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Mary McDonnell is a renowned actress for her work in film, television, and theatre. A two-time Oscar-nominee, McDonnell has transformed both period and present-day screen roles into dynamic character portrayals.
McDonnell received her first Oscar nomination, Best Supporting Actress, for her portrayal of Stands With a Fist, a white woman raised by the Sioux, in Kevin Costner's Dances With Wolves. Additionally, she received her first of two Golden Globe nominations for that performance. McDonnell also garnered a Best Actress Academy Award nomination and Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of a paraplegic soap opera star in John Sayles' critically acclaimed Passion Fish.
McDonnell received magnificent reviews for her portrayal of President Laura Roslin in the Sci-Fi channel's hit series Battlestar Galactica. After its third season, several top critics called it the best show on television.
TV Guide called McDonnell's performance Emmy-worthy noting, McDonnell juggles vulnerability and authority as a cancer-stricken president. The highly rated show regularly beat both cable and network programs in key demographics.
McDonnell's extensive list of film credits include: acclaimed art-house cult hit Donnie DarkO' with Jake Gyllenhaal; Nola with Emmy Rossum; the Lawrence Kasdan films Grand Canyon and Mumford; Roland Emmerich's smash Independence Day, with Bill Pullman and Will Smith; William Friedkin's Blue Chips, with Nick Nolte; and 'sneakers, with Robert Redford, Sidney Poitier and Sir Ben Kingsley.
McDonnell garnered an Emmy nomination for her recurring guest role on the television series ER. Some of her other television credits include the CBS series The Closer, High Society, TNT's adaptation of Arthur Miller's The American Clock, the critically acclaimed CBS movie Behind The Mask, and Lifetime's Two Small Voices.
McDonnell began her career in theatre and has starred in a wide variety of both Broadway and Off-Broadway productions. She received an Obie Award for her performance in Emily Mann's 'still Life and has starred in off-Broadway productions such as Sam Shepard's Pulitzer Prize-winning Buried Child, John Patrick Shanley's 'savage in Limbo, John O'Keefe's All Night Long, Michael Cristofer's Black Angel, Kathleen Tolan's A Weekend Near Madison, Paula Cizmar's Death of a Miner and Dennis McIntyre's National Anthem. Her Broadway credits include Tennessee Williams' 'summer and Smoke, the title role in Wendy Wasserstein's Pulitzer Prize-winning The Heidi Chronicles and Emily Mann's Execution of Justice.