Ruehl in 2009
Mercedes J. Ruehl
February 28, 1948
Jackson Heights, Queens, New York, United States
Mercedes J. Ruehl (born February 28, 1948) is an American theater, television, and film actor. She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1992 for The Fisher King , and the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play in 1991 for Lost in Yonkers . She also received Tony Award nominations for The Shadow Box (1995) and The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? (2002). Her other film appearances include Big (1988), Married to the Mob (1988), Lost in Yonkers (1993), and Last Action Hero (1993).
An actor is a person who portrays a character in a performance. The actor performs "in the flesh" in the traditional medium of the theatre or in modern media such as film, radio, and television. The analogous Greek term is ὑποκριτής (hupokritḗs), literally "one who answers". The actor's interpretation of their role—the art of acting—pertains to the role played, whether based on a real person or fictional character. Interpretation occurs even when the actor is "playing themselves", as in some forms of experimental performance art.
The Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress is an award presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). It is given in honor of an actress who has delivered an outstanding performance in a supporting role while working within the film industry. The award was traditionally presented by the previous year's Best Supporting Actor winner.
The Fisher King is a 1991 American comedy-drama film written by Richard LaGravenese and directed by Terry Gilliam. Starring Robin Williams and Jeff Bridges, with Mercedes Ruehl, Amanda Plummer, and Michael Jeter in supporting roles, the film tells the story of a radio shock jock who tries to find redemption by helping a man whose life he inadvertently shattered.
Ruehl was born in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York City,the daughter of Mercedes J. Ruehl, a schoolteacher, and Vincent Ruehl, an FBI agent. She was raised Catholic. Her father was of German and Irish descent and her mother was of Cuban and Irish ancestry. Ruehl attended College of New Rochelle and graduated in 1969. She is married to painter David Geiser, with whom she adopted a son, Jake (born 1995). She had another son, Christopher, whom she gave up for adoption in 1976 when she was 28. She reunited in the late 1990s with Christopher when he turned 21, and he later became Jake's godfather.
Jackson Heights is a neighborhood in the northwestern portion of the borough of Queens in New York City. The neighborhood is part of Queens Community Board 3. Jackson Heights is neighbored by North Corona to the east, Elmhurst to the south, Woodside to the west, northern Astoria (Ditmars-Steinway) to the northwest, and East Elmhurst to the northeast. The main ZIP code of Jackson Heights is 11372. According to the 2010 United States Census, the neighborhood has a population of 108,152.
The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.
Her brother, Peter Ruehl, moved to Australia in 1987 where he was a popular newspaper columnist until his death in 2011.
Vincent Peter Ruehl, known as Peter Ruehl, was an American-born Australian newspaper columnist, best known for the humorous column he wrote thrice weekly for The Australian Financial Review, in which he offered an American view on life in Australia. During his career, he also contributed to The Australian and the Herald Sun.
Ruehl began her career in regional theatre with the Denver Center Theatre Company, taking odd jobs between engagements. Her first starring role on Broadway came in 1984's I'm Not Rappaport . She then went on to win the 1984 Obie Award for her performance in The Marriage of Bette and Boo and twenty years later, an Obie for Woman Before a Glass. She also received a 1991 Tony Award as Best Actress (Play) for Neil Simon's Lost in Yonkers and continued her role in the show during its tour with co-star Mercedes McCambridge. Her performances in two other plays earned her two other Tony nominations: in 1995, as Best Actress (Featured Role – Play) for a revival of The Shadow Box ; and in 2002, as Best Actress (Play) for Edward Albee's The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? .
The Denver Center for the Performing Arts(DCPA) is an organization in Denver, Colorado which provides a showcase for live theatre, a nurturing ground for new plays, a preferred stop on the Broadway touring circuit, acting classes for the community and rental facilities. It was founded in 1972.
I'm Not Rappaport is a play by Herb Gardner, which originally ran on Broadway in 1985.
The Obie Awards or Off-Broadway Theater Awards are annual awards originally given by The Village Voice newspaper to theatre artists and groups in New York City. In September 2014, the awards were jointly presented and administered with the American Theatre Wing. As the Tony Awards cover Broadway productions, the Obie Awards cover Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway productions.
Her most acclaimed film role was in The Fisher King ; her performance in the film earned her the 1991 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress as well as an American Comedy Award, a Boston Society of Film Critics Award, a Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award, and a Golden Globe. Earlier she had won the 1989 National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Married to the Mob . She played KACL station manager Kate Costas in five episodes of Frasier , and had a major role in the made-for-TV film All-American Girl: The Mary Kay Letourneau Story . She is the first Cuban-American female Academy Award winner. In 2005, she (along with Esai Morales) received the Rita Moreno HOLA Award for Excellence from the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors. She later played the mother of main character Vincent Chase in HBO's Entourage .
