Ellen Burstyn's illustrious career encompasses film, stage, and television. In 1975, she became only the third woman in history to win both the Tony Award and the Academy Award in the same year, for her work in Bernard Slade's Same Time, Next Year on Broadway and in Martin Scorsese's "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore," for which she also received a Golden Globe nomination and a British Academy Award for Best Actress. Ellen has been nominated for an Academy Award five other times, for the films: "The Last Picture Show" (1972), "The Exorcist" (1974), "Same Time, Next Year" (1979), "Resurrection" (1981), and "Requiem for a Dream" (2001).
Ellen will be seen on the big screen in Darren Aronofsky's new film "The Fountain" co-starring with Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz. Warner Bros. will release the film on November 22nd. This past fall, she appeared in Neil LaBute's remake of "The Wicker Man" with Nicholas Cage, which will be out on DVD this December. Ellen's memoirs, Lessons in Becoming Myself, is now available in bookstores nationwide and online by Riverhead Press. An abridged audio version of the book, voiced by Ellen, is also available.
Ellen's many theatre credits include the 1982 Broadway production of 84 Charing Cross Road. In addition, she starred with Burgess Meredith off-Broadway in Park Your Car in Harvard Yard. She appeared on Broadway in the acclaimed one-woman play, Shirley Valentine, and subsequently stared in Shimada in 1992 and Sacrilege in 1995. In the mid-90's, she starred in two regional productions by Horton Foote, The Trip to Bountiful and Death of Papa. She also starred in Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night at Houston's Alley Theatre and at HartfordStage in Connecticut.
Ellen Burstyn has worked with some of film’s most visionary directors, from Martin Scorsese to Darren Aronofsky – and has appeared in such films as "Alex in Wonderland" (1970), "The King of Marvin Gardens" (1972), "Harry and Tonto" (1974), "Providence" (1976), "Dream of Passion" (1978), "Silence of the North" (1980), "Twice in a Lifetime" (1986), "Dying Young" (1990), "The Cemetery Club" (1993), "Roommates" (1995), "How To Make An American Quilt" (1995), "The Babysitter's Club" (1995), "The Spitfire Grill" (1996), "Playing By Heart" (1998), "The Yards" (1998), "Walking Across Egypt" (1999), and "The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" (2002).
On television, Ellen received an Emmy nomination for her title role in "The People vs. Jean Harris" (1981). She received a second nomination for her starring role in "Pack of Lies," a 1987 Hallmark Hall of Fame television production. In 2001, Ellen co-starred on the CBS series "That's Life," followed by Mitch Albom's television film version of "The Five People You Meet in Heaven," (2004) and in NBC's series "The Book of Daniel" (2006).
Ellen Burstyn was the first woman to be elected President of Actor's Equity Association (1982-85), and served as the Artistic Director of the Actors Studio for six years, where she studied with the late Lee Strasberg. She continues to be active there as co-president with Al Pacino and Harvey Keitel. In 2000, Ellen received the Career Achievement Award from the Boston Film Festival. She was given the Career Achievement Award from the prestigious National Board of Review in early 2001, and was most recently honored with the Career Achievement in Acting Award from the 2006 Hamptons Film Festival.
Born Edna Rae Gillooly in Detroit, Michigan, Ellen spent her early years as a model and actress, appearing regularly on the "The Jackie Gleason Show," "The Doctors," "Ben Casey" and "Iron Horse."
Academically, Ellen holds three honorary doctorates, one in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts, a Doctor of Humane Letters from Dowling College, and a doctorate from The New School for Social Research. Ellen also teaches in The Actors Studio M.F.A. program at its new home at Pace University in New York City and lectures throughout the country on a wide range of topics.