Sex, Lies and Videotape
Ex-Calvin Klein model and American actress Andie MacDowell gained acclaimed for her portrayal of sexually repressed housewife Ann in Steven Soderbergh’s drama Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989). Due to her outstanding performance, she nabbed an Independent Spirit Award, a Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award, and received a Golden Globe nomination. Additionally, she took home a Saturn Award for her starring role in Harold Ramis' Groundhog Day (1993, costarring Bill Murray), was handed a Special Award at the Golden Globes and a Volpi Cup Award at the Venice Film Festival for her bright work in Robert Altman’s Short Cuts (1993).
Off screen, MacDowell was listed as one of People magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People in the World” in 1991 and in 2000. In 2001, she was honored with an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Greenwood’s Lander University for her devotion to the Graham Children's Health Center.
5' 8" tall MacDowell strongly denied the recent internet rumors stating she was the illegitimate daughter of Charlie Chaplin. Commenting about the rumor, she said, "What happened was a friend was from Mexico and she went home to see her family and she found it in some little Mexican paper and she brought it back to me. I thought that was the craziest thing... That is just so random and crazy."
As for her private life, MacDowell was once married to model/musician Paul Qualley (married in 1986), but the couple divorced thirteen years later.
She next married Atlanta jewelry entrepreneur Rhett DeCamp Hartzog, but her second marriage also ended in divorce in 2004. MacDowell and Paul Qualley are the parents of Justin, Rainey and Sarah Margaret Qualley.
The 47-year-old actress recently added The Last Sign (2005), Beauty Shop (2005) and Riding the Bus with My Sister (2005, TV) to her impressive resume. MacDowell will soon star in the upcoming Tara Road (2005) and serve as a voice actor in Steve Oedekerk’s animated film Barnyard (2006).
Childhood and Family:
In Gaffney, South Carolina, Rosalie Anderson MacDowell, who would become known as Andie MacDowell, was born on April 12, 1958. Her father is Marion MacDowell, a lumber executive, and her mother is Pauline MacDowell. The youngest of four, Andie has three older sisters: Barbara MacDowell (teacher), Beverly MacDowell (realtor) and Julia MacDowell (an interior decorator).
"When I was young, my parents divorced. My mom was lonely and depressed. She tried to make up for the absence of our father with presents." Andie MacDowell
Andie’s parents divorced when she was six years old. After the divorce, her mom became seriously involved with alcohol which resulted in Andie learning to take care of herself from a young age. As a teenager, Andie worked minimum-wage jobs at Pizza Hut and McDonalds to help fulfill the family’s needs. Upon graduation from high school, she went to Winthrop College, but left her studies in her sophomore year to begin modeling.
In 1981 tragedy struck Andie’s life when her beloved mother died from chronic alcoholism. Commenting about the death of her mother, she said, "I believe my mother is still involved in my life. I lost her when I was 23. It was a huge loss for me because we had become very close. I am convinced that all the great things that happened in my life have come to me through her angelic intercession."
Andie met model/musician Paul Qualley while on a photo shoot for GAP and they were married in 1986. The couple soon welcomed their first son, Justin Qualley, in 1986, and a baby daughter named Rainey Qualley followed in 1989. Andie gave birth to her third child, daughter Sarah Margaret Qualley, in 1995. Unfortunately, her marriage ended up in divorce in 1999. Andie then became engaged to her high school classmate Rhett DeCamp Hartzog (Atlanta jewelry businessman) on July 2001. Four months later they were married. This marriage also ended in divorce, in 2004.
Andy MacDowell, who once worked at McDonalds and Pizza Hut, dropped out of college in 1978 and headed to New York to start a career in modeling. She quickly signed a contract with the Elite Model Management and moved to the fashion city of Paris. MacDowell’s first brush with fame arrived when she appeared in a series of television commercials for Calvin Klein jeans in the early 1980s. She was also the spokesmodel for L'Oreal cosmetic and hair care products for many years.
