Ellen Burstyn - Rotten Tomatoes

Ellen Burstyn

Highest Rated:   100% Easy Riders---Raging Bulls (2003)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Detroit, Michigan, USA
Actress Ellen Burstyn enjoyed her greatest prominence during the '70s, a decade during which she was a virtual fixture of Academy Award voters' ballots. Born Edna Rae Gillooly in Detroit, MI, on December 7, 1932, as a teen she studied dancing and performed in an acrobatic troupe. She later became a model for paperback book covers, subsequently dancing in a Montréal nightclub under the name "Keri Flynn." In 1954, she was tapped to appear as a Gleason Girl on television's Jackie Gleason Show, and in 1957, she made her Broadway debut in Fair Game, again with a new stage name, "Ellen McRae." While in New York, Burstyn studied acting under Stella Adler, and later married theatrical director Paul Roberts. She briefly relocated to Los Angeles for television work but soon returned east to work at the Actors' Studio. She made her film debut in 1964's For Those Who Think Young, quickly followed by Goodbye Charlie. The cinema did not yet suit her, however, and she spent the remainder of the decade appearing on the daytime soap opera The Doctors.It was after marrying her third husband, actor Neil Burstyn, that she adopted the name most familiar to audiences, and was so billed in 1969's film adaptation of Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer. While the picture was unsuccessful, it did attract the notice of director Paul Mazursky, who cast her in his 1970 project Alex in Wonderland. Burstyn then began a string of high-profile films which established her among the preeminent actresses of the decade: The first, Peter Bogdanovich's 1971 masterpiece The Last Picture Show, earned her a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nomination, but she lost out to co-star Cloris Leachman. Burstyn next appeared opposite Jack Nicholson in Bob Rafelson's acclaimed The King of Marvin Gardens before starring in William Friedkin's 1973 horror hit The Exorcist, a performance which earned her a Best Actress nomination. For Mazursky, she co-starred in the whimsical 1974 tale Harry and Tonto, and then appeared in a well-received TV feature, Thursday's Game.However, it was 1974's Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore which truly launched Burstyn to stardom. Warner Bros. had purchased the screenplay at her insistence two years earlier, but her efforts to bring it to the screen were met with considerable resistance. Her first choice for director was Francis Ford Coppola, who declined, but he suggested she approach Martin Scorsese. In the wake of Mean Streets, Scorsese was eager to attempt a "woman's film," and agreed to take the project on. The result was a major critical and commercial success, and on her third attempt Burstyn finally won an Oscar. That same year, she won a Tony for her work on Broadway in the romantic drama Same Time, Next Year, the first actress to score both honors during the same awards season since Audrey Hepburn two decades prior. However, upon wrapping up her theatrical run, Burstyn was not besieged by the offers so many expected her to receive. In fact, she did not appear onscreen for three years, finally resurfacing in Alain Resnais' Providence.The film was not a success, nor was 1978's Jules Dassin-helmed A Dream of Passion. With co-star Alan Alda, Burstyn reprised her Broadway performance in a 1978 feature version of Same Time, Next Year, but it too failed to meet expectations, although she was again Oscar-nominated. After a two-year hiatus, she starred in Resurrection, followed in 1981 by Silence of the North, which went directly to cable television. For the networks, she starred in 1981's The People vs. Jean Harris, based on the notorious "Scarsdale diet" murder. After 1984's The Ambassador, Burstyn co-starred in the following year's Twice in a Lifetime, which was to be her last feature film for some years. She instead turned almost exclusively to television, appearing in a series of TV movies and starring in a disastrously short-lived 1986 sitcom, The Ellen Burstyn Show. Finally, in 1988, she returned to cinemas in Hanna's

