McGovern at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival
|Born||July 18, 1961|
Evanston, Illinois, U.S.
Elizabeth Lee McGovern(born July 18, 1961) is an American film, television, and theater actress, and musician. She received an Academy Award nomination for her role as Evelyn Nesbit in the 1981 film Ragtime . She is also known for her performance as Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham, in the British drama series Downton Abbey , for which she has been nominated for an Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award. Her other films include Ordinary People (1980), Once Upon a Time in America (1984), The Handmaid's Tale (1990), The Wings of the Dove (1997), and The Chaperone (2018).
McGovern was born in Evanston, Illinois, the daughter of Katharine Wolcott (née Watts), a high school teacher, and William Montgomery McGovern, Jr., a university professor.Her younger sister is novelist Cammie McGovern. Her paternal grandfather was adventurer William Montgomery McGovern, her maternal great-grandfathers were U.S. diplomat Ethelbert Watts and Admiral Charles P. Snyder, and her maternal great-great-grandfather was Congressman Charles P. Snyder. During her early years, the McGovern family moved to Los Angeles, where her father accepted a teaching position with the law school at UCLA.
Agent Joan Scott saw her performance in The Skin of Our Teeth by Thornton Wilder, was impressed by her talent, and recommended she take acting lessons.[ citation needed ] McGovern studied at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, and studied toward a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama at the Juilliard School in New York City as a member of Group 12 from 1979 to 1981.
In 1980, while studying at Juilliard, McGovern was offered a part in what became her first film, Ordinary People , in which she played the girlfriend of troubled teenager Conrad Jarrett (Timothy Hutton). The following year she completed her acting education at the American Conservatory Theatre and Juilliard, and began to appear in plays, first Off-Broadway and later in famous theaters.
In 1981 she earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Evelyn Nesbit in the film Ragtime .She then appeared in Beginners (1982).
In 1984, she starred in Sergio Leone's gangster epic Once Upon a Time in America as Robert De Niro's romantic interest Deborah Gelly. She had leading roles in two other films that year, Racing with the Moon , a coming-of-age story also starring Sean Penn and Nicolas Cage, and the comedy Lovesick , as a patient whose psychiatrist (Dudley Moore) falls in love with her, risking his practice.
In 1989, she played Mickey Rourke's girlfriend in Johnny Handsome , directed by Walter Hill, and the same year she appeared as a rebellious lesbian in Volker Schlöndorff's film The Handmaid's Tale .
McGovern co-starred with Kevin Bacon in a romantic comedy, She's Having a Baby , directed by John Hughes, and starred in the thriller The Bedroom Window , directed by Curtis Hanson. She teamed with Michael Caine in 1990's A Shock to the System , a comic mystery about a man who plots the murder of his wife.
In a 1994 comedy, The Favor , McGovern played a woman who cheats on her boyfriend (played by Brad Pitt) by becoming her married best friend's proxy in a tryst with a man the friend has fantasized about.
McGovern appeared in a number of films in the 21st century, including Woman in Gold , a drama starring Helen Mirren and directed by her husband Simon Curtis.
In 2018, McGovern starred in The Chaperone , directed by Michael Engler and written by Julian Fellowes, whom she also worked with on the British drama series Downton Abbey. Based on the novel by Laura Moriarty (novelist), McGovern played Norma Carlisle, a middle-aged wife and mother who volunteers to chaperone the young Louise Brooks to New York City to study dance at Denishawn school. The Chaperone is the first film that McGovern has also produced. Her husband Simon Curtis, was an executive producer for the film.
McGovern reprised her role as Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham for the Downton Abbey film in 2019. The film continues the storyline of the TV series.
McGovern has appeared in several television productions, mostly in the UK. In 1999 and 2000 McGovern played Marguerite St. Just in a BBC television series loosely based on the novel The Scarlet Pimpernel . She also starred in the four-part television crime drama series Thursday the 12th that same year.
On American TV, she appeared in a 2006 episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit titled "Harm", in which her character of Dr. Faith Sutton was a psychiatrist accused of complicity in detainee abuse. Her other television work includes Broken Glass (Arthur Miller, 1996); Tales from the Crypt ; The Changeling ; Tales from Hollywood; the HBO series Men and Women; The Man in the Brooks Brothers Shirt; Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre ("Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"); and If Not for You (CBS 1995, own series).
In May 2007, she played Ellen Doubleday, Daphne du Maurier's paramour, in Daphne, a BBC2 television drama by Amy Jenkins based on Margaret Forster's biography of the author.
