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Joan Cusack

Joan Cusack

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Comedic actress Joan Cusack, sister of actor John Cusack, earned best supporting actress nominations for roles in the films 'Working Girl' and 'In & Out.'


Joan Cusack was born October 11, 1962, in New York City. She began making films in her teens and soon became known for her hilarious supporting characters in such films as My Bodyguard (1980) and Sixteen Candles (1984). She made her film breakthrough as an adult in Working Girl (1988). In the early 1990s, she left Hollywood to spend more time with family. Her 1997 comeback, the film In & Out, was to rave reviews, with Cusack later winning an Emmy for her guest role in the TV series Shameless

Early Life

Born October 11, 1962, in New York City, Joan Cusack is the daughter of an actor and a math teacher. Cusack grew up in a family of thespians: All four of her siblings have pursued acting careers, most notably her youngest brother, John. She grew up in the Chicago suburbs and attended the Piven Theater Workshop. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Madison with a degree in English in 1985.

Early Films

Cusack began making films in her teens and soon became known for her hilarious, and often touching, supporting characters in such films as My Bodyguard (1980) and Sixteen Candles (1984). The young actress gradually received more grown-up roles, finding her breakthrough role in Working Girl (1988) and earning a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination playing Melanie Griffith's street-smart best friend. She also received strong reviews the following year for the drama Men Don't Leave with Jessica Lange.

The Films of the 1990s

In the early 1990s, Cusack left Hollywood for Chicago to spend more time with her family. When she finally made her comeback in 1997, it was to rave reviews as a bride who gets left at the altar when her fiancé (Kevin Kline) realizes he's gay in In & Out. Cusack earned her second Best Supporting Actress nomination for her performance. That same year, she gave a brief but memorable performance in her brother John's vehicle, Grosse Point Blank. She finished the decade turning in a number of strong supporting performances in such films as Arlington Road, Runaway Bride and Cradle Will Rock, as well as providing the voice for Jessie the Cowgirl in Toy Story 2 (all in 1999).

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US actor Miles Teller poses during a photocall for the film "Too Old To Die Young - North of Hollywood, West of Hell" at the 72nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, on May 18, 2019.

Miles Teller

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 02:  Ranking member U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) questions U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke as he testifies at a hearing on receiving 'the Monetary Policy Report to the Congress required under the Humphrey-Hawkins Act' at the House Financial Services Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill on March 2, 2011 in Washington, DC. Bernanke reportedly defended the Federal Reserves monetary policy against criticism from Republicans.  (Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images)

Barney Frank

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 02:  Actor  Ben Whishaw attends the 48th New York Film Festival premiere of 'The Tempest' at Alice Tully Hall on October 2, 2010 in New York City.  (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Ben Whishaw

Ben Whishaw

Into the New Century

Cusack entered the 2000s as she left the 1990s: busy. Usually appearing as a supporting actress, Cusack appeared in a long string of movies, including High Fidelity (2000), School of Rock (2003) and Raising Helen (2004). She also expanded her voice work in such animated films as Chicken Little (2005), Toy Story 3 (2010) and Hoodwinked Too: Hood vs. Evil (2011). She also landed a role on a Showtime original TV series in 2011, playing Sheila Jackson on the drama-comedy Shameless, which enters its sixth season in 2016. For her work in Shameless, Cusack has received Emmy nominations for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series five years running, winning in 2015.

Personal Life

Cusack married attorney Richard Burke in 1993. The couple has two sons, Dylan and Miles.

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