Award-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden has forged a remarkable body of work, always staying true to her chameleon-like style of “becoming the character.” Some of her most memorable roles were in “Sinatra,” “Pollock,” for which she won an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, and “Mystic River,” for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. Her versatility and wide-range have been praised in films including “Millers Crossing,” “The First Wives Club,” “Meet Joe Black,” “Mona Lisa Smile,” “The Hoax” and “Used People.”
Recently, Harden portrayed Christian Grey’s mother in “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Her other film credits include “Elsa & Fred,” “Magic in the Moonlight,” “Parkland,” “If I Were You,” “Someday this Pain will be Useful to You,” “Detachment,” “Whip It,” in which her daughter Eulala Scheel also had a co-starring role, “The Maiden Heist,” “Canvas,” “Rails and Ties,” “The Mist,” for which she won a Saturn Award, “Into the Wild” and “The Christmas Cottage.” She also starred in the indie film “American Gun” and received an Independent Spirit Award nomination.
Earlier this year, Harden had a memorable arc on “How To Get Away With Murder,” and last fall she reprised her role in “The Newsroom.” Her other television credits include “Trophy Wife” and “Damages,” and she appeared in the television movie “The Amanda Knox Story.” She was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for her role in “The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler” and also received an Emmy nomination for her guest appearance on “Law and Order: SVU.”
Harden has chosen a life away from mainstream Hollywood, crossing between independent and studio films as well as between television and theatre. In 2011, Harden reprised the role she originated on Broadway in the Tony Award winning play “God of Carnage,” along with the original cast in a tremendously successful stage run at the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles. In 2009, her exceptional Broadway performance in this starring role garnered her the Best Actress Tony Award. Also, she received an Outer Circle Critics Award for her performance, as well as nominations from the Drama Desk and Drama League.
Other nominations include a Tony nomination for “Angels in America,” for which she won the Drama Desk and Theatre World Awards. On June 10, 2015, “Grandma” opened at the 21st Annual Los Angeles Film Festival. The film “After Words,” which was shot in Costa Rica, was picked up at the Cannes Film Festival as well.
Harden graduated from the University of Texas with a B.A. in Theatre and an MFA from the Graduate Acting program at New York University.
Harden enjoys working with HELP USA, a non-profit organization that helps to provide housing and supportive services to help the homeless and others in need to become and remain self-reliant, as well as National Park Foundation, YMCA, Joyful Heart Foundation, Hearts of Gold, Hilarity for Charity and The Alzheimer’s Association.
Currently, she resides in Los Angeles with three children. Follow her on Twitter at @MGH_8 and on Instagram at @mgh_8.