Born in Australia in 1947, actress Jacki Weaver first took the stage at the age of 15. She had great success in the 1970s with such films as Stork, Alvin Purple and Picnic at Hanging Rock. After years of focusing mainly on theater, Weaver gave an impressive performance in 2010's Animal Kingdom. She earned her first Academy Award nomination for the film. Two years later, Weaver appeared in Silver Linings Playbook in another critically acclaimed role. She received her second Academy Award nomination for this project.
Early Life and Career
Born on May 25, 1947, in Sydney, Australia, actress Jacki Weaver has enjoyed a long career on stage, television and in films. Her father was a lawyer and her mother was originally from England. Growing up she was very interested in American culture. Some of the first movies she saw were such animated classics as Bambi and Fantasia. Around the age of 7, Weaver dreamt of becoming the next Esther Williams, the famed actress known for her aquatic routines.
Weaver started out in the theater, making her debut at the age of 15. She appeared in a production of Cinderella in Sydney. According to some reports, Weaver became involved with her co-star Bryan Davies, a leading teen star at the time. After several years of theatrical work, Weaver landed her first television role in 1966's Wandjina!.
In 1970, Weaver made headlines for having a child out of wedlock. This scandal did little to hamper her career, however. Weaver had a major career breakthrough with the 1971 comedy Stork, which be proved to be a big hit with audiences as well as critics. She won an Australian Film Institute Award for her work on the film. More films followed, such as Alvin Purple (1973) and Petersen (1974). Weaver also appeared in Peter Weir's Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975). After the 1970s, Weaver worked primarily as a stage actress, only appearing on screen from time to time.
Internationally Acclaimed Actress
After more than 40 years as an actress, Jacki Weaver saw her career reach new heights in 2010 with Animal Kingdom. Director David Michod wrote the part of the sociopathic mother in this crime drama especially for her. She told Popeater.com that she "was very flattered, even though she is quite a despicable, horrible piece of work. I usually do get to play the very sweet, charming roles ... but I'm not an obvious kind of villain."
Her nuanced portrayal of Janine "Smurf" Cody drew raves, including Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations. While she lost out to Melissa Leo in both cases, Weaver won several others awards, including from the National Board of Review, for the film. All of this critical acclaim helped open new doors for the actress, now in her sixties. She again wowed audiences with her performance as Bradley Cooper's mother in Silver Linings Playbook (2012). For this family drama, which also stars Jennifer Lawrence, Weaver picked up her second Academy Award nomination.
Following Silver Linings Playbook's wave of success, Weaver's film career continues to gain momentum. Among the more recent projects for the actress is the horror film Haunt.
Married five times, Weaver chronicled her romantic ups and downs in the 2005 memoir Much Love, Jac. She is currently married to actor Sean Taylor.
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