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Calista Flockhart

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Calista Kay Flockhart (born November 11, 1964) is an American actress widely known for playing the title character in the Fox television comedy-drama series Ally McBeal — for which she won a Golden Globe Award — as well as for the character Kitty Walker McCallister on the ABC drama, Brothers & Sisters. Flockhart is married to actor Harrison Ford


Early lifeEdit

Flockhart was born in Freeport, Illinois, the daughter of Kay, a teacher of English, and Ronald Flockhart, an executive for Kraft Foods. Her parents are retired and live in Morristown, Tennessee. She has one older brother, Gary. Her mother, Kay Calista, reversed her own first and middle names in naming her Calista Kay. Calista also had a great-grandmother named "Calista".

Because her father's job required the family to move often, Flockhart and her brother grew up in several places including IllinoisIowaMinnesotaNew Jersey, and Norwich, New York. As a child, she wrote a play called Toyland in which she performed to a small audience at a dinner party.

Flockhart attended Shawnee High School in Medford Township, New Jersey. Following her graduation in 1983, Flockhart attended the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University inNew Brunswick, New Jersey. While there, she attended a specialized and competitive class, lasting from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM. In her sophomore year at Rutgers, Flockhart met aspiring actress Jane Krakowski, the best friend of her roommate. Later they both would work together on Ally McBeal.

People began recognizing Flockhart's acting ability when William Esper (Mason Gross' theatre director and Flockhart's acting teacher) made an exception to policy by allowing Flockhart to perform on the main stage. Though this venue usually is reserved for juniors and seniors, Harold Scott insisted that Flockhart perform there in his production of William Inge's Picnic. Flockhart graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in theatre in 1988, as one of only a few students who successfully completed the course. Rutgers inducted her into the Hall of Distinguished Alumni on May 3, 2003.

Flockhart moved to New York City in 1989 and began seeking auditions, living with three other women in a two-bedroom apartment and working as a waitress and aerobics instructor. She would remain in the city until 1997.


CareerEdit

[edit]Early careerEdit

In spring 1989, Flockhart made her first television appearance in a minor role in an episode of Guiding Light as a babysitter. She made her professional debut on the New York stage, appearing in Beside Herself alongside Melissa Joan Hart, at the Circle Repertory Theatre. Two years later, Flockhart appeared in the television movie Darrow. Though she later appeared in films Naked in New York (1993) and Getting In (1994), her first substantial speaking part in a film was in Quiz Show, directed by Robert Redford.

Flockhart debuted on Broadway in 1994, as Laura in The Glass Menagerie. Actress Julie Harris felt Flockhart should be hired without further auditions, claiming that she seemed ideal for the part. Flockhart received a Clarence Derwent Award for her performance. In 1995, Flockhart became acquainted with actors such as Dianne Wiest and Faye Dunaway when she appeared in the movie Drunks. Later that year, Flockhart starred in Jane Doe as a drug addict. In 1996, Flockhart appeared as the daughter of Dianne Wiest and Gene Hackman's characters in The Birdcage. Throughout that year, she continued to work on Broadway, playing the role of Natasha in Anton Chekhov's Three Sisters.

[edit]Ally McBealEdit

In 1997 Flockhart was requested to audition for the starring role in David E. Kelley's Fox television series, Ally McBeal. Kelley, having heard of Flockhart, wanted her to audition for the contract part. Though Flockhart at first hesitated due to the necessary commitment to the show in a negotiable contract, she was swayed by the script and traveled to Los Angeles to audition for the part, which she won. She earned a Golden Globe Award for the role in 1998. Flockhart also appeared on the June 29, 1998, cover of Time magazine, placed as the newest iteration in the evolution of feminism, relating to the ongoing debate about the role depicted by her character.

Throughout her professional career, Flockhart has maintained her naturally lean figure. However, many have commented that Flockhart had become dangerously thin, particularly when the actress made red carpet appearances in clothing that revealed a somewhat emaciated physique. She had maintained throughout the show's run that she was never diagnosed with either anorexia or bulimia, nor was she a user of illegal drugs. She did remark, however, that while starring in the show she refrained from eating sweets, retaining her slimness with intense workouts and running. In 2006, she admitted that she had a problem at the time, and was "exercising too much" and "eating too little".

