Madeleine Stowe

Madeleine Stowe


Background:

“I love the life of an actor because you spend brief amounts of time with other
people and then you just leave. I need to be alone a lot, and I need the
outdoors.” Madeleine Stowe

American actress Madeleine Stowe attracted attention and gained appreciation for
her outstanding, scene-stealing performance as the tormented wife in Robert
Altman’s Short Cuts (1993), which garnered her a National Society of Film
Critics Award. Her significant teamwork also brought her a Golden Globe Award
and a Venice Film Festival Award. In 1996, she picked up a Universe Reader’s
Choice Award after delivering a brilliant turn as a sympathetic psychiatrist in
Terry Gilliam’s Twelve Monkeys (1995). Aside from her award-winning
performances, the lofty, striking brunette actress is also famously recognized
with roles in such films as Stakeout (1987), Revenge (1990), The Last of the
Mohicans (1992), The General’s Daughter (1999, earned a Blockbuster
Entertainment nomination) and We Were Soldiers (2002).

Stowe’s admirers should not miss her TV come back in the upcoming Greg Yaitanes’
serial “Southern Comfort” (2006).
Off screen, the British and Costa Rican descent Stowe was named one of Empire
magazine’s “100 Sexiest Stars in film history” in 1995. She is married to actor
Brian Benben and has two children with him. The family now resides in a cattle
ranch outside of Fredericksburg, Texas, which she bought with her husband.

“From the very start, we’ve had this inexplicable chemistry. Even when he goes
out to get groceries, I miss him.” Madeleine Stowe on husband Brian Benben


Shy Pianist

Childhood and Family:

Madeleine Stowe Mora was born on August 18, 1958, in a working-class community
next to Los Angeles named Eagle Rock, California. His father is Robert Stowe, an
Oregon civil-engineer who died of complications from multiple sclerosis in 1983,
and her mother is Mireya Mora, an immigrant from Costa Rica. Along with her
younger siblings, brother Robert (born in 1962) and sister Diane (born in 1960),
Madeleine was raised in Glendale, California. She studied film and journalism at
the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, but dropped out to volunteer
at the Solaris, a Beverly Hills theater.

A quite and bashful girl, Madeleine put her first love on the piano and began
training for a career as a concert pianist at age 10, with Vladimir Horowitz’s
childhood instructor Sergei Tarnowsky. “Practicing for hours every day was an
excuse to stay away from other kids,” she recalled. However, Madeleine gave up
several years later following the death of her instructor and then began to
develop her social life. She avowed, “I just felt it was time to not be by
myself anymore.”

In 1986, Madeleine married actor Brian Benben (born on June 18, 1956), whom she
met while costarring in the 1981 miniseries The Gangster Chronicles. They have
two children: a son and a daughter named May Benben (aka. May Theodora; born in
1996).


Twelve Monkeys

Career:

A trained concert pianist as a young, Madeleine Stowe decided to abandon playing
the piano after her instructor’s death. She then took up acting and left her
cinema and journalism studies to volunteer at Beverly Hills’ Solaris Theater.
While there, she was discovered by an agent who soon landed her roles in TV and
films.

Her first professional acting job arrived in 1978 with a one-episodic turn as
Anna in the series “Baretta,” followed by a string of TV work such as guest
starred in “The Amazing Spider-Man” (1978), “Barnaby Jones” (1979), “Little
House on the Prairie” (1980), appeared in TV films The Nativity (1978, starred
as Mary) and The Deerslayer (1978), based on a James Fennimore Cooper book, as
well as costarred in the NBC miniseries “Beulah Land” (1980). In 1981 Stowe
teamed up with director Richard C. Sarafian who had her play the small part of
Ruth Lasker in the history film Gangster Wars, which starred Michael Nouri and
her future husband Brian Benben. She reprised the role for the miniseries “The
Gangster Chronicles,” that same year.

After nearly a ten-year presence on the entertainment industry, Stowe eventually
delivered a breakout big screen role when director John Badham cast her in the
supporting role of Maria McGuire in the action Stakeout (1987). Costarring with
Richard Dreyfuss, Emilio Estevez and Aidan Quinn, she was remembered for her
fine turn as a woman hunted by a killer. Two years later, she added Tropical
Snow (made in 1986) and Worth Winning to her film credits, before earning
further notice as Mireya Mendez in Tony Scott’s bumpy Revenge (1990, opposite
Kevin Costner and Anthony Quinn). She also worked with Jack Nicholson for the
1990 The Two Jakes, gave a powerful portrayal as a political captive vocally
infighting with Alan Rickman in Closet Land (1991), and by the time she took on
the role of the troubled wife in the thriller Unlawful Entry (1992, opposite
Kurt Russell and Ray Liotta ), the actress’ profile in Hollywood boosted. Her
star shone even brighter when Stowe costar as Cora Munro, the frontierswoman who
falls in love with Daniel Day-Lewis in The Last of the Mohicans (1992), Michael
Mann’s acclaimed adaptation of the James Fenimore Cooper novel.

