Sissy Spacek

Actor, Singer, Songwriter
Multiple Oscar nominee Sissy Spacek was one of Hollywood's leading actresses during the 1970s and 1980s, initially gaining attention for the startling character transformations of her wide-eyed innocents in "Badlands" ... Read more »
Born: 12/24/1949 in Quitman, Texas, USA

Filmography

Actor (68)

Deadfall 2012 (Movie)

June Mills (Actor)

The 44th Annual CMA Awards 2010 - 2011 (TV Show)

Presenter

The Help 2011 (Movie)

Missus Walters (Actor)

Big Love 2010 (Tv Show)

Actor

Get Low 2010 (Movie)

Mattie Darrow (Actor)

Four Christmases 2008 (Movie)

Paula (Actor)

Lake City 2008 (Movie)

Maggie (Actor)

Gray Matters 2007 (Movie)

Dr. Sydney (Actor)

Hot Rod 2007 (Movie)

Marie Powell (Actor)

An American Haunting 2006 (Movie)

Lucy Bell (Actor)

Nine Lives 2005 (Movie)

Ruth (Actor)

North Country 2005 (Movie)

Alice Aimes (Actor)

The Ring Two 2005 (Movie)

Evelyn (Actor)

A Home at the End of the World 2004 (Movie)

Alice Glover (Actor)

A Decade Under the Influence 2003 (Movie)

Herself (Actor)

Intimate Portrait: Loretta Lynn 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

Inside the Actors Studio 2002 (Tv Show)

Interviewee

Tuck Everlasting 2002 (Movie)

Mae Tuck (Actor)

In the Bedroom 2001 (Movie)

Ruth Fowler (Actor)

Blast From the Past 1999 (Movie)

Helen (Actor)

Nick Nolte 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

The Straight Story 1999 (Movie)

Rose (Actor)

Affliction 1998 (Movie)

Margie Fogg (Actor)

Larry McMurtry's Streets of Laredo 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

The Grass Harp 1996 (Movie)

Verena Talbo (Actor)

Loretta Lynn 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Trading Mom 1994 (Movie)

Mom (Actor)

The 14th Annual CableACE Awards 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Hard Promises 1992 (Movie)

Chris Coalter (Actor)

Beyond JFK: The Question of Conspiracy 1991 (Movie)

Herself (Actor)

J.F.K. 1991 (Movie)

Liz Garrison (Actor)

The Long Walk Home 1990 (Movie)

Miriam Thompson (Actor)

'Night Mother 1986 (Movie)

Jessie Cates (Actor)

Crimes of the Heart 1986 (Movie)

Babe Magrath (Actor)

Texas 150: A Celebration Special 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

The Best of Farm Aid: An American Event 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Violets Are Blue 1986 (Movie)

Gussie Sawyer (Actor)

MARIE: A True Story 1985 (Movie)

Marie Ragghianti (Actor)

The River 1984 (Movie)

Mae Garvey (Actor)

Loretta Lynn: The Lady... The Legend 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Actor

Missing 1982 (Movie)

Beth Horman (Actor)

Raggedy Man 1981 (Movie)

Nita (Actor)

Coal Miner's Daughter 1980 (Movie)

Loretta Lynn (Actor)

Heart Beat 1979 (Movie)

Carolyn Cassady (Actor)

Saturday Night Live 1977 (Tv Show)

Actor

Carrie 1976 (Movie)

Carrie White (Actor)

Katherine 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Actor

Three Women 1976 (Movie)

Pinky Rose (Actor)

Welcome to L.A. 1976 (Movie)

Linda Murray (Actor)

Badlands 1973 (Movie)

Holly (Actor)

Ginger in the Morning 1972 (Movie)

(Actor)

Prime Cut 1972 (Movie)

Poppy (Actor)

A Place For Annie (TV Show)

Actor

A Private Matter (TV Show)

Actor

Beyond the Call (TV Show)

