Mary Steenburgen


Mary Nell Steenburgen (born February 8, 1953) is an American actress, singer, and songwriter. She studied at New York’s Neighborhood Playhouse in the 1970s, her first two films were Goin’ South (1978), with Jack Nicholson (who also directed), Christopher Lloyd, John Belushi, Richard Bradford, Veronica Cartwright, Danny DeVito and Ed Begley Jr.; and Nicolas Meyer’s Time After Time (1979), with Malcolm McDowell (whom he was married to from 1980 to 1990) and David Warner.

Steenburgen won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture for playing the role of Lynda Dummar in Jonathan Demme‘s Melvin and Howard (1980), with Paul Le Mat, Pamela Reed, Michael J. Pollard, Dabney Coleman, Charles Napier, and Jason Robards. She also received a Golden Globe nomination for Miloš Forman‘s Ragtime (1981), with Howard E. Rollins, Jr., James Cagney, Brad Dourif, Elizabeth McGovern, Moses Gunn, James Olson, Kenneth McMillan, Pat O’Brien, Mandy Patinkin, Donald O’Connor, Fran Drescher, Richard Griffiths, Norman Mailer, Robert Joy, Jeff Daniels, and Debbie Allen; a BAFTA TV Award nomination for the miniseries Tender Is the Night (1985), with Peter Strauss and Sean Young; and an Emmy Award nomination for the TV film The Attic: The Hiding of Anne Frank (1988), with Paul Scofield, Lisa Jacobs, Huub Stapel, and Tom Wilkinson.

Other films in the 1980s include A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy (1982), with Woody Allen (who also directed), Mia Farrow, Julie Hagerty, Tony Roberts, and Jose Ferrer; Martin Ritt’s Cross Creek (1983), with Rip Torn, Peter Coyote, Alfre Woodard, and Dana Hill; Arthur Hiller’s Romantic Comedy (1983), with Dudley Moore; One Magic Christmas (1985), with Harry Dean Stanton; Arthur Penn‘s Dead of Winter (1987), with Roddy McDowall, Jan Rubes, and William Russ; Lindsay Anderson’s The Whales of August (1987), with Bette Davis, Lillian Gish, Vincent Price, Ann Sothern, and Harry Carey Jr.; End of the Line (1987), with Wilford Brimley, Levon Helm, Kevin Bacon, Holly Hunter, and Bob Balaban; Miss Firecracker (1989), with Hunter, Tim Robbins, Alfre Woodard, and Scott Glenn; and Ron Howard‘s Parenthood (1989), with Steve Martin, Tom Hulce, Rick Moranis, Martha Plimpton, Joaquin Phoenix, Keanu Reeves, Robards, and Dianne Wiest.

Films in the early 1990s include Robert Zemeckis‘s Back to the Future Part III (1990), with Michael J. Fox, Lloyd, Thomas F. Wilson, and Lea Thompson; The Butcher’s Wife (1991), with Demi Moore, Jeff Daniels, George Dzundza, Frances McDormand, ant Margaret Colin; Lasse Hallström’s What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993), with Johnny Depp, Juliette Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Darlene Cates, John C. Reilly, and Crispin Grover; Philadelphia (1993), with Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Robards, Antonio Banderas, and Joanne Woodward; Pontiac Moon (1994), with Ted Danson (whom she later married), Eric Schweig, and Cathy Moriarty; The Grass Harp (1995), with Piper Laurie, Sissy Spacek, Walter Matthau, Jack Lemmon, Edward Furlong, and Nell Carter; Powder (1995), with Sean Patrick Flanery, Jeff Goldblum, Bradford Tatum, and Lance Henriksen; and Oliver Stone‘s Nixon (1995), with Anthony Hopkins, Joan Allen, Powers Boothe, Ed Harris, Bob Hoskins, E.G. Marshall, David Paymer, David Hyde Pierce, Paul Sorvino, J.T. Walsh, and James Woods.

Films in the early 2000s include Nobody’s Baby (2001), with Sleet Ulrich, Gary Oldman, and Radha Mitchell; Life as a House (2001), with Kevin Kline, Kristen Scott Thomas, Hayden Christensen, and Jenna Malone; I Am Sam (2001), with Sean Penn, Dakota Fanning, Michelle Pfeiffer, Dianne Wiest, Loretta Devine, Richard Schiff, and Laura Dern; John Sayles‘s Sunshine State (2002), with Angela Bassett, Edie Falco, Jane Alexander, Alan King, Timothy Hutton, and Bill Cobbs; Wish You Were Dead (2002), with Cary Elwes, Elaine Hendrix, snd Lloyd; Hope Springs (2003), with Colin Firth, Heather Graham, and Minnie Driver; Casa de los Babys (2003), with Marcia Gay Harden, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Daryl Hannah, Susan Lynch, Lili Taylor, Rita Moreno; Jon Favreau’s Elf (2003), with Will Ferrell, James Caan, Zooey Deschanel, Daniel Tay, Bob Newhart, and Ed Asner; and Marilyn Hotchkiss’ Ballroom Dancing & Charm School (2005), with Robert Carlyle, Marisa Tomei, Sean Astin, Donnie Wahlberg, Adam Arkin, Elden Henson, DeVito, and John Goodman.