In December 2008, McGovern appeared as Dame Celia Westholme in "Appointment with Death", an episode of Agatha Christie's Poirot . In the same year, she appeared in the three-part BBC comedy series Freezing , written by James Wood and directed and co-produced by her husband Simon Curtis. First broadcast on BBC Four, it was also shown on BBC2 in February 2008. McGovern played an American expatriate actress named Elizabeth, living in Chiswick with her publisher husband, played by Hugh Bonneville, and co-starring Tom Hollander as her theatrical agent.
From 2010 to 2015, she portrayed Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham, wife of Robert Crawley, 7th Earl of Grantham (played by Hugh Bonneville) in the British TV series Downton Abbey ,and also in the film adaptation in 2019. Downton Abbey was the third time McGovern and Bonneville have been cast as a married couple on screen, having previously co-starred in Freezing and Thursday the 12th together.
McGovern is also a singer-songwriter and plays the guitar. In 2008 she began fronting the band Sadie and the Hotheads at The Castle pub venue in Portobello Road, London. The band released an album of songs she developed with The Nelson Brothers, who are now part of the band. The album, I Can Wait, also includes Ron Knights on bass and Rowan Oliver, borrowed from Goldfrapp, as drummer for the recording sessions.Michelle Dockery, who plays McGovern's eldest daughter in Downton Abbey, has occasionally sung with the band. Dockery was also a guest backing vocalist on the bands second album How Not To Lose Things, released in 2012. Terl Bryant also joined the band, taking over from Rowan Oliver as drummer and percussionist.
Throughout 2013, Sadie and the Hotheads toured the UK and Europe and performed in festivals including the Isle of Wight Festival, Montreux Jazz Festival and Edinburgh Festival Fringe.At the end of the year they announced that they were working on their third album with support from former direct-to-fan crowdfunding company PledgeMusic. Still Waiting was released in early 2014 prior to their next UK tour as the support act for Mike and the Mechanics.
McGovern recorded three Christmas tracks in 2014. Her rendition of It Came Upon a Midnight Clear and duet with Julian Ovenden performing The First Noel appear on the double-disc album Christmas At Downton Abbey, produced by Warner Music. Sadie and the Hotheads also released their cover version of the Christmas song The Little Drummer Boy.
Following the conclusion of TV series Downton Abbey in late 2015, McGovern and her band Sadie and the Hotheads began work on a fourth album and embarked on a mini tour of the UK.While they continued to record their new album, the band released a compilation album of songs from their first three albums entitled The Collection (Everybody's Got A Song) in early 2016.
In 2017, McGovern and "Hothead" Simon Nelson collaborated with American singer and musician Duke Robillard on a track for his album Duke Robillard & His Dames of Rhythm. McGovern sings vocals for "Me, Myself and I" while Nelson is a guest musician on electric guitar for the track.
McGovern's fifth album, The Truth, was released in early 2019. Unlike her previous albums with her band, The Truth was released under her name, though it features all of the musicians from Sadie and the Hotheads. The album includes a track which Samuel L. Jackson appears on as a guest vocalist.
Roles in New York include:
In her theatre programme CVs (below), McGovern lists her other theatre work in the U.S. as including:
Since moving to London, McGovern's stage work has included:
McGovern was awarded the 2013 Will Award by the Shakespeare Theatre Company.
In early 2020, McGovern was in rehearsal to star in a revival of The Little Foxes by American playwright Lillian Hellman at the Gate Theatre in Dublin. However, due to the Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the performing arts, the show has been postponed indefinitely.
McGovern was engaged to actor Sean Penn, her co-star in the 1984 film Racing with the Moon .
In 1992, she married British film director and producer Simon Curtis; the couple have two daughters, Matilda and Grace, and live in Chiswick, London.
