Annette Carol Bening (born May 29, 1958) is an American actress. She began her career on stage with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival company in 1980, and played Lady Macbeth in 1984 at the American Conservatory Theatre. She was nominated for the 1987 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her Broadway debut in Coastal Disturbances. She is a four-time Academy Award nominee for the films: The Grifters (1990), American Beauty (1999), Being Julia (2004), and The Kids Are All Right (2010). In 2006, she received a film star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Bening won the BAFTA Award for Best Actress and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role for American Beauty, two Golden Globe Awards for Being Julia and The Kids Are All Right, and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for Mrs. Harris.
Bening at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival
Annette Carol Bening
May 29, 1958
Topeka, Kansas, U.S.
|Education||San Diego Mesa College|
San Francisco State University (BA)
American Conservatory Theater (MFA)
Bening was born in Topeka, Kansas, the daughter of Shirley Katherine (née Ashley; b. 1929) and Arnett Grant Bening (b. 1926). Her mother was a church singer and soloist, and her father was a sales training consultant and insurance salesman. Her parents, natives of Iowa, were practicing Episcopalians and conservative Republicans. She is of mostly German and English descent.
The youngest of four children, she has an older sister Jane (b. 1953), two older brothers Bradley (b. 1955) and Byron (b. 1957). The family moved to Wichita, Kansas in 1959, where she spent her early childhood. In 1965, her father took a job with a company in San Diego, California, and they moved there.
She began acting in junior high school, playing the lead in The Sound of Music. She graduated in 1975 from Patrick Henry High School, where she studied drama. She then spent a year working as a cook on a charter boat taking fishing parties out on the Pacific Ocean, and scuba diving for recreation. Bening attended San Diego Mesa College, then completed an academic degree in theatre arts at San Francisco State University.
Bening began her career on stage with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival company in 1980, and appeared in plays at the San Diego Repertory Theatre. She was a member of the acting company at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco while studying acting as part of the Advanced Theatre Training Program. There, she starred in such productions as Shakespeare's Macbeth as Lady Macbeth. Bening also starred in productions of Pygmalion and The Cherry Orchard at the Denver Center Theatre Company during the 1985–86 season. She made her Broadway debut in 1987, garnering a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her performance in Coastal Disturbances.
Bening made her film debut in The Great Outdoors (1988) and co-starred with Colin Firth in Valmont (1989). She made her breakout role in The Grifters (1990), in which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. In 1991, she portrayed Virginia Hill in Barry Levinson's biopic Bugsy, alongside Warren Beatty. Bening co-starred with Harrison Ford in Regarding Henry. In 1994, Bening and Beatty starred together again, in Love Affair. In 1995, Bening played the female lead in The American President, with Michael Douglas, a role she followed with Tim Burton's sci-fi spoof Mars Attacks! (1996), and The Siege (1998), a thriller with Denzel Washington and Bruce Willis. Bening starred in Sam Mendes' directorial debut film American Beauty (1999). The film won five Academy Awards, including for Best Picture. For her performance, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress and won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role. Bening starred in other films, including In Dreams (1999) and What Planet Are You From? (2000).
Bening played Sue Barlow in Open Range (2003). She played the title role in Being Julia (2004), in which she won a Golden Globe, NBR Best Actress, was a runner-up for NYFCC and was nominated by SAG and for the Academy Award for her performance. She was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for her role of Jean Harris the 2005 HBO film Mrs. Harris. She replaced Julianne Moore to star in the film adaptation of Running with Scissors (2006), for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe. Bening starred in The Women (2008) remake. In 2009, Bening starred in a new interpretation of the Euripides classic Medea at UCLA's Freud Playhouse. She received positive reviews for her performance in the independent film Mother and Child (2009). In 2010, she starred in Joanna Murray-Smith's comedy The Female of the Species at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. Later that year, Bening received strong critical acclaim for her performance in The Kids Are All Right, with several reviewers noting that she "deserves an Oscar" for her "sublime" performance. For her role, Bening won a Golden Globe, NYFFC Best Actress, was runner-up for NSFC, and was nominated by SAG and BAFTA and for the Academy Award.
