Melissa Leo
American actress
Melissa Leo
Melissa Chessington Leo is an American actress. After appearing on several television shows and films in the late '80s, her breakthrough role came in 1993 as Det. Sgt. Kay Howard on the television series Homicide: Life on the Street for the show first five seasons from 1993 – 1997. She was also previously been a regular on the television shows All My Children and The Young Riders. Her breakthrough film role was in the 2003 film, 21 Grams as Marianne Jordan.
Biography
Melissa Leo's personal information overview.
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News
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Here Are All The 2016 Emmy Award Winners
Huffington Post - 5 months
It’s TV’s biggest night and, once again, “Game of Thrones” is your best bet for Sunday night’s big winner, since the HBO show leads the 68th annual Emmy Awards with 23 nominations, followed closely by “American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson” with 22 noms.  Yes, tonight is the night when all your favorite shows and stars will battle it out live from the Microsoft Theater in Downtown Los Angeles. Though we are fairly certain “GoT” will dominate in the Outstanding Drama category, the show is up against “Homeland,” “House of Cards,” “Mr. Robot,” “Downton Abbey,” ”Better Call Saul” and “The Americans” for the top honor. Meanwhile, Jimmy Kimmel, who hosted the award show in 2012, returns as this year’s host.  He warned People that his famous friends should consider themselves targets for good natured ridicule, since he knows they’ll be able to handle it.  “The people with whom I’m actually friendly are in the most danger usually because I know they can take a joke,” Kimm ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Here Are All The 2016 Emmy Award Winners
Huffington Post - 5 months
It’s TV’s biggest night and, once again, “Game of Thrones” is your best bet for Sunday night’s big winner, since the HBO show leads the 68th annual Emmy Awards with 23 nominations, followed closely by “American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson” with 22 noms.  Yes, tonight is the night when all your favorite shows and stars will battle it out live from the Microsoft Theater in Downtown Los Angeles. Though we are fairly certain “GoT” will dominate in the Outstanding Drama category, the show is up against “Homeland,” “House of Cards,” “Mr. Robot,” “Downton Abbey,” ”Better Call Saul” and “The Americans” for the top honor. Meanwhile, Jimmy Kimmel, who hosted the award show in 2012, returns as this year’s host.  He warned People that his famous friends should consider themselves targets for good natured ridicule, since he knows they’ll be able to handle it.  “The people with whom I’m actually friendly are in the most danger usually because I know they can take a joke,” Kimm ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
"Snowden": Love, Life and Privacy in the Time of Surveillance
Huffington Post - 5 months
Oliver Stone's excellent new film "Snowden" is a primer on life in the digital age - the perils to privacy, professionalism and the personal. Through an extended series of flashbacks in the life of whistleblower Edward Snowden, Stone shows us the impacts of global surveillance on relationships from international to interpersonal. Stone's dramatization builds around and out from Laura Poitras Academy Award winning documentary "Citizen Four." We meet Edward Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) in the prison like confines of his Hong Kong hotel room, a refugee of conscience, blowing the whistle on his U.S. spy agency employers. Through a series of flashbacks, Snowden emerges a brilliant, geeky, well considered patriot from a military family. He is moved by the events of 9/11 to volunteer for Special Forces training. After breaking both legs, Snowden is forced off the active front lines into intelligence service. He eagerly joins CIA global communications at their headquarters in ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Oliver Stone's Snowden: Toronto Film Festival From Afar
Huffington Post - 5 months
On Friday night, Oliver Stone's new movie, Snowden, premiered at the Toronto Film Festival. Early reviews were embargoed until then. But I can tell you, from the reaction of a tony crowd at a summer screening in East Hampton, let the award season begin with this movie. Peggy Siegal introduced Oliver Stone, providing a bit of the JFK director's resume: the 3 time Oscar winner adapted the script for Midnight Express (1978), and won for Best Picture and Best Director for Platoon (1986). His second Best Director award came for Born on the Fourth of July (1989). Stone makes important films, and his new one addresses and challenges our ideas about national security, and whether or not Edward Snowden is a hero. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the role, and Snowden is his best film. The supporting cast includes Melissa Leo as filmmaker Laura Poitras whose Citizen Four, an interview with the exiled Snowden, won an Academy Award for best documentary. Nicolas Cage is fine as a computer geek, and Sha ...
