Scent of a Woman
“I've been hounded by a reputation of being difficult when really what I'm being is truthful and honest and I think that's been a thorn in my side. I auditioned for a lot of work and got some good feedback and then was told I wasn't the choice.” Gabrielle Anwar
English actress Gabrielle Anwar got her start on British television as a teenager but did not gain widespread fame until she danced the tango with Al Pacino in the Martin Brest acclaimed remake “Scent of a Woman” (1992). She was later nominated for a Saturn Award for her scene stealing role of Emily Davenport in the TV film “The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines” (2007) and a Gemini Award for playing Princess Margaret, the sister of King Henry VIII, in Showtime's series “The Tudors” (2007). She now plays Fiona Glenanne in the USA Network series “Burn Notice” (2007-current), opposite Jeffrey Donovan and Bruce Campbell. Other films in which Anwar has acted in include “If Looks Could Kill” (1991), “Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken” (1991), “Body Snatchers” (1993), “The Three Musketeers” (1993), “Innocent Lies” (1995), “Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead” (1995), “The Grave” (1996), “My Little Assassin” (1999, TV), “Flying Virus” (2001), “The Marsh” (2006), “Crazy Eights” (2006) and “iMurders” (2008). She will also play roles in the upcoming films “The Family Tree” (2010) and “Warrior” (2011).
Anwar is divorced and has a son and daughter with her former husband, actor John Verea. She has an older daughter named Willow Anwar from her longtime romance with frequent costar Craig Sheffer. As a teenager, Anwar was linked to drummer Jed O'Brien (together for four years). During her free time, she writes children's books and screenplays. Anwar was named one of People Magazine's “50 Most Beautiful People in the World” in 1993 and ranked No. 82 and No. 92 in the FHM Magazine lists of “100 Sexiest Women in the World” in 1996 and 1997, respectively.
Childhood and Family:
Gabrielle Anwar was born on February 4, 1970, in Laleham, Middlesex, England, to British actress Shirley Anwar and Tariq Anwar, an Indian born, London raised film editor who received an Academy nomination for his work on “American Beauty” (1999). Although both of her parents are in show business, they originally showed disapproval toward their daughter's intention to become an actress.
Gabrielle was educated at Laleham C. of E. Primary and Middle School from 1975 to 1982. She chose acting to keep from going to school and was expelled from school for fighting. She trained at a London drama and dance school called Italia Conti.
In 1993, at age 23, Gabrielle gave birth to a daughter named Willow Anwar, who was fathered by American actor Craig Sheffer (born on April 23, 1960). They first met in 1989 while both were working in London and Gabrielle moved with him to Los Angeles when she was 19. They are no longer together. Gabrielle later married actor John Verea and had two children, son Basil Verea and daughter Paisley Verea, with him before they divorced.
A school dropout by age 15, Gabrielle Anwar made her professional acting debut at age 16 when she landed the supporting role of Tracy Wright in the British miniseries “Hideaway” (1986), opposite Ken Hutchison and Clare Higgins. Her first film role arrived in 1988 when she was cast as Tina in the Yugoslavian production “Manifesto,” with Eric Stoltz and Alfred Molina. The same year, she made her American debut in the television film “Fearnot,” which was broadcasted as part of the television series “The Storyteller,” created by Jim Henson. 1988 also found her in a guest spot on the British science fiction series “First Born.”
Anwar next portrayed Chrissie Kettering in the BBC miniseries adaptation of Sir John Mortimer's “Summer's Lease” (1989), where her father was the editor. The show received an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Special (John Gielgud) and three BAFTA nominations, including Best Film Editor for her father. The same year, she also appeared as Ramandu's daughter in an episode of “Prince Caspian and the Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” based on C. S. Lewis' “The Chronicles of Narnia” book series. It was also during this time that the then-19 year old Anwar left England for Los Angeles with her American boyfriend, actor Craig Sheffer.
In 1990, Anwar joined the cast of the British praised children's television series “Press Gang.” After appearing in the European produced TV miniseries “I misteri della giungla nera” (1991), she hit the Hollywood cinema with the supporting role of Mariska, the daughter of Roger Daltrey, in “If Looks Could Kill” (1991), a spoof of the James Bond movies. The action comedy was directed by William Dear and starred Richard Grieco as Michael Corben. It was followed by a lead role in Steve Miner's “Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken” (1991), in which she portrayed Sonora Webster. The film was adapted from events in the life of Sonora Webster Carver as written in her 1961 memoir “A Girl and Five Brave Horses.” Costars of the film include Michael Schoeffling, Cliff Robertson, Dylan Kussman, Kathleen York and Frank Renzulli.
Anwar's popularity rose significantly when she was hired to portray Donna, a beautiful tango partner of Al Pacino, in the film “Scent of a Woman” (1992), a drama about a preparatory student who takes a job as an assistant to a hot-tempered, blind, retired Army officer. A remake of the Italian movie “Profumo di donna” (1974), the movie garnered primarily positive reviews from critics and collected over $134 million worldwide. “Scent of a Woman,” which was directed and produced by Martin Brest, won an Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Al Pacino) and Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture - Drama, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama (Al Pacino) and Best Screenplay - Motion Picture (Bo Goldman). Early in 1992, Anwar made a guest appearance in the hit TV series “Beverly Hills, 90210” where she played Tricia Kinney in the episode “Fire and Ice.”
Following her performance in “Scent of a Woman,” Anwar starred with Billy Wirth, Terry Kinney, Meg Tilly, R. Lee Ermey and Forest Whitaker in Abel Ferrara's adaptation of “Body Snatchers” (1993), which was nominated for a Golden Palm at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival. In the movie, she played Marti Malone. She was then cast as Michael J. Fox's love interest in the Barry Sonnenfeld directed romantic comedy “For Love or Money,” portrayed Queen Anne in “The Three Musketeers,” starring Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland, Chris O'Donnell and Oliver Platt and portrayed the role of Delia in the episode “Dead End of Delia” of Showtime's series “Fallen Angel,” which was executive produced by Sydney Pollack (also 1993).