The National Society of Film Critics (NSFC) is an American film critic organization. The organization is known for its highbrow tastes, and its annual awards are one of the most prestigious film critics awards in the United States. As of January 2014 the NSFC have approximately 60 members who write for a variety of weekly and daily newspapers along with major publications and media outlets.
Married to the Mob is a 1988 American comedy film directed by Jonathan Demme, starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Matthew Modine.
Frasier is an American sitcom that was broadcast on NBC for 11 seasons, premiering on September 16, 1993, and concluding on May 13, 2004. The program was created and produced by David Angell, Peter Casey, and David Lee in association with Grammnet (2004) and Paramount Network Television. The series was created as a spin-off of Cheers, continuing the story of psychiatrist Frasier Crane as he returned to his hometown of Seattle and started building a new life as a radio advice show host while reconnecting with his father and brother and making new friends. Frasier stars Kelsey Grammer, Jane Leeves, David Hyde Pierce, Peri Gilpin, and John Mahoney. The show was critically acclaimed, with the show itself and the cast winning thirty-seven Primetime Emmy Awards, a record at the time for a scripted series. It also won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series for five consecutive years. As of 2019, the possibility of a revival is being discussed.
In 2009, Ruehl returned to the Broadway stage in Manhattan Theater Club's production of Richard Greenberg's The American Plan playing the role of Eva Adler.The production opened at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre and the limited engagement ran From January 22 until March 22. In his rave review in The New York Times , Ben Brantley called Ruehl's performance "masterly". Ruehl next appeared in the drama/horror film What Ever Happened to Barker Daniels?, which was released in 2009. In January 2012, Ruehl starred in Sarah Treem's play The How and The Why, directed by Emily Mann at McCarter Theatre of Princeton University.
Richard Greenberg is an American playwright and television writer known for his subversively humorous depictions of middle-class American life. He has had more than 25 plays premiere on and off-broadway in New York City and eight at the South Coast Repertory Theatre, including The Violet Hour, Everett Beekin, and Hurrah at Last.
The American Plan is a play by Richard Greenberg, which ran both Off-Broadway in 1990 and on Broadway in 2009.
The Samuel J. Friedman Theatre is a Broadway theatre located at 261 West 47th Street in Midtown Manhattan, New York City.
Ruehl appeared in the role of Ma in Harvey Fierstein's revamped and renamed revival of his play Torch Song Off-Broadway at Second Stage Theater. The play began previews on September 26, and opened officially on October 19, 2017.The production later transferred to Broadway.
Ruehl is currently on the faculty of HB Studio in New York City.
Though not a singer herself, Ruehl was involved in the production of the album Haunted by Poe; she also reads passages from the book House of Leaves by Poe's brother Mark Z. Danielewski on the CD Don't be Scared, issued to cross-promote both projects.
|1976||Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands||American girl in casino||Film debut |
|1981||Four Friends||Woman in Taxi|
|1987||Radio Days||Ad Man|
|84 Charing Cross Road||Kay|
|The Secret of My Succe$s||Sheila|
|Leader of the Band||Miss Cooper|
|Married to the Mob||Connie Russo|
|1989||Slaves of New York||Samantha|
|Crimes and Misdemeanors||Party Guest||Uncredited|
|1990||Crazy People||Dr. Liz Baylor|
|1991||Another You||Elaine/Mimi Kravitz|
|The Fisher King||Anne|
|1993||Lost in Yonkers||Bella Kurnitz|
|Last Action Hero||Irene Madigan|
|1994||On Hope||Wendy||Short film|
|1997||Roseanna's Grave||Roseanna 'Rosa'|
|1999||The Minus Man||Jane|
|Out of the Cold||Tina|
|2000||What's Cooking?||Elizabeth 'Lizzy' Avila|
|More Dogs Than Bones||Victoria 'Vic' Galletti|
|The Amati Girls||Grace|
|2004||Zeyda and the Hitman||Esther|
|2010||Goldstar, Ohio||Adriana Rock||Short film|
|2014||Chu and Blossom||Mrs. Fefterg|
|2016||Good Business||Lorraine||Short film|
|1984||ABC Afterschool Specials||Sandy||Television debut |
Episode: "Mom's on Strike"
|1985||Our Family Honor||Louise Taylor||Episode: "Homecoming"|
|1986||Kate & Allie||Millie||Episode: "Late Bloomer" |
Credited as Mercedes Ruehle
|1990||The Cosby Show||Bernadette Foley||Episode: "The Moves"|
|1995||Indictment: The McMartin Trial||Lael Rubin||Television movie|
|1995–1996||Frasier||Kate Costas||Recurring role; 5 episodes|
|1997||North Shore Fish||Florence||Television movie|
|SUBWAYStories: Tales from the Underground||Leyla||Television movie |
|1998||Gia||Kathleen Carangi||Television movie|
|2000||Mary Kay Letourneau: All American Girl||Jane Newhall||Television movie|
|The Lost Child||Rebecca||Television movie|
|2001||Mr. Life||Television movie|
|2002||Guilt by Association||Susan Walker||Television movie|