MacDowell landed her first film role as Miss Jane Porter in Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984), but had her lines dubbed by Glenn Close due to her strong Southern accent. Though critics panned her debut performance, MacDowell won a feature role in the Brat Pack vehicle, St. Elmo's Fire (1985). She moved to the small screen when she made her TV miniseries debut in the European series "The Secret of the Sahara" (1987, costarring Michael York and Ben Kingsley) and guest starred in one episode of "Spenser: For Hire" (1988).
MacDowell’s breakthrough screen role arrived in 1989 when director/writer Steven Soderbergh cast her to star with James Spader in the independent film Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989). Her brilliant turn as sexually frustrated housewife Ann netted an Independent Spirit and a Los Angeles Film Critics Association award for Best Actress, as well as a Golden Globe nomination. After her winning performance, MacDowell’s acting career began to take off.
The success of Sex, Lies, and Videotape won MacDowell a string of important roles in the 1990s. She shared the screen with French star Gerard Depardieu in the romantic comedy Green Card (1990), in which her good acting received a nomination at the Golden Globes for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical. She continued with The Object of Beauty (1991), playing Brontë Mitchell Faure, a spoiled socialite and John Malkovich’s girl friend, and received blockbuster exposure with a starring role opposite Bruce Willis in the action hit Hudson Hawk (1991). MacDowell also appeared in the made-for-TV movie Women and Men: Stories of Seduction (1990) and Women & Men 2: In Love There Are No Rules (1991), playing disillusioned alcoholic Emily Meadows.
MacDowell attracted attention with her work in Harold Ramis' Groundhog Day (1993), by playing the leading lady to Bill Murray. Delivering a good performance, Andie picked up the 1994 Saturn award for Best Actress. After Deception (1993), MacDowell turned heads again when she teamed up with Robert Altman for Short Cuts (1993). She was garnered with a Special Award at the Golden Globes and a Volpi Cup at the Venice Film Festival for Best Ensemble Cast.
In the following year, MacDowell was cast opposite Hugh Grant in the Oscar-nominated (for Best Picture) Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), where she received another Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical. MacDowell then joined Madeleine Stowe, Mary Stuart Masterson and Drew Barrymore as a quartet of female outlaws in the Western Bad Girls (1994), received rave reviews for her portrayal of a dying mother in Diane Keaton’s Unstrung Heroes (1995), played Michael Keaton's bewildered wife Laura Kinney in Multiplicity (1996) and was seen as a cynical reporter in love with William Hurt’s character in the comedy Michael (1996, also starring John Travolta).
In 1997, MacDowell was honored with a Cesar d'Honneur (Honorary Award) from the French film industry for her contribution to films, as well as received the Golden Camera Award from the German film industry. The same year, she played the lead of Page Stockard, the wife of Bill Pullman’s character, in The End of Violence (1997), and starred as unglamorous Trixie, with Harvey Keitel, in the disappointing Shadrach (1998). At the end of decade, MacDowell appeared in Anne Heche's Reaching Normal (1999), served as an executive producer and starred opposite Andy Garcia in another unsatisfactory film, Just the Ticket (1999), found herself acting with Miss Piggy in Muppets From Space (1999), and portrayed the wife of fruitless screenwriter Albert Brooks in the Brooks comedy film The Muse (1999).
Starring as Sarah Lloyd, opposite Elias Koteas and Brendan Gleeson, in the romantic drama Harrison's Flowers (2000), was MacDowell’s opening film in the new millennium. She went on to play roles in such big screen movies as the comedy Town & Country (2001, opposite Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton and Goldie Hawn), Crush (2001) and Ginostra (2002). MacDowell also worked on three television movies: On the Edge (2001), Dinner with Friends (2001) and Jo (2002).
After a few years out of spotlight, MacDowell recently returned to star in director Douglas Law’s thriller The Last Sign (2005), was cast as Terri in the comedy Beauty Shop (2005) and costarred with Rosie O'Donnell and Richard T. Jones in the made-for-television film Riding the Bus with My Sister (2005). She is also scheduled to play the lead of Marilyn in the dramatic film Tara Road (2005) and provide the voice of Etta the hen in the animation movie Barnyard (2006, director Steve Oedekerk).