Mercedes Ruehl

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Mercedes Ruehl
Mercedes-Ruehl-eh.jpg
Ruehl in East Hampton, New York in October 2009
Born Mercedes J. Ruehl
(1948-02-28) February 28, 1948 (age 70)
Jackson Heights, Queens, New York, United States
Nationality American
Occupation Actor
Years active 1976–present
Spouse(s) David Geiser
Children 2

Mercedes J. Ruehl (born February 28, 1948) is an American theater, television, and film actor. She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1992 for The Fisher King and a Tony Award for her performance in Lost in Yonkers in 1991.

Personal life

Ruehl was born in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York City,[1] the daughter of Mercedes J. Ruehl, a school teacher, and Vincent Ruehl, an FBI agent.[2][3] She was raised Catholic.[4] Her father was of German and Irish descent and her mother was of Cuban and Irish ancestry.[5][6] Ruehl attended College of New Rochelle[7] and graduated in 1969. She is married to painter David Geiser, with whom she adopted a son, Jake (born 1995).[8] She had another son, Christopher, whom she placed in adoption in 1976; he later became Jake's godfather.[8]

Her brother, Peter Ruehl, moved to Australia in 1987 where he was a popular newspaper columnist until his death in 2011.[9]

Career

Ruehl began her career in regional theatre with the Denver Center Theatre Company, taking odd jobs between engagements. Her first starring role on Broadway came in 1984's I'm Not Rappaport. She then went on to win the 1984 Obie Award for her performance in The Marriage of Bette and Boo and twenty years later, an Obie for Woman Before a Glass. She also received a 1991 Tony Award as Best Actress (Play) for Neil Simon's Lost in Yonkers and continued her role in the show during its tour with co-star Mercedes McCambridge. Her performances in two other plays earned her two other Tony nominations: in 1995, as Best Actress (Featured Role – Play) for a revival of The Shadow Box; and in 2002, as Best Actress (Play) for Edward Albee's The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?.[10]

Her most acclaimed film role was in The Fisher King; her performance in the film earned her the 1991 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress as well as an American Comedy Award, a Boston Society of Film Critics Award, a Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award, and a Golden Globe. Earlier she had won the 1989 National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Married to the Mob. She played KACL station manager Kate Costas in five episodes of Frasier, and had a major role in the made-for-TV film All-American Girl: The Mary Kay Letourneau Story. She is the first Cuban-American female Academy Award winner. In 2005, she (along with Esai Morales) received the Rita Moreno HOLA Award for Excellence from the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors. She later played the mother of main character Vincent Chase in HBO's Entourage.

In 2009, Ruehl returned to the Broadway stage in Manhattan Theater Club's production of Richard Greenberg's The American Plan playing the role of Eva Adler.[11] The production opened at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre and the limited engagement ran From January 22 until March 22.[12] In his rave review in The New York Times, Ben Brantley called Ruehl's performance "masterly".[13] Ruehl next appeared in the drama/horror film What Ever Happened to Barker Daniels?, which was released in 2009. In January 2012, Ruehl starred in Sarah Treem's play The How and The Why, directed by Emily Mann at McCarter Theatre of Princeton University.[14]

Ruehl is appearing in the role of Ma in Harvey Fierstein's revamped and renamed revival of his play Torch Song Off-Broadway at Second Stage Theater. The play began previews on September 26, and opens officially on October 19, 2017.[15]

Music

Though not a singer herself, Ruehl was involved in the production of the album Haunted by Poe; she also reads passages from the book House of Leaves by Poe's brother Mark Z. Danielewski on the CD Don't be Scared, issued to cross-promote both projects.

Filmography

FILM
Year Title Role Notes
1976 Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands American girl in casino film debut

uncredited

1979 The Warriors Policewoman
1981 Four Friends Woman in Taxi
1986 Heartburn Eve
Twisted Cybelle
1987 Radio Days Ad Man
84 Charing Cross Road Kay
The Secret of My Succe$s Sheila
Leader of the Band Miss Cooper
1988 Big Miss Baskin
Married to the Mob Connie Russo
1989 Slaves of New York Samantha
Crimes and Misdemeanors Party Guest uncredited
1990 Crazy People Dr. Liz Baylor
1991 Another You Elaine/Mimi Kravitz
The Fisher King Anne
1993 Lost in Yonkers Bella Kurnitz
Last Action Hero Irene Madigan
1994 On Hope Wendy Short film
1997 Roseanna's Grave Roseanna 'Rosa'
1999 The Minus Man Jane
Out of the Cold Tina
2000 What's Cooking? Elizabeth 'Lizzy' Avila
More Dogs Than Bones Victoria 'Vic' Galletti
The Amati Girls Grace
2002 Spooky House Boss
2004 Zeyda and the Hitman Esther
2010 Goldstar, Ohio Adriana Rock Short film
2014 Chu and Blossom Mrs. Fefterg
2016 Good Business Lorraine Short film
TELEVISION
Year Title Role Notes
1984 ABC Afterschool Specials Sandy television debut

Episode: "Mom's on Strike"

1985 Our Family Honor Louise Taylor Episode: "Homecoming"
1986 Kate & Allie Millie Episode: "Late Bloomer"

credited as Mercedes Ruehle

1990 The Cosby Show Bernadette Foley Episode: "The Moves"
1995 Indictment: The McMartin Trial Lael Rubin Television Movie
1995-1996 Frasier Kate Costas recurring role; 5 episodes
1997 North Shore Fish Florence Television Movie
SUBWAYStories: Tales from the Underground Leyla Television Movie

segment "Underground"

