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Sissy Spackek is an Academy Award-winning actress known for her roles in Carrie, Coal Miner's Daughter, In the Bedroom and The Help.
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Born on Christmas Day 1949 in Quitman, Texas, Sissy Spacek worked as a singer before pursuing an acclaimed acting career. She has received several lead actress Oscar nominations, including for the horror classic Carrie as well as the dramas Missing and In the Bedroom, and won for her portrayal of Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner's Daughter. She has also been featured in Get Low and The Help.
Actress. Born Mary Elizabeth Spacek, on December 25, 1949 in Quitman, Texas. Nicknamed Sissy by her two older brothers, Spacek was a vivacious little girl, making her first stage appearance at age six, singing and dancing in a local talent show. After attending Quitman High School, where she was crowned homecoming queen, Spacek moved to New York City to pursue her dreams of a singing career in 1967, at the age of 17. In New York, she lived with her cousin, the actor Rip Torn (Spacek's father was Torn's uncle) and his wife, the actress Geraldine Page. In 1968, using the name "Rainbo," Spacek recorded a single, "John, You've Gone Too Far This Time," teasing John Lennon for appearing nude on an album cover with his wife, Yoko Ono. Sales of her music sputtered, however, and "Rainbo" was dropped from her record label.
Spacek subsequently decided to switch her focus to acting, enrolling at the famed Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute. After appearing as an extra in Trash (1970), a film produced at Andy Warhol's factory, she made her bona fide film debut as a teenager abducted by a white slavery ring in the Lee Marvin thriller Prime Cut (1972). Spacek played another troubled adolescent character in 1973's Badlands, attracting attention for her role as the girlfriend of a serial killer, played by Martin Sheen. It was while working on the film that Spacek met her future husband, the production designer Jack Fisk. The couple married in 1974, and Fisk helped Spacek land her breakthrough role in Brian De Palma’s teen horror classic Carrie (1976). (Fisk worked as art director on the film.) As an emotionally disturbed, telekinetically gifted teenage girl with a fanatically religious mother (Piper Laurie), real-life prom queen Spacek struck a heartwrenching, terrifying chord with critics and audiences alike, earning her first Academy Award nomination for Best Actress and instant cult status.
After beginning to prove her versatility as an actress in such films as Robert Altman’s Three Women (1977), costarring Shelley Duvall and Janice Rule, and Heart Beat (1979), costarring Nick Nolte, Spacek showcased her considerable gifts in the 1980 biopic Coal Miner’s Daughter, about country singer Loretta Lynn. In addition to portraying Lynn from age 13 to her forties, Spacek insisted on singing all of Lynn's songs herself, instead of lipsynching. The performance earned her universal critical praise, including the Academy Award for Best Actress.
On the heels of Coal Miner's Daughter, Spacek eschewed high profile projects to star in her husband's directorial debut, Raggedy Man (1981), playing a divorced mother who has a dangerous relationship with a sailor, played by Eric Roberts.
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