Anjelica Huston Biography

Animal Rights Activist, Activist, Actress (1951–)
Anjelica Huston is an Academy Award-winning actress, a film director and the daughter of John Huston.


Anjelica Huston was born on July 8, 1951, in Santa Monica, California. The daughter of film director John Huston, Huston got her start in show business through small parts in her father's films. Her first significant film role was in The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981). In 1985, she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role inPrizzi's Honor. Like her father, Huston went on to become a filmmaker herself, directing her first film, Bastard Out of Carolina, in 1996.

Early Years

Anjelica Huston was born in Santa Monica, California, on July 8, 1951, to film director John Huston and former ballerina Enrica Soma. Two years later, the family moved to Ireland, where Huston would spend much of her childhood in the absence of her father, who would go from one film set to the next.

Her parents split up in 1962, and Huston moved to London with her mother. She left school in 1968 and soon delved into acting, auditioning for the lead in Franco Zeffirelli's production of Romeo and Juliet. Huston's father, though, essentially poached his daughter for his own film, A Walk with Love and Death (1969), whose critical reception did little for the film or Huston's nascent acting career.

Huston spent some time acting in the theater and modeling, leaving the big screen for a decade.

Her mother was killed in a car crash during this period, and Huston's own car crash in 1980 made her re-examine her goals, and she threw herself back into acting, taking on some supporting roles on television and in film. Early roles included playing a lion tamer in the remake of The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981; with Jack Nicholson, with whom she had a years-long relationship) and guest appearances on Laverne & Shirley.

The Big Screen Gets Bigger

After a starring turn in 1984's The Ice Pirates, Huston's next film would change her career path. Prizzi's Honor (1985), in which Huston starred opposite Nicholson, was directed by John Huston, and it earned the actress her first Academy Award, for best supporting actress. Several high-profile films would follow: Francis Ford Coppola's Gardens of Stone (1987), her father's adaptation of James Joyce's The Dead (1987) and Mr. North (1988) would all precede the epic TV miniseries Lonesome Dove (1989), based on the Larry McMurtry novel.

Suddenly, Huston was everywhere and in a wide variety of films, from Woody Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989) to Enemies: A Love Story (1989; which earned her an Oscar nomination) to playing the Grand High Witch in The Witches (1990) and a homicidal con artist in the screen version of Jim Thompson's The Grifters (1990; Oscar nomination), Huston could seemingly do it all. She also married during this period, and she would remain with husband Robert Graham until his 2008 death.

Recent Work

In 1996, Huston followed her father into the director's chair, helming Bastard out of Carolina, and three years later she was at it again with Agnes Browne, a film in which she also starred. The turn of the century brought Huston into the colorful world of Wes Anderson, as she appeared in three of his films: The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) and The Darjeeling Limited (2007).

In all, Huston has inhabited more than 75 film and TV roles, and for her efforts she has won nearly 40 awards, among them one Oscar.

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