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Judy Davis
Judy Davis - Eye of The Storm.jpg
Davis at the AACTA Awards in Sydney, New South Wales, January 2012
Born Judith Davis
(1955-04-23) 23 April 1955 (age 63)
Perth, Western Australia
Residence Birchgrove, New South Wales
Nationality Australian
Alma mater National Institute of Dramatic Art
Occupation Actress
Years active 1977–present
Colin Friels (m. 1984)
Children 2

Judith Davis (born 23 April 1955) is an Australian actress known for her work in film, television and theatre. With a career spanning over 40 years she is commended for her versatility and is regarded as one of the finest actresses of her generation with frequent collaborator Woody Allen describing her as "one of the most exciting actresses in the world".[1][2][3] She is the recipient of eight AACTA Awards, three Emmy Awards, two BAFTA Awards, two Golden Globe Awards and has twice been nominated for an Academy Award.

Davis is a 1977 graduate of the National Institute of Dramatic Art, where she starred opposite Mel Gibson in Romeo and Juliet. Most of Davis's stage work has been in Australia, including Piaf (1980), Hedda Gabler (1986), Victory (2004) and The Seagull (2011), but she also starred in the 1982 London production of Insignificance, for which she was nominated for the Olivier Award for Best Actress, and the 1989 Los Angeles production of Hapgood. She returned to the National Institute of Dramatic Art in 2017 to direct the play Love and Money.

She went on to win the BAFTA Awards for both Best Actress and Most Promising Newcomer for the 1979 film My Brilliant Career, two AFI Awards as Best Actress for Winter of Our Dreams (1981) and Supporting Actress for Hoodwink (1981), and later went onto receive Academy Award nominations for A Passage to India (1984) and Husbands and Wives (1992). Her other films roles include High Rolling (1977), Who Dares Wins (1982), Heatwave (1983), High Tide (1987), Georgia (1988), Alice (1990), George Sand in Impromptu (1991), Barton Fink (1991), Dark Blood (1993), Absolute Power (1997), Deconstructing Harry (1997), Celebrity (1998), The Man Who Sued God (2001), The Break-up (2006), Anne d'Arpajon in Marie Antoinette (2006), The Eye of the Storm (2011), To Rome With Love (2012), The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet (2013) and The Dressmaker (2015).

For her television work, Davis won Emmy Awards for Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story (1995), Judy Garland in Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows (2001) and The Starter Wife (2007) and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film for Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows and One Against the Wind (1991). Other television roles include Water Under the Bridge (1980), A Woman Called Golda (1982), A Cooler Climate (1999), Nancy Reagan in The Reagans (2003), Coast to Coast (2003), Sante Kimes in A Little Thing Called Murder (2006), Page Eight (2011) and Hedda Hopper in Feud: Bette and Joan (2017).

YouTube Encyclopedic

  • 1/5
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  • Judy Davis wins Best Actress Golden Globes 1992
  • Life with Judy Garland: Me & My Shadows (Part 1/3)
  • Judy Davis (Tribute)
  • Judy Garland Show Meeting with CBS Execs Judy Davis
  • Judy Davis, media room, AACTA AWARD FOR BEST LEAD ACTRESS - The Eye Of The Storm



Personal life

Davis was born in Perth, Western Australia, and had a strict Catholic upbringing.[4][5] She was educated at Loreto Convent and the Western Australian Institute of Technology and graduated from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), Sydney in 1977. She has been married to actor and fellow NIDA graduate Colin Friels since 1984. They have two children, a son and a daughter.[6] The relationship was briefly in the media when an argument led to a court order against Friels – however, they remained together at that time. They live in the Sydney area of Birchgrove, New South Wales.[7]


Davis first came to prominence for her role as Sybylla Melvyn in the coming-of-age saga My Brilliant Career (1979),[8] for which she won BAFTA Awards for Best Actress and Best Newcomer. Davis also played the lead in the Australian New Wave classics Winter of Our Dreams (1981) (as a waif-like heroin addict) and Heatwave (1982) (as a radical tenant organizer).

Her international film career began in 1981 when she played the younger version of Ingrid Bergman's Golda Meir in the television docudrama A Woman Called Golda, followed by the role of a terrorist in the British film Who Dares Wins (1982).[8]

In 1984, she was cast as Adela Quested in David Lean's final film A Passage to India, an adaptation of E. M. Forster's novel, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress.[8] She returned to Australian cinema for her next two films, Kangaroo, as a German-born writer's wife, and High Tide, as a foot-loose mother attempting to reunite with her teenage daughter who is being raised by the paternal grandmother. She earned Australian Film Institute Awards for both roles, and a National Society of Film Critics award for High Tide's brief American theatrical run. In 1990, she played a cameo in Woody Allen's Alice.

