Joan Cusack

Joan Cusack


Background:

"There are way more different character roles for men than there are for women.
With women, it's usually you're the babe or you're the supportive friend, sort
of brassy and obnoxious, cracking jokes. I'm not the babe." Joan Cusack.

Award winning actress Joan Cusack, sister of gifted actor John Cusack (Runaway
Jury, Identity), received rave reviews for her acting in the films Working Girl
(1989) and In & Out (1998). She also earned praise working in such films as
Grosse Pointe Blank (1998), Runaway Bride (2000) and Toy Story 2 (2000).
Recently, Cusack starred as Michelle Trachtenberg's mother, Joan Carlyle, in Tim
Fywell's family-comedy Ice Princess.

Joan is currently busy working on 2 film projects. Moviegoers will hear her
voice as The Ugly Duckling in Mark Dindal's animated movie, Chicken Little. She
will also be seen in Nicole Holofcener's romance-comedy, Friends With Money
(starring Jennifer Aniston).



Cusack Fame

Childhood and Family:

In New York City, Joan Cusack was born on October 11, 1962, to a family
surrounded by acting skills. She is the daughter of actor and film director
Richard Cusack (a.k.a. Dick Cusack, died in June 2003 from pancreatic cancer)
and Nancy Cusack (ex math teacher). Her four siblings are also actors, sisters
Susie Cusack (born in 1971) and Ann Cusack (born on May 22, 1961) as well as
brothers John Cusack (born on June 28, 1966) and Bill Cusack (born in 1964).

Later Joan was raised in the small town of Evanston, Chicago, where she signed
up at the Piven Theater Workshop. She also attended the University of Wisconsin
at Madison and graduated with a B.A degree in English in 1985.

In 1993 Joan met and fell in love with Richard Burke (lawyer; born in 1963). The
couple decided to get married and now have two sons, Miles (born in 2000) and
Dylan John Burke (born on June 17, 1997).


Working Girl In & Out

Career:

Having honed her acting skills with the Piven Theatre Workshop, young Joan
Cusack landed her earliest film work in the early 1980s by playing the role of
Shelley, (father Richard Cusack had a very small role), in the teen comedy My
Bodyguard (1980) and with brother John Cusack (character Bryce) in the
romance-comedy Sixteen Candles (1984, Joan played a small role of a geek girl).
After appearing in such films as Cutting Loose (1980), Class (1983), and
Grandview, U.S.A. (1984), Joan became a regular on the hit show Saturday Night
Live for one season (1985-1986). Subsequently, Joan won more supporting roles in
several films including The Allnighter (1987), Broadcast News (1987), Stars and
Bars (1988), and Married to the Mob (1988).

Portraying Melanie Griffith's best friend Cyn in Mike Nichols' romance-comedy
Working Girl (1988, also starring Harrison Ford and Sigourney Weaver) proved to
be Joan's breakout role. The role earned her an American Comedy Award winner and
an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Joan gained more
memorable roles including playing nurse Jody in the drama Men Don't Leave (1989,
starring Jessica Lange).

After filming Steve Martin's comedy My Blue Heaven (1990), Joan decided to take
a deserved break and spend more time with family. However, she soon returned to
the screen with Addams Family Values (1993), Corrina, Corrina (1994), and Nine
Months (1995). Joan added to her acting resume such films as The Cabinet of Dr.
Ramirez (1991), Hero (1992), Toys (1992), and Two Much (1995). She also can be
seen in Mr. Wrong (1996), Grosse Pointe Blank (1997), and A Smile Like Yours
(1997).

"In & Out seems to play as well in the heartland as it does in big cities." Joan
Cusack

In 1997 Joan made another breakthrough. Frank Oz cast her in the role of Kevin
Kline's abandoned fiancée, Emily Montgomery, in his comedy film, In & Out. Her
remarkable skills as an actor received critical acclaim and nabbed her a second
Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. In the same year, she
portrayed brother John Cusack's secretary, Marcella, in George Armitage's
thriller-comedy Grosse Point Blank.

During the rest of the 90s Joan played roles in a string of films which included
characters in A Smile Like Yours (1997, as Nancy Tellen), Toy Story 2 (1999,
lent her voice to Jessie the Cowgirl), Runaway Bride (1999, as Julia Roberts'
best friend), Cradle Will Rock (directed by Tim Robbins, costarred with her
brother John Cusack), and Arlington Road (playing suburban wife Cheryl Lang).

Joan kept busy in films during the new millennium. Moviegoers can catch her in
numerous films like High Fidelity (2000), Where the Heart Is (2000), The School
of Rock (2003), Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003), and Raising Helen (2004).
More recently, Joan was cast as Michelle Trachtenberg's supportive mother in Tim
Fywell's family-comedy Ice Princess (2005, with Kim Catrall). Commenting about
her role and the film Joan explained, "Skating is big in Chicago... There's a
lot of hockey; a lot of the boys play hockey. And figure skating is big. I mean,
I don't have girls, so I don't know that whole thing that much, whereas my son
plays hockey. [But] we went one day because they were having this ice skating
show of all of the girls and it was huge. It was like all of the dresses and the
things and all of the outfits and the moms and all of the members and they were
doing a big show; it was big."

Joan will soon grace the screen in her forthcoming films Friends with Money and
the animated Chicken Little.

Awards:

American Comedy: Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture,
Runaway Bride, 2000
Annie Awards: Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a
Female Performer in an Animated Feature Production, Toy Story 2, 2000
Chicago Film Critics Association: Commitment to Chicago Award, 2000
Online Film Critics Society: Best Supporting Actress, Grosse Pointe
Blank, 1998
American Comedy: Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture, In &
Out, 1998
Golden Satellite: Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture (Comedy or
Musical), In & Out, 1998
American Comedy: Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture,
Working Girl, 1998
Golden Satellite: Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture (Comedy or
Musical), In & Out, 1997
Society of Texas Film Critics: Best Supporting Actress, In & Out, 1997
New York Film Critics Circle: Best Supporting Actress, In & Out, 1997
Broadcast Film Critics Association: Best Supporting Actress, In & Out,
1997
Theater World: Road, 1989
 
Because I don't think it's very healthy to hold people to idealized views. I think that's a certain stage in life, something kids do. You have to go through that idealistic phase with your parents, but at a certain point, you need to see people as just people.More Joan Cusack quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
As a woman, you listen to more female singers, like guys listen to more rock bands. So in that way, they influence you because you're trying to create an identity; you look to others to model.More Joan Cusack quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
It's nice to be able to work I'd love to be able to do another TV show I could do in Chicago so I could live and work in the same place. It's hard being a parent and being in a good marriage, and it all takes a lot of work, but if you're not there you can't do any of it.More Joan Cusack quotes [03/12/2018 02:03:32]
You're curious about someone, or why they're doing what they're doing. Because everyone who gets to work in this field is so lucky, and it's such a rarified world, I understand that. At the end of the day, I'm interested in demystifying it.More Joan Cusack quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
As a parent, you have to figure out how to shape your kid's character. You want to have human beings who learn about good character. You have to be able to see your child with clarity, see the good side and the bad side of them, and work on the bad side and make them better so they fulfill their potential.More Joan Cusack quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]

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