Aug. 14th, 1959
La Jolla, California, USA
Marcia Gay Harden's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles2014 - Magic in the Moonlight
2009 - Whip It
2009 - The Maiden Heist
2008 - Christmas Cottage
2007 - The Invisible
2007 - Into the Wild
2006 - American Dreamz
2005 - American Gun
2005 - Bad News Bears
2004 - Welcome to Mooseport
2003 - Mystic River
2003 - Mona Lisa Smile
2000 - Space Cowboys
2000 - Pollock
1998 - Desperate Measures
1998 - Meet Joe Black
1997 - Flubber
1996 - The Spitfire Grill
1996 - The First Wives Club
1996 - Spy Hard
1992 - Used People
1984 - Footloose
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Marcia Gay Harden was born on August 14, 1959, in La Jolla, California, the third of five children. Her father was in the military, and the family relocated often -- she first became interested in the theater when the family was living in Greece, and she had attended plays in Athens. Harden began her college education at American universities in Europe and returned to the US to complete her studies at the University of Texas in 1983; went on to earn an MFA at NYU, and, thereafter, embarked on her acting career.
Although she had acted in a movie as early as 1986, in the little-known The Imagemaker (1986), her first mainstream role, coming alongside some TV movie work, was as a sultry femme fatale in the Coen Brothers' cleverly offbeat homage to the gangster movie, Miller's Crossing (1990). Harden received good reviews for her sultry performance as Verna, a seductive, trouble-making moll. Harden thereafter worked steadily in supporting roles, including the portrayal of Ava Gardner in Sinatra (1992) (TV), a television biopic about Frank Sinatra. Harden also worked in the theater and, in 1993, was part of the Broadway cast of Tony Kushner's "Angels in America", playing Harper, the alienated wife of a closeted gay man. It was a demanding dramatic role, and Harden won acclaim for her work, including a Tony award nomination. She returned to movie making in the mid-1990s, continuing to turn in superb supporting performances in films and television.
Harden's road to success was a long one, her work generally being overlooked because the productions were either critically panned or ignored by audiences. However, it was just a matter of time before Harden got a chance to truly show her quality on-screen, and that time came in 2000, with Ed Harris (I)'s Pollock (2000), in which she played Lee Krasner, artist and long-suffering wife of Jackson Pollock. Harden's performance was deeply moving and unforgettable and earned her the Oscar and New York Film Critic's Circle awards for best supporting actress. Continuing to work prolifically in features and television, she earned another Oscar nomination in 2003 for her supporting role in Clint Eastwood's Mystic River (2003), Harden having earlier worked with Eastwood in 2000's Space Cowboys (2000).
Harden's work often makes otherwise mediocre productions worth watching, fully inhabiting any character she portrays. She married Thaddaeus Scheel, with whom she worked on The Spitfire Grill (1996), in 1996 and the couple have three children, a daughter Eulala Scheel and twins Julitta and Hudson.
- Inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame in March 2005 in Austin, Texas.
- Since the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) started giving out competitive awards, in 1994, she is the only performer to win an Academy Award without being nominated for the same performance at the SAG.
- She and her husband, 'Thaddaeus Scheel' (qv), have three children: a daughter, 'Eulala Scheel' (qv), born in September 1998, and twins, a boy named Hudson Harden Scheel and a girl named Julitta Dee Harden Scheel, born on 22 April 2004 in New York.
- (1990) Listed as one of twelve "Promising New Actors of 1990" in John Willis' Screen World, Vol. 42.
- MFA in Acting - New York University, Tisch School of the Arts (1988).
- Was nominated for Broadway's 1993 Tony Award as Best Actress (Featured Role - Play) for 'Tony Kushner' (qv)'s "Angels in America: Millennium Approaches."
- Graduated from the University of Texas with a B.A. in theater (1980) and earned an MFA from the graduate theater program at New York University.
- She was awarded the 2009 Tony Award for Actress in a Leading Role in a Play for "God of Carnage" on Broadway in New York City.