Ellen Burstyn is an American actress whose career began in theatre during the late 1950s, and over the next decade included several films and television series.
Her performance in the acclaimed 1971 ensemble drama The Last Picture Show brought her first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress nomination, after which she moved from supporting to leading film and stage roles.
Burstyn received a second Academy Award nomination for her lead performance in The Exorcist (1973), and won the Academy Award for Best Actress the following year for her work in Martin Scorsese's Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore.
In 1975, she won the Tony Award for her lead performance in the Broadway production of Same Time, Next Year, and received a Golden Globe Award and a fourth Academy Award nomination for her performance in the 1978 film version of the play.
Burstyn has worked consistently in film, television and theatre since, receiving multiple awards and nominations along the way, including seven additional Golden Globe Award nominations, five Emmy Award nominations (one win), and two more Academy Award for Best Actress nominations for her performances in the films Resurrection (1980) and Requiem for a Dream (2000).
Burstyn's television credits include a guest appearance on Law & Order: SVU, for which she won an Emmy, and she's been nominated for four Emmys for her performances in Big Love, Mrs. Harris, The People vs. Jean Harris, and Hallmark Hall of Fame miniseries Pack of Lies.
She also had a starring role as former First Mother-in-Law Margaret Barrish, the tough, tell-it-like-it-is matriarch of the family, in the television mini-series Political Animals, in 2012.
Her feature film credits include Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, for which she won an Oscar, and she received five additional Oscar nominations for her performances in Requiem for a Dream, Resurrection, Same Time, Next Year, The Exorcist and The Last Picture Show.
Burstyn's theatre credits include 84 Charing Cross Road, Shirley Valentine, Sacrilege, and The Little Flower of East Orange, directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman.
She received a Tony Award for her performance in Same Time, Next Year on Broadway. She also appeared in The Children's Hour in London's West End.
Burstyn was the first woman elected president of Actors Equity Association, a position she held from 1982-85. She also served as the Artistic Director of the famed Actors Studio where she studied with the late Lee Strasberg.
She holds four honorary doctorates – one in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts, a Doctor of Humane Letters from Dowling College, a doctorate from the New School for Social Research, and a doctorate from Pace University where she teaches in The Actors Studio M.F.A. program.
Her memoir, Lessons in Becoming Myself, is a national bestseller.