMunn. She’s one of a handful of performers to be nominated for two performance Academy Awards in the same year, along with Fay Bainter, Teresa Wright, Barry Fitzgerald, Sigourney Weaver, Pacino, Holly Hunter, Emma Thompson, Julianne Moore, Jamie Foxx, Cate Blanchett, and Scarlett Johansson.
Lange was also nominated for the Academy Awards for Best Actress back to back for Country (1984), with Shepard and Wilford Brimley; and Sweet Dreams (1985), with Ed Harris, Ann Wedgeworth, David Clennon, James Staley, Gary Basaraba, John Goodman, and P.J. Soles. Other films in the 1980s include Bruce Beresford’s Crimes of the Heart (1986), with Diane Keaton, Sissy Spacek, Shepard, Tess Harper, and Hurd Hatfield; Far North (1988), with Durning, Tess Harper, Donald Moffat, Ann Wedgeworth, and Patricia Arquette; Taylor Hackford’s Everybody’s All-American (1988), with Dennis Quaid, Timothy Hutton, Goodman, and Carl Lumbly; and Costa-Gavras’s Music Box (1989), with Armin Mueller-Stahl, Frederic Forrest, Donald Moffat, and Lukas Haas; which garnered another Academy Award nomination.
Lange won the Academy Award for Best Actress for Tony Richardson’s Blue Sky (1994), with Tommy Lee Jones, Powers Boothe, Carrie Snodgress, Amy Locane, Galynn Duggan, and Chris O’Donnell. Other films in the early 1990s include Men Don’t Leave (1990), with O’Donnell, Arliss Howard, Joan Cusack, Charlie Korsmo, and Kathy Bates; Martin Scorsese‘s Cape Fear (1991), with Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Joe Don Baker, Juliette Lewis, Robert Mitchum, and Gregory Peck; and Night and the City (1992), with De Niro, Cliff Gorman, Jack Warden, Alan King, and Eli Wallach.
Films in the mid to late 1990s include Stephen Gyllenhaal’s Losing Isaiah (1995), with Halle Berry, David Strathairn, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Samuel L. Jackson; Rob Roy (1995), with Liam Neeson, John Hurt, Tim Roth, Eric Stoltz, Brian Cox, and Jason Flemyng; A Thousand Acres (1997), with Michelle Pfeiffer. Jennifer Jason Leigh, Colin Firth, Keith Carradine, Kevin Anderson, Pat Hingle, and Robards; Hush (1998), with Gwyneth Paltrow, Johnathon Schaech, Nina Foch, and Hal Holbrook; Cousin Bette (1998), with Elisabeth Shue, Bob Hoskins, Hugh Laurie, Aden Young, Kelly Macdonald, and Geraldine Chaplin; and Julie Taymor‘s Titus (1999), with Anthony Hopkins, Alan Cumming, Colm Feore, James Frain, Laura Fraser, Harry Lennix, Angus Macfadyen, Matthew Rhys, and Jonathan Rhys Meyers.
Films in the 2000s include Prozac Nation (2001), with Christina Ricci, Jason Biggs, Anne Heche, Michelle Williams, and Meyers; Masked and Anonymous (2003), with Bob Dylan, Goodman, Bridges, Penélope Cruz, Val Kilmer, Mickey Rourke, Luke Wilson, Angela Bassett, Bruce Dern, Cheech Marin, Ed Harris, Chris Penn, Steven Bauer, Giovanni Ribisi, Michael Paul Chan, Christian Slater, and Fred Ward; Tim Burton‘s Big Fish (2003), with Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, Helena Bonham Carter, Alison Lohman, Robert Guillaume, Marion Cotillard, Steve Buscemi, and Danny DeVito; Jim Jarmusch‘s Broken Flowers (2005), with Murray, Jeffrey Wright, Sharon Stone, Frances Conroy, Tilda Swinton, Julie Delpy, Mark Webber, Chloë Sevigny, Christopher McDonald, and Alexis Dziena; and Wim Wenders’s Neverwas (2005), with Shepard, Roth, Gabriel Mann, Sarah Polley, Fairuza Balk, and Ava Marie Saint.
Films in the mid to late 2000s include Bonneville (2006), with Bates, Joan Allen, Tom Skerritt, and Christine Baranski; The Vow (2012), with Rachel McAdams, Channing Tatum, Sam Neill, and Scott Speedman; In Secret (2013), with Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Felton, Oscar Isaac, Matt Lucas, Shirley Henderson, and Mackenzie Crook; The Gambler (2014), with Mark Wahlberg, Goodman, Brie Larson, Michael K. Williams, and George Kennedy; and Wild Oats (2016), with Shirley MacLaine, Demi Moore, Billy Connolly, Santiago Segura, Howard Hesseman, Matt Walsh, and Rebecca Da Costa.
