Born: 23 June 1957
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois
Best known as: The star of the movie Fargo
A versatile character actor since the early 1980s, Frances McDormand is best known as deadpan Sheriff Marge Gunderson in the Coen brothers film Fargo (1996, with Steve Buscemi). The role won her an Oscar as the year's best actress. McDormand made her screen debut in the Coens's first feature, Blood Simple (1984), and married Joel Coen in 1984. She has appeared in several Coen brothers movies, including Raising Arizona (1987, with Nicolas Cage), Miller's Crossing (1990) and The Man Who Wasn't There (2001, with Billy Bob Thornton). McDormand has been a critical favorite over the years, and has been nominated twice for best supporting actress Oscars, for Mississippi Burning (1988, with Willem Dafoe) and Almost Famous (2000, with Zooey Deschanel). She's also been nominated for an Emmy (1996's Hidden in America) and a Tony (1988's A Streetcar Named Desire). Her other films include Sam Raimi's Darkman (1990), Wonder Boys (2000, with Tobey Maguire), Something's Gotta Give (2003, with Diane Keaton), Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (2008, with Amy Adams) and the Coen brothers comedy Burn After Reading (2008, starring Brad Pitt).
In 1985 she had a small, recurring role in the TV cop drama Hill Street Blues… McDormand was a college roommate of Holly Hunter at the Yale School of Drama… Some sources list her birth year as 1958.
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