Following a break during 1994, Anwar resurfaced on the big screen when she portrayed Celia Graves in the British/French thriller “Innocent Lies” (1995), opposite Stephen Dorff, Adrian Dunbar and Joanna Lumley. She was next cast as the love interest of Andy Garcia, Dagney, in the American crime film “Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead” (1995), which was directed by Gary Fleder and written by Scott Rosenberg, and costarred with Craig Sheffer and Don Johnson in the HBO docudrama “Pursuit of Honor” (1995), where she played Jessica Stuart, the journalist daughter of an Army colonel (portrayed by Rod Steiger). The following year, she delivered a memorable portrayal of a woman with a mysterious past named Jordan in director Jonas Pate's “The Grave.”
Next, Anwar teamed up with Amy Brenneman and Kirstie Alley in Gary Tieche's independent drama “Nevada” (1997), where she also served as a co-producer, costarred with Stephen Bladwin in the direct to video drama “Sub Down” (1997) and portrayed Florry Lewis in the made for television film “The Ripper” (1997), opposite Samuel West, Michael York and Patrick Bergin. She then played Alex DeBoe's girlfriend in the John Quinn comedy “Beach Movie” (1998), worked with Peter O'Toole, Greta Scacchi and Laura Harris in the indie comedy “The Manor” (1999), which was adapted from the play “Ravenscroft” by Don Nigro, and starred in Frederic Golchan's “Kimberly” (1999). Also in 1999, she portrayed Marita Lorenz, the daughter of a CIA agent who carried on an affair with Fidel Castro, in the Lifetime television film “My Little Assassin,” opposite Joe Mantegna and Robert Davi.
Anwar was reunited with Craig Sheffer for the made for television thriller “Without Malice” (2000), which also starred Jennifer Beals and Corey Haim, supported Johnathon Schaech in the independent film “If You Only Knew” (2000, directed by David Snedeker and written by Gary Goldstein) and costarred with Joanne Whalley, Bill Pullman, Devon Sawa and Jaimz Woolvett in Anthony Waller's crime movie “The Guilty” (2000). She then played Lu in the indie flick “North Beach” (2000) and appeared with John Stamos, Joshua Malina, Shemar Moore and Dorie Barton in a television film remake “How to Marry a Billionaire: A Christmas Tale” (2000). After working in the direct to video “Turbulence 3: Heavy Metal” (2001, played Kate Hayden) and guest starring in ABC's “The Practice” (2001, as Katie Defoe), she again teamed up with Sheffer for the 2001 action horror film “Flying Virus,” which was helmed and co-written by Jeff Hare. It was followed by a costarring role in the TV film “Sherlock” (US Network, 2002), starring James D'Arcy as Sherlock Holmes. Anwar next played Rachel Penbroke in two episodes of Fox's drama “John Doe” titled “Manifest Destiny” (2002) and “Tone Dead” (2003), was cast as Catherine in the film “Water Under the Bridge” (2003), where she was rejoined with Sheffer, starred as Lisa Monroe, a homicide detective, in Mary Higgins Clark’s “Try to Remember” (2004, TV), and supported Kyle MacLachlan and Danielle Calvert in “Mysterious Island” (2005, TV).
2006 saw Anwar star opposite Henry Ian Cusick and Dave Baez in the Bob Degus directed drama “9/Tenths,” team up with Justin Louis and Forest Whitaker in Jordan Baker's “The Marsh” and support Dina Meyer and George Newbern in the horror “Crazy Eights,” helmed by James K. Jones. On the small screen, she acted in “Long Lost Son,” opposite Craig Sheffer, and was cast as a brilliant archeologist named Emily Davenport in TNT's “The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines,” alongside Noah Wyle, Bob Newhart, Jane Curtin and Olympia Dukakis. The later film brought the actress a Saturn nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Television Program.
In 2007, Anwar landed the role of Margaret Tudor, The Queen of Portugal, in the first season of Showtime's popular historical fiction series “The Tudors,” a loose adaptation of the reign of English monarch Henry VIII (portrayed by Jonathan Rhys Meyers). She appeared in 6 episodes and in 2008, was nominated for a Gemini in the category of Best Performance by an Actress in a Guest Role, Dramatic Series for her performance in the series. Later that same year, Anwar won the regular role of Fiona Glenanne, an ex-IRA operative and former girlfriend of Michael Westen (played by Jeffrey Donovan), on the action series “Burn Notice,” which was created by Matt Nix. The show debuted on the USA Network on June 28, 2007. Commenting about her character on the show, she said, “This is one of the few scripts I've read that not only encompassed humor, emotion and action, but had a multifaceted female lead. Fiona is that rare opportunity to indulge all ingredients to make someone a delectable, bittersweet and complex meal of a woman.”
In 2008, Anwar appeared as Eva Sintzel in an episode of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” called “Inconceivable” and starred as Lindsay Jefferies in the drama “iMurders,” which won the Jury Award for Best Feature Film and Best Picture at the 2009 Chicago Horror Film Festival. Recently, in 2010, she starred as Joss in the TV film “Lies Between Friends,” opposite Craig Sheffer.
Anwar will costar with Selma Blair, Rachael Leigh Cook, Christina Hendricks and Madeline Zima in the film “The Family Tree” (2010) for director Vivi Friedman and writer Mark Lisson, and play Claire Sullivan in director Michael F. Sears' action film “Warrior” (2011), opposite Ashley Greene and Kellan Lutz.