Jun. 23rd, 1957
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Frances McDormand's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles2008 - Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
2008 - Burn After Reading
2006 - Friends With Money
2005 - North Country
2005 - Aeon Flux
2003 - Something's Gotta Give
2002 - City By The Sea
2001 - The Man Who Wasn't There
2000 - Wonder Boys
2000 - Almost Famous
1998 - Madeline
1996 - Primal Fear
1996 - Fargo
1996 - Lone Star
1995 - Beyond Rangoon
1993 - Short Cuts
1991 - Barton Fink
1991 - The Butcher's Wife
1990 - Miller's Crossing
1990 - Darkman
1990 - Hidden Agenda
1989 - Mississippi Burning
1987 - Raising Arizona
1986 - Crimewave
1984 - Blood Simple
Guest TV Roles
Amanda Strickland (segment "Need to Know")
Melanie Upfoot (Voiced)
Frances McDormand was born in Chicago in 1957, and was adopted by Canadian minister Vernan McDormand and his wife Noreen, who raised her in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. She earned her B.A. in Theater from Bethany College in 1979 and her MFA from Yale in 1982.
Her career after graduation began onstage, and she has retained her association with the theater throughout her career. She soon obtained prominent roles in movies as well, first starring in Blood Simple. (1984), in which she worked with filmmaker Joel Coen, whom she married that year. She frequently collaborated with Coen and his brother Ethan Coen in their films.
McDormand's skilled and versatile acting has been recognized by both the critics and the Academy and, in addition to many critics' awards, she has been nominated for an Academy award four times - for Mississippi Burning (1988), Fargo (1996) (for which she won the Best Actress award), Almost Famous (2000) and North Country (2005).
Keenly intelligent and possessed of a sharp wit, McDormand is the antithesis of the Hollywood starlet - rather than making every role about Frances McDormand, Frances McDormand dissolves into the characters she plays. Accordingly, she has expressed some reservations about the iconic recognition she has gained from her touching and amusing portrayal of Police Chief Marge Gunderson, the quintessential Minnesota Scandinavian, in Fargo (1996).
McDormand and Coen adopted a son, Pedro, who was born in Paraguay, in 1994. They live in Manhattan.
- Sister-in-law of 'Ethan Coen' (qv) and 'Tricia Cooke (I)' (qv).
- Her performance as "Marge Gunderson" in _Fargo (1996)_ (qv) is ranked #27 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.
- Was jury president of Berlin film festival 2004.
- Was the third and youngest child adopted by her minister father Vernon and his wife, Noreen.
- Has one son, Pedro McDormand Coen, adopted from Paraguay in 1994
- Both of her parents were born in Canada. Her father, Vernon McDormand, was a Disciples of Christ minister and her mother, Noreen McDormand, a housewife.
- Shared an apartment in the Bronx with 'Holly Hunter' (qv) in the early '80s until they moved in with 'Joel Coen' (qv), 'Ethan Coen' (qv) and 'Sam Raimi' (qv) into a house in LA.
- As of 2007, six women have received Best Actress nominations for performances directed by their spouse - Frances is the only one to actually win. The other five are 'Gena Rowlands' (qv) for _A Woman Under the Influence (1974)_ (qv) & _Gloria (1980)_ (qv), 'Joanne Woodward (I)' (qv) for _Rachel, Rachel (1968)_ (qv), 'Julie Andrews (I)' (qv) for _Victor Victoria (1982)_ (qv), 'Elisabeth Bergner' (qv) for _Escape Me Never (1935)_ (qv) and 'Jean Simmons (I)' (qv) for _The Happy Ending (1969)_ (qv). 'Jules Dassin' (qv) also directed his future wife 'Melina Mercouri' (qv) in an Oscar-nominated performance (_Pote tin Kyriaki (1960)_ (qv)), but they weren't married yet at the time of the nomination.