In 1991, she was featured in Joel Coen's Barton Fink, which won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival and in David Cronenberg's adaptation of the hallucinogenic novel Naked Lunch. She won an Independent Spirit Award for her work as mannish woman author George Sand in Impromptu and returned to E. M. Forster territory in Where Angels Fear to Tread. She portrayed real-life Second World War heroine Mary Lindell in the CBS Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation One Against the Wind. In 1992, she played a major role in Woody Allen's Husbands and Wives as one half of a divorcing couple. For this performance she earned both Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for Best Supporting Actress.

Other roles have included the mysterious, schizophrenic mother of a teenager in boarding school in On My Own (1993), the lifelong Australian Communist Party member reacting to the downfall of the Soviet Union in Children of the Revolution (1996), two more Allen films, Deconstructing Harry (1997) and Celebrity (1998), a highly-strung White House chief of staff in Absolute Power (1997), a supportive mother in Swimming Upstream (2003) and supporting roles in two 2006 films, The Break-Up and Marie-Antoinette.

She co-starred with Kevin Spacey in the 1994 comedy film The Ref, portraying a married couple whose relationship is on the rocks, with Denis Leary playing a thief who counsels their marriage.

Much of her recent work has been on television, where she has a collection of Emmy Award nominations. She won her first Emmy for portraying the woman who gently coaxes rigid militarywoman Glenn Close out of the closet in Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story, with subsequent nominations for her repressed Australian outback mother in The Echo of Thunder (1998), her portrayal of Lillian Hellman in Dash and Lilly (1999), her frigid society matron in A Cooler Climate (1999) and her interpretation of Nancy Reagan in the controversial biopic The Reagans (2003).

She earned a second Emmy for her portrayal of Judy Garland in the 2001 television biographical film Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows.[9] In July 2006, she received her ninth Emmy nomination for her performance in the television film A Little Thing Called Murder. Her tenth nomination came in 2007 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in the U.S. miniseries The Starter Wife for which she was awarded the Emmy. In August 2007, she appeared opposite Sam Waterston in an episode of ABC's anthology series Masters of Science Fiction. She appeared on the TV mini-series Diamonds from 2008–2009.

In 2011, Davis appeared as Jill Tankard in a television drama film, Page Eight, for which she was nominated for an Emmy. She played Dorothy de Lascabanes in The Eye of the Storm, an adaptation of Patrick White's novel of the same title, for which, in 2012, she won the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. She has a major role as Woody Allen's psychiatrist wife in his To Rome with Love.

In 2013, Davis co-starred with Helena Bonham Carter and Callum Keith Rennie in The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet. She reprised her role of Jill Tankard in 2014's Salting the Battlefield. She is also due to star in The Surrealist, which is about Salvador Dalí. She co-stars with Kate Winslet in The Dressmaker, which began filming in 2014.

In 2018, Davis co-starred with Aaron Pederson in the ABC TV Series, Mystery Road.


Davis's stage work has been mostly confined to Australia. Early in her career, she played Juliet opposite Mel Gibson's Romeo. In 1978, she appeared in Visions by Louis Nowra at the Paris Theatre Company in Sydney. In 1980, she portrayed French chanteuse Edith Piaf in Stephen Barry's production of the Pam Gems play Piaf at the Perth Playhouse.[10] She played both Cordelia and the Fool in a 1984 staging of King Lear by the Nimrod Theatre Company, and also starred in its productions of Strindberg's Miss Julie, Chekhov's The Bear, Louis Nowra's Inside The Island and, in 1986, the title role of Ibsen's Hedda Gabler for the Sydney Theatre Company.

In 2004, she starred in and co-directed Howard Barker's play Victory, as a Puritan woman determined to locate her husband's dismembered corpse.[11] Other stage directorial efforts include Sheridan's The School For Scandal and Barrymore by William Luce[12] (all three for the Sydney Theatre Company). She created the role of The Actress in Terry Johnson's Insignificance at the Royal Court in London,[13] receiving an Olivier Award nomination, and appeared in a brief 1989 Los Angeles production of Tom Stoppard's Hapgood.

In 2011, she portrayed the role of fading actress Irina Arkadina in Anton Chekhov's The Seagull at Sydney's Belvoir St Theatre.



