Laura San Giacomo

Laura San Giacomo


Background:
 
“I’ve fallen in love with all of the women (I’ve played) because there is
something wonderful about them, and if you empathize with them, then you kind of
love them all like... sisters or something.” Laura San Giacomo

Award-winning actress Laura San Giacomo received recognition and came to
prominence with her role as the mean sister-in-law Cynthia Patrice Bishop in the
small-budget-turned-runaway hit Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989) for director
Steven Soderbergh. For her bright scene-stealing turn, she nabbed a Los Angeles
Film Critics Association Award, two Chicago Film Critics Association awards, an
Independent Spirit Award, as well as earned a Golden Globe and BAFTA
nominations. A natural for movies, the petite actress is also memorable for
playing roles in such successful comedies as Pretty Woman (1990), Quigley Down
Under (1990), Stuart Saves His Family (1995), and Suicide Kings (1997), among
others. On television, San Giacomo is perhaps best known for playing journalist
Maya Gallo in the NBC sitcom “Just Shoot Me!” (1997-2003), where she received a
Golden Globe nomination. Other impressing performances include in Stephen King’s
The Stand (1994) and in The Right to Remain Silent (1996).

Off screen, San Giacomo is a humanitarian. As a mother of a child with learning
and physical disabilities, she actively supports charities which give
wide-ranging educational opportunities for all children. She also has appeared
at the Environmental Media Awards, the “Voices For Change” Gala Benefit &
Concert (Benefiting Children with Disabilities) and the Friends Finding A Cure
Gala Benefiting Project A.L.S. On a more private note, the red-headed beauty has
been married twice. She spent her time outside the limelight with her first
husband, actor Cameron Dye, from 1990-98, and has one son with him. She is now
married to actor Matt Adler, with whom she currently resides in San Fernando
Valley in California.
 

Athletic Laura
 
Childhood and Family:
 
Laura San Giacomo was born on November 14, 1962, in Hoboken, New Jersey (some
sources mention West Orange), to Italian-American parents, father John San
Giacomo and mother Mary Jo San Giacomo. Raised in the nearby town of Denville,
Laura went to Denville’s Morris Knolls High School, in which she found her first
interest on acting. Immediately caught by the acting bug, this future actress
immersed herself in numerous school productions and musicals. She continued to
sharpen her crafts at Carnegie Mellon School of Drama, which registers actors
Jack Klugman, Ted Danson, Blair Underwood and among its many famed alumni. She
graduated four years later with a Bachelor of fine arts degree with an emphasis
in acting.

In June 1990, Laura married actor Cameron Dye, whom she met when the two made
guest appearance in an episode of “Miami Vice” in 1989.  The couple welcomed
their son, Mason Alan Dye (who suffers from cerebral palsy), in 1996. After an
eight-year marriage, however, Laura and her husband decided to call it quits in
1998. Despite the failure, Laura managed to fall in love once again and was
married to her present husband, actor Matt Adler, in 2000. In her off time,
Laura enjoys practicing such sports as gymnastics, horseback riding, tennis,
golf and ice skating. The owner of a black 1998 Ford Explorer also likes playing
piano and ballet.    
    

Just Shoot Me!
 
Career:
 
Stage-trained Laura San Giacomo, who made her off-Broadway debut at WPA Theatre
with a role in “North Shore Fish,” began acting while in high school where she
performed in a number of school plays and musicals. She further pursued her
passion at college by starring in countless campus productions, and later
appeared in regional theater performances in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Virginia. In 1988, a year after breaking to TV with
a two-episodic guest arc in the series “Spenser: For Hire,” San Giacomo was
discovered on two off-Broadway productions: “Italian American Reconciliation”
and “The Love Talker.” She then took guest-starring roles in “Crime
Story”(1988), “The Equalizer” and “Miami Vice” (both 1989), as well as made her
first film appearance with an uncredited part in Gary Sinise’s drama Miles from
Home (1988), which starred Richard Gere. 

Her big breakthrough arrived when Steven Soderbergh cast her opposite James
Spader, Andie MacDowell and Peter Gallagher in the controversial film Sex, Lies,
and Videotape (1989). Produced in low-budged, the film became a huge hit and
even won the grand prize at the Cannes Film Festival. As for San Giacomo, her
promising portrayal as the sensible yet nasty Cynthia Patrice Bishop, who has a
steamy affair with her sister’s husband was loved by audiences and critics
alike. As a result, she was handed several awards like a Los Angeles Film
Critics Association for New Generation, a Chicago Film Critics Association and
an Independent Spirit for Best Supporting Actor and a Chicago Film Critics
Association for Most Promising Actress. Additionally, the role brought her
nominations for Best Actress in a Supporting Role at BAFTA and Golden Globe
Awards.

