Melissa Leo Poster


Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Trivia (19)  | Personal Quotes (31)

Overview (3)

Born in New York City, New York, USA
Birth NameMelissa Chessington Leo
Height 5' 4" (1.63 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Melissa Chessington Leo is an American actress. She is known for her Academy Award-winning performance in the 2010 film The Fighter (2010). She was born on September 14, 1960, in New York City. Leo starred as the mother of boxer Micky Ward in the 2010 film The Fighter, also starring Mark Wahlberg. The role garnered her both Golden Globe (Best Supporting Actress) and Oscar awards. Other accolades include award nominations for the film Frozen River (2008) and the HBO series Mildred Pierce.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Drew Stern

Trivia (19)

Attended the State University of New York, Purchase (SUNY Purchase). Other alumni include actors Parker Posey, Wesley Snipes, Stanley Tucci, Sherry Stringfield, Adam Trese, Edie Falco, Seth Gilliam, Dwight Ewell, and Steven Weber; producers Bob Gosse and Todd Baker; and directors Danny Leiner, Nick Gomez, and Hal Hartley.
In March 1997, ex-boyfriend John Heard was charged with harassing Melissa via telephone misuse and trespassing.
Beat Julia Roberts for the role of Linda Warner on the soap opera All My Children (1970).
Melissa studied at State University of New York, Purchase but did not graduate.
Mother is Peggy Chessington Leo, a Californian teacher, and father, Arnold Leo, is an editor at Grove Press, and a fisherman spokesman for the East Hampton Baymen's Association.
Was the runner-up for the 2004 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in 21 Grams (2003).
Won the 2008 Utah Film Critics Association Award for Best Lead Performance by an Actress for her work in Frozen River (2008).
Has worked with Kristen Stewart twice. Once in The Cake Eaters (2007) and again in Welcome to the Rileys (2010).
According to Rob Lowe's biography, "Stories I Only Tell My Friends", he screen-tested with Melissa, who was in serious contention for the part of "Debbie" in About Last Night... (1986). However, the part eventually went to Demi Moore.
She is a natural redhead.
Despite appearing and being billed in early trailers for Lee Daniels's The Butler (2013) as Mamie Eisenhower, her part ultimately was cut from the film.
Ulster County, New York [July 2008]
Was the 137th actress to receive an Academy Award; she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for The Fighter (2010) at The 83rd Annual Academy Awards (2011) on February 27, 2011.
She has German, English, and distant Scottish, ancestry. Her surname is German and originates with a German immigrant, Gustave Leo.
Member of the jury at the Sarajevo Film Festival in 2014.
Gave birth to her 1st child at age 26, a son John Matthew Heard on June 17, 1987. Child's father is her [now ex] boyfriend, John Heard.
She won an Oscar for playing Alice Eklund-Ward in The Fighter (2010), making her one of 17 actors to win the Award for playing a real person who was still alive at the evening of the Award ceremony (as of 2015). The other sixteen actors and their respective performances are: Spencer Tracy for playing Father Edward Flanagan in Boys Town (1938), Gary Cooper for playing Alvin C. York in Sergeant York (1941), Patty Duke for playing Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker (1962), Jason Robards for playing Ben Bradlee in All the President's Men (1976), Robert De Niro for playing Jake La Motta in Raging Bull (1980), Sissy Spacek for playing Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)_, Jeremy Irons for playing Claus Von Bullow in Reversal of Fortune (1990), Susan Sarandon for playing Sister Helen Prejean in Dead Man Walking (1995), Geoffrey Rush for playing David Helfgott in Shine (1996), Julia Roberts for playing Erin Brockovich in Erin Brockovich (2000), Jim Broadbent for playing John Bayley in Iris (2001), Helen Mirren for playing Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen (2006), Sandra Bullock for playing Leigh Anne Tuohy in The Blind Side (2009), Christian Bale for playing Dickie Eklund in The Fighter (2010), Meryl Streep for playing Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady (2011) and Eddie Redmayne for playing Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything (2014).
Is one of 3 actresses who have won both the Best Supporting Actress Oscar (hers being for The Fighter (2010)) and the Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Emmy (hers being for Louie (2010)). The other actresses are Cloris Leachman and Eileen Heckart.

