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Davis, Judy (I) Biography




biography of Davis, Judy (I)

23 April 1955, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
5' 5"


-   'Colin Friels' (qv) (30 October 1984 - present); 2 children


-   Often portrays brittle, neurotic women

-   Known for her pale, chalky complexion


-   Has a son, 'Jack Friels' (qv) (born 1987) and a daughter, Charlotte Friels (born 1997).

-   Attended drama school with 'Mel Gibson (I)' (qv). They played Romeo and Juliet together.

-   Trained at NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Arts). Her fellow students included 'Mel Gibson (I)' (qv), 'Colin Friels' (qv) and 'Dennis Olsen' (qv).

-   Attended a Catholic convent school in her hometown of Perth, Australia.

-   Served as a member of the jury of the Cannes Film Festival in 1993.

-   She was a part of the movement dubbed the "Australian New Wave" by the press. They were a group of filmmakers and performers who emerged from Down Under at about the same time in the early 1980's and found work in other parts of the world. Other members included actor 'Mel Gibson (I)' (qv) and directors 'George Miller (I)' (qv) and 'Gillian Armstrong' (qv).

-   Nominated for an Olivier Award for Insignificance (Actress of the Year in a New Play, 1982).

-   Her family can trace its ancestry back to the original 1831 British settlement in Perth.

-   Famously clashed with director 'David Lean (I)' (qv) on the set of _A Passage to India (1984)_ (qv).

-   One of her most famous films is also one of her least favorite: _My Brilliant Career (1979)_ (qv). Although it propelled her to major stardom, she was miserable during its filming and cannot stand to watch it today.

-   She was among the cast members of Dark Blood, the 'George Sluizer' (qv) film which was left unfinished by star 'River Phoenix' (qv)'s 1993 death.

-   Often works with 'Woody Allen' (qv), who considers her "one of the most exciting actresses in the world".

-   Forbidden to see movies as a child.

-   Nominated for the Helpmann Award (Australia's equivalent of the Tony Award) for Victory (Best Actress in a Play, 2004).

-   Appeared with her husband 'Colin Friels' (qv) in several films, including _Hoodwink (1981)_ (qv), _Kangaroo (1987)_ (qv), _High Tide (1987)_ (qv), and _The Man Who Sued God (2001)_ (qv). They have also frequently appeared together on stage.

-   Fellow Australian actress 'Cate Blanchett' (qv) has often said Davis is her role model.

-   'Peter Weller (I)' (qv) and she played husband and wife in both _Naked Lunch (1991)_ (qv) and _The New Age (1994)_ (qv).

-   Has protested Australia's involvement in the war with Iraq.

-   In 2002, took out an "apprehended violence order" against her husband, 'Colin Friels' (qv). She was reportedly cut during an argument about a newspaper article during which a table was broken. The order did not require the couple to be separated.

-   Once said that the one role she wanted but didn't get was 'Debra Winger' (qv)'s part in _The Sheltering Sky (1990)_ (qv).

-   She began filming _Celebrity (1998)_ (qv) less than two weeks after giving birth to her daughter Charlotte. During production on the film, her husband 'Colin Friels' (qv) contracted pancreatic cancer and nearly died.

-   Shares a birthday (April 23) with playwright 'William Shakespeare (I)' (qv), composer 'Sergei Prokofiev' (qv), "Lolita" author 'Vladimir Nabokov' (qv), and child actor 'Shirley Temple' (qv).

-   To prepare for her role as 'Judy Garland' (qv) in _Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows (2001) (TV)_ (qv), she pored over television footage, biographies and nearly all of Garland's 32 feature films. She also wore dark contact lenses for the role.

-   Intensely dislikes being interviewed, and does so only as a gesture of goodwill toward the directors of her films.

-   In 1986, both she and husband 'Colin Friels' (qv) won Australian Film Institute Awards. She won Best Actress for _Kangaroo (1987)_ (qv) while he won the Best Actor award for _Malcolm (1986)_ (qv).

-   Lost her Catholic faith at age 14, when she read a book that suggested a metaphorical rather than a literal interpretation of the story of Jesus and the miracle of the loaves and fishes.

-   In a 1994 interview, she listed 'Robin Williams (I)' (qv) as the one actor she would like to work with but hadn't. In 1997, they both appeared in _Deconstructing Harry (1997)_ (qv), but did not share any scenes.

-   Was once described as "the patron saint of modern emotions" by director/screenwriter 'Michael Tolkin' (qv).

-   Did her own piano playing in _My Brilliant Career (1979)_ (qv). Throughout the film she plays Schumann's "Scenes from Childhood".

-   Agreed to do the film _Absolute Power (1997)_ (qv) so she could work with 'Clint Eastwood' (qv).

-   Although most of her work is in American films, she has steadfastly refused to move to the United States, preferring to live in Sydney, Australia.

