Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio may not be a household name or even a B celebrity/actress who you would like to tell about her daily activities every two minutes of the day. What she is, however, is an experienced and reliable actress of Italian descent who has played various roles on the big screen, television, and Broadway musicals. Here’s a look at her biography and things you didn’t know about her.
Biography and Early Life
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio was born in Lombard, Illinois, on November 17, 1958, to Italian parents. Her father, Frank A. Mastrantonio, ran a bronze foundry, while her mother, Mary Dominica (née Pagone), was a housewife. They were first-generation Italian-Americans.
Mastrantonio grew up in Oak Park Illinois, a community where the famous writer Ernest Hemingway also lived. She attended Oak Park-River Forest High School, where she was very active in the theater world and participated in many school plays. Besides acting, Mastrantonio had a passion for singing, opera singing to be exact. She then enrolled at the University of Illinois where she studied singing. She had her first big job in an Opryland production of Showboat.
Things To Know About Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
1. Mastrantonio Moved To New York To Pursue An Operatic Career
After completing her university studies, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio moved to New York where she performed many Broadway musicals, her first show there being the revival of West Side Story in 1981. Further productions followed throughout her acting career, including Copperfield, The Human Comedy, Man of La Mancha, the New York Shakespeare Festival productions Measure for Measure, Henry V and Twelfth Night, where she was praised for her fiery performance of the viola. She also gave a benefit performance of A Christmas Carol with other high-profile performers at Symphony Space in New York.
2. Mastrantonio Was Listed Among The “Promising New Actors of 1986”
While he was already performing on Broadway in New York, Mastrantonio was cast in 1983 in Brian De Palma’s remake of the 1932 film of the same name, Scarface. The film tells the story of a powerful drug lord in Miami who came to the United States as a refugee from Cuba before becoming the owner of a multimillion-dollar drug empire. The legendary actor of Italian descent, Al-Pacino, played the leading role in the parade, while Mastrantonio played his younger sister Gina.
She followed this role with an Oscar and Golden Globe-nominated performance in The Color of Money (1986), in which she played alongside Paul Newman and Tom Cruise. Her profile began to rise in the film industry, leading to her being listed as a promising new actor that year by a respected Hollywood actor and producer who is also editor-in-chief of Theatre World.
3. She Has Received A Number Of Awards And Nominations
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio has received a number of nominations and awards for both her stage and film appearances. For her stage performances, she received two nominations for the Drama Desk Award and one nomination for the Tony Award. For films, she has been nominated for the Golden Globe, the Oscar, and the New York film critic’s nomination for best supporting actress in The Color of Money. For her role in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves she was nominated for Best Female Actress at the MTV Movie Awards and Best Supporting Actress at the Saturn Awards.
4. Mastrantonio Has Featured In A Number Of Your Favorite TV Series
The all-around reliable actress has appeared in a number of TV series. She had recurring roles in Without a Trace, Limitless, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, where she played the unit’s commander, Captain Zoe Callas, and in Grimm as Kelly Burkhardt, the mother of the series’ protagonist. She has also been a guest on television series such as Blue Bloods, Hostages, and Marvel’s The Punisher.
5. She Is Married With Kids
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio is married to Pat O’Connor, an Irish BAFTA-crowned film director. The couple married in 1990 and have two sons: Jack O’Connor, born in 1992, and Declan O’Connor, born in 1997.
6. She Is A Mental Health Advocate
When she is not on stage or in one of her roles, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio is a mental health advocate. According to what we found out, this is because she once struggled with mental and emotional stress.