Judy Davis

Actor, Band singer, Orange juice truck driver
If a woman with an opinion in Hollywood is considered hazardous then Australian Judy Davis could easily qualify as one dangerous female. The petite, pale redhead, whose slash of red or brown lipstick has almost become ... Read more »
Born: 04/22/1955 in Australia

Filmography

Actor (51)

The Dressmaker 2015 (Movie)

Molly Dunnage (Actor)

The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet 2015 (Movie)

G.H. Jibsen (Actor)

Dark Blood 2012 (Movie)

Buffy (Actor)

The Eye of the Storm 2012 (Movie)

Dorothy de Lascabanes (Actor)

To Rome With Love 2012 (Movie)

Phyllis (Actor)

Page Eight 2010 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Starter Wife 2008 - 2009 (TV Show)

Actor

The 59th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 2007 - 2008 (TV Show)

Actor

Masters of Science Fiction 2007 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Starter Wife 2007 (Tv Show)

Actor

Marie Antoinette 2006 (Movie)

La Comtesse de Noailles (Actor)

The Break-Up 2006 (Movie)

Marilyn Dean (Actor)

Swimming Upstream 2005 (Movie)

Dora Fingleton (Actor)

Coast to Coast 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

The Reagans (Showtime) 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

Gaudi Afternoon 2003 (Movie)

Cassandra Reilly (Actor)

The Man Who Sued God 2001 (Movie)

Anna Redmond (Actor)

Celebrity 1998 (Movie)

Robin Simon (Actor)

Absolute Power 1997 (Movie)

Gloria Russell (Actor)

Blood & Wine 1997 (Movie)

Suzanne Gates (Actor)

Children of the Revolution 1997 (Movie)

Joan Fraser (Actor)

Deconstructing Harry 1997 (Movie)

Lucy (Actor)

The New Age 1994 (Movie)

Katherine Whitner (Actor)

The Ref 1994 (Movie)

Caroline (Actor)

Husbands and Wives 1992 (Movie)

Sally (Actor)

Where Angels Fear to Tread 1992 (Movie)

Harriet Herriton (Actor)

Barton Fink 1991 (Movie)

Audrey Taylor (Actor)

Impromptu 1991 (Movie)

George Sand (Actor)

Naked Lunch 1991 (Movie)

Joan Frost (Actor)

Naked Making Lunch 1991 (Movie)

Herself (Actor)

On My Own 1991 (Movie)

Mother (Actor)

Alice 1990 (Movie)

Vicki (Actor)

Georgia 1989 (Movie)

Georgia (Actor)

High Tide 1987 (Movie)

Lilli (Actor)

Kangaroo 1987 (Movie)

Harriet Somers (Actor)

A Passage to India 1984 (Movie)

Adela Quested (Actor)

Heatwave 1982 (Movie)

Kate Dean (Actor)

Hoodwink 1982 (Movie)

Sarah (Actor)

The Winter of Our Dreams 1982 (Movie)

Lou (Actor)

Who Dares Wins 1981 (Movie)

Frankie Leith (Actor)

My Brilliant Career 1980 (Movie)

Sybylla Melvyn (Actor)

High Rolling 1977 (Movie)

Lynn (Actor)

A Cooler Climate (TV Show)

Actor

A Woman Called Golda (TV Show)

Actor

Dash and Lilly (TV Show)

Actor

One Against the Wind (TV Show)

Actor

Rocket to the Moon (TV Show)

Actor

The Echo of Thunder (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

If a woman with an opinion in Hollywood is considered hazardous then Australian Judy Davis could easily qualify as one dangerous female. The petite, pale redhead, whose slash of red or brown lipstick has almost become her trademark, is considered one of the finest actresses of contemporary cinema and has garnered a reputation for her passion, high artistic standards and frank speech. Not unlike Bette Davis in the 1930s and 40s, Judy Davis was not one to suffer fools and had no trouble expressing her feelings. To her, the work was paramount and she consistently delivered superb performances whether acting on stage, screen or television.

