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Blythe Danner
Danner in 2010
Blythe Katherine Danner

(1943-02-03) February 3, 1943 (age 81)
Alma materBard College
Years active1965–present
(m. 1969; died 2002)
RelativesHarry Danner (brother)
Katherine Moennig (niece)

Blythe Katherine Danner (born February 3, 1943)[1] is an American actress. Accolades she has received include two Primetime Emmy Awards for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Izzy Huffstodt on Huff (2004–2006), and a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress for her performance in Butterflies Are Free on Broadway (1969–1972). Danner was twice nominated for the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for portraying Marilyn Truman on Will & Grace (2001–06; 2018–20), and the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for her roles in We Were the Mulvaneys (2002) and Back When We Were Grownups (2004). For the latter, she also received a Golden Globe Award nomination.

Danner played Dina Byrnes in Meet the Parents (2000) and its sequels Meet the Fockers (2004) and Little Fockers (2010). She has collaborated on several occasions with Woody Allen, appearing in three of his films: Another Woman (1988), Alice (1990), and Husbands and Wives (1992). Her other notable film credits include 1776 (1972), Hearts of the West (1975), The Great Santini (1979), Mr. & Mrs. Bridge (1990), The Prince of Tides (1991), To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar (1995), The Myth of Fingerprints (1997), The X-Files (1998), Forces of Nature (1999), The Love Letter (1999), The Last Kiss (2006), Paul (2011), Hello I Must Be Going (2012), I'll See You in My Dreams (2015), and What They Had (2018).

Danner is the sister of Harry Danner and the widow of Bruce Paltrow. She is the mother of actress Gwyneth Paltrow and director Jake Paltrow.

YouTube Encyclopedic

  • 1/5
    93 146
    2 575
    217 396
    5 844
  • Emmy 2006 - Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
  • Blythe's Plea - Saturday Night Live
  • I'll See You in My Dreams Clip with Blythe Danner
  • Saint Maybe (1998) Blythe Danner | Mary-Louise Parker - Family Drama HD
  • Blythe Danner Tribute Video


Early life

Danner was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Katharine (née Kile)[citation needed] and Harry Earl Danner, a bank executive.[2] She has a brother, opera singer and actor Harry Danner, a sister and a maternal half-brother. Danner has Pennsylvania Dutch, some English and Irish ancestry; her maternal grandmother was a German immigrant, and one of her paternal great-grandmothers was born in Barbados to a family of European descent.[3][4]

Danner graduated from George School, a Quaker high school located near Newtown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, in 1960.[5]


A graduate of Bard College, Danner's first roles included the 1967 musical Mata Hari and the 1968 Off-Broadway production of Summertree. Her early Broadway appearances included Cyrano de Bergerac (1968) and her Theatre World Award-winning performance in The Miser (1969). She won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for portraying a free-spirited divorcée in Butterflies Are Free (1970).

Danner in 1980

In 1972, Danner portrayed Martha Jefferson in the film version of 1776. That same year, she played the unknowing wife of a husband who committed murder, opposite Peter Falk and John Cassavetes, in the Columbo episode "Etude in Black".

Her earliest starring film role was opposite Alan Alda in To Kill a Clown (1972). Danner appeared in the episode of M*A*S*H entitled "The More I See You", playing the love interest of Alda's character Hawkeye Pierce. She played lawyer Amanda Bonner in television's Adam's Rib, opposite Ken Howard as Adam Bonner. She played Zelda Fitzgerald in F. Scott Fitzgerald and 'The Last of the Belles' (1974). She was the eponymous heroine in the film Lovin' Molly (1974) (directed by Sidney Lumet). She appeared in Futureworld, playing Tracy Ballard with co-star Peter Fonda (1976). In the 1982 TV movie Inside the Third Reich, she played the wife of Albert Speer. In the film version of Neil Simon's semi-autobiographical play Brighton Beach Memoirs (1986), she portrayed a middle-aged Jewish mother. She has appeared in two films based on the novels of Pat Conroy, The Great Santini (1979) and The Prince of Tides (1991), as well as two television movies adapted from books by Anne Tyler, Saint Maybe and Back When We Were Grownups, both for the Hallmark Hall of Fame.

Danner at the Metropolitan Opera opening, September 22, 2008

Danner appeared opposite Robert De Niro in the 2000 comedy hit Meet the Parents, and its sequels, Meet the Fockers (2004) and Little Fockers (2010).