-   Has played writers in numerous films, including 'George Sand' (qv) in _Impromptu (1991)_ (qv), 'Lillian Hellman' (qv) in _Dash and Lilly (1999) (TV)_ (qv), and characters based on writers 'Jane Bowles (I)' (qv) (in _Naked Lunch (1991)_ (qv)) and 'Miles Franklin' (qv) (in _My Brilliant Career (1979)_ (qv)).

-   Once described her character in _High Tide (1987)_ (qv) as the one which is "closest to my own persona".

-   Both times she was Oscar-nominated, she competed with 'Vanessa Redgrave' (qv) for the award. Neither actress won the award either time.

-   Has played several real-life women, including 'Lillian Hellman' (qv), 'Judy Garland' (qv), 'Golda Meir' (qv), 'Nancy Davis (I)' (qv), 'George Sand' (qv), and WWII heroine Mary Lindell.

-   Was the runner-up for the 1993 New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in _Husbands and Wives (1992)_ (qv). The winner was 'Miranda Richardson (I)' (qv) for her work in _The Crying Game (1992)_ (qv), _Damage (1992)_ (qv), and _Enchanted April (1991)_ (qv).

-   In her diverse career, Davis has played a woman addicted to bug spray, a former First Lady, a German housewife living in Australia, a Southern ghostwriter, a serial killer, an unbalanced White House Chief of Staff and a fervent Australian Stalinist.

-   According to director 'Sydney Pollack' (qv), he met with both Davis and 'Julie Christie (I)' (qv) before casting 'Meryl Streep' (qv) in the role of Karen Blixen in _Out of Africa (1985)_ (qv).

-   [2000] Was reportedly in talks to appear in "Cloudstreet," an adaptation of an Australian best-seller which would have been directed by 'Peter Duncan (II)' (qv) and also starred 'Geoffrey Rush' (qv), 'Anna Paquin' (qv), and 'Heath Ledger' (qv). For whatever reason, the project never made it off the ground.

-   Erroneously described as having dropped out of convent school at age 17 so she could travel around the world. Davis has said she most certainly graduated high school before touring with a band throughout Asia.

-   Sang in a band with an Italian band leader in both Taiwan and Japan.

-   On June 2, 2008, won a libel case against Australia's Daily Telegraph. The suit claimed Davis had been defamed in articles about her appearance at a council meeting at which objections were raised against plans to install floodlighting at a sports field near her Sydney home. The articles suggested she was unconcerned about the potential danger to children due to the poor lighting at the park, and also suggested she had angrily stormed out of the meeting. The jury ruled with Davis, stating she had been defamed by the newspaper. She received the equivalent of $133,000 in damages.

-   Was cast in her star-making role as Sybylla Melvyn in _My Brilliant Career (1979)_ (qv) only after producers decided to replace actress Jan Hamilton, who was originally cast in the role.

-   She turned down the 'Rachel Ward (I)' (qv) role in the Australian miniseries _"The Thorn Birds" (1983)_ (qv).

-   Auditioned for the female lead roles in _Scarface (1983)_ (qv), _The Terminator (1984)_ (qv) _Out of Africa (1985)_ (qv), _Top Gun (1986)_ (qv), _Adventures in Babysitting (1987)_ (qv), _Fatal Attraction (1987)_ (qv), _Broadcast News (1987)_ (qv) and _The Accused (1988)_ (qv).

-   Was presented the Don Dunston Award for her contribution to the film industry at the 2011 BigPond Adelaide Film Festival.

-   Nominated for the 2011 Sydney Theatre Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role of a Mainstage Production for her performance in "The Seagull". The other nominees are 'Cate Blanchett' (qv), 'Kate Mulvany' (qv), 'Robyn Nevin' (qv) and 'Susie Porter (I)' (qv). Blanchett ultimately won the award, for her work in "Gross und Klein.".


-   Appeared opposite Ian McDiarmid in Terry Johnson's Insignificance at the Royal Court (1982).

-   Starred in Howard Barker's Victory in Sydney, Australia from 15 April 2004 to 12 June 2004.

-   Directed Barry Otto in a Sydney Theatre Company production of "Barrymore" in 1999. This was her debut as a director.

-   In 1989, appeared in Tom Stoppard's espionage drama "Hapgood" at Los Angeles' Doolittle Theatre.

-   Appeared as the title character in a Sydney, Australia production of Ibsen's "Hedda Gabler" in 1986.

-   Australian stage appearances include "Cedoona" (1978), "Visions" (1978), "Inside the Island" (1980) and "Lulu" (1981).

-   Directed the Sydney Theatre Company's production of "The School for Scandal," starring Colin Friels and Essie Davis (7 July-1 September 2001).