[edit]Other workEdit

Flockhart played the role of Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream, a 1999 film version of Shakespeare's play. In 2000, she appeared in Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her and Bash: Latter-Day Plays, later accompanying Eve Ensler to Kenya in order to protest violence against women, particularly female genital mutilation. Flockhart also starred in the Off-Broadway production of Ensler's The Vagina Monologues.

In 2004, Flockhart appeared as Matthew Broderick's deranged girlfriend in The Last Shot. In the same year, Flockhart travelled to Spain for the filming of Fragile, which premiered in September 2005 at the Venice Film Festival.

She was offered the role of Susan Mayer on Desperate Housewives, but declined. The role went to Teri Hatcher. Flockhart's last appearance on television was as Kitty Walker, opposite Sally FieldRachel Griffiths and Matthew Rhys, in the ABC prime time series Brothers & Sisters, which premiered in September 2006 in the time slot after Desperate Housewives. The show was cancelled in May 2011 after running for five years. Flockhart's character was significant throughout the series' first four years, but her appearances were reduced for the 2010–2011 season, coinciding with the departure of TV husband Rob Lowe.

[edit]Personal lifeEdit

As of 2008, Flockhart is the national spokesperson for Peace Over Violence.Flockhart has been in a relationship with actor Harrison Ford since their meeting at the Golden Globe Awards on January 20, 2002. They became engaged on Valentine's Day in 2009, and were married on June 15, 2010, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The ceremony was presided over by Governor Bill Richardson and New Mexico Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles W. Daniels. Flockhart and Ford are raising a son, Liam, whom Flockhart adopted as an infant on January 11, 2001.

[edit]FilmographyEdit

Film
Year Title Role
1993 Naked in New York Acting student
1994 Clear Cut
1994 Gettin In Amanda Morel
1994 Quiz Show Barnard Girl
1995 Pictures of Baby Jane Doe Jane
1995 Drunks Helen
1996 The Birdcage Barbara Keeley
1996 Milk & Money Christine
1997 Telling Lies in America Diney Majeski
1999 A Midsummer Night's Dream Helena
2000 Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her Christine Taylor
2004 The Last Shot Valerie Weston
2005 Fragile Amy Nicholls
Television
Year Title Role Notes
1989 Guiding Light Elise
1991 Darrow Lillian Anderson Television movie
1992 Lifestories: Families in Crisis Mary-Margaret Carter Episode: "The Secret Life of Mary Margaret: Portrait of a Bulimic"
1997 – 2002 Ally McBeal Ally McBeal Lead Role
1998 The Practice Ally McBeal Episode: "Axe Murderer"
1999 Ally Ally McBeal
2000 Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child Vanna Van (Voice) Episode: "Rip Van Winkle"
2001 Bash: Latter-Day Plays Television film
2006–2011 Brothers & Sisters Kitty Walker Lead Role
2012 The Penguins of Madagascar Doris (Voice) Episode: "The Penguin Who Loved Me"

[edit]Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Title Work Result
1998 Emmy Award[8] Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Ally McBeal Nominated
Golden Globe Award Best Actress in a TV Series - Comedy or Musical Won
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated
Viewers for Quality Television Award Best Actress in a Quality Comedy Series Won
1999 American Comedy Award Funniest Female Performer in a TV Series Nominated
Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
Golden Globe Award Best Actress in a TV Series - Comedy or Musical Nominated
Satellite Award Best Actress in a TV Series - Comedy or Musical Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Won
TV Guide Award Favorite Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
Television Critics Association Award Individual Achievement in Comedy Nominated
2000 Golden Globe Award Best Actress in a TV Series - Comedy or Musical Nominated
Peoples Choice Award Favorite Female Television Performer Won
Satellite Award Best Actress in a TV Series - Comedy or Musical Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated
TV Guide Award Favorite Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
Viewers for Quality Television Award Best Actress in a Quality Comedy Series Nominated
2001 Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
Golden Globe Award Best Actress in a TV Series - Comedy or Musical Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated
2002 Golden Globe Award Best Actress in a TV Series - Comedy or Musical Nominated
2008 Gold Derby TV Award Best Ensemble Brothers & Sisters Nominated
Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
2009 Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated

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