In 2012, Bening's audiobook recording of Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway was released at Audible.com. In 2014, she starred in Shakespeare's King Lear at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, as part of the Public Theatre's Free Shakespeare in the Park. It marked her first New York stage appearance in twenty years. In 2016, Bening played Dorothea Fields in the comedy-drama 20th Century Women, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe and was a runner-up at NSFC as well. She was also nominated by BAFTA for her role as Gloria Grahame in Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool (2017).
Bening married choreographer J. Steven White on May 26, 1984. They divorced in 1991. Bening married Warren Beatty on March 3, 1992. They have four children: two sons and two daughters. Bening is ordained as a minister by the Universal Life Church Monastery.
20th Century Women is a 2016 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Mike Mills and starring Annette Bening, Elle Fanning, Greta Gerwig, Lucas Jade Zumann and Billy Crudup. The film is set in 1970s Southern California and based in part on Mills' childhood.
The film had its world premiere at the New York Film Festival on October 8, 2016, and was theatrically released on December 28, 2016, by A24. The film was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards, Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and Best Actress for Bening, as well as for Best Original Screenplay at the 89th Academy Awards.53rd British Academy Film Awards
The 53rd British Film Awards, given by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts on 9 April 2000, honoured the best in film for 1999.
Sam Mendes's American Beauty won the award for Best Film (also won the Academy Award for Best Picture), Actor (Kevin Spacey; had won the Academy Award) and Actress (Annette Bening), Cinematography, Editing and Film Music. Jude Law (The Talented Mr. Ripley) and Maggie Smith (Tea with Mussolini) won the awards for Best Supporting Actor and Actress. Pedro Almodóvar, director of Todo sobre mi madre (All About My Mother), won the BAFTA Film Award for Best Directing. East Is East was voted Best British Film.
The ceremony took place at the Odeon Leicester Square in London and was hosted by Jack Docherty.American Beauty (soundtrack)
American Beauty: Music from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is the soundtrack album to the 1999 film starring Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening.Annette Bening filmography
The following is the filmography for American actress, Annette Bening.Being Julia
Being Julia is a 2004 comedy-drama film directed by István Szabó and starring Annette Bening and Jeremy Irons. The screenplay by Ronald Harwood is based on the novel Theatre (1937) by W. Somerset Maugham. The original film score was composed by Mychael Danna.Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool
Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool is a 2017 biographical romantic drama film directed by Paul McGuigan and starring Annette Bening and Jamie Bell, with a cast that includes Vanessa Redgrave and Julie Walters. It is based on the memoir of the same name by Peter Turner, which tells of his relationship with aging Academy Award-winning American actress Gloria Grahame in 1970s Liverpool and, some years later, her death from breast cancer.
The film premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on 1 September 2017. It was released in the United Kingdom on 16 November by Lionsgate and in the United States on 29 December by Sony Pictures Classics. At the 71st British Academy Film Awards, it received three nominations: Best Actress (Bening), Best Actor (Bell) and Best Adapted Screenplay.Georgetown (film)
Georgetown is an upcoming crime film directed by Christoph Waltz in his feature directorial debut. Waltz will star alongside Vanessa Redgrave, Annette Bening and Corey Hawkins.Girl Most Likely
Girl Most Likely is a 2012 American comedy film directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini. Based on a screenplay by Michelle Morgan, the film stars Kristen Wiig as a playwright who stages a suicide in an attempt to win back her ex, only to wind up in the custody of her gambling-addict mother, played by Annette Bening. Matt Dillon, Christopher Fitzgerald, Natasha Lyonne, and Darren Criss co-star.
The film was screened under its original title Imogene at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival in September 2012. The same month, Lionsgate bought the US distribution rights following its Toronto premiere and released it with Roadside Attractions on July 19, 2013.Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical
The Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy was first awarded by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association as a separate category in 1951. Previously, there was a single award for "Best Actress in a Motion Picture" but the splitting allowed for recognition of it and the Best Actress – Drama.
