Joan Allen

Actor Biography

Three-time Oscar-nominated actress Joan Allen will next be seen opposite Brie Larson and William H. Macy in the drama Room, directed by Lenny Abrahamson, which A24 is releasing this fall. Based on the award-winning global bestseller by Emma Donoghue, the film portrays a family’s bonds and fortitude after a kidnapped daughter and the daughter’s son escape captivity.

On television, Allen recently appeared in The Killing on Netflix, opposite Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman. She was also seen in David Milch and Michael Mann’s HBO drama series Luck, with Dustin Hoffman.  In 2009, Allen starred in the Lifetime Television biopic Georgia O’Keeffe, opposite Jeremy Irons. As the title character and also the film’s executive producer, the role earned her Emmy, SAG, and Golden Globe nominations for both “Outstanding Actress in a Miniseries or Movie” and “Outstanding Made for Television Movie.” In 2001, Allen starred in the TNT miniseries The Mists of Avalon, opposite Anjelica Huston and Julianna Margulies, for which she was nominated for an Emmy in the category of “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries of a Movie.”

Allen received her first Academy Award nomination for her role in Oliver Stone’s Nixon, for which she also won awards from several critics’ associations, including the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the National Society of Film Critics; she also received SAG nominations in the categories of “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” and “Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.”

Allen received her second-consecutive Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her role in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. She was also nominated for a Golden Globe for this role.

Subsequently, her work in The Ice Storm, opposite Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver, and in Pleasantville, opposite William H. Macy and Jeff Daniels, earned her high praise and several critics’ awards.

For her starring role in The Contender, Allen received Best Actress nominations at the Golden Globes, Academy Awards, SAG Awards and Independent Spirit Awards.

Allen’s other feature credits include The Bourne Ultimatum, A Good Marriage, The Bourne Supremacy, The Notebook, Compromising Positions, Peggy Sue Got Married, Manhunter, Tucker: The Man and His Dream, Ethan Frome and The Upside of Anger.

Allen is also one of the New York theater world’s most honored actresses and a winner of every major prize for her work on Broadway and off.  She received a Best Actress Tony Award for her performance, opposite John Malkovich in Lanford Wilson’s Burn This, and was Tony nominated in the same category for the title role in The Heidi Chronicles. She starred off-Broadway in Delores and The Marriage of Bette & Boo, and reprised her Steppenwolf Theatre role in And A Nightingale Sang, for which she received Clarence Derwent, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Theatre World Awards.  An original member of Chicago’s famed Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Allen performed in many of the company’s productions, some of which include: Earthly Possessions, Reckless, A Lesson From Aloes, Balm in Gilead, and Of Mice and Men.