|Widows||Dolly Rawlins||Television miniseries|
|2004||Everyday Life||Television movie|
|1-800-Missing||Emmanuelle Baker||Episode: "These Dreams Before Me"|
|Bab Apple||Lorraine Gibbons||Television movie|
|2004–2009||Law & Order||Judge Clara Lloyd/Zina Rybakov||2 episodes|
|2005||Mom at Sixteen||Terry Jeffries||Television movie|
|2006||So Here's What Happened||Rochelle||Television movie|
|A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story||Sylvia Guerrero||Television movie|
|2006–2008||Entourage||Rita Chase||2 episodes|
|2007||Psych||Detective Goochberg||Episode: "Scary Sherry: Bianca's Toast"|
|2009||Loving Leah||Janice Lever||Television movie|
|2012||El Jefe||Delmi Rodriguez||Television movie|
|Luck||Renzo's Mother||Episode: "Episode Nine"|
|2013||Doubt||Mrs. Syd Newman||Television movie|
|Monday Mornings||Judge Beverly Natheson||Episode: "Wheels Within Wheels"|
|Star Spangled Banners||Rosalind Banner||Television movie|
|2015||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Lucia Barba||Episode: "December Solstice"|
|2016||Life in Pieces||Mia||Episode: "Hair Recital Rainbow Mom"|
|The Mysteries of Laura||Val Santiani||Episode: "The Mystery of the End of Watch"|
|2 Broke Girls||Olga||Episode: "And the Godmama Drama"|
|2017||NCIS||Marie Quinn||Episode: "A Bowl of Cherries"|
|2018||Bull (2016 TV series)||Judge Tessa Hudson||Episode: "Jury Duty"|
|2017–2018||Power||Connie Teresi||Recurring role; 7 episodes|
|1985||Coming of Age in Soho||Patricia||Public Theatre|
|1985||The Marriage of Bette and Boo||Joan Brennan||Public Theatre|
|1985–1988||I'm Not Rappaport||Clara||Booth Theatre|
|1988||American Notes||Karen||Public Theatre|
|1989||Other People's Money||Kate Sullivan||Minetta Lane Theatre|
|1991||Lost in Yonkers||Bella Kurnitz||Richard Rodgers Theater|
|1992||Antony and Cleopatra||Cleopatra, ruler of Egypt||Actors Theater|
|1994–1995||The Shadow Box||Beverly||Circle in the Square Theatre|
|1995||The Rose Tattoo||Serafina Delle Rose||Circle in the Square Theatre|
|2000||The Vagina Monologues||Monologist||Westside Theatre|
|2000–2001||Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?||Martha||Guthrie Theater|
|2002||The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?||Stevie||John Golden Theatre|
|2005||Woman Before a Glass||Peggy Guggenheim||The Promenade Theater|
|2009||The American Plan||Eva Adler||Samuel J. Friedman Theatre|
|2010||Edward Albee's Occupant||Louise Nevelson||Peter Norton Space|
|2012||The How and the Why||Zelda Kahn||McCarter Theatre|
|2017–2019||Torch Song||Ma Beckoff||Off Broadway: Second Stage Theater; Broadway: Helen Hayes Theatre|
|1989||Married to the Mob||National Society of Film Critics Award, Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|1991||The Fisher King||Boston Society of Film Critics Award, Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|Lost in Yonkers||Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Actress in a Play||Won|
|The Fisher King||Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award, Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|Lost in Yonkers||Tony Award, Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play||Won|
|The Fisher King||Venice Film Festival Award, Best Lead Actress||Won|
|1992||Academy Award, Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|American Comedy Award, Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture||Won|
|Chicago Film Critics Association Award, Best Supporting Actor||Won|
|Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award, Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|Golden Globe Award, Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture||Won|
|Saturn Award, Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|1993||Boston Film Festival Award, Film Excellence award||Won|
|1995||Indictment: The McMartin Trial||CableACE Award, Best Actress in a Movie or Miniseries||Nominated|
|The Rose Tattoo||Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Actress in a Play||Nominated|
|The Shadow Box||Tony Award, Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play||Nominated|
|2002||The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?||Tony Award, Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play||Nominated|
|2006||Mom at Sixteen||Prism Award, Performance in a Television Movie or Miniseries||Nominated|
|2007||A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story||Imagen Foundation Award, Best Actress - Television||Nominated|
The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Broadway Theatre, more commonly known as the Tony Award, recognizes excellence in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in Midtown Manhattan. The awards are given for Broadway productions and performances, and an award is given for regional theatre. Several discretionary non-competitive awards are also given, including a Special Tony Award, the Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre, and the Isabelle Stevenson Award. The awards are named after Antoinette "Tony" Perry, co-founder of the American Theatre Wing.