More major film roles followed after the breakthrough screen role. In 1993, she
had the opportunity to work with renowned director Robert Altman in Short Cuts.
Offering one of her best screen appearances as Tim Robbins’ long-suffering wife
Sherri Shepard, Stowe’s performance was critically applauded and she won a 1994
National Society of Film Critics for Best Supporting Actress. Additionally, she
took home a Golden Globe and a Venice Film Festival for Best Ensemble Cast,
awards shared with costars that included Andie MacDowell, Bruce Davison, Jack
Lemmon and Julianne Moore. The same year, she briefly reprised her role from the
1987 Stakeout in an uncredited cameo in the sequel Another Stakeout.

Stowe then starred as the touching blind woman in the thriller Blink (1994,
rejoined Aidan Quinn), had a female lead opposite Ed Harris in China Moon (1994)
and headlined the feminist Western Bad Girls (1994), where she was practically
wasted as a hooker who takes matters into her own hands in the Wild West. She
bounced back in the subsequent year by giving notable turn as a compassionate
psychiatrist named Kathryn Railly in Terry Gilliam’s sci-fi thriller Twelve
Monkeys, which also featured Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt. For her good efforts,
she was handed a Universe Reader’s Choice from the Sci-Fi Universe Magazine for
Best Actress in a Genre Motion Picture in 1996.

The appealing actress made her way back to filmmaking after a few years break in
1998 with the romance The Proposition, costarring with William Hurt and Kenneth
Branagh, and the Angelina Jolie and Dennis Quaid starring vehicle Playing by
Heart, which cast her in the supporting role of a dishonest wife named Gracie.
Stowe rounded out the decade with a good part as Warr. Off. Sara Sunhill in the
Simon West-helmed The General’s Daughter, starring John Travolta. With the role,
she nabbed a Blockbuster Entertainment nod for Favorite Supporting
Actress-Suspense.

She then took another hiatus and didn’t make film until in 2002 when she
collaborated with Gary Sinise in the sci-fi thriller Impostor. The same year,
she replaced Faith Hill to play the female lead in We Were Soldiers, along side
Mel Gibson and costarred with Sylvester Stallone in Avenging Angelo. She also
revisited the small screen with a starring role in the A&E film The Magnificent
Ambersons. Stowe shared top bill with Norman Reedus, Bijou Phillips and Mischa
Barton in horror film Octane (2003) and appeared on the made-for TV film Saving
Milly two years later. The 48-year-old Stowe will star opposite J.D. Evermore,
Eric Roberts and Travis Fimmel in director Greg Yaitanes’ new series “Southern
Comfort” (2006).


Awards:

Sci-Fi Universe Magazine: Universe Reader’s Choice Award, Best Actress
in a Genre Motion Picture, Twelve Monkeys, 1996
National Society of Film Critics: Best Supporting Actress, Short Cuts,
1994
Golden Globe: Special Achievement, Best Ensemble Cast, Short Cuts, 1994
Venice Film Festival: Volpi Cup - Best Ensemble Cast, Short Cuts, 1993
Difficulty also creates its own kind of beauty, I suppose. And while I don't revisit it unless asked, there is this sense of apartness I felt during that period of time from our own world.More Madeleine Stowe quotes [09/15/2006 12:09:00]
Michael was right there, asking for specific shots from Dante. Everything fell into place and it was a particularly lovely, unforced moment. You ask if Hawkeye and Cora make love - -The answer is, that none of us ever felt that to be an answerable question.More Madeleine Stowe quotes [09/15/2006 12:09:00]
When Michael began speaking about the character's inner life, it was clear that his own inner life was strong, as well. I then saw Cora in a completely different light because of Michael's orientation. It became easy to personalize her.More Madeleine Stowe quotes [09/15/2006 12:09:00]
Sometimes he'd launch into a discourse, a convoluted discourse about something or other, and I had no idea what he was saying. I'd tease him about it, "What on earth are you talking about?" And he was capable of blushing.More Madeleine Stowe quotes [09/15/2006 12:09:00]
I don't recall who taught me how to fire the flint-lock, I apologize. We had fantastic crew members like Mickey Pew, the propmaster, who could produce anything Michael asked for with a "Mickey Pew, with you, sir".More Madeleine Stowe quotes [09/15/2006 12:09:00]

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