Actor

If These Walls Could Talk (TV Show)

Actor

Katherine (Movie)

(Actor)

Last Call (TV Show)

Actor

Midwives (TV Show)

Actor

Pictures of Hollis Woods (TV Show)

Actor

Songs in Ordinary Time (TV Show)

Actor

Streets of Laredo (Movie)

Lorena (Actor)

The Good Old Boys (TV Show)

Actor

The Migrants (TV Show)

Actor

Verna: USO Girl (TV Show)

Actor
Music (1)

Coal Miner's Daughter 1980 (Movie)

("I'm a Honky Tonk Girl" "You Ain't Woman Enough to Take My Man" "You're Lookin' at Country" "Coal Miner's Daughter" "The Great Titanic" "There He Goes" "I Fall to Pieces" "One on the Way" "Back in My Baby's Arms") (Song Performer)

Biography

Multiple Oscar nominee Sissy Spacek was one of Hollywood's leading actresses during the 1970s and 1980s, initially gaining attention for the startling character transformations of her wide-eyed innocents in "Badlands" (1973) and the blood-drenched "Carrie" (1977). The Texas-bred actress had a penchant for embodying strong, independent women and what she called "ordinary people in extraordinary situations" - both apt descriptions for her portrayals of real-life figures like hardscrabble country music star Loretta Lynn in "Coal Miner's Daughter" (1980) and Beth Horman, a woman who took on international forces following the disappearance of her journalist husband in "Missing" (1982). Later in her career, Spacek developed into an earthy, mothering persona who often found her calling in TV movies that explored political or social issues, though she made several notable big screen turns in JFK" (1991), "The Straight Story" (1996), "North Country" (2005) and "In The Bedroom" (2001) - the latter of which earned her among the highest accolades of her career. Though she retreated to the margins a bit with "An American Haunting" (2006) and "Gray Matters," and focused more on television with "Picture of Hollis Woods" (CBS, 2007) and an Emmy-nominated guest turn on "Big Love" (HBO, 2006-2011), Spacek remained an accomplished actress who delivered high quality performances time and again in a wide array of projects.

Relationships

Edwin Arnold Spacek Jr

Brother
Born in 1944

Jack Fisk Production Designer

Husband
Met when both worked on "Badlands" (1973) Married April 12, 1974

Schuyler Fisk Production Designer

Daughter
Born July 8, 1982; father, Jack Fisk

Madison Fisk Production Designer

Daughter
Born Sept. 21, 1988; father, Jack Fisk

Edwin Spacek

Father
Uncle of actor Rip Torn Died Jan. 7, 2001 at age 90

Virginia Spacek

Mother
Died 1981

Robert Spacek

Brother
Born 1948 Died of leukemia Sept. 19, 1967

Stephen Spacek Production Designer

Nephew
Born March 2, 1971

Rip Torn Actor

Cousin
Born Feb. 6, 1931

EDUCATION

The Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute

New York , New York

Quitman High School

Quitman , Texas
Homecoming queen

Milestones

2012

Cast opposite Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde in crime drama "Deadfall"

2011

Joined ensemble cast for feature adaptation of "The Help"

2010

Earned an Emmy nomination for guest role on HBO's "Big Love"

2007

Played Heather Graham's therapist in the indie feature "Gray Matters"

2007

Played a retired art teacher who takes in a foster child in TV movie "Pictures of Hollis Woods" (CBS); earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Mini-series or TV Movie

2006

Co-starred with Donald Sutherland in Courtney Solomon's "An American Haunting"

2005

Cast as Charlize Theron's mother in "North Country"

2005

Cast in ensemble "Nine Lives"; Rodrigo García directed series of vignettes offering glimpses into the lives of nine women

2004

Cast in Michael Cunningham's "A Home at the End of the World," also starring Colin Farrell and Robin Wright Penn

2002

Played writer F. Scott Fitzgerald's mentally ill wife in the Showtime miniseries "Last Call"

