Name at birth: Mary Elizabeth Spacek
Easily recognized by her Texas drawl and strawberry blonde hair, Sissy Spacek drew critical praise and a certain cult status for her early movies Badlands (1973) and Carrie (1976), and she won an Oscar for her starring role as country singer Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner's Daughter (1980, with Tommy Lee Jones). During the '80s she was one of Hollywood's leading ladies, appearing in films such as Missing (1982, with Jack Lemmon), The River (1984, co-starring Mel Gibson) and Crimes of the Heart (1986). During the '90s she spent more time raising a family than making movies, but still made appearances in dramas such as Affliction (1998, starring Nick Nolte) and David Lynch's The Straight Story (1998). She was nominated for an Oscar in 2002 (her sixth nomination) for her role in In The Bedroom (2001, opposite Tom Wilkinson). Her other films include Tuck Everlasting (2002), The Ring 2 (2005, starring Naomi Watts), Get Low (2009) and The Help (2011, starring Emma Stone).
Spacek is a cousin of actor Rip Torn… Her daughter is actress Schuyler Fisk, whose films include Snow Day (2000) and Orange County (2002).