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Sunday, February 3, 2019

76 Groovy Things about Blythe Danner on her birthday



Today I'm celebrating Blythe Danner's 76th birthday by sharing a "few" groovy things about her life and career:

1. Blythe Katherine Danner was born on February 3, 1943, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

2. She made her debut as a professional actress playing Laura Wingfield in a 1965 production of The Glass Menagerie at Theater Company of Boston.

3. In November/December 1967, she appeared in the musical, Mata Hari, which closed during its out-of-town tryout at the National Theatre in Washington, D.C.

4. She made her Broadway debut in the 1968 revival of Cyrano de Bergerac.

5. On October 15, 1968, she made her television debut in an episode of the ABC crime drama, N.Y.P.D.

6. In 1969, producer Bruce Paltrow cast her in the Off-Broadway drama, Someone's Comin' Hungry, and they were married on December 14, 1969, until his death in 2002.

7. She received a Theatre World Award for her performance in the 1969 Broadway play, The Miser.

8. In 1970, she won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for Butterflies Are Free.

9. On September 12, 1970, she appeared in NBC's special adaptation of the musical, George M!, which also starred Joel Grey, Bernadette Peters, Red Buttons, Jack Cassidy, Nanette Fabray and Anita Gillette.

10. On January 19, 1971, she appeared in ABC's "Movie of the Week", Dr. Cook's Garden, starring Bing Crosby and Frank Converse.



11. On January 10, 1972, she starred with Gene Wilder and Pete Duel in a Hollywood Television Theatre production of The Scarecrow on PBS.



12. She made her feature film debut opposite Alan Alda in the 1972 drama, To Kill a Clown.



13. On September 17, 1972, a pregnant Danner played John Cassavetes' wife in an episode of NBC's Columbo, and she gave birth to her daughter, actress Gwyneth Paltrow, on September 27, 1972.

14. She played Martha Jefferson in the 1972 film version of the musical, 1776.



15. In 1973, she and Ken Howard played married lawyers in 13 episodes of the ABC sitcom, Adam's Rib, which was an adaptation of the 1949 film.




16. On January 7, 1974, she played Zelda Fitzgerald in the ABC movie, F. Scott Fitzgerald and 'The Last of the Belles', which also starred Richard Chamberlain and Susan Sarandon.

17. On March 21, 1974, she appeared in the CBS movie (and TV pilot), Sidekicks, starring Larry Hagman and Louis Gossett Jr.



18. In July 1974, she starred in Chekhov's The Seagull at the Williamstown Theatre Festival with Frank Langella, Olympia Dukakis and Lee Grant. This production was adapted for PBS's Great Performances, which aired it on January 5, 1975.



19. She played the title role in the 1974 drama, Lovin' Molly, which also starred Anthony Perkins, Beau Bridges and Susan Sarandon.



20. She starred opposite Jeff Bridges in the 1975 comedy, Hearts of the West.

21. On February 10, 1976, she played Alan Alda's old flame in an episode of M*A*S*H.



22. She starred in the 1976 science fiction thriller, Futureworld, with Peter Fonda and Yul Brynner.




23. On October 9, 1977, she starred opposite Edward Herrmann in the NBC movie, A Love Affair: The Eleanor and Lou Gehrig Story.

24. On September 20, 1978, she played Kathleen Beller's mother in the CBS movie, Are You in the House Alone?, which also starred Dennis Quaid.

25. On March 12, 1979, she starred with Michael Moriarty and Glenn Close in the NBC movie, Too Far to Go.

26. On May 16, 1979, she played Jean Stapleton's daughter in the CBS adaptation of You Can't Take It With You, which also starred Art Carney, Beth Howland, Barry Bostwick, Marla Gibbs, Mildred Natwick and Polly Holliday.

27. She played Robert Duvall's wife in the 1979 drama, The Great Santini.



28. She received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Play for the 1980 production of Betrayal, which also starred Raul Julia and Roy Scheider.

29. She played Tracy Lord in the 1980 Broadway revival of The Philadelphia Story, which also starred Frank Converse, Edward Herrmann and Cynthia Nixon.

30. She was the host of NBC's Saturday Night Live on March 27, 1982.




31. She played Martin Sheen's wife in the 1983 drama, Man, Woman and Child.



32. On April 6, 1983, she starred opposite Sam Waterston in the CBS movie, In Defense of Kids.




33. On March 28, 1984, she and Brenda Vaccaro played hospital roommates in an episode of the NBC drama, St. Elsewhere, which was directed by Danner's husband and the show's producer, Bruce Paltrow.

34. On April 23, 1984, she played Anne Sullivan opposite Mare Winningham (as Helen Keller) in the syndicated movie, Helen Keller: The Miracle Continues.

35. On April 2, 1985, she played Anthony Hopkins' wife in the CBS movie, Guilty Conscience, which also starred Swoosie Kurtz.



36. In August 1986, she played Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, which also starred Christopher Walken and Sigourney Weaver.

