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Joan Cusack

March 23rd, 2011

Joan Cusack began her acting career at The Piven Theatre Worshop, studying under Byne and Joyce Piven and crediting Joyce Piven with being instrumental in her acting career and he “artist mother”.

Cusack has twice been nominated for Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, for her work in Working Girl and In & Out. She appeared with her brother John  in the movies Sixteen Candles, Grandview, U.S.A., Class, High Fidelity, Grosse Pointe Blank, Say Anything…, Cradle Will Rock, Martian Child, and most recently, War, Inc. She also starred in the short-lived ABC sitcom What About Joan? in 2001–02. For many years, Cusack was also the commercial spokeswoman for U.S. Cellular.

Cusack was a cast member on the NBC sketch show, Saturday Night Live, from 1985 to 1986. Her recurring characters on Saturday Night Live included, “Salena,” a socially inept girl who tries to ask out her boyfriend, “Biff” (played by Jon Lovitz), who is also socially inept. In addition, she did celebrity impersonations of Brooke Shields, Jane Fonda and Queen Elizabeth II.

She has been nominated four times for the American Comedy Award, in the category of “Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture” and has won three times, for Runaway Bride, (1999), In & Out (1997) and Working Girl (1988). She has also won the New York Film Critics Circle Award and the Broadcast Film Critics Association Award  for “Best Supporting Actress” for In & Out.

Join host Elysabeth Alfano on Fear No ART as she goes behind the scenes for an in-depth interview with director, actress and teacher  Joyce Piven and actress Joan Cusack.


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