The formal title has varied since its inception. In 2005, it was officially called: "Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical". As of 2014, the wording is "Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy".Guilty by Suspicion
Guilty by Suspicion is a 1991 American drama film about the Hollywood blacklist, McCarthyism, and the activities of the House Un-American Activities Committee. Written and directed by Irwin Winkler, it starred Robert De Niro, Annette Bening, and George Wendt.
The film was entered into the 1991 Cannes Film Festival.Hope Gap
Hope Gap is an upcoming family drama film written and directed by William Nicholson.Open Range (2003 film)
Open Range is a 2003 American western film directed and co-produced by Kevin Costner, starring Robert Duvall and Costner, with Annette Bening, Michael Gambon, and Michael Jeter appearing in supporting roles. The film was the final on-screen appearance of Jeter, who died before it was released, and the film was dedicated to Jeter's memory, as well as to Costner's parents, Bill and Sharon.
The film was a box office success and was critically favored.Regarding Henry
Regarding Henry is a 1991 American drama film directed by Mike Nichols and written by J. J. Abrams. The film stars Harrison Ford as a New York City lawyer from a dysfunctional family who struggles to regain his memory and recover his speech and mobility after he survives a shooting, inadvertently restoring his family's integrity in the process.
The supporting cast includes Annette Bening, Mikki Allen, Bill Nunn, Rebecca Miller, Bruce Altman, and Elizabeth Wilson. The film received mixed reviews, but was nominated in 2006 by the American Film Institute for their 100 Years...100 Cheers list.Running with Scissors (film)
Running with Scissors is a 2006 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Ryan Murphy, based on Augusten Burroughs' 2002 memoir of the same name, and starring Joseph Cross, Annette Bening, Brian Cox, Joseph Fiennes, Evan Rachel Wood, Alec Baldwin, Jill Clayburgh and Gwyneth Paltrow. The semi-autobiographical account of Burroughs' childhood (when his real name was still Christopher Robison), based on his best-selling book, received mixed reviews as a film.The American President
The American President is a 1995 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Rob Reiner and written by Aaron Sorkin. The film stars Michael Douglas, Annette Bening, Martin Sheen, Michael J. Fox, and Richard Dreyfuss. In the film, President Andrew Shepherd (Douglas) is a widower who pursues a relationship with environmental lobbyist Sydney Ellen Wade (Bening) – who has just moved to Washington, D.C. – while at the same time attempting to win the passage of a crime control bill.
Composer Marc Shaiman was nominated for the Original Musical or Comedy Score Oscar for The American President. The film was nominated for Golden Globes for Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor in a Comedy/Musical for Michael Douglas, Best Actress in a Comedy/Musical for Annette Bening, and Best Comedy/Musical. The American Film Institute ranked The American President No. 75 on its list of America's Greatest Love Stories.The Grifters (film)
The Grifters is a 1990 American neo-noir crime drama film directed by Stephen Frears, produced by Martin Scorsese, and starring John Cusack, Anjelica Huston and Annette Bening. The screenplay was written by Donald E. Westlake, based on Jim Thompson's novel of the same name.The Report (2019 film)
The Report (former title: The Torture Report) is a 2019 drama film written and directed by Scott Z. Burns and starring Adam Driver and Annette Bening. It had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 26, 2019.The Seagull (2018 film)
The Seagull is a 2018 American drama film directed by Michael Mayer with a screenplay by Stephen Karam, based on the play of the same name by Anton Chekhov. The film stars Annette Bening, Saoirse Ronan, Corey Stoll, Elisabeth Moss, Mare Winningham, Jon Tenney, Glenn Fleshler, Michael Zegen, Billy Howle and Brian Dennehy. Filming began in June 2015 in New York City and had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 21, 2018 and was released on May 11, 2018 by Sony Pictures Classics.What Planet Are You From?
What Planet Are You From? is a 2000 American science fiction comedy film directed by Mike Nichols and written by Michael Leeson, Garry Shandling, Ed Solomon, and Peter Tolan based on a story by Leeson and Shandling. The film stars an ensemble cast featuring Shandling, Annette Bening, Greg Kinnear, Ben Kingsley, Linda Fiorentino, and John Goodman.