Blythe Danner

Intro American actress
A.K.A. Blythe Katherine Danner
Is Actor Television actor Film actor Stage actor Voice actor
From United States of America
Type Film, Television, Stage and Radio
Gender female
Birth 3 February 1943, Philadelphia, USA
Star sign Aquarius
Stats
Height: 1.7018 m

Blythe Katherine Danner (born February 3, 1943) is an American actress. She is the recipient of several accolades, including two Primetime Emmy Awards for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Izzy Huffstodt on Huff (2004–2006), and a Tony Award for Best Actress for her performance in Butterflies Are Free on Broadway (1969–1972). Danner was twice nominated for the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for portraying Marilyn Truman on Will & Grace (2001–06; 2018), and the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for her roles in We Were the Mulvaneys (2002) and Back When We Were Grownups (2004). For the latter, she also received a Golden Globe Award nomination. Danner played Dina Byrnes in Meet the Parents (2000) and its sequels Meet the Fockers (2004) and Little Fockers (2010). She has collaborated on several occasions with Woody Allen, appearing in three of his films: Another Woman (1988), Alice (1990), and Husbands and Wives (1992). Her other notable film credits include 1776 (1972), Hearts of the West (1975), The Great Santini (1979), Mr. and Mrs. Bridge (1990), The Prince of Tides (1991), To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar (1995), The Myth of Fingerprints (1997), The X-Files (1998), Forces of Nature (1999), The Last Kiss (2006), Paul (2011), Hello I Must Be Going (2012), I'll See You in My Dreams (2015), and What They Had (2018). Danner is the sister of Harry Danner and the widow of Bruce Paltrow. She is the mother of actress Gwyneth Paltrow and director Jake Paltrow.

Early life

Danner was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Katharine (née Kile; 1909–2006) and Harry Earl Danner, a bank executive. She has a brother, opera singer and actor Harry Danner; a sister, performer-turned-director Dorothy "Dottie" Danner; and a maternal half-brother, violin maker William Moennig. Danner has Pennsylvania Dutch (German), and some English and Irish, ancestry; her maternal grandmother was a German immigrant, and one of her paternal great-grandmothers was born in Barbados (to a family of European descent). Danner graduated from George School, a Quaker high school located near Newtown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania in 1960.

Career

A graduate of Bard College, Danner's first roles included the 1967 musical Mata Hari (closed out of town), and the 1968 Off-Broadway production of Summertree. Her early Broadway appearances included Cyrano de Bergerac (1968) and her Theatre World Award-winning performance in The Miser (1969). She won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for portraying a free-spirited divorcée in Butterflies Are Free (1970). In 1972, Danner portrayed Martha Jefferson in the film version of 1776. That same year, she played a wife whose husband has been unfaithful, opposite Peter Falk and John Cassavetes, in the Columbo episode "Etude in Black". Her earliest starring film role was opposite Alan Alda in To Kill a Clown (1972). Danner appeared in the episode of M*A*S*H entitled "The More I See You", playing the love interest of Alda's character Hawkeye Pierce. She played lawyer Amanda Bonner in television's Adam's Rib, also opposite Ken Howard as Adam Bonner. She played Zelda Fitzgerald in F. Scott Fitzgerald and 'The Last of the Belles' (1974). She was the eponymous heroine in the film Lovin' Molly (1974) (directed by Sidney Lumet). She appeared in Futureworld, playing Tracy Ballard with co-star Peter Fonda (1976). In the 1982 TV movie Inside the Third Reich, she played the wife of Albert Speer. In the film version of Neil Simon's semi-autobiographical play Brighton Beach Memoirs (1986), she portrayed a middle-aged Jewish mother. She has appeared in two films based on the novels of Pat Conroy, The Great Santini (1979) and The Prince of Tides (1991), as well as two television movies adapted from books by Anne Tyler, Saint Maybe and Back When We Were Grownups, both for the Hallmark Hall of Fame. Danner at the Metropolitan Opera opening, September 22, 2008 Danner appeared opposite Robert De Niro in the 2000 comedy hit Meet the Parents, and its sequels, Meet the Fockers (2004) and Little Fockers (2010). From 2001 to 2006, she regularly appeared on NBC's sitcom Will & Grace as Will Truman's mother Marilyn. From 2004 to 2006, she starred in the main cast of the comedy-drama series Huff. In 2005, she was nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards for her work on Will & Grace, Huff, and the television film Back When We Were Grownups, winning for her role in Huff. The following year, she won a second consecutive Emmy Award for Huff. For 25 years, she has been a regular performer at the Williamstown Summer Theater Festival, where she also serves on the Board of Directors. In 2006, Danner was awarded an inaugural Katharine Hepburn Medal by Bryn Mawr College's Katharine Houghton Hepburn Center. In 2015, Danner was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame. Blythe Danner, 2010