Relationships

Colin Friels Actor

Husband
Married Oct. 30, 1984 Co-starred in "Kangaroo" (1986) and "High Tide" (1987) On Oct. 30, 2002, Davis obtained a six-month court order against Friels after he allegedly threw her to the ground and broke a glass table during an argument at their home

Charlotte Friels

Daughter
Born 1997; father, Colin Friels

Jack Friels

Son
Born 1987; father, Colin Friels

EDUCATION

attended all girls' Catholic convent school

Western Australia Institute of Technology

National Institute of Dramatic Art

1977
classmates included Mel Gibson with whom she played Juliet to his Romeo

Milestones

2012

Again directed by Woody Allen in the romantic comedy "To Rome with Love"; played the wife of Allen's character

2011

Cast in BBC drama "Page Eight"

2007

Played Molly's (Debra Messing) oldest friend Joan in the USA Network miniseries "The Starter Wife"

2006

Portrayed The Comtesse de Noailles in Sofia Coppola's "Marie Antoinette"

2006

Earned an Emmy nomination for Best Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for "A Little Thing Called Murder" (Lifetime)

2005

Portrayed Dora Fingleton, the long-suffering mother of champion swimmer Tony Fingleton in the true story "Swimming Upstream"

2003

Cast as an American translator who agrees to help a friend locate her missing husband in "Gaudi Afternoon"

2003

Portrayed Nancy Reagan in the controversal television movie "The Reagans" (Showtime); earned a Golden Globe and an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Miniseries or Movie (2004)

2001

Portrayed Judy Garland in the ABC miniseries "Life With Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows," adapted from Lorna Luft's memoir; won second Emmy

2001

Starred in the Australian box office hit "The Man Who Sued God"

1999

Made stage directorial debut with the Australian premiere of the one-man show "Barrymore"

1999

Starred opposite Sally Field in "A Cooler Climate" (Showtime); received sixth Emmy nomination

1999

Cast as Lillian Hellman opposite Sam Shepard as Dashiell Hammett in the A&E biopic "Dash & Lilly," directed by Kathy Bates; picked up another Emmy nomination as Best Actress

1998

Cast in featured role as a teacher whose marriage crumbles in Allen's "Celebrity"

1998

Received Emmy nomination playing a struggling farmer in Australia's Outback faced with raising her husband's daughter from his first marriage in "Echo of Thunder" (CBS)

1997

Third teaming with Woody Allen. "Deconstructing Harry"

1997

Landed featured role as the ex-wife of Jack Nicholson in "Blood & Wine"

1996

Returned to Australian films as star of "Children of the Revolution"; reteamed onscreen with Sam Neill

1995

Played the lesbian lover of a U.S. Army nurse in "Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story" (NBC); received Emmy Award as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie

1994

Teamed with Denis Leary and Kevin Spacey for the quirky comedy "The Ref"

1993

Cast to co-star with Jonathan Pryce and River Phoenix in "Dark Blood"; project terminated after Phoenix's death

1992

Received Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her memorable performance as a woman undergoing a divorce who finds a new love in Woody Allen's "Husbands and Wives"

1991

Played George Sand in the period drama "Impromptu"

1991

Earned first Emmy nomination as a British woman involved with the French Underground during WWII in "One Against the Wind" (CBS); again paired with Sam Neill; earned Emmy nomination

1990

Cast in first U.S.-produced film, Woody Allen's "Alice"

1989

Made U.S. stage debut in Los Angeles production of Tom Stoppard's play "Hapgood"

1987

Reteamed with Gillian Armstrong for "High Tide"; film co-starred Friels

1986

First feature pairing with husband Colin Friels, "Kangaroo"

1984

Received an Oscar nomination as Best Actress for her widely seen performance as Adela Quested in David Lean's "A Passage to India"

1982

First non-Australian screen credit, the British thriller "Who Dares Wins/The Final Conflict"

1982

Portrayed the young Golda Meir in the syndicated miniseries "A Woman Called Golda"; received first Emmy nomination

1979

Landed breakthrough screen role as Sybylla Melvyn in "My Brilliant Career," directed by Gillian Armstrong and co-starring Sam Neill

1977

Screen acting debut, "High Rolling"; delivered one line

Appeared on stage with theater companies in Adelaide and Sydney, Australia and with the Royal Court Theatre in London

Dropped out of convent school to sing in a rock band

Bonus Trivia

.