-   Played both Cordelia and the Fool in a 1984 Australian staging of "King Lear."

-   Interviewed by Monica Attard on ABC Local Radio's "Sunday Profile" on March 31, 2002, in Australia.


-   [on working with 'David Lean (I)' (qv)] There was a touch of the bully about him - he'd take it out on the people who were the weakest and most dependent.

-   When I first started acting, and we would all sit down and talk about Shakespeare and how great it was, I thought well, I suppose it is. It is if you get to play Macbeth or Hamlet. But who wants to play bloody Lady Macbeth or Ophelia? And it struck me that most women seem to be required to pit themselves against men in dramatic situations, and the men got to pit themselves against ideas or God.

-   I was always terribly shy, so a great thing that acting has done for me has forced me out of myself and made me more generous.

-   I've never worked for the sake of working. There's probably enough crap out there for me not to add to it.

-   "It's like you're getting ready to go to Cinderella's ball. And then, when you lose, it's like you wake up and realize you're not Cinderella." (on being an Oscar nominee)

-   A lot of really good directors have a killer in them, as if they'd do anything to get that image. But that comes with the terrain and I don't mind it.

-   Of course, I'm not a celebrity. Never wanted to be one. Never promoted myself as one. I'm an actress. I think there's a difference. To be a celebrity, one really has to go after it, and want it.

-   I wish I tanned. It would make everybody happy and get them off my back. But this is the look I was born with, and I'm stuck with it.


-   (January 2005) Filming _Marie Antoinette (2006)_ (qv).

-   (October 2007) In South Africa filming the upcoming miniseries _Diamonds (2009) (TV)_ (qv).


-   "TV Guide" (USA), 23 January 2006, Vol. 54, Iss. 4, pg. 58, by: G. J. Donnelly, "Q&A: Judy Davis"

-   "The Advocate" (USA), 27 February 2001, pg. 32-36+39, by: Anne Stockwell, "Judy on Judy"

-   "Femme Fatales" (USA), November 1997, Vol. 6, Iss. 5, pg. 4,+60, by: Laura Schiff, "Judy Davis: Extreme Close-Up"

-   "Us" (USA), May 1997, Iss. 232, pg. 105, by: Katherine Dieckmann, "Judy Davis"

-   "Premiere" (USA), 1997, Vol. 10, Iss. 9, pg. 44, by: Al Weisel, "Idol Chatter"

-   "US" (UK), May 1994, pg. 85, by: Ryan Murphy, "Q&A Judy Davis"

-   "Empire" (UK), 1994, Iss. 61, pg. 61-62, by: Jenny Cooney

-   "Film Comment" (USA), November 1992, Vol. 28, Iss. 6, pg. 40-47, by: Gavin Smith, "'I go to the core': Judy Davis interviewed"


-   "TV Guide" (USA), 11 June 2007, Vol. 55, Iss. 24, pg. 59, by: Damian Holbrook, "Guest Stars We Love"

-   "TV Guia" (Portugal), 1997, Iss. 971, pg. 84


-   "Celebrity Sleuth" (USA), 1996, Vol. 10, Iss. 2, pg. 82-83, by: staff, "View From A-Broad: Judy Davis"

-   "Celebrity Sleuth" (USA), 1995, Vol. 8, Iss. 2, pg. 66-67, by: staff, "Encore Performance: Judy Davis"

-   "Celebrity Sleuth" (USA), 1991, Vol. 4, Iss. 5, pg. 26-27, by: staff, "Anatomy Awards 3: Judy Davis"


