Elizabeth McGovern

Actor
A stage-trained actress with a vulnerable, vibrant screen presence, Elizabeth McGovern made her film debut as the sympathetic girlfriend to Timothy Hutton in the Oscar-winning "Ordinary People" (1980), and followed it ... Read more »
Born: 07/17/1961 in Evanston, Illinois, USA

Filmography

Actor (51)

Downton Abbey 2010 - 2016 (TV Show)

Actor

Unexpected 2015 (Movie)

(Actor)

Inconceivable 2014 (Movie)

Tallulah 'Tutu' Williams (Actor)

Waska 2014 (Movie)

(Actor)

Cheerful Weather For The Wedding 2012 (Movie)

Mrs. Thatcham (Actor)

Angels Crest 2011 (Movie)

Jane (Actor)

Clash of the Titans 2010 (Movie)

Marmara (Actor)

Kick-Ass 2010 (Movie)

Mrs Lizewski (Actor)

A Room With a View 2007 - 2008 (TV Show)

Actor

Three Moons Over Milford 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)

Actor

The Brotherhood of Poland, New Hampshire 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

Buffalo Soldiers 2003 (Movie)

Mrs Berman (Actor)

The Fourth Angel 2001 (Movie)

(Actor)

Manila 2000 (Movie)

Elisabeth (Actor)

The House of Mirth 2000 (Movie)

Carry Fisher (Actor)

The Scarlet Pimpernel and the Kidnapped King 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Twice Upon A Yesterday 1999 (Movie)

Diane (Actor)

The Misadventures of Margaret 1997 (Movie)

Till Turner (Actor)

The Wings of the Dove 1997 (Movie)

Susan (Actor)

Horror in the Night 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

If Not For You 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Wings of Courage 1995 (Movie)

Noelle Guillaumet (Actor)

In Search of Oz 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Voice

The Changeling 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

The Favor 1994 (Movie)

Emily (Actor)

King of the Hill 1993 (Movie)

Lydia (Actor)

Me & Veronica 1993 (Movie)

Fanny (Actor)

Tales From Hollywood 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Ashenden 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

A Shock to the System 1990 (Movie)

Stella Anderson (Actor)

The Handmaid's Tale 1990 (Movie)

Moira (Actor)

Tune in Tomorrow... 1990 (Movie)

Elena Quince (Actor)

Johnny Handsome 1989 (Movie)

Donna McCarty (Actor)

Dear America: Letters Homes From Vietnam 1988 (Movie)

Narration (Narrator)

She's Having A Baby 1988 (Movie)

Kristy Briggs (Actor)

The Bedroom Window 1987 (Movie)

Denise (Actor)

Native Son 1986 (Movie)

Mary Dalton (Actor)

Once Upon A Time In America 1984 (Movie)

Deborah (Actor)

Racing With the Moon 1984 (Movie)

Caddie Winger (Actor)

Lovesick 1983 (Movie)

Chloe Allan (Actor)

Ragtime 1981 (Movie)

Evelyn Nesbit (Actor)

Ordinary People 1980 (Movie)

Jeannine Pratt (Actor)

Broken Glass (TV Show)

Actor

Broken Trust (TV Show)

Actor

Clover (TV Show)

Actor

Scarlet Pimpernel (TV Show)

Actor

The Flamingo Rising (TV Show)

Actor

The Summer of Ben Tyler (TV Show)

Actor

Thursday the 12th (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

A stage-trained actress with a vulnerable, vibrant screen presence, Elizabeth McGovern made her film debut as the sympathetic girlfriend to Timothy Hutton in the Oscar-winning "Ordinary People" (1980), and followed it up with an Oscar- and Golden Globe-nominated turn as chorus girl Evelyn Nesbit in Milos Forman's "Ragtime" (1981). She was memorably paired with Robert De Niro in "Once Upon a Time in America" (1984) and Kevin Bacon in "She's Having a Baby," (1988), as well as impressed as a lesbian rebel in the dystopia-set "The Handmaid's Tale" (1990) and in the unusual romantic comedy "The Favor" (1994). She moved to Great Britain to marry English producer-director Simon Curtis in 1992 but returned to the States for work, appearing in Jean-Jacques Annaud's "Wings of Courage" (1995), various theatrical productions, and starring with Hank Azaria on her own sitcom, "If Not for You" (CBS, 1995). The actress took supporting roles in a string of highly acclaimed, literary-inspired projects, including the Oscar-nominated "The Wings of the Dove" (1997) and "The House of Mirth" (2000). She landed big screen roles as mothers to the heroes of "Kick-Ass" (2010) and "Clash of the Titans" (2010) but dazzled critics on the small screen with her masterful portrayal of the Countess of Grantham on the international smash "Dowtown Abbey" (ITV, 2010). A fascinating talent, Elizabeth McGovern brought a unique intelligence and beauty to her roles that only deepened and improved with age.

