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Grace Zabriskie

Grace Zabriskie

Grace Zabriskie has left an indelible mark on both the small and big screens, since making her feature debut in 1979's Norma Rae, for which Sally Field won the Oscar as Best Actress.

Some of her most powerful portrayals have been of mothers, though not exactly in the June Cleaver mold. In An Officer and a Gentleman, Zabriskie portrayed Debra Winger's mom, in Drugstore Cowboy, she was the rejecting parent of Matt Dillon. The actress drew on her New Orleans roots as Dennis Quaid's Cajun mom in The Big Easy and was another Southern mother, this time to Uma Thurman, in Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. Two of her most memorable feature parts were as a crazed killer in David Lynch's Wild at Heart and as Malcolm McDowall's wife in Chain of Desire. She also appeared in A Family Thing and Armageddon.

On the small screen, Zabriskie has lent her unique talents to a variety of memorable roles. David Lynch tapped her to portray the mother of murder victim Laura Palmer in the quirky primetime serial Twin Peaks, which she reprised in the feature prequel, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. More recently, Zabriskie had the recurring role of the mother of Susan Ross, George Costanza's ill-fated fiancée, in several episodes of Seinfeld. She also gave an effective supporting turn as Jennifer Jason Leigh's mother in the controversial and critically praised television movie Bastard Out of Carolina. She is currently shooting her regular role in the HBO pilot Big Love.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2004.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

Grace Zabriskie Facts

BirthdayMay 17, 1941 (79)
BirthplaceNew Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Selected Filmography

Drop Zone
Child's Play 2
Fried Green Tomatoes
An Officer and a Gentleman
Ryan White Story
Ferngully: The Last Rainforest
Chucky: The Complete Collection
The Private Eyes
Twin Peaks
My Own Private Idaho
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