Born: 29 December 1959
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana
Best known as: Aunt Sarah on TV's Six Feet Under
After nearly twenty years of steady work and solid performances, actress Patricia Clarkson gained widespread critical notice in 2003 for her performances in the films The Station Agent and Pieces of April. A graduate of Fordham University and the Yale School of Drama, Clarkson began her acting career on the New York stage. In the mid-1980s she began working in television, and within a couple of years she had earned roles in big-budget Hollywood movies like The Untouchables (1987, starring Kevin Costner) and The Dead Pool (1988, starring Clint Eastwood). During the 1990s she appeared mostly in TV movies and low-budget independent films, earning a reputation as an unappreciated serious actress. After she turned 40, Clarkson's career took off -- she has since won two Emmys for guest appearances on TV's Six Feet Under (in 2002 and 2006), and was nominated for an Oscar for playing Katie Holmes's mother in Pieces of April. Combining the quiet intensity of Joan Allen with the mature sex appeal of Helen Mirren, Clarkson is both sturdy supporting player and sexy leading lady. Her other films include The Green Mile (1999, opposite James Cromwell), Far From Heaven (2002, starring Julianne Moore), Good Night, and Good Luck (2005, starring David Strathairn) and All the King's Men (2006, starring Sean Penn).
Extra credit: Clarkson's mother is Jackie Clarkson, a local politician in their hometown of New Orleans.
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