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Annette Bening (1958)

Annette Francine Bening

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Annette Carol Bening is an American actress. Bening is a four-time Oscar nominee for her roles in The Grifters, American Beauty, Being Julia and The Kids Are All Right, winning Golden Globe Awards for the latter two films. Bening is married to actor Warren Beatty, with whom she has four children.


 early life
Bening was born in Topeka, Kansas, the youngest of four children. Her mother, Shirley (née Ashley), was a church singer and soloist, and her father, Arnett Grant Bening, was a sales training consultant and insurance salesman. Her parents, natives of Iowa, were practicing Episcopalians and conservative Republicans. Her sister and two brothers are Jane, Bradley and Byron. The family moved to Wichita, Kansas, in 1959, where she spent her early childhood. In 1965, her father took a job with a company in San Diego, California, and they moved there. She began acting in junior high school, playing the lead in The Sound of Music. She graduated in 1975, from Patrick Henry High School where she studied drama.

She then spent a year working as a cook on a charter boat taking fishing parties out on the Pacific Ocean, and scuba diving for recreation. She attended San Diego Mesa College, then completed an academic degree in theatre arts at San Francisco State University. Bening joined the acting company at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco while studying acting as part of the Advanced Theatre Training Program. During this time she established herself as a formidable acting talent in roles like Shakespeare's Lady Macbeth.

Bening moved to New York City, where she debuted off-Broadway at Second Stage Theatre (McGinn-Cazale Theatre) in the role of 'Holly Dancer' in Tina Howe's widely acclaimed Coastal Disturbances opposite Tim Daly, and for which she earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Play. However, despite the praise and recognition, it took some time for that success to translate to her film career.

After playing four brief parts on television, Bening made her film debut with a supporting role in The Great Outdoors opposite Dan Aykroyd and John Candy. Her next role was as the Marquise de Merteuil in Valmont opposite Colin Firth.

Bening received her first Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress for performance opposite John Cusack in Stephen Frears's The Grifters . In 1991, she co-starred with Harrison Ford in Mike Nichols's Regarding Henry; and portrayed Virginia Hill in the Barry Levinson-directed biopic of Bugsy, co-starring Bening's future husband Warren Beatty. This was followed by a three-year hiatus from acting, during which she turned down many film offers due to pregnancies, including the role of Catwoman in Batman Returns. In 1994, she played opposite acting legend Katharine Hepburn in Love Affair.

One of her most notable roles was in the 1995 romantic comedy The American President. She was one of the many stars in Tim Burton's sci-fi spoof Mars Attacks! . Bening was paid $3 million to star in The Siege , co-starring Denzel Washington and Bruce Willis.

The biggest critical and commercial success of her career thus far was the 1999 film American Beauty, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture and was directed by Sam Mendes. For her performance as an obsessive real-estate agent married to Kevin Spacey, Bening was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress and won two Screen Actors Guild Awards. In 2005, she won a Golden Globe Award and received her third Academy Award nomination for her playing the title role in Being Julia.

Bening starred in the 2003 western Open Range as Kevin Costner's love interest. She was originally set to star in the 2003 remake of Freaky Friday, but dropped out and was replaced by Jamie Lee Curtis. Bening received an Emmy Award nomination for her portrayal of Jean Harris in the 2005 HBO film Mrs. Harris. She replaced Julianne Moore to star in the film adaptation of Running with Scissors in 2006. In December of that year, Bening hosted Saturday Night Live with musical guests Gwen Stefani and Akon.

She was one of the lead actresses in the poorly received 2008 film , opposite Meg Ryan and Eva Mendes. The following year she received strong reviews for her performance in the independent film Mother and Child . Her 2010 film, The Kids Are All Right was her most critically acclaimed performance since American Beauty, with several reviewers noting that she "deserves an Oscar" for her "sublime" performance which garnered her a second Golden Globe, as well as Academy Award and Screen Actors Guild nominations.

In February 2011, it was announced that Bening will star opposite Morgan Freeman in a new film directed by Rob Reiner titled The Third Act.

 personal life
In 1985, Bening and her first husband, choreographer J. Steven White, moved to Denver, Colorado, to work at the Shakespeare Festival in Boulder, Colorado. They separated the following year.

Bening and actor Warren Beatty began a relationship during the filming of Bugsy . Bening has said, "When Warren and I were first together and I was pregnant, we would get followed around by photographers. But it was nothing like what celebrities have to endure these days." They married on March 10, 1992, and have four children.

Bening is a supporter of the Democratic Party and was a political contributor to the presidential candidacy of Barack Obama in 2008. She is a student of Iyengar Yoga.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Annette Bening", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.