Calista Flockhart
Calista Flockhart at the 2009 Deauville American Film Festival-01.jpg
Born
Calista Kay Flockhart

(1964-11-11) November 11, 1964 (age 57)
Alma materRutgers University–New Brunswick
OccupationActress
Years active1989–present
Spouse(s)
(m. 2010)
Children1

Calista Kay Flockhart (born November 11, 1964)[1][2] is an American actress. She is perhaps best known for portraying the title character on the Fox television series Ally McBeal (1997–2002), for which she received a Golden Globe Award in 1998 and was thrice nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. From 2006 to 2011, she starred as Kitty Walker on the ABC drama series Brothers & Sisters, and between 2015 and 2021, Flockhart appeared as Cat Grant on the superhero drama Supergirl. In film, she is known for roles in The Birdcage (1996), A Midsummer Night's Dream (1999), and Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her (2000).

Early life

Flockhart was born in Freeport, Illinois, the daughter of Kay Calista, an English teacher, and Ronald Flockhart (1932–2020), a Kraft Foods executive.[3] Her parents retired to Morristown, Tennessee, where her father lived until his death and her mother continues to reside.[4] She has one older brother, Gary. Her mother reversed her own first and middle names in naming her Calista Kay.[5]

Flockhart attended Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. People began recognizing Flockhart's acting ability when William Esper (Mason Gross theater director and Flockhart's acting teacher) made an exception to policy by allowing Flockhart to perform on the main stage. Though this venue usually is reserved for juniors and seniors, Harold Scott insisted that Flockhart perform there in his production of William Inge's Picnic. Flockhart graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theater in 1988 from Rutgers as one of the few students who successfully completed the acting course. Rutgers inducted her into the Hall of Distinguished Alumni on May 3, 2003.[6][7]

Career

Early career

In spring 1989, Flockhart made her first television appearance in a minor role in an episode of Guiding Light as a babysitter. Also, she played a teenager battling an eating disorder on a one-hour afternoon special on TV. Flockhart made her professional debut on the New York stage, appearing in Beside Herself alongside Melissa Joan Hart, at the Circle Repertory Theatre. Two years later, Flockhart appeared in the television movie Darrow. Though she later appeared in films Naked in New York (1993) and Getting In (1994), her first substantial speaking part in a film was in Quiz Show, directed by Robert Redford.

Flockhart debuted on Broadway in 1994, as Laura in The Glass Menagerie. Actress Julie Harris felt Flockhart should be hired without further auditions, claiming that she seemed ideal for the part.[citation needed] Flockhart received a Clarence Derwent Award for her performance. In 1995, Flockhart became acquainted with actors such as Dianne Wiest and Faye Dunaway when she appeared in the movie Drunks. In 1996, Flockhart appeared as the daughter of Dianne Wiest and Gene Hackman's characters in The Birdcage. Later that year, Flockhart starred in Jane Doe as a drug addict, though it was not released until 1999 over three years after filming.[8] Throughout that year, she continued to work on Broadway, playing the role of Natasha in Anton Chekhov's Three Sisters.

Ally McBeal

Main article: Ally McBeal

In 1997, Flockhart was asked to audition for the starring role in David E. Kelley's Fox television series Ally McBeal. Kelley, having heard of Flockhart, wanted her to audition for the contract part. Though she initially hesitated due to the necessary commitment to the show in a negotiable contract, she was swayed by the script and traveled to Los Angeles to audition for the part, which she won. She earned a Golden Globe Award for the role in 1998. Flockhart also appeared on the June 29, 1998, cover of Time magazine,[9] placed as the newest iteration in the evolution of feminism, relating to the ongoing debate about the role depicted by her character.[10] Flockhart starred on the show until it was canceled in 2002.[11]

Brothers & Sisters

Main article: Brothers & Sisters (2006 TV series)

Flockhart performed in a starring role as Kitty Walker, opposite Sally Field, Rachel Griffiths and Matthew Rhys, in the ABC critically acclaimed prime time series Brothers & Sisters, which premiered in September 2006 in the time slot after Desperate Housewives. The show was cancelled in May 2011 after running for five years. Flockhart's character was significant throughout the series' first four years, but her appearances were reduced for the 2010–2011 season, coinciding with the departure of TV husband Rob Lowe.

Other work

Flockhart played the role of Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream, a 1999 film version of Shakespeare's play. In 2000, she appeared in Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her and Bash: Latter-Day Plays, later accompanying Eve Ensler to Kenya in order to protest violence against women, particularly female genital mutilation. Flockhart also starred in the off-Broadway production of Ensler's The Vagina Monologues.

In 2004, Flockhart appeared as Matthew Broderick's deranged girlfriend in The Last Shot. In the same year, Flockhart traveled to Spain for the filming of Fragile, which premiered in September 2005 at the Venice Film Festival. She was offered the role of Susan Mayer on Desperate Housewives but declined, and the role later went to Teri Hatcher.[12]

In 2014, Flockhart landed a role in Full Circle's second season, as mob boss Ellen. It was expected to air in 2015. This had been Flockhart's first acting role in three years, after her hiatus when Brothers & Sisters ended.