Relationships

Simon Curtis Director

Husband
Married Dec. 12, 1992

Grace Curtis

Daughter
Born January 1998; father, Simon Curtis

Matilda Curtis

Daughter
Born July 1993; father, Simon Curtis

Timothy Hutton Actor

Companion
Met while co-starring in "Ordinary People" (1980) No longer together

Bill McGovern

Father

Katie McGovern

Mother

William McGovern

Brother

Katherine McGovern

Sister
Penned a novel about a writer with an actress sister

Sean Penn Actor

Companion
Met on set of "Racing With the Moon" (1984) Engaged c. 1983 Split 1984

Rob Reiner Actor

Companion
Together in the late 1980s No longer together

EDUCATION

Oakwood High School

Los Angeles , California 1979

American Conservatory Theatre

San Francisco , California

The Juilliard School

New York , New York
Left school to appear in the film, "Ordinary People" (1980)

Milestones

2012

Co-starred with Felicity Jones in "Cheerful Weather for the Wedding"

2011

Nominated for the 2011 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie

2010

Had a small role in the superhero comedy "Kick-Ass"

2010

Played the leading role of Cora, Countess of Grantham on the British TV series "Downton Abbey" (PBS)

2007

Featured in the BBC2 television drama "Daphne"

2007

Appeared in the three-part BBC comedy series "Freezing"; written by James Wood and directed and co-produced by her husband, Simon Curtis

2006

Starred in the ABC Family channel's "Three Moons Over Milford"

2003

Co-starred in the feature "Buffalo Soldiers"

2003

Had a featured role in the short-lived CBS series, "The Brotherhood of Poland, New Hampshire"

2001

Performed in "The Vagina Monologues" in London

2001

Acted in the London stage production of "Dinner With Friends"

2000

Had featured role in the big screen adaptation of "The House of Mirth"

1999

Appeared in the London stage production of "Three Days of Rain," alongside Colin Firth and David Morrissey

1999

Played Marguerite St. Just in the BBC/A&E adaptation of "The Scarlet Pimpernel"

1997

Had featured role in "The Wings of the Dove"

1995

Cast as regular in the short-lived CBS sitcom, "If Not for You"

1994

Directed by husband, Simon Curtis in the BBC production of "The Changeling"

1990

Made her TV debut in "The Man in the Brooks Brothers Suit," a segment of HBO's "Women & Men: Stories of Seduction"

1989

Played Mickey Rourke's girlfriend in "Johnny Handsome"

1988

Played Kevin Bacon's wife in John Hughes' "She's Having a Baby"

1987

Starred in the Curtis Hanson thriller, "The Bedroom Window"

1984

Co-starred with Sean Penn and Nicolas Cage in "Racing with the Moon"

1984

Starred as Robert De Niro's romantic interest in Sergio Leone's gangster epic, "Once Upon a Time in America"

1981

Earned an Academy Award nomination for her role as Evelyn Nesbit in the film, "Ragtime"

1981

Made stage debut in "To Be Young, Gifted and Black"

1980

Made her film debut playing the girlfriend of troubled teenager, Conrad (Timothy Hutton) in "Ordinary People"

Bonus Trivia

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"In a way, I'm burdened because my parents are both people who didn't construct their values in accordance with society's definition of success. I never felt any pressure to be a success in the eyes of the world. It drives me crazy sometimes because I think I might be a lot farther, richer more famous, if I had – The things – I value. They don't have anything to do with making the most money or being on the cover of a magazine. They have to do with integrity and treating other people with respect – other human beings, I don't care who they are. I believe in the basic respect for human life, and that to me is more important than anything." – McGovern quoted in The Chicago Tribune Magazine, March 18, 1990

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