Melissa Leo

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Melissa Leo at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival

Melissa Chessington Leo (born September 14, 1960 in New York City ) is an American actress . Since the mid-1980s she has appeared in over 80 film and television productions, mostly in dramas. For her supporting role in the feature film The Fighter (2010) she was awarded an Oscar and a Golden Globe .

life and career

Leo at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival

Melissa Leo graduated from the State University of New York , but did not graduate. She made her debut in an episode of the television series All My Children in 1984. For this appearance, she was nominated for a Daytime Emmy in 1985. In the same year she played a larger role in the film drama Forever and Eternal and took on one of the leading roles in the thriller Streetwalkin '- On the streets of Manhattan .

From 1993 to 1997 Leo starred as a police investigator Kay Howard in the television series Homicide . She played the same role in 2000 in the television film Homicide: The Movie, based on the series . As a member of the ensemble of the film drama 21 Gramm with Sean Penn , Naomi Watts , Benicio del Toro and Charlotte Gainsbourg , she received a 2004 Phoenix Film Critics Society Award . For her role in the film drama Three Burials - The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada by and with Tommy Lee Jones , she and several other participants received the Western Heritage Award .

In Frozen River from 2008, which the Grand Jury prize of the film festival Sundance was awarded, she took on the lead role. The role of a single mother who becomes a people smuggler on the US- Canadian-Canadian border due to financial difficulties brought her together with the French woman Tsilla Chelton ( Pandora'nın kutusu - Pandora's Box ) at the Spanish Festival Internacional de Cine de Donostia-San Sebastián received the award for best actress and her first Oscar nomination.

She earned renewed praise from critics in 2010 for her portrayal of the dominant mother in David O. Russell's boxer drama The Fighter . For this supporting role, Leo has received awards from the New York Film Critics Association, an Oscar and a Golden Globe .

Leo was dating her fellow actor John Heard . The relationship resulted in a son.

Filmography (selection)

Awards (selection)


Golden Globe Award

Web links

Commons : Melissa Leo  - collection of images

Individual evidence

  1. a b biography in the IMDb , accessed on March 5, 2008.