2002

Had featured role in "Tuck Everlasting"

2001

Co-starred with Tom Wilkinson in the independent feature "In the Bedroom," directed by Todd Field; screened at Sundance; received sixth career Oscar nomination as Best Actress

2001

Starred in the Lifetime TV-movie "Midwives"

2000

Starred opposite Beau Bridges in the TV drama "Songs in Ordinary Time" (CBS)

1999

Portrayed the daughter of a man who sets out on a lawnmower to travel to meet with his estranged brother in "The Straight Story," directed by David Lynch; husband Jack Fisk served as production designer

1999

Appeared as the matriarch of a family who seeks refuge in a bomb shelter in the 1950s and spends 30 years living below ground in the uneven comedy "Blast From the Past"

1998

Played Nick Nolte's patient girlfriend in "Affliction"

1996

Teamed with "Carrie" co-star Piper Laurie in "The Grass Harp"

1996

Starred in the "1974" segment of the anthology TV-movie about a woman's right to reproductive freedom, "If These Walls Could Talk" (HBO)

1995

Co-starred with Tommy Lee Jones in the TNT TV-movie "The Good Old Boys"; earned first Emmy nomination

1994

Starred as a pediatric nurse who cares for an abandoned baby with HIV in the ABC "Hallmark Hall of Fame" presentation "A Place for Annie"

1992

Starred in controversial HBO movie "A Private Matter," about the host of a children's TV show who seeks an abortion after exposure to Thalidomide

1991

Had supporting role of Mrs. Jim Garrison in Oliver Stone's controversial "JFK"

1990

Returned to features in the civil rights drama "The Long Walk Home" alongside Whoopi Goldberg

1986

Took four-year break from features

1986

Received fifth Best Actress Oscar nomination for "Crimes of the Heart"

1986

Portrayed a suicidal woman in "'night, Mother," the film adaptation of Marsha Norman's Pulitzer Prize-winning play

1985

Had title role of real-life whistle-blower Marie Ragghianti in "MARIE: A True Story"

1984

Starred in "The River" opposite Mel Gibson; garnered fourth Best Actress Academy Award nomination

1982

Teamed with Jack Lemmon in the political drama "Missing"; earned Best Actress Oscar nomination as the wife of a kidnapped American

1981

Directed by husband in "Raggedy Man," co-starring Eric Roberts

1980

Won Best Actress Academy Award for portraying country singer Loretta Lynn in the biopic "Coal Miner's Daughter"; also did own singing in the role

1979

Cast as Carolyn Cassady in the biopic "Heart Beat"; first screen teaming with Nick Nolte

1978

Had title role opposite William Hurt in the PBS production "Verna: USO Girl"

1977

Starred with Shelley Duvall and Janice Rule in "Three Women," directed by Robert Altman

1977

Worked as script supervisor on "Eraserhead," directed by David Lynch

1976

Earned first Oscar nomination for her leading performance as a telekinetic teenager in "Carrie"; Fisk was the production designer on the movie

1975

Had title role of a 1960s radical in the TV-movie "Katherine" (ABC)

1974

Worked as a set decorator on "Phantom of the Paradise"

1973

TV debut, "The Girls of Huntington House" (ABC), about a group home for unwed mothers

1973

Landed breakthrough screen role opposite Martin Sheen in "Badlands"; met future husband Jack Fisk during filming

1973

Played recurring role of a potential love interest for John-Boy (Richard Thomas) on "The Waltons" (CBS)

1972

Screen acting debut, "Prime Cut"

1969

Worked as photographic model and as extra at Andy Warhol's factory; appeared in "Trash"

1968

Cut single "John, You've Gone Too Far This Time," a novelty song about John Lennon posing nude on an album cover with his wife Yoko Ono; recorded under the name Rainbo; because single failed to sell well, was dropped by record company

