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Jessica Lange is an award-winning American actress best known for her roles in King Kong, Tootsie and Grey Gardens.
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Jessica Lange is an American actress born on April 20, 1949 in Cloquet, Minnesota. Working as a model, she was chosen to star in the mega hit film King Kong (1976). In 1982, Lange she received a Best Actress Academy Award nomination for the film Frances and won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Tootsie. She has also won several awards and nominations for her roles in Blue Sky (1994), A Streetcar Named Desire (1995), A Thousand Acres (1997), Normal (2003),
Grey Gardens (2009) and American Horror Story (2012).
Jessica Phyllis Lange was born on April 20, 1949, in Cloquet, Minnesota. The third of four children, Lange was the daughter of Dorothy Florence and Albert John Lange, who was an educator and salesman. As a child, Lange's family moved constantly due to her father's frequently changing jobs. Lange later noted that her family "lived like gypsies." But instead of rebelling against this transient lifestyle, Lange inherited the travel bug. By the time she enrolled as an art student at the University of Minnesota in 1967, she had big dreams of seeing the world.
In the spring of 1968, before she had finished her freshman year, Jessica met and fell in love with 24-year-old photography professor Paco Grande. Lange and Grande left school and traveled throughout the U.S. and Europe. They lived mostly out of Grande's van, and Lange met many of Grande's friends within the film community. They returned to Minnesota briefly in July 1970, where they were married.
The newlyweds moved to New York, eventually settling in to the SoHo art community. Grande continued to work on film projects and Jessica, inspired by French cinema, made the decision to study mime. In 1971, Lange moved to Paris to study mime with teacher Etienne Decroux. Her two years of education with Decroux sparked an interest in acting for Lange, and she returned to New York in 1973 to pursue a film career.
During her time abroad, Lange's marriage to Paco Grande had deteriorated. Grande left Jessica in New York, where she started working as a waitress and model with the Wilhelmina Agency in order to make ends meet. In the fall of 1975, film producer Dino DeLaurentis contacted Lange's modeling agency looking for an actress to star in his new King Kong movie. An agent at Wilhelmina recommended Jessica for the part. After a Hollywood screen test, Lange landed the role.
King Kong hit theaters in 1976, and was a box-office hit. Reviews for Lange, however, were largely negative, and focused on the fact that Lange was a former model. Although she had signed a seven-year acting contract with DeLaurentis, Lange did not work for three years following King Kong's release. During this time, Lange met Russian dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov, and the two began dating.
In 1979, close friend director and choreographer Bob Fosse gave her another shot at acting when he wrote a part especially for her in his autobiographical film, All That Jazz.
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