|1980||Ordinary People||Jeannine Pratt|
|1980||Last Year's Model||Unknown||Short film|
|1981||Ragtime||Evelyn Nesbit||Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress |
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actress
|1984||Once Upon a Time in America||Deborah Gelly (adult)|
|1984||Racing with the Moon||Caddie Winger|
|1986||Native Son||Mary Dalton|
|1987||The Bedroom Window||Denise|
|1988||She's Having a Baby||Kristy Briggs|
|1989||Johnny Handsome||Donna McCarty|
|1990||The Handmaid's Tale||Moira|
|1990||A Shock to the System||Stella Anderson|
|1990||Tune in Tomorrow...||Elena Quince|
|1993||King of the Hill||Lydia|
|1993||Me and Veronica||Fanny|
|1995||Wings of Courage||Noelle Guillaumet||Short film|
|1997||The Wings of the Dove||Susie "Sue" Stringham|
|1998||The Man with Rain in His Shoes||Diane|
|1998||The Misadventures of Margaret||Till Turner|
|2000||The House of Mirth||Mrs. Carry Fisher|
|2001||Buffalo Soldiers||Mrs. Berman|
|2008||Inconceivable||Tallulah "Tutu" Williams|
|2010||Clash of the Titans||Marmara|
|2012||Cheerful Weather for the Wedding||Mrs. Thatcham|
|2015||Woman in Gold||Judge Florence Cooper|
|2017||The Wife||Elaine Mozell|
|2018||The Commuter||Karen McCauley|
|2019||Downton Abbey||Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham|
|1979||California Fever||Lisa Bannister||Episode: "The Girl from Somewhere"|
|1984||Faerie Tale Theatre||Snow White||Episode: "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"|
|1990||Women & Men: Stories of Seduction||Vicki||Television film|
|1991||Ashenden||Aileen Somerville||Television film|
Nominated—CableACE Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
|1992||Tales from Hollywood||Helen Schwartz||Television film|
|1993||Performance||Beatrice-Joanna||Episode: "The Changeling"|
|1995||If Not for You||Jessie Kent||8 episodes|
|1995||Broken Trust||Janice Dillon||Television film|
|1996||Broken Glass||Margaret Hymen||Television film|
|1996||The Summer of Ben Tyler||Celia Rayburn||Television film|
|1996||Tracey Takes On...||Judge Loring||Episode: "Vanity"|
|1996||Tales from the Crypt||Laura Kendall||Episode: "Horror in the Night"|
|1997||Clover||Sara Kate||Television film|
|1999||The Scarlet Pimpernel||Lady Marguerite Blakeney||3 episodes|
|2000||Thursday the 12th||Candice Hopper||Television film|
|2001||The Flamingo Rising||Edna Lee||Television film|
|2001||Hawk||Susie Hawkins||Television film|
|2001||Table 12||Mel||Episode: "Preserves"|
|2003||The Brotherhood of Poland, New Hampshire||Helen Shaw||7 episodes|
|2006||Three Moons over Milford||Laura Davis||8 episodes|
|2007||Daphne||Ellen Doubleday||Television film|
|2007||A Room with a View||Mrs. Honeychurch||Television film|
|2007||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Dr. Faith Sutton||Episode: "Harm"|
|2008||Agatha Christie's Poirot||Dame Celia Westholme||Episode: "Appointment with Death"|
|2009||10 Minute Tales||The Ex-Wife||Episode: "The Running of the Deer"|
|2010–2015||Downton Abbey||Cora, Countess of Grantham||52 episodes|
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2013, 2015)
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
|2019||War of the Worlds||Helen Brown||8 episodes|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Elizabeth McGovern .|
|2007||I Can Wait|
|2012||How Not To Lose Things|
|2016||The Collection (Everybody's Got A Song)||Compilation album of songs from first three albums.|
|2019||The Truth||Features all Sadie and the Hotheads musicians.|
|2014||Christmas At Downton Abbey||Vocals on "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear" and a duet on "The First Noel" with Julian Ovenden.|
|2017||Duke Robillard & His Dames of Rhythm||Vocals on "Me, Myself and I".|
Dame Margaret Natalie Smith is an English actress. She has had an extensive career on stage, film, and television, which began in the mid-1950s. Smith has appeared in more than 60 films and over 70 plays, and is one of Britain's most recognisable actresses. She was made a Dame by Queen Elizabeth II in 1990 for contributions to the performing arts, and a Companion of Honour in 2014 for services to drama.
Samantha Bond is an English actress, who is best known for playing Miss Moneypenny in four James Bond films during the Pierce Brosnan years, and for her role on Downton Abbey as the wealthy widow Lady Rosamund Painswick, sister of Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham. She is also well-known for originating the role of "Miz Liz" Probert in the Rumpole of the Bailey series. Bond is a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Hugh Richard Bonneville Williams, is an English film and television actor. He is best known for playing Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham in the ITV historical drama series Downton Abbey. His performance on the show earned him a nomination at the Golden Globes and two consecutive Primetime Emmy Award nominations.
Terl Bryant is an English musician. His early career saw him working with US artist and filmmaker Steve Taylor and later was part of former Bauhaus singer, Peter Murphy's band. During the 90s he went on to join influential folk-themed progressive band Iona and in 1999 joined former Led Zeppelin bassist and multi-instrumentalist John Paul Jones as part of his trio with Chapman stick player Nick Beggs.