1956

At age six, made first appearance on stage, singing and tap-dancing in a local talent show

Raised in Quitman, TX

After winning a singer-songwriter contest, lived with cousin Rip Torn and his wife Geraldine Page in New York City while trying to break into music industry (aged 17)

Bonus Trivia

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About "Badlands" (1973): "I guess that's my favorite because it was my first major film. I met my husband, Jack, on the set. I still feel that 'Badlands' was the most extraordinary experience a human being should be allowed. If I never made another movie again after that one, I would have been happy." – Spacek quoted in The Chicago Sun-Times, Jan. 31, 1999

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"Early in my career, Jack Lemmon actually had to take me on the side one day and say, 'You know Sissy, you gotta trust yourself.' I was in a phase where I would get to the set early in the morning and agonize over one line. Lemmon said, 'You have to come to terms witht the fact that the scene is either gonna work or not.'"I guess I suffered from 'The Impostor Syndrome,' where you think at any point they're gonna find you out. I thought they would find out that I didn't have a lick of talent, It sounds awful, but I found this to be quite motivating. It made me work so much harder." – Spacek quoted in The Chicago Sun-Times, Jan. 31, 1999

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"There was a time when I was very driven but when I had my girls, I lost all my ambition. Now my ambitions are more of a spiritual nature. Just trying to figure it all out." – Spacek to London's The Evening Standard, Dec. 2, 1999

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"... the film's richest performance belongs to Sissy Spacek as Alvin's 'simple' daughter Rose who, with her speech impediment and habit of building bird-houses, initially seems like a refugee from the Lynch carnival but gains in gravity with every scene." – from the Sight and Sound review of "The Straight Story" by Kevin Jackson, December 1999

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Asked about the difficulty of finding good roles, Spacek told Susan King of the Los Angeles Times (Oct. 21, 2000): "I don't think it's ever been easy. I kind of came up through low-budget films in the '70s – kind of the art-house fare. So for me the hardest thing has always been to find the roles that I really thought were right for me. Cable certainly has opened up more things. There is just more to pick from now."

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"I've actually lived a very, I don't want to say ordinary life, this is very far from ordinary. But I've raised a family and I have probably a lot of the same interests that other women of my generation have." – Spacek quoted in The Chicago Sun-Times, April 1, 2001

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"The films that belong to me, I'll do. The ones [that] don't, someone else will do. Films are like little rivers and creeks, just kind of floating along. You just have to know you'll find something sooner or later." – Spacek in Entertainment Weekly, Nov. 16, 2001

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"Sissy's life was always more important than her career. Which is what I think people should aspire to. When she works, she works as hard as anybody I've ever seen. If she's not working, that's okay too." – "Crimes of the Heart" co-star and friend Jessica Lange, quoted in Entertainment Weekly, Nov. 16, 2001

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On meeting his future wife Spacek on the set of "Badlands," production designer Jack Fisk told Entertainment Weekly (Nov. 16, 2001): "When she was a kid, Sissy's dad would call her 'Snooter,' because she would come to his office and go through all the drawers. I'd leave her things in the drawers [on the 'Badlands' set] that I thought had to do with her character. You didn't know that they were. They'd just get you thinking. It became a wonderful collaboration."

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"Sissy possesses that rare trait of not being impoverished with the process of remembering herself. Every role she plays, she is someone else. About six months after we inished shooting ['In the Bedroom'], we had dinner together at Sundance. I was in shock. I thought, 'Wait a minute! Where is Ruth? She doesn't walk this way or talk this way.' I was like some weird Sissy Spacek fan." – director Todd Field to USA Today, Nov. 20, 2001

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"I've had people say to me on two separate occasions, 'Oh, I love you! You were great in 'The Exorcist!' And I was at a thrift shop once and someone said, 'We just loved your book, Mia!'" – Spacek answering the question "Have you ever been mistaken for another celebrity?" in Talk, December 2001/January 2002

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