37. She starred in the 1986 film version of Neil Simon's semi-autobiographical play, Brighton Beach Memoirs.



38. She played Elvira in the 1987 Broadway revival of Blithe Spirit, which also starred Richard Chamberlain, Judith Ivey and Geraldine Page.

39. In July 1988, she starred opposite Kevin Kline in Much Ado About Nothing in the New York Shakespeare Festival production in Central Park.

40. She received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Play for her performance as Blanche DuBois in the 1988 revival of A Streetcar Named Desire, which also starred Aidan Quinn and Frances McDormand.

41. She appeared in three Woody Allen films - Another Woman (1988), Alice (1990) as Mia Farrow's sister, and Husbands and Wives (1992).

42. She starred in the 1988-89 hourlong NBC drama, Tattinger's, which was later revamped into the 1989 half-hour sitcom, Nick & Hillary - but it was canceled after only two episodes.

43. She played Joanne Woodward's best friend in the 1990 drama, Mr. & Mrs. Bridge.

44. In April 1990, she was originally cast as Ouisa in the Broadway play, Six Degrees of Separation, but she left the production after the first day of rehearsals and was replaced by Stockard Channing.

45. She played Nick Nolte's wife in the 1991 romantic drama, The Prince of Tides, directed by and starring Barbra Streisand.

46. In July 1991, she played Rosemary in Picnic at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, which also starred Gwyneth Paltrow, Jane Krakowski and Tony Goldwyn.

47. She played Gwyneth Paltrow's mother in the 1992 NBC miniseries, Cruel Doubt, and in the 2003 drama, Sylvia.

48. On August 19, 1992, she and Adam Ant starred in an episode of the HBO series, Tales from the Crypt.



49. She starred with Charles Kimbrough and Sarah Jessica Parker in the 1995 Off-Broadway production of Sylvia.

50. She appeared in the 1995 comedy, To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar, starring Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze and John Leguizamo.

51. She played Julianne Moore's mother in the 1997 drama, The Myth of Fingerprints.

52. She appeared in the 1997 thriller, Mad City, starring Dustin Hoffman and John Travolta.

53. On November 22, 1998, she starred in the CBS Hallmark Hall of Fame film adaptation of Anne Tyler's novel, Saint Maybe, which also featured Edward Herrmann, Thomas McCarthy and Mary-Louise Parker.

54. She appeared in the 1999 romantic comedy, Forces of Nature, starring Sandra Bullock and Ben Affleck.

55. She played Kate Capshaw's mother in the 1999 romantic comedy, The Love Letter.

56. She played Robert De Niro's wife in the 2000 comedy, Meet the Parents, and its two sequels, Meet the Fockers (2004) and Little Fockers (2010).



57. She received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance as Phyllis in the 2001 revival of Follies.



58. On June 6, 2002, she played Mrs. Mullin in a Carnegie Hall concert performance of Carousel starring Hugh Jackman and Audra McDonald.

59. She received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for the 2002 Lifetime movie, We Were the Mulvaneys.

60. She and Dana Delany starred in the 2002-03 CBS medical drama, Presidio Med.

61. In 2003, she played Evelyn Harper in the original unaired pilot episode of the CBS sitcom, Two and a Half Men, but she was replaced by Holland Taylor.

62. She received Emmy Award and Golden Globe nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for the 2004 CBS Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, Back When We Were Grownups, which also starred Peter Fonda, Jack Palance and Faye Dunaway.



63. She won two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for the 2004-06 Showtime series, Huff.




64. In 2005 and 2006, she received Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her recurring role as Will's mother Marilyn on NBC's Will & Grace (which she reprised in 2018).




65. She appeared in the 2006 film, The Last Kiss, starring Zach Braff.

66. She played Violet Venable in the 2006 Off-Broadway production of Suddenly Last Summer, which also starred Carla Gugino and Gale Harold. And in December 2006, she appeared on the American Theatre Wing's Working in the Theatre series with Blair Brown, Swoosie Kurtz and Julie White.



67. In 2008, she played Joseph Fiennes' mother in Ryan Murphy's unaired FX pilot, Pretty/Handsome, which also starred Robert Wagner and Jonathan Groff.

68. On July 13, 2009, she and Swoosie Kurtz played Dr. Cooper's lesbian mothers in an episode of Showtime's Nurse Jackie.

69. She appeared in the 2012 film, Hello I Must Be Going, with Melanie Lynskey, John Rubinstein and Christopher Abbott.



70. In 2012, she played the family matriarch in Shonda Rhimes' unaired ABC pilot, Gilded Lilys, starring John Barrowman.

71. In 2013, she played Sarah Jessica Parker's mother in the Off-Broadway play, The Commons of Pensacola.

72. In 2014, she starred in the Broadway play, The Country House, with Sarah Steele and Daniel Sunjata.




73. She starred in the 2015 film, I'll See You in My Dreams, and promoted the movie in two SAG-AFTRA Foundation interviews in November 2015.






74. She was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 2015

75. She starred opposite Richard Dreyfuss in the 2016 ABC miniseries, Madoff.

76. She played Nick Offerman's mother in the 2018 film, Hearts Beat Loud.

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