Following the stunning performance, San Giacomo’s career took flight and she
responded the Hollywood’s lure by making three films within one year, in 1990.
Initially, she was cast as Julia Roberts’ wisecracking friend Kit in the box
office hit Pretty Woman, a role that helped the actress strengthen her position
as a bankable actress, before displaying her versatility in the last two:  the
drams Vital Signs (played the hardworking waitress Lauren) and the Australian
Western Quigley Down Under (as the American deportee Crazy Cora, opposite Tom
Selleck). Unfortunately, the scorching-hot start was followed by a sophomore
slump in 1991 with roles in unmemorable movies like the Richard Dreyfuss and  
Holly Hunter starring vehicle Once Around, in which she portrayed Hunter’s
sister Jan Bella, and the Simon Moore-helmed thriller Under Suspicion, starred
Liam Neeson and Kenneth Cranham.

On the other hand, San Giacomo found success on stage, giving fascinating
performances in such off-Broadway plays as “Three Sisters” and “Wrong Turn at
Lungfish,” as well as appearing in a number of regional theatrical presentations
of “The Tempest,” “Romeo and Juliet” and “Crimes of the Heart.” During 1993-94
periods, the actress also found herself continuing her TV career by making her
TV movie debut in For Their Own Good and taking her first miniseries role as
Nadine Cross in the highly acclaimed “Stephen King’s The Stand.”

Returning to the wide screen movie in 1994, San Giacomo headlined the Alan
Jacobs-directed and written Nina Takes a Lover, a comedy-romance which was
well-received by critics but struggled at the box office. Next up for San
Giacomo, the husky-voiced actress provided her voice for the unactredited
character Fox/Janine Renard in the star-studded animated series “Gargoyles”
(1994-96), costarred with Al Franken in the hit comedy Stuart Saves His Family
(1995) and received a favorable reviews for her notable appearance as
HIV-positive high school teacher Nicole Savita in the Showtime The Right to
Remain Silent (1996). For her fine turn in the latter, San Giacomo was nominated
for a CableACE Award. 

In 1997, her TV career received another boost when she was hired to star on the
NBC sitcom “Just Shoot Me!,” for creator Steven Levitan. As Maya Gallo, the
neo-feminist magazine journalist who works for her dad (played by George Segal),
she won raves and took home her next Golden Globe nomination, this time for Best
Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series - Comedy/Musical. She stayed with the
role until its finale season in 2003. In the meantime, she had roles in movies
Eat Your Heart Out, The Apocalypse, the well-like Suicide Kings (all 1997) and
With Friends Like These... (1998), and in TV programs like “Mikhail
Baryshnikov’s Stories from My Childhood” (voiced of Bandit Girl), “Batman
Beyond” (voice of Freon/Mary Michaels), Sister Mary Explains It All (2001), the
CBS biopic Jenifer (2001, played the title role) and The Electric Piper (2003,
voiced Mrs. Robinson).   

After “Just Shoot Me!” came to an end in 2003, San Giacomo was additionally
featured in films like the drama A House on a Hill (2003), director Jeff Hare’s
comedy Checking Out (2005) and the Barbara Kopple-helemd Havoc (2005), a
crime-romance starred Anne Hathaway, Bijou Phillips and Shiri Appleby. On the
small screen, she guest starred in an episode of ‘The Handler” (2003) and
narrated the series “Snapped” (2004). She was scheduled to return to series
regular with a role in the WB new drama “Related” in 2005, but due to creative
differences, she was later recast. The 44-year-old actress will portray Joanna
Malloy in a TV movie about one woman’s battle to give her disabled children a
normal childhood, Conquistadora (2006).  
 

Awards:

Independent Spirit: Best Supporting Female, Sex, Lies, and Videotape,
1990
Chicago Film Critics Association: Most Promising Actress, Sex, Lies, and
Videotape, 1990
Chicago Film Critics Association: Best Supporting Actor, Sex, Lies, and
Videotape, 1990
Los Angeles Film Critics Association: New Generation Award, 1989
I went to college in Pittsburgh at Carnegie Mellon University... studied acting there. Then I went to New York for about five years. I moved out here about 10 years ago.More Laura San Giacomo quotes [10/29/2007 12:10:00]
I knew that I wanted to be an actor. Then it became about whether acting wanted me. So, I gave it a shot. It hasn't worked out too bad, so far.More Laura San Giacomo quotes [10/29/2007 12:10:00]
I did theater at Carnegie, and in Pittsburgh and New YorMore Laura San Giacomo quotes [08/18/2011 10:08:00]
There are amazing schools and amazing educators that are doing a wonderful job. And then there are a lot of educators that are not prepared to deal with inclusive education. They haven't been trained. It's really quite lovely and easy when you understand how to do it.More Laura San Giacomo quotes [10/29/2007 12:10:00]
I did theater at Carnegie, and in Pittsburgh and New York.More Laura San Giacomo quotes [10/29/2007 12:10:00]

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