Cloquet, Minnesota) is an American screen and stage actress. Most recently, she debuted also as a photographer.
The actress may be most notable for her performance of Frances Farmer (ranked #85 on Premiere magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time in 2006) in Frances, and Tootsie. Both from 1982, for which she was nominated on Oscars in two categories at the same time, becoming the first such female since Teresa Wright in 1942. Her other significant roles featured Patsy Cline in Sweet Dreams (1985), Carly Marshall in Blue Sky (1994), Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire (1995), Irma Applewood in Normal (2003), and Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale in Grey Gardens (2009). Amongs other, she has won two Academy Awards, four Golden Globes, and lately an Emmy Award.
After three decades in front of the camera, Lange has realized her dream of being on the other side of the lens, and published in 2008 her own collection of black-and-white photographs, simply entitled 50 Photographs (powerHouse Books). Their exhibition, along with series of her films, was presented at the oldest international museum of photography and film George Eastman House, to be awarded by the first GEH Honors Award in 2009. Since 1982, Lange has lived with the Pulitzer Prize-winner, Sam Shepard.
Early lifeLange, the third of four children, was born in Cloquet, Minnesota, the daughter of Dorothy Florence (née Sahlman) and Albert John Lange, who was a teacher and salesman.Her maternal grandparents were of Finnish descent, while her paternal grandparents were German and Dutch. She studied art briefly at the University of Minnesota before going to Paris, France, where she studied mime with Étienne Decroux. She returned to New York in 1973 and took acting lessons while working as a waitress and a fashion model for the Wilhelmina Models agency. She was discovered by the fashion illustrator Antonio in 1974.
CareerIn 1976, Dino De Laurentiis cast her in his film motion picture remake of King Kong, which both started and almost ended her career. Although the film was a box office hit, critics were not kind to Lange and the film and Lange did not appear in another film for three years, when Bob Fosse cast her as the glamorous figure of death in All That Jazz (1979). The unfavorable reviews were devastating but critics took notice with her impressive turn in Bob Rafelson's remake of The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981).
Her performance in her next film, Frances (1982), in which she portrayed actress Frances Farmer, was highly lauded and earned her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. She received two Academy Award nominations that year, the other for Best Supporting Actress in the comedy Tootsie (1982), for which she won. She continued giving impressive performances through the 1980s and 1990s in films such as Sweet Dreams (1985) (playing country/western singer Patsy Cline), Crimes of the Heart co-starring with Diane Keaton and Sissy Spacek, along with Sam Sheppard (1986), Music Box (1989), Men Don't Leave (1990), and Blue Sky (1994), directed by Tony Richardson, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress. She portrayed the wife of the titular legendary Scottish hero in Rob Roy with Liam Neeson (1995).
Since 2000, Lange has mostly appeared in supporting roles on screen. In 2006, she appeared as part of the ensemble cast of Kathy Bates and Joan Allen in Bonneville. In her most recent film, she played Edith "Big Edie" Bouvier Beale in Grey Gardens (2009), a film based in part on biographical information, and in part on the 1970s cult documentary. Her performance earned her an Emmy Award.
Humanitarian work and political viewsShe is a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). She has also been a public critic of former U.S. President George W. Bush, once calling his administration, "a self-serving regime of deceit, hypocrisy and belligerence."
Personal lifeLange was married to photographer Paco Grande from 1970–1981. Since 1982, she has lived with playwright/actor Sam Shepard. She has three children, Alexandra (born 1981) from her relationship with dancer/actor Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Hannah Jane (born 1985) and Samuel Walker (born 1987) with Shepard.
|1981||The Best Little Girl in the World||?||Sam O'Steen|
|1985||Cat on a Hot Tin Roof||Maggie||Jack Hofsiss|
|1992||O Pioneers!||Alexandra Bergson||Glenn Jordan|
|1995||A Streetcar Named Desire||Blanche DuBois||Glenn Jordan|
|2003||Normal||Irma Applewood||Jane Anderson|
|2004||Peace by Peace: Women on the Frontlines||Narrator||Lisa Hepner|
|2007||Sybil||Dr Cornelia Wilbur||Joseph Sargent|
|2009||Grey Gardens||Big Edie||Michael Sucsy|
|1981||Notre Dame of the Cross||Herself||Daniel Schmid|
|1994||A Century of Cinema||Caroline Thomas|
|1997||Off the Menu: The Last Days of Chasen's||Shari Springer Berman |
|2003||XXI Century||Gabriele Zamparini|
|2005||The Needs of Kim Stanley||Dani Minnick|
StageographyIn 1992, Lange made her Broadway-theatre début in New York City opposite Alec Baldwin in Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire. She appeared in the West End in London, United Kingdom, in 2000, as Mary Tyrone in Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night. In 2005, she returned to Broadway in another Tennessee Williams play, The Glass Menagerie with Christian Slater.
|1992||A Streetcar Named Desire||Blanche DuBois||Gregory Mosher|
|2000||Long Day's Journey into Night||Mary Cavan Tyrone||Robin Phillips|
|2005||The Glass Menagerie||Amanda Wingfield||Rupert Goold|