Marcia Gay Harden's Biography:
Marcia has been quoted as saying "Ninety percent of how you look is how you feel about yourself."
Marcia Gay Harden (born August 14, 1959) is an American film and theatre actress. Harden's breakthrough role was in The First Wives Club (1996) which was followed by several roles which gained her wider fame including the hit comedy Flubber (1997) and Meet Joe Black (1998). She received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Lee Krasner in Pollock (2000). She has starred in a string of successful mainstream and independent movies, some of which are Space Cowboys (2000), Into the Wild (2007) and The Mist (2007). More recently, she starred in Whip It (2009).
In 2009, Harden received a Tony Award for the Broadway play God of Carnage. She has been nominated for an Emmy Award and the Screen Actors Guild Award two times.
Harden, one of five children, was born in La Jolla, San Diego, California, the daughter of Beverly (née Bushfield), a housewife, and Thaddeus Harold Harden, a Texas native who was an officer in the United States Navy. One of Harden's siblings is named Thaddeus, as is her spouse. Harden's family frequently moved because of her father's job, living in Japan, Germany, Greece, California and Maryland. She graduated from Surrattsville High School in Clinton, Maryland in 1977, the University of Texas at Austin with a BA in theatre, and the graduate theatre program at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts with a Master of Fine Arts.
Marcia Gay Harden's first film role was in a 1979 student-produced movie at the University of Texas at Austin. Throughout the 1980s, she appeared in several television programs, including Simon & Simon, Kojak, and CBS Summer Playhouse. She appeared in the Coen brothers' Miller's Crossing (1990), a 1930s mobster drama in which she first gained wide exposure. In 1992, she played actress Ava Gardner alongside Philip Casnoff as Frank Sinatra in the made for TV miniseries Sinatra. Throughout the 1990s, she continued to appear in films and television. Notable film roles include The Imagemaker (1986), her first screen role, in which she played a stage manager; the Disney sci-fi comedy Flubber (1997), a popular hit in which she co-starred with Robin Williams; the supernatural drama Meet Joe Black (1998); Labor of Love (1998), a Lifetime Television movie in which she starred with David Marshall Grant; and Space Cowboys (2000), an all-star adventure-drama of aging astronauts.
In 1993, Harden debuted on Broadway in the role of Harper Pitt (and others) in Tony Kushner's Angels in America. The role earned her critical acclaim and she received a Tony Award nomination (Best Featured Actress in a Play). The winner in that category was Debra Monk in Redwood Curtain.
Harden was awarded the 2000 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of painter Lee Krasner in Pollock (2000). In 2003, she was again nominated in the same category for Mystic River.
Harden guest-starred as FBI undercover agent Dana Lewis posing as a white-supremacist in "Raw", an episode of the popular crime drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. In 2007, this role earned Harden her first Emmy Award nomination for best guest actress in a drama series. She reprised the role in the series' eighth season premiere and again in the twelfth season episode "Penetration". as a rape victim (aired Nov. 10, 2010)
In 2007, Harden appeared in several films, including Sean Penn's critically acclaimed Into the Wild, and Frank Darabont's The Mist, based on the novella by Stephen King. Also in 2007 she shared joint top billing with Kevin Bacon in Rails & Ties, the directorial debut of Alison Eastwood.
In 2008, she appeared in Home playing the role of a woman who has had a mastectomy, one central scene called for her to bare her breasts, with the missing breast being dealt with using computer-generated imagery. In Home, her co-stars include her daughter, Eulala Scheel. Harden starred in the Christmas Cottage (2008), a story of the early artistic beginnings of the Painter of Light, Thomas Kinkade.
In 2009, she appeared as a regular on the critically-acclaimed FX series Damages as a shrewd corporate attorney, opposite Glenn Close and William Hurt. Harden also played in the comedy The Maiden Heist (2009) with Christopher Walken and Morgan Freeman. Harden received a 2009 Emmy Award nomination for her role in The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler, a TV film also starring Oscar winner Anna Paquin.
She was a Best Supporting Actress in a TV Movie/Miniseries nominee, and lost to Shohreh Aghdashloo. If she had won this Emmy, Marcia Gay Harden would have entered the elite group of 'triple-crown' actors; actors who have won the three acting awards of the highest honor: the Academy Award (film), the Tony Award (stage) and the Emmy Award (television). She has yet to win an Emmy.
In 2009, Harden co-starred with Ellen Page and Drew Barrymore in Whip It. The film was a critical success. It was also in this year that Harden returned to Broadway in Yasmina Reza's God of Carnage. She starred with James Gandolfini, Hope Davis and Jeff Daniels. Each lead actor was nominated for the Tony Award and on June 8, Harden won Best Actress in a Play.
Together, Harden's films have grossed $724,487,920 domestically and $1,128,784,661 worldwide.
She currently has three films in development, Noah's Ark: The New Beginning (2010), The No Game (2010) and If I Were You (2011).
It was announced that she will be joining the cast of Royal Pains in a multi-episode arc for season 2 starting June 3, 2010. She will play Dr. Elizabeth Blair, a surgeon and a board member of Hamptons Heritage Hospital who is a "mentor-turned-adversary to Jill".
Harden is married to Thaddaeus Scheel, with whom she worked on The Spitfire Grill (1996), and the couple have three children: a daughter, Eulala Grace Scheel, and twins Julitta Dee Scheel and Hudson Harden Scheel. The family lives in Harlem, New York.
On December 14, 2003, her young nephew Sander Waring Harden and niece Audrey Gay Harden died with her former sister-in-law Rebecca Harden as a result of a tragic fire in their Queens, New York, apartment. Rebecca Harden was divorced from the children's father, Thaddeus Harden, who is Marcia Gay Harden's brother
On May 22, 2010, Harden delivered the 127th Spring Commencement Address at the University of Texas at Austin.