"I didn't know Mel intimately. We did 'Romeo and Juliet' together. He was very good, too. Very romantic. He's very sweet. He's always had an incredible effect on audiences – male and female. He did, of course, a lot of plays at drama school, and every time without fail that he walked onstage, a ripple would run through the audience. This is when he was a kid of 18. It was quite odd. I always wanted to know how he did it: How does he do that ripple thing?" – Davis on fellow drama student Mel Gibson, quoted in Los Angeles Times Magazine, Sept. 12, 1992

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On her parents, Davis told Los Angeles Times Magazine (Sept. 13, 1992): "[They were] people that didn't want any social trouble at all, who wanted to behave in the way that was expected. Their great misfortune as having me for a daughter because it's never been part of my nature, that. My tendency when I see a set of rules being made, my instinct is to break them – social rules, I mean. I'm not talking about robbing banks."

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Davis was cast in "Dark Blood" (filmed in 1993), a psychological thriller left unfinished by the death of co-star River Phoenix.

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"Judy has been a hero to me. She's the patron saint of modern emotions. One of the great things about her is that unlike most American actors she's not interested in playing characters that are likable. I have very uncomplicated feelings about her. She's the real thing; she's an artist. She pops. Judy Davis is a genius." – screenwriter-director Michael Tolkin to Premiere, October 1994

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On her natural pale coloring, Davis was quoted by You Magazine (May 25, 1997): "I wish I tanned. It would make everybody happy and get them off my back. But this is the look I was born with, and I'm stuck with it."

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"I live in my community, mix with my friends, read scripts to find something worth doing. That takes a while. I've never worked for the sake of working. There's probably enough crap out there for me not to add to it." – Davis on what she does when she's not acting to You Magazine, May 25, 1997

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"How tough was she? There is not a single thing that she has ever fought for that wasn't about character and nine times out of ten wasn't right about. She is a formidable, extraordinarily talented and incredibly intelligent woman. Because she is very forceful about it, she gets this reputation that I think is an incredibly bum rap. She is probably one of the greatest actresses alive. I am so tired of this notion that she is perceived as some kind of problem. I just find it unfair." – Davis' "The Ref" co-star Kevin Spacey to The Sydney Morning Herald, Aug. 22, 1997

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"Of course, I'm not a celebrity. Never wanted to be one. Never promoted myself as one. I'm an actress. I think there's a difference. To be a celebrity, one really has to go after it, and want it."I don't think I have the personality to cope with that. My ambition when I started was to be in the sort of films I liked to watch, which sadly meant Bergman; so I was a self-defined failure right from the beginning. My ambition was never to be in huge Hollywood films and go to the openings and wear all the fancy dresses. Thank God." – Davis quoted in The Observer, June 6, 1999

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On working with Woody Allen, Davis told Carol Allen of the London Times (June 17, 1999): Every time I've worked with him, I've learnt something monumental about comedy and how to pitch it. For example, there's a scene where Joe Mantegna takes me to a film preview and I see my former husband, freak out and try to hide. Woody kept wanting me to pitch it higher; I kept thinking, 'I can't play it any higher, I'm reaching the edge'. But if I go with him and trust him, he pushes me into dangerous and challenging territory, which is very exciting."

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"I think she has been frustrated by some directors, and i think she has been frustrated by other actors, too, who don't work with that amount of dedication. A lot of her reputation for being tough is simply because she has extremely high artistic standards and the dedication to her art form is a full commitment. I think that passion in everybody would make her happy." – former NIDA teacher Aubrey Mellor quoted in The Sydney Morning Herald, July 17, 1999

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Director Baz Luhrmann on Davis (with whom he co-starred in "Winter of Our Dreams") quoted to Nick Nunziata of www.CHUD.com, June 1, 2001: "As a kid I actually lived with her for a while. It was my first job acting. She's such a funny creature and she's an amazing singer."

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