Personal Quotes (31)

[Excerpt from her 2011 Academy Award acceptance speech] When I watched Kate Winslet two years ago, it looked so fucking easy - Oops!
[on interpreting the title role in Francine (2012)] To play someone when the character masks their own emotions, doesn't understand their own emotions, has no release for their own emotions, and yet is full of emotion - that is a much harder character to play than someone who has somewhere to put it.
Being an actor on a movie set is like going to the playground at recess.
An actor's life is fairly lonely.
I am a smoker, I'm ashamed to say. I had given it up for many years, then picked it up again. It's a horrible habit. I struggle with myself all the time. And I love to smoke.
Acting is the business of truth, so that we can see ourselves reflected back and learn.
An actor has to be very, very careful, as one of the most wonderful props - and actors love props - is a cigarette. There's so much to do with it: you can bring it up to your face, play with the smoke. It's just the greatest - ever since I was 16 and in acting school in England, I've been playing around with cigarettes.
My mom was a '70s mom. She paved a road that no one had yet walked.
I'm very old-school. I like a director to direct me. I like to be the actor.
I'm not particularly fond of the hybrid writer-director or actor-director.
I'm a very lucky girl who gets to act for a living! So why sit around griping and grousing about what's not there.
I think this notion of acting and glamor is getting in everybody's way.
The key to acting has much more to do with listening than with talking.
The climate informs the character.
That's probably the biggest secret of acting: If the actor believes it themselves, they can make you believe it.
Supporting actors are the support. You can't make a building without support. You can't buy dinner without support.
People often expect me to be something other than what I am.
I do get a fair amount of scripts; I got 'Frozen River' kinda just that way. I have a hard time turning my back on anybody who says they have something for me.
Ever since Marilyn Monroe was transformed from one of the prettiest girls you could ever hope to see into an icon, everyone has been trying to repeat that icon. And now the entire industry is filled with, and by and large run by, wannabes.
To get the hippie out of certain characters is probably the most difficult thing for me. I was not a hippie by choice but by birth.
There were not enough women like Kay on TV and now there are none.
The power of television - it's so present in our lives, we don't even know how powerful it is.
I think there has only been one time in my entire career that I've ever gone back to shoot a scene. And it was a scene that, when we were shooting it, we knew that it wasn't working. We knew there was a disagreement between the actor and director. So, we went back.
I think the funny thing about acting for me - and I hold it in a very holy, spiritual way - not to be overly fundamentalist about it, but it's that important to me - is that it is an ancient healing art.
I mean, the unfair treatment of women and black people and Indians and other groups, that's real. Mistreatment of other people because 'I'm better than you are' is such a sad part of the world.
I haven't had a lot of experience with glamor. I've never had to mask myself, as many now not-so-young actresses have had to do. Female actors in that regard have a different lot in life than male actors.
I have some close friends I keep in touch with. I knit. I watch a little too much TV. I ski, if the weather's right for that. If I can find a group of buddies, I go rock climbing.
You know, when I got started on television in the '80s, you would go to the costume department, and if you were a female they put you into a skirt. And you had a pocketbook, usually a shoulder bag.
Well, I don't think of myself as a feminist at all. As soon as we start labeling and categorizing ourselves and others, that's going to shut down the world.
Through all of this lovely interviewing, and nice things people say, and the rest of it, I have learned that I am an actor. That is my profession. That is my job. That is how I make a living. So I am just out there making a living.
My body has done for me all these years things I couldn't ever even dreamt to do for characters. It's a tool, molecularly speaking, and I need to take care of it.

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