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Huffington Post article
INTERVIEW: Director Adam McKay on <i>The Big Short</i>
Huffington Post - about 1 year
The Big Short is one of the best movies of the year. The screen adaptation of Michael Lewis' "capitalism run amuck" best-seller defies easy genre categorization as it bounces between comedy and tragedy, but its depiction of the 2007-2008 financial crisis that threatened to torpedo the entire world's economy will grip you, engage you, and ultimately anger you. The film is bracketed by terrific performances from one of the best ensemble casts of the year, including Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Brad Pitt, and Ryan Gosling, all of whom give life to a crackerjack script co-written by director Adam McKay, who makes a bold entry into dramatic filmmaking after building a reputation teaming with Will Ferrell for some of the funniest movies of the last decade. Faced with making a movie revolving around "mortgage-backed securities" and "tranches" and "collateralized debt obligations" play with mainstream audiences is no easy feat, but McKay manages it with remarkable ease. He addressed the ...
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Huffington Post article
Ryan Gosling May Be A Bird, But Don't Forget He's A Great Actor Too
Huffington Post - about 1 year
When you think of Ryan Gosling, what comes to mind? A hunk? A meme? An Oscar nominee who has played drug addicts and getaway drivers? “If you’re a bird, I’m a bird”? That one “Are You Afraid of the Dark” episode? Father of Eva Mendes’ child? Cereal? Somewhere amid that hodgepodge of identities exists one of the biggest movie stars in the country. And also one of the hardest to define. Few men in contemporary Hollywood have garnered a more universal heartthrob status, and that seems, in recent years, to have caused many to think of Great Actor as an inferior bullet point on Ryan Gosling’s résumé. That’s partly because Gosling, 35, has drifted through the public eye for the better part of two decades, assuming multiple cultural personas and sometimes taking lengthy breaks between projects. “The Big Short,” which opens in limited release on Friday and expands nationwide the week of Christmas, is his first on-screen appearance since summer 2013, when “Only God Forgive ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Ryan Gosling May Be A Bird, But Don't Forget He's A Great Actor Too
Huffington Post - about 1 year
When you think of Ryan Gosling, what comes to mind? A hunk? A meme? An Oscar nominee who has played drug addicts and getaway drivers? “If you’re a bird, I’m a bird”? That one “Are You Afraid of the Dark” episode? Father of Eva Mendes’ child? Cereal? Somewhere amid that hodgepodge of identities exists one of the biggest movie stars in the country. And also one of the hardest to define. Few men in contemporary Hollywood have garnered a more universal heartthrob status, and that seems, in recent years, to have caused many to think of Great Actor as an inferior bullet point on Ryan Gosling’s résumé. That’s partly because Gosling, 35, has drifted through the public eye for the better part of two decades, assuming multiple cultural personas and sometimes taking lengthy breaks between projects. “The Big Short,” which opens in limited release on Friday and expands nationwide the week of Christmas, is his first on-screen appearance since summer 2013, when “Only God Forgives” -- ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Ryan Gosling May Be A Bird, But Don't Forget He's A Great Actor Too
Huffington Post - about 1 year
When you think of Ryan Gosling, what comes to mind? A hunk? A meme? An Oscar nominee who has played drug addicts and getaway drivers? “If you’re a bird, I’m a bird”? That one “Are You Afraid of the Dark” episode? Father of Eva Mendes’ child? Cereal? Somewhere amid that hodgepodge of identities exists one of the biggest movie stars in the country. And also one of the hardest to define. Few men in contemporary Hollywood have garnered a more universal heartthrob status, and that seems, in recent years, to have caused many to think of Great Actor as an inferior bullet point on Ryan Gosling’s résumé. That’s partly because Gosling, 35, has drifted through the public eye for the better part of two decades, assuming multiple cultural personas and sometimes taking lengthy breaks between projects. “The Big Short,” which opens in limited release on Friday and expands nationwide the week of Christmas, is his first on-screen appearance since summer 2013, when “Only God Forgives” -- ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Melissa Leo
    FIFTIES
  • 2015
    Age 54
    She recently starred in the 2015 Fox event series Wayward Pines as Nurse Pam.
    More Details Hide Details Leo was born in Manhattan, New York City, and spent her early life on the Lower East Side. She is the daughter of Margaret (née Chessington), a California-born teacher, and Arnold Leo III, an editor at Grove Press, fisherman, and former spokesman for the East Hampton Baymen's Association. She has one brother, Erik Leo. Her parents divorced, and her mother moved them to Red Clover Commune, in Putney, Vermont. Her maternal grandparents were Frances (née Stone; 1917-2008) and James Chessington, a colonel in the United States Air Force. Her paternal grandparents were Elinore (née Wellington; 1914-2008) and Arnold Leo II. Her uncle was journalist Roger Leo (1947-2011), and her aunt is art historian Christine Leo Roussel. Leo began performing as a child with the Bread and Puppet Theater Company. She attended Bellow Falls High School in Vermont, and studied acting at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London, and SUNY Purchase, but did not graduate, choosing to leave school and move to New York City to begin auditioning for acting jobs. Leo spent summers at her father's house in Springs, a section of East Hampton, N.Y.