Films in the mid to late 2000s include The Dead Girl (2006), with Brittany Murphy, Toni Collette, Rose Byrne, Mary Beth Hurt, Kerry Washington, James Franco, Giovanni Ribisi, Josh Brolin, and Piper Laurie; Harden; a small role in David Lynch’s Inland Empire (2006), with Dern, Justin Theroux, Harry Dean Stanton, and Grace Zabriskie, as well as Jeremy Irons, Karolina Gruszka, Peter J. Lucas, Krzysztof Majchrzak, and Julia Ormond; Evils and Annabelle (2007), with Blake Lively, Max Minghella, and Joe Mantegna; Nobel Son (2007), with Alan Rickman, Bryan Greenberg, Shawn Hatosy, Bill Pullman, Eliza Dushku, and DeVito; Neil Jordan’s The Brave One (2007), with Jodie Foster, Terrence Howard, Naveen Andrews, Nicky Katt, Zoë Kravitz, and Luis Da Silva; Honeydripper (2007), with Danny Glover, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Yaya DaCosta, Charles S. Dutton, Stacy Keach, and Kel Mitchell.

More films in the late 2000s include Adam McKay’s Step Brothers (2008), Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Richard Jenkins, Adam Scott, and Kathryn Hahn; Four Christmases (2008), with Vince Vaughn, Reese Witherspoon, Robert Duvall, Favreau, Dwight Yoakam, Tim McGraw, Kristin Chenoweth, Jon Voight, and Spacek; In the Electric Mist (2009), with Tommy Lee Jones, Goodman, Peter Sarsgaard, Kelly Macdonald, Ned Beatty, and Pruitt Taylor Vince; The Proposal (2009), with Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Malin Åkerman, Craig T. Nelson, and Betty White; The Open Road (2009), with Jeff Bridges, Justin Timberlake, Kate Mara, and Harry Dean Stanton; and Did You Hear About the Morgans? (2009), with Hugh Grant, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sam Elliott, Elisabeth Moss, and Wilford Brimley.

Films in the 2010s include Dirty Girl (2010), with Juno Temple, Milla Jovovich, and William H. Macy; Tate Taylor’s The Help (2011), with Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, Octavia Spencer, Jessica Chastain, and Allison Janney; Last Vegas (2013), with Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, and Kline; Brahmin Blues (2014), with Sendhil Ramamurthy, Roshan Seth, Justin Bartha and Michael Lerner; Song One (2014), with Anne Hathaway, Johnny Flynn, and Ben Rosenfield; and A Walk in the Woods (2015), with Robert Redford, Nick Nolte, Emma Thompson, Kristen Schaal, and Nick Offerman.

Films in the late 2010s include The Book of Love (2016), with Maisie Williams, Jessica Biel, Jason Sudeikis, Orlando Jones, and Paul Reiser; Dean (2016), with Demetri Martin (who also directed), Kline, Gillian Jacobs, Rory Scovel, Christine Woods, Ginger Gonzaga, Peter Scolari, Briga Heelan, and Reid Scott; Katie Says Goodbye (2016), with Olivia Cooke, Mireille Enos, Christopher Abbott, Jim Belushi, Keir Gilchrist and Chris Lowell; The Discovery (2017), with Rooney Mara, Jason Segel, Robert Redford, Jesse Plemons, Riley Keough, and Ron Canada; I Do… Until I Don’t (2017), with Lake Bell (who also directed), Ed Helms, Reiser, Amber Heard, Dolly Wells, and Wyatt Cenac; Book Club (2018), with Diane Keaton, Peter Fonda, Candice Bergen, Andy García, Don Johnson, Nelson, Richard Dreyfuss, and Wallace Shawn; and Antiquities (2018), with Andrew J. West, Michaela Watkins, Michael Gladis, and Ashley Greene.

Films in the 2020s include Clea DuVal’s Happiest Season (2020); with Kristen Stewart, Mackenzie Davis, Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza, Dan Levy, Mary Holland, and Victor Garber; Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley (2021), with Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Jenkins, Rooney Mara, Ron Perlman, David Strathairn, Holt McCallany, Clifton Collins Jr., Jim Beaver, & Tim Blake Nelson; Book Club 2: The Next Chapter (2023), with much of the returning cast.

Each review will be linked to the title below.