From 2001 to 2006, she regularly appeared on NBC's sitcom Will & Grace as Will Truman's mother Marilyn. From 2004 to 2006, she starred in the main cast of the comedy-drama series Huff. In 2005, she was nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards for her work on Will & Grace, Huff, and the television film Back When We Were Grownups, winning for her role in Huff. The following year, she won a second consecutive Emmy Award for Huff. For 25 years, she has been a regular performer at the Williamstown Summer Theater Festival, where she also serves on the board of directors.[6]

In 2006, Danner was awarded an inaugural Katharine Hepburn Medal by Bryn Mawr College's Katharine Houghton Hepburn Center.[7] In 2015, Danner was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.[8]

Environmental activism

Danner has been involved in environmental issues such as recycling and conservation for over 30 years.[9] She has been active with INFORM, Inc., is on the Board of Environmental Advocates of New York and the board of directors of the Environmental Media Association,[10] and won the 2002 EMA Board of Directors Ongoing Commitment Award.[11] In 2011, Danner joined Moms Clean Air Force,[12] to help call on parents to join in the fight against toxic air pollution.

Health care activism

After the death of her husband Bruce Paltrow from oral cancer, she became involved with the nonprofit Oral Cancer Foundation.[13] In 2005, she filmed a public service announcement to raise public awareness of the disease and the need for early detection. She has since appeared on morning talk shows and given interviews in such magazines as People. The Bruce Paltrow Oral Cancer Fund, administered by the Oral Cancer Foundation, raises funding for oral cancer research and treatment, with a particular focus on those communities in which healthcare disparities exist.[14]

She has also appeared in commercials for Prolia, a brand of denosumab used in the treatment of osteoporosis.[15][16]

Personal life

Danner was married to producer and director Bruce Paltrow, who died of oral cancer in 2002.[17] She and Paltrow had two children together, actress Gwyneth Paltrow and director Jake Paltrow.[18]

Danner's niece is the actress Katherine Moennig, the daughter of her maternal half-brother William.

Danner co-starred with her daughter in the 1992 television film Cruel Doubt[19] and again in the 2003 film Sylvia, in which she portrayed Aurelia Plath, mother to Gwyneth's title role of Sylvia Plath.[20]

Danner is a practitioner of transcendental meditation, which she has described as "very helpful and comforting".[21]

Acting credits


Year Title Role Notes
1972 To Kill a Clown Lily Frischer
1972 1776 Martha Jefferson
1974 Lovin' Molly Molly Taylor
1975 Hearts of the West Miss Trout
1976 Futureworld Tracy Ballard
1979 The Great Santini Lillian Meechum
1983 Inside the Third Reich Margarete Speer
1983 Man, Woman and Child Sheila Beckwith
1985 Guilty Conscience Louise Jamison
1986 Brighton Beach Memoirs Kate Jerome
1988 Another Woman Lydia
1990 Mr. & Mrs. Bridge Grace Barron
1990 Alice Dorothy Smith
1991 The Prince of Tides Sally Wingo
1992 Husbands and Wives Rain's Mother
1995 Napoleon Mother Dingo
1995 Homage Katherine Samuel
1995 To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar Beatrice
1997 The Myth of Fingerprints Lena
1997 Mad City Mrs. Banks
1998 The Proposition Syril Danning
1998 No Looking Back Claudia's Mother
1998 The X-Files Jana Cassidy
1999 Forces of Nature Virginia Cahill
1999 The Love Letter Lillian MacFarquhar
1999 Things I Forgot to Remember Mrs. Bradford
2000 Meet the Parents Dina Byrnes
2001 The Invisible Circus Gail O'Connor
2003 Three Days of Rain Woman in Cab
2003 Sylvia Aurelia Plath
2004 Howl's Moving Castle Madam Suliman Voice role; English dub
2004 Meet the Fockers Dina Byrnes
2006 Stolen Isabella Stewart Gardner
2006 The Last Kiss Anna
2008 The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 Greta Randolph
2009 Waiting for Forever Miranda Twist
2009 The Lightkeepers Mrs. Bascom
2010 Little Fockers Dina Byrnes
2011 Paul Tara Walton
2011 What's Your Number? Ava Darling
2011 Detachment Mrs. Perkins
2012 The Lucky One Ellie Green
2012 Hello I Must Be Going Ruth Minsky
2014 Murder of a Cat Edie Moisey
2015 I'll See You in My Dreams Carol Petersen
2015 Tumbledown Linda Jespersen
2018 What They Had Ruth O’Shea
2018 Hearts Beat Loud Marianne Fisher
2018 The Chaperone Mary O'Dell
2019 The Tomorrow Man Ronnie Meisner
2019 Strange but True Gail Erwin
2023 Happiness for Beginners Gigi


