Mary Stuart Masterson

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Mary Stuart Masterson
Mary Stuart Masterson at Tribeca 2007 cropped 2.jpg
Masterson at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival
Born (1966-06-28) June 28, 1966 (age 54)
Alma mater New York University
OccupationActress, director
Years active1975–present
George Carl Francisco
m. 1990;div. 1992)

m. 2000;div. 2004)

m. after 2006)
Parent(s) Carlin Glynn
Peter Masterson

Mary Stuart Masterson (born June 28, 1966) is an American actress and director. She has starred in the films At Close Range (1986), Some Kind of Wonderful (1987), Chances Are (1989), Fried Green Tomatoes (1991) and Benny & Joon (1993). She won the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the 1989 film Immediate Family , and was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for the 2003 Broadway revival of Nine .


Early life and education

Masterson was born June 28, 1966, in Manhattan, the daughter of writer-director-actor-producer Peter Masterson (1934–2018) and singer-actress Carlin Glynn (1940). She has two siblings: Peter Jr., and Alexandra. As a teenager, she attended Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training Center in upstate New York with actors Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Cryer. Later, she attended schools in New York, including eight months studying anthropology at New York University. [1]


Masterson's first film appearance was in The Stepford Wives (1975) at the age of eight, playing a daughter to her real-life father. Rather than continue her career as a child actor, she chose to continue her studies, although she did appear in several productions at the Dalton School. In 1985, she returned to cinema in Heaven Help Us as Danni, a courageous teen running the soda shop of her gravely depressed Dad. She appeared with Sean Penn and Christopher Walken in the film At Close Range (1986) as Brad Jr's girlfriend Terry, a film based on an actual rural Pennsylvania crime family led by Bruce Johnston, Sr. during the 1960s and 1970s. She later starred as the tomboyish drummer Watts in the teenage drama Some Kind of Wonderful (1987). As a result, she is loosely connected with the Brat Pack. [2] The same year Francis Ford Coppola cast her in Gardens of Stone in which she acted with her parents who were hired by Coppola to play her on-screen parents. [3] In 1989, she played in Chances Are alongside Cybill Shepherd, Ryan O'Neal and Robert Downey Jr., and she starred as Lucy Moore, a teenage girl giving up her first baby to a wealthy couple, played by Glenn Close and James Woods in Immediate Family . For her work in that film she received a "Best Supporting Actress" award from the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures.


Masterson continued acting in films and television during the 1990s. In 1991, she starred in Fried Green Tomatoes , a film based on the novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe . The film was well-received, with film critic Roger Ebert applauding Masterson's work. [4] The following year she was invited to host Saturday Night Live . In 1993, she played opposite Johnny Depp in Benny & Joon as Joon, his mentally ill love interest. In 1994, she acted in Bad Girls , playing Anita Crown, a former prostitute, who joins with three other former prostitutes (played by Madeleine Stowe, Andie MacDowell and Drew Barrymore) in traveling the Old West. In 1996, Masterson acted alongside Christian Slater in the romantic drama Bed of Roses .


Although Masterson carried on her work in the film industry, by 2000 she had made a move towards television. In 2001, she produced her own television series, Kate Brasher , which was canceled by CBS after six episodes. In 2004, Masterson played Dr. Helen Taussig in the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning HBO biographical drama Something the Lord Made . Between 2004 and 2007, she made five guest starring appearances on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Dr. Rebecca Hendrix. A decade later, she appeared in a recurring role as FBI director Eleanor Hirst in the second and third seasons of Blindspot .

Masterson has appeared in Broadway theater productions, and was nominated for a 2003 Tony Award as "Best Featured Actress in a Musical" in the Maury Yeston musical Nine: The Musical , directed by David Leveaux. [5]

Masterson has narrated several audiobooks, including I See You Everywhere by Julia Glass, Book of the Dead by Patricia Cornwell, The Quickie by James Patterson and Look Again by Lisa Scottoline. [ citation needed ]


In May 1993, Masterson revealed she had written a screenplay for a film tentatively entitled Around the Block, a romantic comedy about a "woman who conquers her fears by becoming a singer"; in a cover story about Benny & Joon's box office success, she told Entertainment Weekly she was going to direct it herself, with principal photography expected that autumn. [6]

In 2001, she began her directing career with a segment titled "The Other Side" in the television movie On the Edge. [7]

Masterson made her feature film directorial debut in 2007, with The Cake Eaters , which premiered at the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival as well as the Ashland Independent Film Festival where it received the 'Audience Award – Dramatic Feature' prize in 2008. [8] Of her move to directing, Masterson said in an interview, "When I signed to do this, I wasn't scared but, yes, it was scary. I'm already 40, although we don't want to talk about that. In '92, I wrote my first screenplay, which I then was to direct, but I ended up taking an acting job because it takes forever to get a movie made." [9]

