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|Judy Davis Biography and Filmography
Birthday: April 23, 1955
Birth Place: Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Height: 5' 5"
is a complete filmography (list of movies he's appeared in)
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Known for her intense intelligence and the range of unconventional characters she has brought to life, Australian actress Judy Davis has had a fairly brilliant career. Born in Perth, Western Australia, on April 23, 1955, Davis rebelled against her Catholic upbringing by leaving home at the age of 17 to join a rock band, which toured across Asia for six months. Upon her return to Australia, she soon gave up her singing career to attend the Western Australia Institute of Technology and then concentrated on another branch of performing at the National Institute of Dramatic Art. At NIDA she trained with the likes of Mel Gibson, with whom she starred in a school production of Romeo and Juliet.In her subsequent stage work, Davis gravitated toward characters whose significant traits alternated between steel-like strength and vacillating vulnerability: She played the title roles in Lulu and Piaf. In films from 1977, Davis ascended to stardom as Sybilla Melvin in director Gillian Armstrong's My Brilliant Career (1979), a performance that won her several awards, including the Australian and British equivalents of the Oscar. She was likewise showered with industry and film-festival honors for her work in Hoodwink (1981), The Winter of Our Dreams (1982), Heatwave (1982), and Kangaroo (1984), appearing in the latter film with her husband, Colin Friels. She was nominated for an Emmy for her portrayal of young Golda Meir in the TV miniseries A Woman Called Golda (1982), and earned her first Oscar nomination for her interpretation of the enigmatic Adela Quested in David Lean's A Passage to India in 1984.Described by one colleague as "the patron saint of modern emotions," Davis has never done anything by halves: She was a lusty George Sand in Impromptu (1991), the junkie wife of William Lee in Naked Lunch (1991), a bibulous, self-destructive Hollywood ghostwriter in Barton Fink (1991), an overbearing ex-spouse in Woody Allen's Husbands and Wives (1992) (the second of her Oscar-nominated turns), and a hostage from Hell in The Ref (1994). Davis' films during the second half of the '90s were marked by a notably uneven quality, and she could be seen in everything from the wildly idiosyncratic Children of the Revolution (1996) to further collaborations with Allen, Deconstructing Harry (1997) and Celebrity (1998). In 1999, she received another Emmy nomination for her work in Dash and Lilly, in which she starred as Lillian Hellman opposite Sam Shepard as Dashiell Hammett. Even though that particular award eluded her grasp, it was but a few short years later that Davis would be recognized with a Golden Globe for her performance in Life With Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows.
- Has a son and a daughter.
- Attended drama school with Mel Gibson. They played Romeo and Juliet together.
- Trained at NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Arts). Her fellow students included Mel Gibson, Colin Friels and Dennis Olsen.
- Son, with Colin Friels, Jack.
- Daughter, with Colin Friels, Charlotte.
- Attended a Catholic convent school in her hometown of Perth, Australia.
- Served as a member of the jury of the Cannes Film Festival in 1993.
- She was a part of the movement dubbed the "Australian New Wave" by the press. They were a group of filmmakers and performers who emerged from Down Under at about the same time in the early 1980's and found work in other parts of the world. Other members included actor Mel Gibson and directors George Miller and Gillian Armstrong.
- Nominated for an Olivier Award for Insignificance (Actress of the Year in a New Play, 1982).
- Her family can trace its ancestry back to the original 1831 British settlement in Perth.
- Famously clashed with director David Lean on the set of A Passage to India.
- One of her most famous films is also one of her least favorite: My Brilliant Career. Although it propelled her to major stardom, she was miserable during its filming and cannot stand to watch it today.
- She was among the cast members of Dark Blood, the George Sluzier film which was left unfinished by star River Phoenix's 1993 death.
- Often works with Woody Allen, who considers her "one of the most exciting actresses in the world."
- Forbidden to see movies as a child.
- Nominated for the Helpmann Award (Australia's equivalent of the Tony Award) for Victory (Best Actress in a Play, 2004).
- Appeared with her husband Colin Friels in several films, including Hoodwink, Kangaroo, High Tide and The Man Who Sued God. They have also frequently appeared together on stage.
- Has blue eyes.
- Fellow Australian actress Cate Blanchett has often said Davis is her role model.
- Like Judy Garland, whom she portrayed in a 2001 TV-movie, Davis is left-handed.
- Peter Weller and she played husband and wife in both "Naked Lunch" and "The New Age."
- Has protested Australia's involvement in the war with Iraq.
- In 2002, took out a violence order against her husband, Colin Friels. She was reportedly cut during an argument about a newspaper article during which a table was broken. The order did not require the couple to be separated.
- Once said that the one role she wanted but didn't get was Debra Winger's part in "The Sheltering Sky."
- She began filming "Celebrity" less than two weeks after giving birth to her daughter Charlotte. During production on the film, her husband Colin Friels contracted pancreatic cancer and nearly died.
- Shares a birthday (April 23) with playwright William Shakespeare, composer Sergei Prokofiev, "Lolita" author Vladimir Nabokov and child actor Shirley Temple.
- To prepare for her role as Judy Garland in "Life With Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows", she pored over television footage, biographies and nearly all of Garland's 32 feature films. She also wore dark contact lenses for the role.
- Intensely dislikes being interviewed, and does so only as a gesture of goodwill toward the directors of her films.
- Began acting as a young girl in church.
- In 1986, both she and husband Colin Friels won Australian Film Institute Awards. She won Best Actress for "Kangaroo" while he won the Best Actor award for "Malcolm".
- Lost her Catholic faith at age 14, when she read a book that suggested a metaphorical rather than a literal interpretation of the story of Jesus and the miracle of the loaves and fishes.
- In a 1994 interview, she listed Robin Williams as the one actor she would like to work with but hadn't. In 1997, they both appeared in "Deconstructing Harry", but did not share any scenes.
- Was once described as "the patron saint of modern emotions" by director/screenwriter Michael Tolkin.
- Did her own piano playing in "My Brilliant Career." Throughout the film she plays Schumann's "Scenes from Childhood."
- Agreed to do the film "Absolute Power" so she could work with Clint Eastwood.
- Although most of her work is in American films, she has steadfastly refused to move to the United States, preferring to live in Sydney, Australia.
- Has played writers in numerous films, including George Sand in "Impromptu," Lillian Hellman in "Dash & Lilly" and characters based on writers Jane Bowles (in "Naked Lunch") and Miles Franklin (in "My Brilliant Career").
- Once described her character in "High Tide" as the one which is "closest to my own persona."
- Both times she was Oscar-nominated, she competed with Vanessa Redgrave for the award. Neither actress won the award either time.
- Has played several real-life women, including Lillian Hellman, Judy Garland, Golda Meir, Nancy Reagan, George Sand and WWII heroine Mary Lindell.
- Was the runner-up for the 1993 New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in "Husbands and Wives." The winner was Miranda Richardson for her work in "The Crying Game," "Damage" and "Enchanted April."