Ellen Burstyn was born Edna Rae Gillooly in Detroit, Michigan on December 7, 1932, to parents Correine Marie and John Austin Gillooly, a building contractor. She describes her ancestry as "Irish, French, Pennsylvania Dutch, a little Canadian Indian".
She grew up Catholic but is now known to practice Sufism. Her parents divorced when she was young and she would later refer to her mother as tough, violent and controlling. Ellen Burstyn left Detroit's Cass Technical high school without graduating and also left home in 1950.
Ellen Burstyn's stated acting in theatre during the late 1950s and over the next ten years she had roles in several films and TV series before joining the Actors Studio in 1967. She became famous for her supporting role in “The Last Picture Show” in 1971 and the
lead role in “The Exorcist” in 1973, receiving Academy Award nominations for the two performances.
She won the “Best Actress Oscar” the following year for her work in “Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore” in 1973. In 1975 she won a Tony Award for her work in the Broadway production of “Same Time, Next Year”, and received a Golden Globe Award and a fourth Academy Award nomination for her performance in the 1978 film version.
Ellen Burstyn continued to work extensively during the 1980s and 1990s, and was acclaimed for her performance in the film “Requiem for a Dream”, for which she received several critic's awards.
Why is Ellen Burstyn famous?
Ellen Burstyn is an American actress, who has worked in film, stage and TV.
Why do we like Ellen Burstyn?
Ellen Burstyn was inducted into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame in 1997 and in 2000 she was named co-president of The Actors Studio, alongside Al Pacino and Harvey Keitel.
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