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.
Masterson was born in Manhattan, the daughter of writer-director-actor-producer Peter Masterson and singer-actress Carlin Glynn. She has two siblings: Peter Jr., and Alexandra. As a teen, 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.
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 drumming Watts in the teenage drama Some Kind of Wonderful (1987). As a result, she is loosely connected with the Brat Pack. The same year Francis Ford Coppola cast her in Gardens of Stone in which she acted with her parents, hired by Coppola to play her on-screen parents. 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 both 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. 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 starred 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 theatre 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.
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.
By 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.
In 2001, she began her directing career with a segment titled "The Other Side" in the television movie On the Edge.
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. 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."
In 2006, Masterson married actor Jeremy Davidson (born Jeremy Michael Greenberg), after starring 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. She gave birth to twins in August 2011, a son, Wilder Greenberg, and a daughter, Clio Greenberg.
|1975||Stepford Wives, TheThe 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|
|1996||Lily Dale||Lily Dale|
|Bed of Roses||Lisa Walker|
|Heaven's Prisoners||Robin Gaddis|
|Postman, TheThe Postman||Hope, Postman's Daughter||Uncredited role|
|1998||Digging to China||Gwen Frankovitz|
|1999||Book of Stars, TheThe Book of Stars||Penny McGuire|
|Florentine, TheThe Florentine||Vikki|
|2002||West of Here||Genevieve Anderson|
|2005||Sisters, TheThe Sisters||Olga Prior|
|2006||Insurgents, TheThe Insurgents||Director|
|2017||As You Are||Karen|
|2019||Skin||Agent Jackie Marks||Post-production|
|2001||On the Edge||Television 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 Wallace||ABC television film|
|1986||Amazing Stories||Cynthia Simpson||Segment: "Go to the Head of the Class (Book Two)"|
|1992||Saturday Night Live||Herself / Host||Episode: "Mary Stuart Masterson/En Vogue"|
|1996||Lily Dale||Lily 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 Brasher||6 episodes|
|Three Blind Mice||Patricia Demming||CBS television film|
|2002||R.U.S./H.||Elaine Burba||Unsold CBS pilot|
|2003||Gary the Rat||Caroline Swanson||Voice role
Episode: "Old Flame"
|2004||Blue's Clues||Cinderella||Episode: "Love Day"|
|Something the Lord Made||Dr. Helen Taussig||HBO television film|
|2004–07||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Dr. Rebecca Hendrix||5 episodes|
|2006||Waterfront||Heather Centrella||5 episodes|
|2009||Cupid||Mira||Episode: "Live and Let Spy"|
|2010||Mercy||Dr. Denise Cabe||4 episodes|
|2012||Touch||Beth Cooper||Episode: "The Road Not Taken"|
|2013||The Good Wife||Rachel Keyser||Episode: "Whack-a-Mole"|
|2015||Blue Bloods||Catherine Tucker||Episode: "Absolute Power"|
|2017||NCIS||Congresswoman Jenna Flemming||3 episodes|
|2017–present||Blindspot||FBI Director Eleanor Hirst||10 episodes|
Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival
Lone Star Film & Television Awards
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.'
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