|Frozen River||2008||Actor||Lila Littlewolf||20087|
|Edge of America||Actor||Shirleen||7|
|Skinwalkers||2002 2001 - 2002||Actor||Nina||20027|
|Big Love||2010 2004 - 2010||Actor||n/a||20107|
|August: Osage County||2013||Actor||Johnna||20137|
|Skins||2002||Actor||Mrs. Blue Cloud||20027|
|Reprised the role of Lila, a young Mohawk mother in Courtney Hunt's feature-length version of "Frozen River"|
|Began performing and writing plays at age 14|
|Cast in the comedy "Expiration Date"|
|Featured in the adaptation of Tony Hillerman's mystery novel "Skinwalkers"|
|Nominated for the 2008 Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female ("Frozen River")|
|Made her feature debut in Chris Eyre's Native American drama, "Skins"|
|Appeared in the ABC TV movie, "DreamKeeper"|
|First portrayed Lila in Courtney Hunt's short film, "Frozen River"|
|Performed with the Native American theater group, Red Eagle Soaring|
|Cast as a member of a Native American high school basketball team in the Showtime movie, "Edge of America"|
|First spotted while performing at the Nippon Kan Theater in Seattle|
Born Misty Anne Upham in Kalispell, MT on Feb. 8, 1982, she was one of five children born to her father, a music teacher, and mother, who were both of Blackfoot heritage. When Upham was eight, she moved with her family to Seattle, WA, where she attended school in a number of different communities. Acting became the one consistent element in her childhood - she began her training with the Native American theater group, Red Eagle Soaring, as well as the Young Shakespeare Workshop and Freehold Theater. By the time Upham was 14, she was performing and writing plays and skits in local theater, as well as touring the Northwest with various groups.
Shortly after graduating high school, she landed her first break while performing at the Nippon Kan Theater in Seattle. A member of the audience videotaped the show, which Upham had also written and directed, and sent it to a casting agent in Los Angeles. She soon received a request for a portfolio; within a month's time, she was signed to an agency and making her screen debut as a domestic abuse victim in Chris Eyre's Native American drama, "Skins" (2002). Television provided her next few roles; she was featured in such Native American-themed projects as Eyre's adaptation of Tony Hillerman's mystery novel "Skinwalkers" and "Edge of America" (Showtime, 2003), which cast her as a member of a Native American high school basketball team whose new coach (James McDaniel) is African-American. Upham also appeared in the Emmy-winning ABC TV movie, "DreamKeeper" (2003).
In 2004, Upham and actress Melissa Leo appeared in a short film by director Courtney Hunt that would eventually provide the inspiration for "Frozen River." The path from this short to completed feature took three years, during which she appeared in the Seattle-lensed comedy "Expiration Date" (2006) and penned several articles for the Native American magazine, Native Vue. In 2007, Hunt raised the funds to launch the project which required Upham to add 40 pounds to her frame and cut off her long signature locks to play Lila, a young Mohawk mother whose desperate need to feed her family forces her to join with Leo in smuggling illegal immigrants across the Canadian border into the United States. The picture received near-universal praise from critics and festival juries, including the Sundance Film Festival, which awarded it the Grand Jury prize. Upham herself was singled out for much of the kudos, and found herself among the 2009 nominees for Best Supporting Actress at the Independent Spirit Awards.
|Penned several articles for the Native American magazine, Native Vue|
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