Amy Abigail Nuttall is an English actress and singer known for playing Chloe Atkinson in the ITV soap opera Emmerdale from 2000 until 2005, and housemaid Ethel Parks in ITV period drama Downton Abbey.
Phyllis Logan is a Scottish actress, known for playing Lady Jane Felsham in Lovejoy (1986–1993) and Mrs Hughes in Downton Abbey (2010–2015). She won the BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer for the 1983 film Another Time, Another Place. Her other film appearances include Secrets & Lies (1996), Shooting Fish (1997), Downton Abbey (2019) and Misbehaviour (2020).
MyAnna Buring is a Swedish-born, UK-based actress, known for her roles in The Descent, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 and Part 2, Ripper Street, The Witcher and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Blood and Wine.
Michelle Suzanne Dockery is an English actress. She is best known for her leading performance as Lady Mary Crawley in the ITV television period drama series Downton Abbey (2010–2015), for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and three consecutive Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.
Lesley Nicol is an English actress and three-time SAG Award winner who is known for her starring role as Beryl Patmore in the ITV and PBS drama TV series Downton Abbey.
Joanne Froggatt is an English actress. From 2010 to 2015, she portrayed Anna Bates in the ITV period drama series Downton Abbey. For this role, she received three Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress on Television in 2014. From 2017, she has starred in the ITV drama series Liar.
Clare Frances Elizabeth Higgins is an English actress. Her film appearances include Hellraiser (1987), Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988), Small Faces (1996) and The Golden Compass (2007).
Siobhan Margaret Finneran is a British actress. She made her screen debut in the 1987 independent film Rita, Sue and Bob Too, and subsequently worked consistently in television drama including roles in Coronation Street (1989–1990), Clocking Off (2000–2002) and The Amazing Mrs Pritchard (2006). In 2005, Finneran originated the lead female role in the stage play On the Shore of the Wide World and was awarded the Manchester Evening News Theatre Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Also a comedy performer, Finneran appeared as a leading character in the first seven series of ITV sitcom Benidorm (2007–2015).
Freezing is a BBC comedy series starring Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern about an otherwise successful couple in their forties who find themselves out of work. Matt (Bonneville) is a publisher who has recently lost his job and Elizabeth (McGovern) is an Oscar-nominated American actress who is having a hard time getting work since moving to live with Matt in London.
Downton Abbey is a British historical drama television series set in the early 20th century, created and co-written by Julian Fellowes. The series first aired on ITV in the United Kingdom on 26 September 2010, and in the United States on PBS, which supported production of the series as part of its Masterpiece Classic anthology, on 9 January 2011.
Sophie McShera is an English actress. She is known for her roles as Ros McCain in the fifth series of the BBC television series Waterloo Road, as Daisy Mason in the ITV television series Downton Abbey, and as Drizella Tremaine in the 2015 Disney film Cinderella.
Jessica Rose Brown Findlay is an English actress. She played Lady Sybil Crawley in the ITV television period drama series Downton Abbey and Emilia Conan Doyle in the 2011 British comedy-drama feature film Albatross.
Laura Elizabeth Carmichael is an English film and television actress, most widely known for her performance as Lady Edith Crawley in the ITV (UK) and PBS (US) television period drama series Downton Abbey. Her other work includes television series Marcella (2016), and the feature film A United Kingdom (2016).
Lily Chloe Ninette Thomson, known professionally as Lily James, is an English actress. She studied acting at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and began her acting career in the British television series Just William (2010). Following her role in the period drama series Downton Abbey (2012–2015), her film breakthrough was the title role in Cinderella (2015).
The Chaperone is an 2018 period drama film, directed by Michael Engler, with a screenplay by Julian Fellowes, from the novel by Laura Moriarty. It stars Elizabeth McGovern, Haley Lu Richardson, Miranda Otto, Blythe Danner, Campbell Scott, Géza Röhrig and Victoria Hill.
Downton Abbey is a 2019 historical drama film written by Julian Fellowes, creator and writer of the television series of the same name, and directed by Michael Engler. The film is produced by Carnival Films and Perfect World Pictures, and continues the storyline from the series, with much of the original cast returning. The film, set in 1927, depicts a visit by the King and Queen to the Crawley family's English country house in the Yorkshire countryside. As the Royal staff descend on Downton, an assassin has also arrived and attempts to kill the monarch. The family and servants are pitted against the royal entourage, including the Queen's lady-in-waiting, who has fallen out with the Crawleys, especially the Dowager Countess, over an inheritance issue.
Actor Elizabeth McGovern in 1961 (age 58)