1998 Gia Kathleen Carangi Television Movie
2000 Mary Kay Letourneau: All American Girl Jane Newhall Television Movie
The Lost Child Rebecca Television Movie
2001 Mr. Life Television Movie
2002 Guilt by Association Susan Walker Television Movie
Windows Dolly Rawlins Television Miniseries

4 episodes

2004 Everyday Life Television Movie
1-800-Missing Emmanuelle Baker Episode: "These Dreams Before Me"
Bab Apple Lorraine Gibbons Television Movie
2004-2009 Law & Order Judge Clara Lloyd/Zina Rybakov 2 episodes
2005 Mom at Sixteen Terry Jeffries Television Movie
2006 So Here's What Happened Rochelle Television Movie
A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story Sylvia Guerrero Television Movie
2006-2008 Entourage Rita Chase 2 episodes
2007 Psych Detective Goochberg Episode: "Scary Sherry: Bianca's Toast"
2009 Loving Leah Janice Lever Television Movie
2012 El Jefe Delmi Rodriguez Television Movie
Luck Renzo's Mother Episode: "Two Prized Colts Go Head-to-Head"
2013 Doubt Mrs. Syd Newman Television Movie
Monday Mornings Judge Beverly Natheson Episode: "Wheels Within Wheels"
Star Spangled Banners Rosalind Banner Television Movie
2015 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Lucia Barba Episode: "December Solstice"
2016 Life in Pieces Mia Episode: "Hair Recital Rainbow Mom"
The Mysteries of Laura Val Santiani Episode: "The Mystery of the End of Watch"
2 Broke Girls Olga Episode: "And the Godmama Drama"
2017 NCIS Marie Quinn Episode: "A Bowl of Cherries"
2017-2018 Power Connie Teresi recurring role; 7 epsisodes

Theater

Year Title Role Notes
1991-1993 Lost in Yonkers Bella Kurnitz Richard Rogers Theater; 780 performances
1992 Antony and Cleopatra Cleopatra, ruler of Egypt Actors Theater
1995 The Shadow Box Beverly
The Rose Tattoo Serafina Delle Rose
2000-2001 Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Martha Tyrone Theater
2002 The Goat or Who is Sylvia? Stevie Broadway
2005 Woman Before a Glass Peggy Guggenheim The Promenade Theater

Awards and nominations

Year Title Accolade Results
1989 Married to the Mob National Society of Film Critics award, Best Supporting Actress Won
1991 The Fisher King Boston Society of Film Critics award, Best Supporting Actress Won
Lost in Yonkers Drama Desk award, Outstanding Actress in a Play Won
The Fisher King Los Angeles Film Critics Association award, Best Supporting Actress Won
Lost in Yonkers Tony award, Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play Won
The Fisher King Venice Film Festival award, Best Lead Actress Won
1992 Academy award, Best Supporting Actress Won
American Comedy award, Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture Won
Chicago Film Critics Association award, Best Supporting Actor Won
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association award, Best Supporting Actress Won
Golden Globe award, Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture Won
Saturn award, Best Supporting Actress Won
1993 Boston Film Festival award, Film Excellence award Won
1995 Indictment: The McMartin Trial CableACE award, Best Actress in a Movie or Miniseries Nominated
The Rose Tattoo Drama Desk award, Outstanding Actress in a Play Nominated
The Shadow Box Tony award, Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play Nominated
2002 The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? Tony award, Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play Nominated
2006 Mom at Sixteen Prism award, Performance in a Television Movie or Miniseries Nominated
2007 A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story Imagen Foundation award, Best Actress - Television Nominated

References

  1. ^ Trescott, Jacqueline (26 March 1992). "Mercedes Ruehl, Driven; The Manic Actress On the Road to Oscar". The Washington Post. HighBeam Research. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  2. ^ "Mercedes Ruehl biography (1948?- )". Film Reference.com. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  3. ^ Stark, John; Hutchings, David (5 September 1988). "Playing a Gangster's Spitfire Wife, Mercedes Ruehl Heists the Spotlight in Married to the Mob". People. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  4. ^ Ruehl, Mercedes. Casting a new light on a dark subject - novelist Cynthia Ozick - Interview. Interview. August 1994. FindArticles.com.[dead link]
  5. ^ Corliss, Richard (6 April 2002). "That Old Feeling: The Oscar Race". Time. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  6. ^ Buckley, Michael. "STAGE TO SCREENS: Mercedes Ruehl, the Macy-Mamet Connection and Remembering Brad Sullivan". Playbill. Archived from the original on 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  7. ^ "About CNR". College of New Rochelle. Archived from the original on 2013-05-07. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  8. ^ a b "Mercedes Ruehl". Yahoo! Movies. Archived from the original on 2011-07-26. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  9. ^ "Newspaper columnist Peter Ruehl dies". The Sydney Morning Herald. 12 April 2011. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  10. ^ "Biography: Mercedes Ruehl". American Theatre Wing. February 2005. Archived from the original on 2013-05-12. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  11. ^ Jones, Kenneth (22 January 2009). "Ruehl & Rabe Are Mother and Daughter in Broadway's American Plan, Opening Jan. 22". Playbill. Playbill.com. Archived from the original on 28 April 2009. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  12. ^ Jones, Kenneth (19 February 2009). "Broadway's American Plan Is Extended to March 22". Playbill. Playbill.com. Archived from the original on 28 April 2009. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  13. ^ "Rapunzel in the Catskills". The New York Times. NYTimes.com. 22 January 2009. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  14. ^ Filichia, Peter (18 January 2011). "'The How and the Why' review: Princeton play premiere proves to be all-inclusive success". The Star-Ledger. Newark, New Jersey: nj.com. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  15. ^ Rickwald, Bethany. " 'Torch Song', Starring Michael Urie and Mercedes Ruehl, Extends" theatermania.com, September 14, 2017

External links

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