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Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
77% Wiener-Dog
  • Nana
$0.3M 2016
40% About Scout
  • Gram
2016
No Score Yet Custody
  • Actor
2016
No Score Yet River Of Fundament
  • Hathfertiti
$0.1M 2015
92% When Marnie Was There
  • Nan
$0.5M 2015
55% The Age of Adaline
  • Flemming
2015
47% Two Men in Town
  • Mother Garnett
2015
71% Interstellar
  • Murph (older)
$158.8M 2014
51% The Calling
  • Emily Micallef
2014
60% Draft Day
  • Barb Weaver
$21.2M 2014
No Score Yet Petals on the Wind
  • Olivia Foxworth
2014
52% Flowers in the Attic
  • Olivia Foxworth
2014
No Score Yet Wish You Well
  • Actor
2013
9% Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You
  • Nanette
2012
44% Another Happy Day
  • Doris
$0.1M 2011
46% The Mighty Macs
  • Mother St. John
$1.9M 2011
13% Main Street
  • Georgiana Carr
$0.1M 2011
No Score Yet America Lost and Found: The BBS Story
  • Actor
2010
71% Lovely, Still
  • Mary
$0.2M 2010
No Score Yet According To Greta
  • Actor
2010
25% The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond
  • Miss Addie
$0.1M 2009
86% The Velveteen Rabbit
  • The Swan
2009
No Score Yet Poliwood
  • Actor
2009
59% W.
  • Barbara Bush
$25.6M 2008
No Score Yet Oprah Winfrey Presents: Mitch Albom's 'For One More Day'
  • Pauline 'Posey' Benetto
2007
41% The Stone Angel
  • Hagar Shipley
$0.1M 2007
51% The Fountain
  • Dr. Lillian Guzetti
$10.1M 2006
No Score Yet 30 Days
  • Maura
2006
15% The Wicker Man
  • Sister Summersisle
$23.7M 2006
No Score Yet Hubert Selby Jr.: It'll Be Better Tomorrow
  • Actor
2006
52% Down in the Valley
  • Ma
$0.5M 2006
18% The Elephant King
  • Diana Hunt
2006
No Score Yet Our Fathers
  • Mary Ryan
2005
33% Mrs. Harris
  • Former Tarnowner `Steady'
2005
No Score Yet Mitch Albom's 'The Five People You Meet in Heaven'
  • Ruby
2004
100% Easy Riders---Raging Bulls
  • Actor
2003
No Score Yet Brush with Fate
  • Rika
2003
77% A Decade Under the Influence
  • Actor
2003
44% Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
  • Vivian Jane Abbott `Vivi' Walker
$69.6M 2002
No Score Yet Into Thin Air
  • Joan Walker
2002
No Score Yet Within These Walls
  • Joan Thomas
  • Executive Producer
2001
No Score Yet Dodson's Journey
  • Emily Dodson
2001
64% The Yards
  • Val Handler
2000
78% Requiem for a Dream
  • Sara Goldfarb
$2.6M 2000
88% Exorcist: The Version You've Never Seen
  • Actor
$38.7M 2000
No Score Yet Mermaid
  • Trish
2000
No Score Yet Miracle of the Spring
  • Actor
2000
No Score Yet You Can Thank Me Later
  • Shirley Cooperberg
1999
No Score Yet Night Ride Home
  • Maggie
1999
No Score Yet Walking Across Egypt
  • Mattie
1999
60% Playing by Heart
  • Mildred
1998
No Score Yet A Will of Their Own
  • Veronica Steward
1998
No Score Yet Marilyn In Manhattan
  • Actor
1998
No Score Yet The Patron Saint of Liars
  • June Clatterbuck
1998
48% Deceiver
  • Mook
$0.6M 1998
No Score Yet Flash
  • Laura Strong
1997
33% The Spitfire Grill
  • Hannah Ferguson
1996
No Score Yet Timepiece
  • Maud Gannon
1996
61% How to Make an American Quilt
  • Hy
1995
64% The Baby-Sitters Club
  • Mrs. Haberman
1995
No Score Yet Follow the River
  • Gretel
1995
No Score Yet My Brother's Keeper
  • Helen
1995
29% Roommates
  • Judith
1995
No Score Yet Bach In Auschwitz
  • Actor
1995
No Score Yet Color of Evening
  • Actor
1995
No Score Yet Primal Secrets
  • Frances Griffin
1994
No Score Yet Getting Gotti
  • Jo Giacalone
1994
71% When a Man Loves a Woman
  • Emily
1994
No Score Yet Getting Out
  • Arlie's Mother
1994
No Score Yet Shattered Trust: The Shari Karney Story
  • Joan Delvecchio
1993
67% The Cemetery Club
  • Esther Moskowitz
1993
No Score Yet Moadon Beit Hakvarot (The Cemetery Club)
  • Actor
1993
No Score Yet When It Was a Game 2
  • Actor
1992
No Score Yet Grand Isle
  • Mlle. Reisz
1992
23% Dying Young
  • Mrs. O'Neil
1991
No Score Yet Mrs. Lambert Remembers Love
  • Lil Lambert
1991
No Score Yet When You Remember Me
  • Nurse Cooder
1990
No Score Yet Hanna's War
  • Katalin Senesh
1988
No Score Yet Pack of Lies
  • Barbara Jackson
1987
100% Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam
  • Narrator
1987
No Score Yet Act of Vengeance
  • Margaret Yablonski
1986
No Score Yet Something in Common
  • Lynn Hollander
1986
83% Twice in a Lifetime
  • Kate MacKenzie
1985
No Score Yet Surviving
  • Tina Brogan
1985
No Score Yet The Ambassador
  • Alex Hacker
1984
No Score Yet In Our Hands
  • Actor
1984
No Score Yet The People vs. Jean Harris
  • Actor
1981
No Score Yet Silence of the North
  • Olive Fredrickson
1981
No Score Yet Resurrection
  • Edna
1980
40% Same Time, Next Year
  • Doris
1978
No Score Yet Kravgi Gynaikon (A Dream of Passion)
  • Brenda Collins
1978
88% Providence
  • Sonia Langham
1977
88% Harry and Tonto
  • Shirley
1974
No Score Yet Thursday's Game
  • Lynne Evers
1974
88% Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore
  • Alice Hyatt
1974
86% The Exorcist
  • Chris
1973
71% The King of Marvin Gardens
  • Sally
1972
100% The Last Picture Show
  • Lois
1971
No Score Yet Alex in Wonderland
  • Beth Morrison
1970
71% Tropic of Cancer
  • Mona
1970
No Score Yet Pit Stop
  • Ellen McLeod
1969
No Score Yet For Those Who Think Young
  • Dr. Pauline Thayer
1964
No Score Yet Goodbye Charlie
  • Franny
1964

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Mom
2013
  • Shirley
  • 2015
No Score Yet Inside the Actors Studio
1994
  • Guest
  • 2013
50% Coma
2012
  • Actor
  • 2012
63% Political Animals
2012
  • Margaret Margaret Barrish
  • 2012
85% Big Love
2006-2011
  • Nancy
  • 2011
  • 2009
  • 2007
No Score Yet Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
1999
  • Bernadette Stabler
  • 2008
No Score Yet American Experience
1988
  • Voice
  • 1994
No Score Yet Saturday Night Live
1975
  • Guest
  • 1980

Quotes from Ellen Burstyn's Characters