Environmental activism

Danner has been involved in environmental issues such as recycling and conservation for over 30 years. She has been active with INFORM, Inc., is on the Board of Environmental Advocates of New York and the Board of Directors of the Environmental Media Association, and won the 2002 EMA Board of Directors Ongoing Commitment Award. In 2011, Danner joined Moms Clean Air Force, to help call on parents to join in the fight against toxic air pollution.

Health care activism

After the death of her husband Bruce Paltrow from oral cancer, she became involved with the nonprofit Oral Cancer Foundation. In 2005, she filmed a public service announcement to raise public awareness of the disease and the need for early detection. She has since appeared on morning talk shows and given interviews in such magazines as People. The Bruce Paltrow Oral Cancer Fund, administered by the Oral Cancer Foundation, raises funding for oral cancer research and treatment, with a particular focus on those communities in which healthcare disparities exist. She has also appeared in commercials for Prolia, a brand of denosumab used in the treatment of osteoporosis.

Personal life

Danner was married to producer and director Bruce Paltrow, who died of oral cancer in 2002. She and Paltrow had two children together, actress Gwyneth Paltrow and director Jake Paltrow. Danner's niece is the actress Katherine Moennig, the daughter of her maternal half-brother William. Danner co-starred with her daughter in the 1992 television film Cruel Doubt and again in the 2003 film Sylvia, in which she portrayed Aurelia Plath, mother to Gwyneth's title role of Sylvia Plath. Danner is a practitioner of transcendental meditation, which she has described as "very helpful and comforting."

Stage

Year Title Role Location Notes
1965 The Glass Menagerie Laura Wingfield Theater Company of Boston
1967 Three Sisters Irina Prozorova Trinity Square Playhouse
1968 Cyrano de Bergerac Sister Marthe Vivian Beaumont Theater
1968 Up Eden Violet Beam Jan Hus Playhouse Theater
1968 Lovers Margaret Mary Enright Vivian Beaumont Theater
1969 Someone's Comin' Hungry Connie Odum Pocket Theatre
1969 The Miser Elise Vivian Beaumont Theater Theatre World Award
1969–1972 Butterflies Are Free Jill Tanner Booth Theatre Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play
1971 Major Barbara Barbara Undershaft Mark Taper Forum
1972 Twelfth Night Viola Vivian Beaumont Theater
1974 The Seagull Nina Zarechnaya Williamstown Theatre Festival
1975 Ring Round the Moon Isabelle Williamstown Theatre Festival
1977 The New York Idea Cynthia Karslake Brooklyn Academy of Music Nominated – Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play
1979 Children of the Sun Lisa Williamstown Theatre Festival
1980 Betrayal Emma Trafalgar Theatre Nominated – Tony Award for Best Actress in a PlayNominated – Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play
1980–1981 The Philadelphia Story Tracy Samantha Lord Vivian Beaumont Theater
1987 Blithe Spirit Elvira Condomine Neil Simon Theatre
1988 Much Ado About Nothing Beatrice Delacorte Theater
1988 A Streetcar Named Desire Blanche DuBois Circle in the Square Theatre Nominated – Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play
1989 Love Letters Melissa Gardner Promenade Theatre
1991 Picnic Rosemary Sydney Williamstown Theatre Festival
1994 The Seagull Irina Arkadina Williamstown Theatre Festival
1995 Sylvia Kate New York City Center
1995–1996 Moonlight Bel Laura Pels Theatre
1998 The Deep Blue Sea Hester Collyer Criterion Center Stage Right
2000 Tonight at 8.30 Jane Featherways Williamstown Theatre Festival
2001 Follies Phyllis Rogers Stone Belasco Theatre Nominated – Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical
2002 Carousel Mrs. Mullin Carnegie Hall
2003 All About Eve Karen Richards Ahmanson Theatre
2006 Suddenly Last Summer Violet Venable Laura Pels Theatre Nominated – Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play
2012–2013 Nice Work If You Can Get It Millicent Winter Imperial Theatre
2014 The Country House Anna Paterson Samuel J. Friedman Theatre

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