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Ellen Burstyn

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Born in Detroit, Ellen worked a number of jobs before she became an actress. At 14, she was a short-order cook at a lunch counter. After dropping out of high school, she went to Texas to model and then to New York as a showgirl on the Jackie Gleason Television show. From there, it was Montreal as a nightclub dancer and then Broadway with her debut in "Fair Game (1957)". By 1963, she would appear on Television Series "The Doctors", but she would gain notice for her role in 'Goodbye Charlie (1964)'. Ellen then took time off to study acting with 'Lee Strasberg' (qv) at the Actors Studio. Ellen's big break came when she was cast as the female lead in _Last Picture Show, The (1971)_ (qv). For this role, she would receive nominations for the Golden Globe and Academy Award. Next, she would co-star with Nicholson in _King of Marvin Gardens, The (1972)_ (qv) giving a chilling performance. Then came 'The Exorcist (1973)'. Ellen was again nominated for the Golden Globe and Academy Award. So what does she do next year. In 1974, she stars in 'Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore', playing a waitress, which is a job that she well knows. For this performance, she wins the Oscar as Best Actress as well as the British award for the same category. For the Golden Globe, she would be nominated, but lose to 'Marsha Mason' (qv). Ellen would make history by winning a Tony Award for the Broadway play "Same Time, Next Year". She would be the only actress to win both awards in the same year. She would win praise and award nominations for the movie version of 'Same Time, Next Year (1978)' and 'Resurrection (1980)'. Resurrection was a another great film in which she played awoman with the power to heal. Even with all these sucessful movies and all the awards, Ellen found that she could barely get a job in the 80's. A succession of Television movies resulting in two Emmy nominations kept Ellen going as did the Television Series "The Ellen Burstyn Show (1986)". The Television movies would continue through the 90's. In the 90's, Ellen would be cast in the supporting role in such movies as _Cemetery Club, The (1993)_ (qv), 'How to Make an American Quilt (1995)' and _Baby-Sitters Club, The (1995)_ (qv) and _Spitfire Grill, The (1996)_ (qv). In addition to her acting, Burstyn was the first woman president of Actor's Equity, the actors' union, from 1982 to 1985.
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