In 2010, Lange won her first Primetime Emmy Award for her portrayal of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s aunt Big Edie in HBO’s Grey Gardens (2009), with Drew Barrymore, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Malcolm Gets, Daniel Baldwin, Ken Howard, Arye Gross, and Justin Louis. Between 2011 and 2014, she won her first Screen Actors Guild Award, first Critics Choice Award, fifth Golden Globe Award, three Dorian Awards and her second and third Emmy Awards for her performances in the first, second and third seasons of FX’s horror anthology series American Horror Story (2011–2015, 2018), which includes Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, Lily Rabe, Frances Conroy, Denis O’Hare, Emma Roberts, Bates, Angela Bassett, Adina Porter, Finn Wittrock, Billie Lourd, and Jamie Brewer In 2016, she won her first Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play, an Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Lead Actress in a Play and a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play for her performance in the Broadway revival of Long Day’s Journey into Night.
Lange also had a supporting role in Louis C.K.’s Peabody Award-winning web series Horace and Pete (2016), with C.K., Buscemi, Edie Falco, Steven Wright, Kurt Metzger, and Alan Alda. Her portrayal of actress Joan Crawford in the miniseries Feud (2017), with Susan Sarandon, Judy Davis, Jackie Hoffman, Alfred Molina, Stanley Tucci, and Alison Wright; won her eighth Emmy, 16th Golden Globe, sixth Screen Actors Guild Award and second TCA Award nominations. In 2019, she received a tenth Emmy nomination for her performance in American Horror Story: Apocalypse. Other TV movies and miniseries include Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1984), with Jones, Torn, Kim Stanley, David Dukes, and Penny Fuller; O Pioneers! (1992), with Strathairn and Tom Aldredge; A Streetcar Named Desire (1995), with Alec Baldwin, Goodman, Diane Lane; Normal (2003), with Tom Wilkinson; and Sybil (2007), with Tammy Blanchard and JoBeth Williams.
Each review will be linked to the title below.
(*seen originally in theaters)
(**seen rereleased in theaters)
- King Kong (1976) – directed by John Guillermin
- All That Jazz (1979) – directed by Bob Fosse
- How to Beat the High Cost of Living (1980) – directed by Robert Scheerer
- The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) – directed by Bob Rafelson
- Tootsie (1982) – directed by Sydney Pollack
- Frances (1982) – directed by Graeme Clifford
- Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1984) – directed by Jack Hofsiss – TV movie
- Country (1984) – directed by Richard Pearce – also producer
- Sweet Dreams (1985) – directed by Karel Reisz
- Crimes of the Heart (1986) – directed by Bruce Beresford
- Far North (1988) – directed by Sam Shepard
- Everybody’s All-American (1988) – directed by Taylor Hackford
- Music Box (1989) – directed by Costa Gavras
- Men Don’t Leave (1990) – directed by Paul Brickman
- Cape Fear (1991) – directed by Martin Scorsese
- O Pioneers! (1992) – directed by Glenn Jordan – TV movie
- Night and the City (1992) – directed by Irwin Winkler
- Blue Sky (1994) – directed by Tony Richardson
- Losing Isaiah (1995) – directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal
- Rob Roy (1995) – directed by Michael Caton-Jones
- A Streetcar Named Desire (1995) – directed by Glenn Jordan – TV movie
- A Thousand Acres (1997) – directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse
- Hush (1998) – directed by Jonathan Darby
- Cousin Bette (1998) – directed by Des McAnuff
- Titus (1999) – directed by Julie Taymor
- Prozac Nation (2001) – directed by Erik Skjoldbjærg
- Normal (2003) – directed by Jane Anderson – TV movie
- Masked and Anonymous (2003) – directed by Larry Charles
- Big Fish (2003)* – directed by Tim Burton
- Broken Flowers (2005) – directed by Jim Jarmusch
- Don’t Come Knocking (2005) – directed by Wim Wenders
- Neverwas (2005) – directed by Joshua Michael Stern
- Bonneville (2006) – directed by Christopher N. Rowley
- Sybil (2007) – directed by Joseph Sargent – TV movie
- Grey Gardens (2009) – directed by Michael Sucsy – TV movie
- The Vow (2012) – directed by Michael Sucsy
- In Secret (2013) – directed by Charlie Stratton
- Scorsese’s Women (2014) – directed by Steven Klein – short
- The Gambler (2014) – directed by Rupert Wyatt
- Horace and Pete (2016) – directed by Lous C.K. – miniseries
- Wild Oats (2016) – directed by Andy Tennant
- Feud: Bette and Joan (2017) – directed by Ryan Murphy, Gwyneth Horder-Payton, Helen Hunt, Liza Johnson, & Tim Minear – miniseries – also co-producer