Personal life

Masterson was married to George Carl Francisco from 1990 to 1992. Masterson was married to filmmaker Damon Santostefano from 2000 to 2004. In 2006, Masterson married actor Jeremy Davidson (born Jeremy Michael Greenberg) after they starred together in the 2004 stage production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof . Masterson gave birth to their first child, a son named Phineas Bee Greenberg, on October 11, 2009. [10] [11] She gave birth to twins in August 2011, son Wilder Greenberg and daughter Clio Greenberg. [12]



1975 The Stepford Wives Kim Eberhart
1985 Heaven Help Us Danni
1986 At Close Range Terry
1987 Some Kind of Wonderful Watts
Gardens of Stone Rachel Feld
My Little Girl Franny Bettinger
1988 Mr. North Elspeth Skeel
1989 Chances Are Miranda Jeffries
Immediate Family Lucy Moore
1990 Funny About Love Daphne Delillo
1991 Fried Green Tomatoes Imogene "Idgie" Threadgoode
1992 Mad at the Moon Jenny Hill
1993 Married to It Nina Bishop
Benny & Joon Juniper "Joon" Pearl
1994 Bad Girls Anita Crown
Radioland Murders Penny Henderson
Bed of Roses Lisa Walker
Heaven's Prisoners Robin Gaddis
1997 Dogtown Dorothy Sternen
Digging to China Gwen Frankovitz
The Postman Hope, Postman's DaughterUncredited Cameo
1999 The Book of Stars Penny McGuire
The Florentine Vikki
2002West of HereGenevieve Anderson
Leo Brynne
2005 The Sisters Olga Prior
Whiskey School G.G.
2006 The Insurgents Director
2017 As You Are Karen
2018 Skin Agent Jackie Marks
2019 Daniel Isn't Real Claire

As director

2001On the EdgeTelevision film
Segment: "The Other Side"
2007 The Cake Eaters Feature film


1980 City in Fear Abby Crawford ABC television film
1985 Love Lives On Susan WallaceABC television film
1986 Amazing Stories Cynthia SimpsonSegment: "Go to the Head of the Class (Book Two)"
1992 Saturday Night Live Herself / HostEpisode: "Mary Stuart Masterson/En Vogue"
1996Lily DaleLily Dale Showtime television film
1997 On the 2nd Day of Christmas Patricia "Trish" Tracy Lifetime Television television film
1999 Black and Blue Frances Benedetto CBS television film
2001 Kate Brasher Kate Brasher6 episodes
Three Blind MicePatricia DemmingCBS television film
2002R.U.S./H.Elaine BurbaUnsold CBS pilot
2003 Gary the Rat Caroline SwansonVoice role
Episode: "Old Flame"
2004 Blue's Clues Cinderella Episode: "Love Day"
Something the Lord Made Dr. Helen Taussig HBO television film
2004–2007 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Dr. Rebecca Hendrix 5 episodes
2006WaterfrontHeather Centrella5 episodes
2009 Cupid MiraEpisode: "Live and Let Spy"
2010 Mercy Dr. Denise Cabe4 episodes
2012 Touch Beth CooperEpisode: "The Road Not Taken"
2013 The Good Wife Rachel KeyserEpisode: "Whack-a-Mole"
2015 Blue Bloods Catherine TuckerEpisode: "Absolute Power"
2017 NCIS Congresswoman Jenna Flemming3 episodes
2017–2019 Blindspot FBI Director Eleanor Hirst11 episodes
2020–present For Life Anya HarrisonMain role

Awards and nominations

Ashland Independent Film Festival

DVD Exclusive Awards

Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival

Lone Star Film & Television Awards

MTV Movie Awards

National Board of Review of Motion Pictures

Satellite Awards

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  1. Mary Stuart Masterson profile, The New York Times; accessed May 20, 2014.
  2. Jamie Currie. "Possibly Pack". Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  3. "Yahoo TV". Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  4. Roger Ebert (January 10, 1992). "Fried Green Tomatoes". Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  5. "The 2003 Tony Award nominations". latimes. May 13, 2003. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  6. Murphy, Ryan (May 7, 1993). "A Perfect Mismatch". Entertainment Weekly . Retrieved September 29, 2011. Because there aren't enough good parts to go around, Masterson has written her own. In Around the Block, an independent production she'll also direct this fall, she plays a woman who conquers her fears by becoming a singer. 'It's a romantic comedy too,' she says proudly. 'Who knows? Maybe it will become a big date movie. If I'm lucky.'
  7. "Movies directed by Mary Stuart Masterson". IMDb. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  8. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved November 15, 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. Actress Goes In Film Direction – New York Post Archived May 3, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  10. Joyce Eng (November 3, 2009). "Mary Stuart Masterson Welcomes a Son". TV Guide .
  11. Michael Nassberg. "Local filmmaker to screen his film, "Tickling Leo," Nov. 22". The Reporter Group.
  12. "Breaking Celeb News, Entertainment News, and Celebrity Gossip". E! Online. Retrieved July 31, 2015.