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Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Mieography


This one came about as just a laugh between me and MM, because, we were discussing celebrity endorsements of certain things, like, oh, say, US Cellular?
For which Joan Cusack used to be the celebrity voice for...
for whom MM used to work for....

ANYHOW

She was born in NYC, but raised in an Illinois suburb, the daughter of a political activist mother (Nancy) and her actor father, Dick. She has four siblings, Ann, Bill, John, and Susie, who have also been actors. She did go to college, graduating from University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Bachelors of Art in English. Because her father, and siblings (eventually) all acted, Joan grew up on the stage, and trained with the Piven Theatre Workshop.
She started out in movies with lots of roles that were frequently in movies her brother John was in, like My Bodyguard, and Sisteen Candles. Always a comedienne, she accepted a position with Saturday Night Live, but ended up feeling constrained, and that there was a lack of good material for women. She left after one season. She continued to play supporting roles in multiple movies (she is known well for this role, actually) but finally got her breakthrough role with Working Girl, and got an Oscar nomination fr that film.
In 1990 she accepted a part in the comedy "My Blue Heaven", with Steve Martin. The role ended up being a negative experience for her, and she abandoned Hollywood for awhile, and concentrated on her family. She is married, with two sons. She sporadically visited the big screen, and finally made a come back of sorts in 1997, with the movie "In and Out", scoring another Oscar nomination. She continued her work in many, scattered films, continuing to act in movies that her brother John was in, such as Grosse Pointe Blank. When not acting in some of his work, she is frequently seen in the "best friend" role. She was also the voice of Jessie in Toy Story 2, and 3. She even had her own TV series, which was filmed in Chicago so she could be with her family.
All told, she has had a steady career, with over 47 movies in the last 20 years. One of my personal favorites was the role she played in a very odd little film called Toys, with Robin Williams.
Some of you may be wondering why I chose her today (despite her MM and Cellular connections). I have just always liked her. She makes me laugh almost every time I see her in something, unless she is playing a sad role. Her sense of humor seems fun, and she was smart enough to figure out how to have a career and family. Sure, she isn't exactly a high priced, much sought after big name, but she is satisfied, and I bet her life is much less stressful than those big name actresses. Plus, we all need a funny best friend in our lives, right? Where would these movies all be without her?

7 comments:

K said...

I love her.

She always cracks me up.

Knot said...

If you watch John Cusak movies most of the time you see his sister. I bet most people can't pick her out in 16 Candles, but after seeing a few years later I knew it was her. I loved her in Gross Point Blank. I totally forgot about Toys. She was good in that. That whole Piven group shows up in Cusak movies just like Adam Sandler casts his friends in movies.

Good pick as ALWAYS!!!


Knot

julie said...

She's hilarious. Sixteen Candles is a classic. I even loved her as the older pregnant sister in "Raising Helen".

MM said...

When the management from US Cellular announced that she was going to be the spokes person, we all sort of said "Really? Serious?" Then the next question was if we would get to meet her in person, if she was going to be visiting the different markets, no such luck though.

holly said...

she is one of my FAVORITES! i have loved her since i knew of her, which wasn't until snl.

i had a healthy crush on *john* through my teenage years.

Jo Beaufoix said...

She is lovely, and Ikind of fancy her brother too. Not too as in as well as her, but you know, just too. xoxoxo

bernthis said...

You know what is so wonderful about her? is that she has a great career and I'll guarantee you no plastic surgery and she is no diva. It show you can be a good person and get work and guess what? HORRORS -

SHE'S OVER 40!!! i live in L.A. and trust me it is tough for anyone over 25, add small breasts to that picture and you're really screwed.