In a career spanning more than 30 years and multiple Oscar and Golden Globe wins, Jessica Lange proved worthy of her status as one of the most respected American actresses of her generation. Regarded as a bit of a joke at first, following her lightweight performance in the comically bad remake of "King Kong" (1976), Lange went on to surprise her critics with the depth of her resources throughout the following decade as an A-list actress. Showcasing a docile loveliness in the comedy "Tootsie" (1982) and a fierce determination in Costa-Gavras' "Music Box" (1989), Lange was frequently entrusted with portrayals of iconic American women, including hardscrabble heartland matriarchs, wilting Southern belles, and real life women of complexity - most notably with her acclaimed portrayals of troubled 1930s actress Frances Farmer in "Frances" (1982) and brassy country singer Patsy Cline in "Sweet Dreams" (1985). In addition to her engaging onscreen appeal and luminous beauty, Lange wisely architected her own career without compromise, splitting her time between stage and screen. She would later transition to worthy independent dramas like Jane Anderson's "Normal" (2003) and HBO's "Grey Gardens" (2009) when film offers for over-50 female leads all but vanished, even for actresses with Lange's legacy of accomplishments.