Oscar Actors: Davis, Geena

Born Virginia Davis on January 21, 1957 in Wareham, Massachusetts.

The daughter of an engineer and a teacher's aide, Davis attended Boston schools and began acting with a repertory company in New Hampshire. In 1979, she moved to New York, where she worked as a salesgirl in a dress shop and modeled briefly before landing a supporting role in the film “Tootsie”(1982).

She went on to play leads in a number of scary movies and starred in two light TV series “Buffalo Bill,” and “Sara,” then responded to the challenge of a more difficult role, winning the Academy Award as best supporting actress for”The Accidental Tourist” (1988).

Davis achieved household name recognition with her performance as a fugitive housewife who excels at smalltime robbery in the dark fantasy “Thelma and Louise”(1991), for which she received a Best Actress nomination.

Her 1987 marriage to actor Jeff Goldblum, her costar in “The Fly” and other films, ended in 1990.

She was married to director Renny Harlin, with whom she combined forces in 1995 to star in the boxoffice bomb “Cutthroat Island,” a big budget pirate film fraught with troubles from the beginning. The two reteamed the next year for the unconventional actionthriller “The Long Kiss Goodnight,” this time to positive response from audiences as well as critics.

Oscar Alert

In 1988, Geena Davis competed for (and won) the Supporting Actress Oscar with Joan Cusack in “Working Girl,” Frances McDormand in “Mississippi Burning,” Michelle Pfeiffer in “Dangerous Liaisons,” and Sigourney Weaver in Working Girl.”

In 1991, Geena Davis was up against the following Best Actresses: Susan Sarandon, also for “Thelma & Louise,” Jodie Foster (who won) in “The Silence of the Lambs,” Laura Dern in “Rambling Rose,” and Bette Midler in “For the Boys.”