(*seen originally in theaters)

(**seen rereleased in theaters)

  • Goin’ South (1978) – directed by Jack Nicholson
  • Time After Time (1979) – directed by Nicholas Meyer
  • Melvin and Howard (1980) – directed by Jonathan Demme
  • Ragtime (1981) – directed by Miloš Forman
  • A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy (1982) – directed by Woody Allen
  • Cross Creek (1983) – directed by Martin Ritt
  • Romantic Comedy (1983) – directed by Arthur Hiller
  • Tender is the Night (1985) – directed by Robert Knights – miniseries
  • One Magic Christmas (1985) – directed by Phillip Borsos
  • Dead of Winter (1987) – directed by Arthur Penn
  • The Whales of August (1987) – directed by Lindsay Anderson
  • End of the Line (1987) – directed by Jay Russell
  • The Attic: The Hiding of Anne Frank (1988) – directed by John Erman – TV movie
  • Miss Firecracker (1989) – directed by Thomas Schlamme
  • Parenthood (1989) – directed by Ron Howard
  • Back to the Future Part III (1990)** – directed by Robert Zemeckis
  • The Long Walk Home (1990) – directed by Richard Pearce
  • The Butcher’s Wife (1991) – directed by Terry Hughes
  • What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993) – directed by Lasse Hallström
  • Philadelphia (1993) – directed by Jonathan Demme
  • Clifford (1994) – directed by Paul Flaherty
  • It Runs in the Family (1994) – directed by Bob Clark
  • The Gift (1994) – directed by Laura Dern – TV short
  • Pontiac Moon (1994) – directed by Peter Medak
  • My Family (1995) – directed by Gregory Nava
  • The Grass Harp (1995) – directed by Charles Matthau
  • Powder (1995) – directed by Victor Salva
  • Nixon (1995) – directed by Oliver Stone
  • Gulliver’s Travels (1996) – directed by Charles Sturridge – miniseries
  • About Sarah (1998) – directed by Susan Rohrer – TV movie
  • Noah’s Ark (1999) – directed by John Irvin – miniseries
  • Picnic (2000) – directed by Ivan Passer – TV movie
  • Nobody’s Baby (2001) – directed by David Seltzer
  • The Trumpet of the Swan (2001) – directed by Richard Rich & Terry L. Noss
  • Life as a House (2001) – directed by Irwin Winkler
  • I Am Sam (2001) – directed by Jessie Nelson
  • Wish You Were Dead (2002) – directed by Valerie McCaffrey
  • Living with the Dead (2002) – directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal – TV movie
  • Sunshine State (2002) – directed by John Sayles
  • Miss Pilgrim Goes to Hollywood (2002) – directed by Nick Rogers
  • Hope Springs (2003) – directed by Mark Herman
  • Casa de los Babys (2003) – directed by John Sayles
  • Elf (2003)* – directed by Jon Favreau
  • Capital City (2004) – directed by Spenser Hill – TV movie
  • It Must Be Love (2004) – directed by Steven Schachter – TV movie
  • Marilyn Hotchkiss’ Ballroom Dancing and Charm School (2005) – directed by Randall Miller
  • Inland Empire (2006) – directed by David Lynch
  • The Dead Girl (2006) – directed by Karen Moncrieff
  • Elvis and Anabelle (2007) – directed by Will Geiger
  • Nobel Son (2007) – directed by Randall Miller
  • Numb (2007) – directed by Harris Goldberg
  • The Brave One (2007) – directed by Neil Jordan
  • Honeydripper (2007) – directed by John Sayles
  • Reinventing the Wheelers (2007) – directed by Lawrence Trilling – TV movie
  • Step Brothers (2008) – directed by Adam McKay
  • Four Christmases (2008) – directed by Seth Gordon
  • American Outrage (2009) – directed by Beth & George Gage – documentary – narrator
  • In the Electric Mist (2009) – directed by Bertrand Tavernier
  • The Proposal (2009)* – directed by Anne Fletcher
  • The Open Road (2009) – directed by Michael Meredith
  • Did You Hear About the Morgans? (2009) – directed by Marc Lawrence
  • Dirty Girl (2010) – directed by Abe Sylvia
  • Southern Discomfort (2010) – directed by Andy Cadiff – TV movie
  • Keepin’ It Real Estate (2011) – directed by Felipe Torres Urso – short
  • The Help (2011) – directed by Tate Taylor
  • Outlaw Cowboy (2012) – directed by Adam Arkin & Michael Dinner – TV movie
  • Brahmin Bulls (2013) – directed by Mahesh Pailoor
  • Last Vegas (2013) – directed by Jon Turteltaub
  • The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013) – directed by Isao Takahata – English dub
  • Song One (2014) – directed by Kate Barker-Froyland
  • The One I Love (2014) – directed by Charlie McDowell
  • A Walk in the Woods (2015) – directed by Ken Kwapis
  • 7 Days in Hell (2015) – directed by Jake Szymanski – TV movie
  • Jim Henson’s Turkey Hollow (2015) – directed by Kirk R. Thatcher – TV movie
  • The Book of Love (2016) – directed by Bill Purple
  • Dean (2016) – directed by Demetri Martin
  • Katie Says Goodbye (2016) – directed by Wayne Roberts
  • The Discovery (2017) – directed by Charlie McDowell
  • I Do… Until I Don’t (2017) – directed by Lake Bell
  • Book Club (2018) – directed by Bill Holderman
  • Antiquities (2018) – directed by Daniel Campbell
  • Flannery (2019) – directed by Elizabeth Coffman & Mark Bosco – documentary – narrator
  • Happiest Season (2020) – directed by Clea DuVall
  • Nightmare Alley (2021)* – directed by Guillermo del Toro
  • Book Club: The Next Chapter (2023) – directed by Bill Holderman