Apr. 23rd, 1946
Washington, District of Columbia, USA
Blair Brown's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
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Bonnie Blair Brown (born April 23, 1947) is an American theater, film, and television actress. She has had a number of high profile roles, including a Tony Award winning turn in the play Copenhagen on Broadway, as well as a run as the title character in the television comedy-drama The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd, which ran from 1987 to 1991.
Brown pursued secondary education at the National Theatre School of Canada. She gained notice as a participating actor at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, and spent several years honing her work on the stage.
Born in Washington, D.C., the daughter of Elizabeth Ann (née Blair), a teacher, and Milton Henry Brown, a U.S. intelligence agent. In addition to her relationship with Hare, Brown had a relationship with Canadian celebutante Jonathon Booth and noted actor 'Richard Jordan'. The two met during the filming of the miniseries Captain and the Kings in 1976. The couple lived together from 1976 to 1985, and they had one son, Robert, (born 1983).
Brown's first feature film role was in the 1973 film The Paper Chase; her first major starring role was in The Choirboys (1977). Among her other film credits were Altered States (opposite William Hurt), One Trick Pony, the film Stealing Home (opposite Mark Harmon), A Flash Of Green, and arguably her highest profile film role to date, the romantic lead opposite John Belushi in Continental Divide. Brown's most recent appearance in a feature film as a performer was the 2006 film The Sentinel (2006 film).
Brown appeared in several television movies and miniseries, primarily during the 1980s. Among the appearances was a high-profile role as Jacqueline Kennedy in the 1983 TV miniseries Kennedy. She also appeared in several other programs about the Kennedys, including the 1996 miniseries A Season in Purgatory, which was a thinly veiled portrait of the family, as well as an appearance as Anna Roosevelt in a telefilm about Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt.
Brown appeared in the primetime series The Rockford Files, Kojak, Frasier, Smallville, Touched by an Angel, ER, and Ed, among others.
Brown is perhaps best known for her five-year run (1987-1991) on the Emmy Award-winning comedy-drama The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd. The show spent two years on NBC, then moved to the Lifetime cable channel for the remainder of its run. Brown played the title role, and she, and the show, earned a small but dedicated following.
In 2008 Brown was cast as Nina Sharp in Fringe, which premiered on September 9, 2008 on Fox.
Brown has been involved with theater since the launch of her career. Among her earlier roles was a run as Lucy Brown in the 1976 production of Brecht & Weill's The Threepenny Opera, produced by Joe Papp and directed by Richard Foreman. She left the production for film work, but after being away from the production for eight months, Ellen Greene, who was playing the part of Jenny, fell ill. Brown astounded the stage manager of the production by coming in and, with one hour of rehearsal, put on a "brilliant" performance as Jenny.
Brown's first major appearance on the Broadway stage came in 1989, in the play "Secret Rapture", written by David Hare; she and Hare were a couple at the time.
Once "Molly Dodd" concluded, Brown became a prolific Broadway actress, appearing in a number of roles. Among them were roles in Tom Stoppard's Arcadia at Lincoln Center, two separate runs as Frau Schneider in the revival of Cabaret, and The Comedy of Errors for the New York Shakespeare Festival. She won a Tony Award in 2000 for her appearance in the play Copenhagen. Brown also appeared in productions of the Wendy Wasserstein play Heidi Chronicles, A Little Night Music, and The Threepenny Opera.
Most recently, Brown played the lead role in The Clean House, by playwright Sarah Ruhl. She has also expressed an interest in directing new plays, and will direct the New York premiere of Sarah Treem's play A Feminine Ending in fall 2007.
In the 1990s, Brown expanded her career from performance into voiceover work. Brown has narrated a number of books, as well as being a narrator in films and documentaries.
She has been the narrator for a number of audiobooks, including John Grisham's The Client, Lois Lowry's Number the Stars, Stephen King's Rose Madder, and, more recently, Kevin Henkes' Olive's Ocean and Sue Miller's 2005 novel Lost in the Forest.
Brown has narrated numerous documentaries, especially for PBS's "American Experience" series. Most recently she has narrated the 2007 PBS series "The Mysterious Human Heart". Other documentary narrations include the scientific series "The Secret Life of the Brain", the documentary on Aimee Semple McPherson, aired in April 2007, and a 2006 PBS documentary about Marie Antoinette.
- Lived with 'Richard Jordan (I)' (qv) from 1976-85. They have 1 son, Robert, born in 1983.
- Was partnered with 'David Hare (I)' (qv) between his two marriages.
- Esquire Magazine labeled her 'The Thinking Man's Bombshell.'
- (1970) Performed at Canada's Stratford Festival, and took over the roles of Lady Teazle in "School for Scandal" and Jessica in "Merchant of Venice" during the pre-season Spring tour.
- Won Broadway's 2000 Tony Award as Best Actress (Featured Role - Play) for "Copenhagen."
- (1969) Graduated from Canada's National Theatre School