Photo of Mary Steenburgen Mary Steenburgen

Known for her ability to play a broad array of characters -- from tender, soft-spoken women to passionate ladies with invincible spirit -- Mary Steenburgen was born Feb. 8, 1953, in Newport, Ark. She pursued drama in college but at 19 left for the Big Apple, where she spent several years with an improvisational theatrical company at the Neighborhood Playhouse.

Thanks to actor Jack Nicholson, Steenburgen was cast in her first film, Goin' South, in 1978. Her role in Melvin and Howard launched her to stardom two years later, and she took home a Best Supporting Actress Oscar and a Golden Globe for her beguiling performance. Among Steenburgen's other noteworthy movies are Cross Creek (1983), Back to the Future III (1990), Philadelphia (1996), Nixon (1995) and the 2003 comedy hit Elf.

Despite her busy work schedule, Steenburgen devotes time to ecological and human rights issues.

Mary Steenburgen in A Walk in the Woods

A Walk in the Woods

2015 R

Returning to America after living abroad many years, aging travel writer Bill Bryson decides to focus on his native land by hiking the length of the Appalachian Trail with his long-estranged pal Stephen Katz -- a tottering, wisecracking ex-alcoholic.

  • Mary Steenburgen in Life as a House Life as a House
  • Mary Steenburgen in Philadelphia Philadelphia
  • Mary Steenburgen in Hope Springs Hope Springs
  • Mary Steenburgen in Last Vegas Last Vegas
  • Mary Steenburgen in Step Brothers Step Brothers
  • Mary Steenburgen in The Proposal The Proposal
  • Mary Steenburgen in Back to the Future Part III Back to the Future Part III
  • Mary Steenburgen in Did You Hear About the Morgans? Did You Hear About the Morgans?
  • Mary Steenburgen in Parenthood Parenthood
  • Mary Steenburgen in Turkey Hollow Turkey Hollow
  • Mary Steenburgen in Time After Time Time After Time
  • Mary Steenburgen in I Am Sam I Am Sam
  • Mary Steenburgen in What's Eating Gilbert Grape What's Eating Gilbert Grape
  • Mary Steenburgen in Elf Elf
  • Mary Steenburgen in Four Christmases Four Christmases
  • Mary Steenburgen in Goin' South Goin' South
  • Mary Steenburgen in The Brave One The Brave One
  • Mary Steenburgen in In the Electric Mist In the Electric Mist
  • Mary Steenburgen in Powder Powder
  • Mary Steenburgen in The Grass Harp The Grass Harp
  • Mary Steenburgen in Dirty Girl Dirty Girl
  • Mary Steenburgen in Elvis & Anabelle Elvis & Anabelle
  • Mary Steenburgen in Melvin and Howard Melvin and Howard
  • Mary Steenburgen in My Family My Family
  • Mary Steenburgen in Joan of Arcadia Joan of Arcadia
  • Mary Steenburgen in Marilyn Hotchkiss's Ballroom Dancing... Marilyn Hotchkiss's Ballroom Dancing...
  • Mary Steenburgen in Nobel Son Nobel Son
  • Mary Steenburgen in The Last Man on Earth The Last Man on Earth
  • Mary Steenburgen in Gulliver's Travels Gulliver's Travels
  • Mary Steenburgen in Sunshine State Sunshine State
  • Mary Steenburgen in Numb Numb
  • Mary Steenburgen in The Open Road The Open Road
  • Mary Steenburgen in Song One Song One
  • Mary Steenburgen in Cross Creek Cross Creek
  • Mary Steenburgen in Shelley Duvall's Bedtime Stories Shelley Duvall's Bedtime Stories
  • Mary Steenburgen in My Summer Story My Summer Story
  • Mary Steenburgen in The Trumpet of the Swan The Trumpet of the Swan
  • Mary Steenburgen in Casa de los Babys Casa de los Babys