In 2015, Flockhart was cast in the television series Supergirl as Cat Grant, a "self-made media magnate and founder of CatCo" and boss to Kara (Supergirl's alter ego).[13] The series premiered on October 26, 2015, on CBS.[14] Due to the network's wish to reduce the show's budget, it was moved to sister network The CW after its first season, along with a move to filming in Vancouver. Flockhart remained with the show (albeit as a recurring character), despite her previous aversion to working outside Los Angeles.[15]

In 2022 she played the role of "Martha" opposite Zachary Quinto in Edward Albee's, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. The production was directed by Gordon Greenberg. It also starred Aimee Carrero and Graham Philips. [16]

Personal life

Flockhart and Ford in September 2009
Flockhart and Ford in September 2009

Flockhart has been in a relationship with actor Harrison Ford since their meeting at the Golden Globe Awards on January 20, 2002. They became engaged on Valentine's Day in 2009, and were married on June 15, 2010, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The ceremony was presided over by Governor Bill Richardson and New Mexico Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles W. Daniels.[17] Flockhart and Ford have one adopted son together, Liam Flockhart Ford (born 2001),[17] whom Flockhart adopted at birth.[18]

From 2004 to 2014, Flockhart served as the national spokeswoman for Peace Over Violence.[19][20]

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role
1993 Naked in New York Acting student
1994 Clear Cut
1994 Gettin In Amanda Morel
1994 Quiz Show Barnard Girl
1995 Pictures of Baby Jane Doe Jane
1995 Drunks Helen
1996 The Birdcage Barbara Keeley
1996 Milk & Money Christine
1997 Telling Lies in America Diney Majeski
1999 A Midsummer Night's Dream Helena
2000 Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her Christine Taylor
2004 The Last Shot Valerie Weston
2005 Fragile Amy Nicholls

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1989 Guiding Light Elise
1991 Darrow Lillian Anderson Movie
1992 Lifestories: Families in Crisis Mary-Margaret Carter Episode: "The Secret Life of Mary Margaret: Portrait of a Bulimic"
1997–2002 Ally McBeal Ally McBeal Lead Role (112 episodes)
1998 The Practice Ally McBeal Episode: "Axe Murderer"
2000 Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child Vanna Van (voice) Episode: "Rip Van Winkle"
2000 Saturday Night Live Herself (host) Episode: "Calista Flockhart / Ricky Martin"
2001 Bash: Latter-Day Plays Sue Movie
2006–2011 Brothers & Sisters Kitty Walker Lead role (110 episodes)
2014 Robot Chicken Dr. Ryan Stone / Smurfette / Rebecca Cunningham (voice) Episode: "Batman Forever 21"
2014 Web Therapy April Keating Episodes: "Lost on the Young" and "Judicial Oversight"
2015 Full Circle Ellen Kelly-O'Rourke 5 episodes
2015–2018, 2021 Supergirl Cat Grant Series regular (season 1; 20 episodes)
Recurring (season 2; 4 episodes)
Special guest star (season 3: 1 episode; season 6: 1 episode)
2015 The Penguins of Madagascar Doris (voice) Episode: "The Penguin Who Loved Me"

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result
1998 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Ally McBeal Nominated
Golden Globe Award Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Won
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated
1999 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
Golden Globe Award Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Nominated
Satellite Award Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Won
2000 Golden Globe Award Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Nominated
People's Choice Awards Favorite Female Television Performer Won
Satellite Award Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated
2001 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
Golden Globe Award Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated
2002 Golden Globe Award Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Nominated
2016 Saturn Award Best Supporting Actress On Television Supergirl Nominated

References

  1. ^ "Calista Flockhart Bio". A&E Television Networks 2015. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  2. ^ "Calista Flockhart". TVGuide.com. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  3. ^ Schneider, Karen S. (November 9, 1998). "Arguing Her Case". People. Retrieved November 12, 2010.
  4. ^ "Ronald Lee Flockhart". Citizen Tribune. June 28, 2020. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  5. ^ "News - Calista Flockhart child of Ronald and Kay Calista". theworldnewsmedia.org. Archived from the original on March 12, 2015. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  6. ^ "Former 'Ally McBeal' actress named Rutgers distinguished alumna". Associated Press. May 5, 2003.
  7. ^ "Calista Flockhart". Rutgers University Alumni Association. Retrieved January 19, 2022.
  8. ^ "TCM.com - Jane Doe (1999)".
  9. ^ "Is Feminism Dead?". Time. June 29, 1998. cover. Archived from the original on February 6, 2007.
  10. ^ Ginia Bellafante (June 29, 1998). "It's All About Me!". Time. Archived from the original on November 13, 2007.
  11. ^ "Fox ends 'Ally McBeal' run". CNN. April 18, 2002.
  12. ^ "Coulda Been a Contender" Archived January 17, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, slide 7 of 14. AOL Television. Retrieved December 21, 2009.
  13. ^ Nicholson, Matt (February 23, 2015). "Calista Flockhart Cast As Cat Grant In Supergirl". IGN. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  14. ^ Fitzpatrick, Kevin (June 9, 2015). "CBS 'Supergirl' Sets October Premiere, Plus More Fall Schedules". Screencrush. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  15. ^ "Calista Flockhart Sets Supergirl Return (But Not as a Series Regular)". TV Line. August 1, 2016. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  16. ^ "Edward Albee's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" at Geffen Playhouse".
  17. ^ a b Mike Haederle (June 16, 2010). "Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart get married!". People. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
  18. ^ "Calista Flockhart Adopts Baby". ABC News. January 6, 2006. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  19. ^ "National Spokesperson Emeritus". Peace Over Violence. Archived from the original on April 27, 2015. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  20. ^ "Peace Over Violence 37th Annual Humanitarian Awards". Hollywood.com. Retrieved November 7, 2008.