  • 2013
    Age 52
    In 2013 she won the Emmy Award for her guest-role on the television series Louie.
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  • FORTIES
  • 2010
    Age 49
    In 2010, Leo received fame for her role in David O. Russell's The Fighter.
    More Details Hide Details Rick Bentley of The Charlotte Observer said "Both actors (Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale) are very good, but they get blown off the screen by Melissa Leo, who plays their mother, Alice Ward. Leo's Oscar-worthy portrayal of Alice as a master manipulator goes beyond acting to a total transformation." Roger Ebert referred to it as a "teeth-gratingly brilliant performance." Leo and several of the film's actors including her co-star Amy Adams and Bale were nominated. For her performance Leo received several awards, including the Golden Globe, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Circle, Screen Actors Guild and culminating in her winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Prior to her win Leo had created some controversy by attempting to self promote her Oscar campaign rather than rely on the marketing department of the studio. Leo personally bought ad space in Hollywood trade publications which was initially thought might backfire in a similar manner to previous Oscar contenders Chill Wills and Margaret Avery.
    In 2010, Leo won several awards for her performance as Alice Eklund-Ward in the film The Fighter, including the Golden Globe, SAG, and Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
    More Details Hide Details In 1985 she was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for her performance on All My Children.
  • 2009
    Age 48
    Leo appeared in a series of films throughout 2009, including According to Greta, the title character in Stephanie's Image, True Adolescents and Veronika Decides to Die.
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  • 2008
    Age 47
    Following Frozen River, Leo continued to appear in several independent films and had a minor role in the 2008 film Righteous Kill with Al Pacino and her Hide and Seek co-star, Robert De Niro.
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    In 2008, she won the Maverick Actor Award and also the Best Actress award at the Method Fest for Lullaby (2008).
    More Details Hide Details That same year Leo earned critical praise for her performance in the film Frozen River, winning several including the Best Actress award from the Independent Spirit Awards, the Spotlight award from the National Board of Review and Best Actress nominations from the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Broadcast Film Critics Association, and Academy Awards. Critic Roger Ebert backed her for a win, stating, "Best Actress: Melissa Leo. What a complete performance, evoking a woman's life in a time of economic hardship. The most timely of films, but that isn't reason enough. I was struck by how intensely determined she was to make the payments, support her two children, carry on after her abandonment by a gambling husband, and still maintain rules and goals around the house. This was a heroic woman."
  • 2006
    Age 45
    In 2006, she won the Bronze Wrangler at the Western Heritage Awards for Outstanding Theatrical Motion Picture for The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada shared with Tommy Lee Jones who also produced the film.
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  • 2005
    Age 44
    Leo appeared in supporting roles throughout the 2000s including the film Hide and Seek, the independent film American Gun, both in 2005, and a minor role in the comedy Mr. Woodcock.
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  • 2003
    Age 42
    Leo shared a "Best Ensemble Acting" award from the Phoenix Film Critics Society in 2003 and the runner-up for the Los Angeles Film Critics Association for Best Supporting Actress.
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  • TWENTIES
  • 1984
    Age 23
    Leo's acting debut came in 1984, for which she was nominated for a Daytime Emmy at the Daytime Emmy Awards/12th Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Ingenue/Woman in a Drama Series for All My Children.
    More Details Hide Details Following this, Leo appeared in several films, including the lead role as a strait-laced girl named Cookie who succumbed to prostitition in "Streetwalkin," A Time of Destiny, Last Summer in the Hamptons, and Venice/Venice. She also had several appearances on television, most notably her role as Det. Sgt. Kay Howard on Homicide: Life on the Street until 1997. Three years later she reprised her role in the television movie, Homicide: The Movie. After a brief hiatus from acting, Leo's breakthrough came three years later in the Alejandro González Iñárritu film, 21 Grams released to critical acclaim. Leo appeared in a supporting role alongside Sean Penn, Naomi Watts, Benicio del Toro and Clea DuVall.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1960
    Born
    Born on September 14, 1960.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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