-   "The Advocate" (USA), 27 February 2001

-   "TV Guide" (USA), 24 February 2001, Vol. 49, Iss. 8

-   "Film Comment" (USA), September 1994, Vol. 30, Iss. 5

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Acting in movies

  1. The Surrealist (2014)
  2. The Young and Prodigious Spivet (2013)
  3. 2011 Samsung AACTA Awards (2012) (TV)
  4. Dark Blood (2012)
  5. Hard Chic (2012)
  6. Naïf Chic (2012)
  7. Schiaparelli & Prada: Impossible Conversations (2012)
  8. The Classical Body (2012)
  9. The Exotic Body (2012)
  10. The Surreal Body (2012)
  11. To Rome with Love (2012)
  12. Ugly Chic (2012)
  13. Waist Up/Waist Down (2012)
  14. Page Eight (2011) (TV)
  15. The Eye of the Storm (2011/I)
  16. "Masterpiece Contemporary" (2008) {Page Eight}
  17. Diamonds (2009) (TV)
  18. Casting a Classic (2008) (V)
  19. "The Starter Wife" (2008) {Das Booty Call (#1.5)}
  20. "The Starter Wife" (2008) {Her Old Man & The Sea (#1.9)}
  21. "The Starter Wife" (2008) {Look Who's Stalking (#1.8)}
  22. "The Starter Wife" (2008) {Mollywood (#1.4)}
  23. "The Starter Wife" (2008) {The Diary of a Mad Ex-Housewife (#1.2)}
  24. "The Starter Wife" (2008) {The Ex-Files (#1.6)}
  25. "The Starter Wife" (2008) {The Forty-Year-Old Virgin Queen (#1.1)}
  26. "The Starter Wife" (2008) {The French Disconnection (#1.7)}
  27. "The Starter Wife" (2008) {The Remains of the Snow Day (#1.3)}
  28. "The Starter Wife" (2008) {Woman Over the Influence (#1.10)}
  29. The Making of 'Marie Antoinette' (2007) (V)
  30. "60 Minutes" (1979) {On Thin Ice/The Memory Pill/Love Her Way (#29.1)}
  31. "Masters of Science Fiction" (2007) {A Clean Escape (#1.1)}
  32. "The Starter Wife" (2007) {Hour 1 (#1.1)}
  33. "The Starter Wife" (2007) {Hour 2 (#1.2)}
  34. "The Starter Wife" (2007) {Hour 3 (#1.3)}
  35. "The Starter Wife" (2007) {Hour 4 (#1.4)}
  36. "The Starter Wife" (2007) {Hour 5 (#1.5)}
  37. "The Starter Wife" (2007) {Hour 6 (#1.6)}
  38. "The View" (1997) {(2007-05-31)}
  39. A Little Thing Called Murder (2006) (TV)
  40. Cannes 2006: Crónica de Carlos Boyero (2006) (TV)
  41. George Sluizer - Filmen over grenzen (2006)
  42. Looking back at Hoodwink (2006) (V)
  43. Marie Antoinette (2006)
  44. Silent No More: Behind the Scenes of 'Serving in Silence' (2006) (V)
  45. The Break-Up (2006)
  46. The Making of 'Blood and Wine' (2006) (V)
  47. The Making of 'The Break-Up' (2006) (V)
  48. Swimming Upstream: The Making of a Champion (2005) (V)
  49. Coast to Coast: Behind the Scenes (2004) (V)
  50. Acting Lessons: Should Have Looked Like Mel (2003) {{SUSPENDED}}
  51. Coast to Coast (2003) (TV)
  52. Swimming Upstream (2003)
  53. The Reagans (2003) (TV)
  54. Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows - A Behind-the-Scenes Look (2002) (V)
  55. The 59th Annual Golden Globe Awards (2002) (TV)
  56. Gaudi Afternoon (2001)
  57. Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows (2001) (TV)
  58. The Man Who Sued God (2001)
  59. A Cooler Climate (1999) (TV)
  60. Dash and Lilly (1999) (TV)
  61. The 51st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (1999) (TV)
  62. Celebrity (1998)
  63. The Echo of Thunder (1998) (TV)
  64. The Making of 'The Echo of Thunder' (1998) (V)
  65. Absolute Power (1997)
  66. Deconstructing Harry (1997)
  67. Blood and Wine (1996)
  68. Children of the Revolution (1996)
  69. Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story (1995) (TV)
  70. The Celluloid Heroes (1995) (TV)
  71. The New Age (1994)
  72. The Ref (1994)
  73. The 65th Annual Academy Awards (1993) (TV)
  74. Husbands and Wives (1992)
  75. Naked Making Lunch (1992)
  76. Oscar's Greatest Moments (1992) (V)
  77. The 44th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (1992) (TV)
  78. Barton Fink (1991)
  79. Impromptu (1991)
  80. Naked Lunch (1991)
  81. On My Own (1991)
  82. One Against the Wind (1991) (TV)
  83. Untitled 'Naked Lunch' Featurette (1991)
  84. Where Angels Fear to Tread (1991)
  85. Alice (1990)
  86. Flowers by Request (1990)
  87. Georgia (1988)
  88. High Tide (1987)
  89. Kangaroo (1987)
  90. "American Playhouse" (1981) {Rocket to the Moon (#5.13)}
  91. The 57th Annual Academy Awards (1985) (TV)
  92. A Passage to India (1984)
  93. A Woman Called Golda (1982) (TV)
  94. Heatwave (1982)
  95. The Merry Wives of Windsor (1982) (TV)
  96. Who Dares Wins (1982)
  97. Hoodwink (1981)
  98. Winter of Our Dreams (1981)
  99. "Water Under the Bridge" (1980) {(#1.1)}
  100. "Water Under the Bridge" (1980) {(#1.2)}
  101. "Water Under the Bridge" (1980) {(#1.5)}
  102. "Water Under the Bridge" (1980) {(#1.6)}
  103. My Brilliant Career (1979)
  104. High Rolling (1977)
  105. Clean Straw for Nothing (1976) {{SUSPENDED}}

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