Year Title Role Notes
1970 George M! Agnes Nolan Cohan Television film
1971 Dr. Cook's Garden Janey Rausch Television film
1972 Columbo Janice Benedict Episode: "Etude in Black"
1973 Adam's Rib Amanda Bonner 13 episodes
1974 F. Scott Fitzgerald and 'The Last of the Belles' Zelda Fitzgerald Television film
1974 Sidekicks Prudy Jenkins Television film
1975 Great Performances Nina Zarechnaya Episode: "The Seagull"
1976 M*A*S*H Carlye Breslin Walton Episode: "The More I See You"
1976 A Love Affair: The Eleanor and Lou Gehrig Story Eleanor Twitchell Gehrig Television film
1976 Great Performances Alma Winemiller Episode: "Eccentricites of a Nightingale"
1977 The Court-Martial of George Armstrong Custer Mrs. Custer Television film
1978 Are You in the House Alone? Anne Osbourne Television film
1979 Too Far to Go Joan Barlow Maple Television film
1979 You Can't Take It with You Alice Sycamore Television film
1982 Inside the Third Reich Margarete Speer Television film
1983 In Defense of Kids Ellen Wilcox Television film
1984 Guilty Conscience Louise Jamison Television film
1984 Helen Keller: The Miracle Continues Anne Sullivan Television film
1988–1989 Tattingers Hillary Tattinger 13 episodes
1989 Money, Power, Murder Jeannie Television film
1990 Judgment Emmeline Guitry Television film
1992 Getting Up and Going Home Lily Television film
1992 Cruel Doubt Bonnie Van Stein Television film
1992 Tales from the Crypt Margaret Episode: "Maniac at Large"
1992 Lincoln Elizabeth Todd Edwards Television film
1993 Tracey Ullman Takes on New York Eleanor Levine Television film
1993 Great Performances Narrator Episode: "The Maestros of Philadelphia"
1994 Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All Bianca Honicut Television film
1994 Leave of Absence Elisa Television film
1997 Thomas Jefferson Martha Jefferson Television film
1997 A Call to Remember Paula Tobias Television film
1998 From the Earth to the Moon Narrator Episode: "Le voyage dans la lune"
1998 Saint Maybe Bee Bedloe Television film
1998 Murder She Purred: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery Mrs. Murphy Television film
Will & Grace Marilyn Truman Recurring role
2002 We Were the Mulvaneys Corinne Mulvaney Television film
2002 Presidio Med Dr. Harriet Lanning 3 episodes
2003 Two and a Half Men Evelyn Harper Episode: "Most Chicks Won't Eat Veal"
2004 Back When We Were Grownups Rebecca Holmes Davitch Television film
2004–2006 Huff Isabelle Huffstodt Main role
2009 Medium Louise Leaming Episode: "A Taste of Her Own Medicine"
2009 Nurse Jackie Maureen Cooper Episode: "Tiny Bubbles"
2011–2012 Up All Night Dr. Angie Chafin 3 episodes
2015 The Slap Virginia Latham Episode: "Anouk"
2016 Madoff Ruth Madoff 4 episodes
2016 Odd Mom Out Jill's Mom Episode: "Fasting and Furious"
2017 Gypsy Nancy 4 episodes
2018 Patrick Melrose Nancy Valance Miniseries
2021 American Gods Demeter 2 episodes
2021–2023 Ridley Jones Sylvia Jones (voice) Recurring role


Year Title Role Venue Refs.
1965 The Glass Menagerie Laura Wingfield Theater Company of Boston
1967 Three Sisters Irina Prozorova Trinity Square Playhouse
1968 Cyrano de Bergerac Sister Marthe Vivian Beaumont Theater
1968 Up Eden Violet Beam Jan Hus Playhouse Theater
1968 Lovers Margaret Mary Enright Vivian Beaumont Theater
1969 Someone's Comin' Hungry Connie Odum Pocket Theatre
1969 The Miser Elise Vivian Beaumont Theater
1969–1972 Butterflies Are Free Jill Tanner Booth Theatre
1971 Major Barbara Barbara Undershaft Mark Taper Forum
1972 Twelfth Night Viola Vivian Beaumont Theater
1974 The Seagull Nina Zarechnaya Williamstown Theatre Festival
1975 Ring Round the Moon Isabelle Williamstown Theatre Festival
1977 The New York Idea Cynthia Karslake Brooklyn Academy of Music
1979 Children of the Sun Lisa Williamstown Theatre Festival
1980 Betrayal Emma Trafalgar Theatre
1980–1981 The Philadelphia Story Tracy Samantha Lord Vivian Beaumont Theater
1987 Blithe Spirit Elvira Condomine Neil Simon Theatre
1988 Much Ado About Nothing Beatrice Delacorte Theater [22][23][24]
1988 A Streetcar Named Desire Blanche DuBois Circle in the Square Theatre [22]
1989 Love Letters Melissa Gardner Promenade Theatre
1991 Picnic Rosemary Sydney Williamstown Theatre Festival
1994 The Seagull Irina Arkadina Williamstown Theatre Festival
1995 Sylvia Kate New York City Center
1995–1996 Moonlight Bel Laura Pels Theatre
1998 The Deep Blue Sea Hester Collyer Criterion Center Stage Right
2000 Tonight at 8.30 Jane Featherways Williamstown Theatre Festival
2001 Follies Phyllis Rogers Stone Belasco Theatre
2002 Carousel Mrs. Mullin Carnegie Hall
2003 All About Eve Karen Richards Ahmanson Theatre
2006 Suddenly Last Summer Violet Venable Laura Pels Theatre
2012–2013 Nice Work If You Can Get It Millicent Winter Imperial Theatre
2014 The Country House Anna Paterson Samuel J. Friedman Theatre