Year Title Role Notes
1977 High Rolling Lynn
1979 My Brilliant Career Sybylla Melvyn BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
BAFTA Award for Best Newcomer
Nominated — Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
1981 Hoodwink Sarah Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
1981 Winter of Our Dreams Lou Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
13th Moscow International Film Festival – Award for Best Actress[14]
1982 Who Dares Wins Frankie Leith U.S. title The Final Option
1983 Heatwave Kate Dean
1984 A Passage to India Adela Quested Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actress
1986 Kangaroo Harriet Somers Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
1987 High Tide Lilli Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress
1988 Georgia Nina Bailley/Georgia White Nominated — Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
1990 Alice Vicki
1991 Barton Fink Audrey Taylor London Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
1991 Impromptu George Sand Independent Spirit Award for Best Lead Female
1991 Where Angels Fear to Tread Harriet Harriton Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
1991 Naked Lunch Joan Lee/Joan Frost London Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated — National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
1991 On My Own The Mother Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominated — Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
1992 Husbands and Wives Sally Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
London Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Nominated — New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
1993 Dark Blood Buffy (completed in 2012)
1994 The Ref Caroline Chasseur Also released as "Hostile Hostages"
1994 The New Age Katherine Witner
1996 Children of the Revolution Joan Fraser Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Film Critics Circle of Australia Award for Best Actor – Female
1997 Deconstructing Harry Lucy
1997 Absolute Power Gloria Russell Nominated — Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actress – Suspense
1997 Blood and Wine Suzanne Gates
1998 Celebrity Robin Simon
2001 The Man Who Sued God Anna Redmond
2001 Gaudi Afternoon Cassandra Reilly
2003 Swimming Upstream Dora Fingleton Film Critics Circle of Australia Award for Best Supporting Actor – Female
Nominated — Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Nominated — IF Award for Best Actress
2006 The Break-Up Marilyn Dean
2006 Marie Antoinette Comtesse de Noailles
2011 The Eye of the Storm Dorothy de Lascabanes AACTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Nominated — Asia Pacific Screen Award for Best Performance by an Actress
Nominated — Film Critics Circle of Australia Award for Best Actress – Leading Role
Nominated — IF Award for Best Actress
2012 To Rome with Love Phyllis
2013 The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet Jibsen
2015 The Dressmaker Molly Dunnage AACTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role


Year Title Role Notes
1980 Water Under the Bridge Carrie Mazzini
1982 A Woman Called Golda Golda Myerson/Meir Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
1983 The Merry Wives of Windsor Mistress Ford BBC Television Shakespeare
1986 Rocket to the Moon Cleo Singer American Playhouse
1991 One Against the Wind Mary Lindell Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
1995 Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story Dianne Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
1998 The Echo of Thunder Gladwyn Ritchie Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
1999 Dash and Lilly Lillian Hellman Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
1999 A Cooler Climate[15] Paula Tanner Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie[16]
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie[15]
2001 Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows Judy Garland American Film Institute Award for Actor of the Year – Female – Movie or Mini-Series
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress in a Picture Made for Television
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
Satellite Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
2003 The Reagans Nancy Reagan Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
2003 Coast to Coast Maxine Pierce
2006 A Little Thing Called Murder Sante Kimes Satellite Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
2007 The Starter Wife Joan McAllister Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
Gracie Allen Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Mini-Series
Nominated — Australian Film Institute International Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Prism Award for Performance in a TV Movie or Miniseries
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
2007 Masters of Science Fiction: A Clean Escape Dr. Deanna Evans
2009 Diamonds Senator Joan Cameron Nominated — Gemini Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
2011 Page Eight Jill Tankard Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
2014 Salting the Battlefield Jill Tankard
2017 Feud: Bette and Joan Hedda Hopper Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Limited Series or a Movie
2018 Mystery Road Emma James

Other awards



  1. ^ Peter Biskind. "Gods and Monsters: Thirty Years of Writing on Film and Culture". Google Books. Retrieved 14 July 2017. 
  2. ^ "Judy Davis For The Eye of the Storm". Asia Pacific Screen Academy. 
  3. ^ "Judy Davis, Inspiring 'Brilliant Career's 30 Years Later". N.P.R. 
  4. ^ Maslin, Janet (22 February 1980). "New Face: Judy Davis Don't Call Her Sybylla; A Last-Minute Replacement 'I'm Not Good at Reading Scripts' Elizabeth Swados at Club". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  5. ^ Rovi, Hal Erickson. "Judy Davis Biography". TV Squad. Retrieved 10 October 2010. 
  6. ^ Colin Friels biography at IMDb
  7. ^ "Judy Davis: 'I never wanted celebrity'". 
  8. ^ a b c Ryan Gilbey (25 April 2013). "Judy Davis: 'I never wanted celebrity'". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  9. ^ Bernard Weinraub (10 December 2000). "The Rewards And the Risks of Playing an Icon". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  10. ^ Allen, Paul Stephen Barry (obituary) The Guardian, London, 9 November 2000
  11. ^ Fitzgerald, Michael The Restoration of Judy at Time Magazine, 24 April 2004
  12. ^ Kerry O'Brien (9 August 1999). "Judy Davies takes on directing". ABC 7.30 report. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  13. ^ "Society of West End Theatre Awards 1982" at West End
  14. ^ "13th Moscow International Film Festival (1983)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 7 November 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-31. 
  15. ^ a b "6th Annual SAG Awards Nominees". Screen Actors Guild Awards. Archived from the original on 23 January 2010. Retrieved 23 January 2010. 
  16. ^ "The Starter Wife – Character Profiles & Bios – Judy Davis as Joan McAllister". NBC Universal. Archived from the original on 23 January 2010. Retrieved 23 January 2010. 

External links

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