Ellen Tyne Daly is an American actress. She has won six Emmy Awards for her television work and a Tony Award, and is a 2011 American Theatre Hall of Fame inductee.
Torch Song Trilogy is a collection of three plays by Harvey Fierstein rendered in three acts: International Stud, Fugue in a Nursery, and Widows and Children First! The story centers on Arnold Beckoff, a Jewish homosexual, drag queen, and torch singer who lives in New York City in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The four-hour play begins with a soliloquy in which he explains his cynical disillusionment with love.
Janet McTeer is an English actress. In 1997, she won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play, the Olivier Award for Best Actress, and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play for her role as Nora in A Doll's House (1996–97). She also won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as Mary Jo Walker in the 1999 film Tumbleweeds, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Hubert Page in the 2011 film Albert Nobbs. She was made an OBE in the 2008 Queen's Birthday Honours.
Judy Kuhn is an American singer and actress known for her work in musical theatre. A four-time Tony Award nominee, she has released four studio albums and sang the title role in the 1995 film Pocahontas, including her rendition of the song "Colors of the Wind", which won its composers the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
Lost in Yonkers is a play by Neil Simon. The play won the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Adriane Lenox is an American actress, best known for her performances in Broadway theatre. Her performance in the play Doubt: A Parable garnered her the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play in 2005. She received another Tony Award nomination for After Midnight in 2014.
Victoria Clark is an American actress, musical theatre singer and director. Clark has performed in numerous Broadway musicals and in other theatre, film and television works. Her soprano voice can also be heard on innumerable cast albums and several animated films. In 2008, she released her first solo album titled Fifteen Seconds of Grace. In 2005, she won a Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for her role in The Light in the Piazza. She also won the Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, and the Joseph Jefferson Award for her performances in the same show.
Stephanie Janette Block is an American actress and singer, known for her work in Broadway musicals. A three-time Tony Award nominee, she was nominated for Best Actress in a Musical for The Mystery of Edwin Drood in 2013 and Best Featured Actress in a Musical for Falsettos in 2017, and is currently nominated for Best Actress in a Musical for The Cher Show in 2019. She is also a six-time Drama Desk Award nominee, winning once in 2019 for The Cher Show and has appeared on numerous cast recordings. In 2009, she released a solo album, This Place I Know.
Carole Augusta Shelley was a British-American actress who made her career in the United States. Her many stage roles included the character of Madame Morrible in the original Broadway cast of the musical Wicked. She won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her performance in The Elephant Man in 1979.
Rhonda LaChanze Sapp, known professionally as LaChanze is an American actress, singer, and dancer. She won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical in 2006 for her role in The Color Purple.
Irene Worth, CBE was an American stage and screen actress who became one of the leading stars of the British and American theatre. She pronounced her given name with three syllables: "I-REE-nee".
Lillias White is an American singer and actress of stage, television, and film who is particularly admired for her performances in Broadway musicals. In 1989 she won an Obie Award for her performance in the Off-Broadway musical Romance in Hard Times. In 1997 she won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical and Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical for portraying Sonja in Cy Coleman's The Life. She was nominated for a Tony Award again in 2010 for her work as Funmilayo in Fela Kuti's Fela!.
Jayne Houdyshell is an American stage, film and television actress.
Lost in Yonkers is a 1993 American comedy-drama film adaptation of Neil Simon's Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name, directed by Martha Coolidge. It stars Irene Worth, Mercedes Ruehl, and Richard Dreyfuss. It was the first theatrical feature film to be edited on Avid Media Composer.
Patina Renea Miller is an American actress and singer. Miller is best known for originating the role of disco diva wannabe Deloris Van Cartier in the 2009 West End and 2011 Broadway productions of Sister Act. She also starred as the Leading Player in the 2013 revival of Pippin. This role earned her a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical.
Carmen Cusack is an American musical theater actress and singer. She is known for playing Elphaba in the Chicago, North American Tour and Melbourne productions of the musical Wicked, as well as for originating the role of Alice Murphy in the Broadway musical, Bright Star.
Nina Arianda Matijcio is an American actress. She won the 2012 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her performance as Vanda Jordan in Venus in Fur, and was nominated for the 2011 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for portraying Billie Dawn in Born Yesterday. In 2016, she began starring in Amazon Studios' legal series Goliath. In 2018, she appeared in the biographical film Stan & Ollie.
The Trip to Bountiful is a play by American playwright Horton Foote. The play premiered March 1, 1953 on NBC-TV, before being produced on the Broadway stage from November 3, 1953 to December 5, 1953.