Awards and nominations

Year Nominated work Award Result
1969 The Miser Theatre World Award Won
1970 Butterflies Are Free Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play Won
1976 Futureworld Saturn Award for Best Actress Won
1977 The New York Idea Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play Nominated
1980 Betrayal Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play Nominated
1980 Betrayal Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play Nominated
1988 A Streetcar Named Desire Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play Nominated
2001 Follies Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical Nominated
2002 We Were the Mulvaneys Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie Nominated
2004 Back When We Were Grownups Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
2004 Back When We Were Grownups Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie Nominated
2005 Huff Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Won
2005 Will & Grace Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
2006 Huff Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Won
2006 Suddenly Last Summer Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play Nominated
2006 Will & Grace Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
2006 The Last Kiss Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture Nominated
2015 I'll See You in My Dreams Gotham Award for Best Actress Nominated
2015 I'll See You in My Dreams Satellite Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Nominated


  1. ^ Bryer, Jackson R.; Davison, Richard Allan (2001). The Actor's Art: Conversations with Contemporary American Stage Performers. Rutgers University Press. p. 40. ISBN 978-0-8135-2873-1.
  2. ^ "Dan Gross: Gwynnie had no time for granny". April 28, 2011.
  3. ^ Hughes, Mike (November 20, 2004). "'Grownups' star finds role is a welcome distraction". Lansing State Journal. Retrieved December 17, 2010.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Hollywood celebrity finds family links in Barbados". Barbados Advocate. March 31, 2011. Archived from the original on January 19, 2012.
  5. ^ "George School profile". Archived from the original on October 18, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  6. ^ "Trustees". Williamstown Theatre Festival. Archived from the original on October 21, 2011. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
  7. ^ "Danner wins medal" Archived June 4, 2013, at the Wayback Machine Bryn
  8. ^ "Theater Hall of Fame Ceremony, Honoring Susan Stroman, F. Murray Abraham, Philip J. Smith and more, presented tonight". May 4, 2015. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  9. ^ "City Council Minutes". City of Santa Monica. June 24, 2003. Archived from the original on January 19, 2012. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
  10. ^ "Board of Directors". Environmental Media Association. Archived from the original on December 6, 2011. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
  11. ^ "12th Annual Environmental Media Awards". Environmental Media Association. Archived from the original on May 24, 2011. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
  12. ^ "Moms Clean Air Force". Retrieved February 28, 2012.
  13. ^ "The Oral Cancer Foundation". Oral Cancer Fund. December 7, 2011. Archived from the original on September 2, 2016. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
  14. ^ "Bruce Paltrow Fund". Oral Cancer Fund. December 7, 2011. Archived from the original on November 26, 2011. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
  15. ^ "Hear from Blythe on Prolia". Archived from the original on October 19, 2018. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  16. ^ "Denosumab". BNF British National Formulary - NICE. 2018. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  17. ^ "Bruce Paltrow Fund". OCF Inc. Archived from the original on January 22, 2013. Retrieved December 20, 2012.
  18. ^ "Gwyneth Paltrow - Hollywood Star Walk - Los Angeles Times". March 13, 2018. Archived from the original on March 13, 2018. Retrieved June 21, 2021.
  19. ^ "Blythe's Spirit". Los Angeles Times. May 17, 1992. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  20. ^ "Paltrow equal to the task of portraying a tortured Plath". Los Angeles Times. October 17, 2003. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  21. ^ Douglas, Clare; Whitwell, Carli (May 27, 2015). "Blythe Danner: 'A part of me feels like I have never grown up'". Hello! Canada. Retrieved June 3, 2015. I have found transcendental meditation very helpful and comforting. It centers me.
  22. ^ a b Simon, Fran, "Star of Stage and Screen Coaches Students" Archived August 14, 2022, at the Wayback Machine,, May 1, 2008. Retrieved 2022-08-14.
  23. ^ Rich, Frank, "Review/Theater; Kline and Danner In 'Much Ado' in Park", New York Times, July 15, 1988. Retrieved 2022-08-14.
  24. ^ Beaufort. John, "New `Much Ado' matches saucy Danner with superb Kline", The Christian Science Monitor, July 19, 1988. Retrieved 2022-08-14.

External links

This page was last edited on 12 June 2024, at 19:35
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