State of Grace
“People should recognize who you are and how you can act rather than how famous you are.” Mae Whitman
Young Artist Award winning actress Mae Whitman, the daughter of actress Pat Musick, picked up her awards for portraying George Clooney's daughter in “One Fine Day” (1996), the child of Sandra Bullock in “Hope Floats” (1998) and young Maria in “An American Rhapsody” (2001). The first two performances also won the skilled actress YoungStar nominations. She also offered memorable performances in “When a Man Loves a Woman” (1994) and the smash hit “Independence Day” (1996) and is more recently known for having roles in movies like “Going Shopping” (2005), Bondage” and “Love's Abiding Joy” (both 2006). On the small screen, she is perhaps best recalled for starring in “State of Grace” (2001-2002), from which she received a 2002 Young Artist nomination. The recipient of Golden Apple's Youth Female Discovery of the Year (2001) also had a regular role in the short lived series “Thief” (2006), recurring roles in “Chicago Hope” (1996-1999, nabbed a YoungStar nomination), “Jag” (1998-2001) and “Arrested Development” (2004-2006) and guest starring roles in numerous TV series. As an accomplished voiceover artist, Whitman voiced Katara in the animated television series “Avatar: The Last Airbender” (2005-2007) and characters in “American Dragon: Jake Long” (2005-2007). She was handed a World Soundtrack nomination for her work in the animated film “The Jungle Book 2” (2003).
Recently appearing in an episode of the TV show “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (2008), Whitman portrayed roles in the films “Nights in Rodanthe” (2008), “Spring Breakdown” (2008) and “Barry Munday (2010). She will soon be seen in “Scott Pilgrim vs The World” (2010) and “The Factory” (2011).
Childhood and Family:
Mae Margaret Whitman was born on June 9, 1988, in Los Angeles, California. She is the only child of actress Pat Musick and Greg Whitman, a private manager. She was educated at a private preparatory school in Los Angeles called Ribét Academy.
Hailing from Los Angeles, Mae Whitman got her career start at age 3 after impressing casting directors in a commercial audition attended by her actress mother. Within a week, she landed her first job doing voiceover work for a Tyson Chicken commercial. At age 6, Whitman moved to the big screen when she was cast as the youngest daughter of Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia in the applauded drama “When a Man Loves a Woman” (1994). A bit part in the Matthew Modine and Randy Quaid comedy “Bye Bye Love” followed the following year. Her TV film debut arrived later that same year when she portrayed the young incarnation of Megan Ward in the Emmy nominated biopic “Naomi & Wynonna: Love Can Build a Bridge.”
Whitman enjoyed a box office hit in 1996 with the sci-fi thriller “Independence Day,” where she portrayed the daughter of President Thomas J. Whitmore (played by Bill Pullman). She followed it up with a good performance as Maggie Taylor in the romantic comedy “One Fine Day” (1996), opposite George Clooney and Michelle Pfeiffer. Playing Clooney's daughter, Whitman won a 1997 Young Artist for Best Performance in a Feature Film - Actress Age Ten or Under and was nominated for a YoungStar for Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Comedy Film. 1996 also saw the girl appear as Sarah Tuttle in an episode of the NBC popular series “Friends.”
The talented young actress next played the recurring role of Sara Wilmette, the daughter of Dr. Kathryn Austin and Tommy Wilmette, played by Christine Lahti and Ron Silver, in the David E. Kelley created medical series “Chicago Hope” from January 1996 to May 1999. She received a YoungStar nomination for Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Drama TV Series for her work in the CBS show. Whitman also memorably played Zuzu Bailey in the television film “Merry Christmas, George Bailey” (1997), which reunited her with Bill Pullman, appeared with Kenneth Branagh and Famke Janssen in the Robert Altman directed “The Gingerbread Man” (1998) and was the voice of Beth in the animated TV film “Jingle Bells” (1999). She also gained notice as Bernice, the daughter of Birdee Pruitt (played by Sandra Bullock), in the dramatic movie “Hope Floats” (1998), which was directed by Forest Whitaker. She then made guest appearances in such series as “Judging Amy” and “Providence” (both 1999).
Entering the new millennium, Whitman impressed audiences with her singing ability in the Disney animated series “Teacher's Pet” (2000) and portrayed Chloe Madison in “Jag,” a recurring role she held from 1998 to 2001. She also netted a Young Artist for Best Ensemble in a Feature Film and a nomination for Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actress for playing Maria in the Éva Gárdos' film “An American Rhapsody” (2001).
However, Whitman did not achieve real TV fame until she won the lead role of Emma Grace McKee on the Fox Family Channel series “State of Grace,” which was centered on the relationship between a young Jewish girl and a young Catholic girl. Debuting in June 2001, the show was canceled in 2002. For her effort, she took home a 2002 Young Artist nomination for Best Performance in a TV Comedy Series-Leading Young Actress.
Whitman next provided the voice of Schoolgirl in “The Wild Thornberrys Movie” (2002), which earned an Oscar nomination for Best Music, Original Song, and Shanti in “The Jungle Book 2” (2003), in which she jointly netted a World Soundtrack nomination in the category of Best Original Song Written for a Film for the song “Jungle Rhythm.” She then reprised her voice role of Leslie for the big screen version of Disney's “Teacher's Pet” (2004). In 2005, her voice could be heard as Tara in the animated film “Firedog,” opposite Tom Arnold and Lauren Bacall. Whitman also voiced characters in TV shows like Cartoon Network's “Johnny Bravo” (3 episodes, 1999-2004), Disney's “Fillmore” (7 episodes, 2002-2004), “American Dragon” (18 episodes, 2005-2007) and “Avatar: The Last Airbender” (44 episodes, 2005-2007) and some video games, including “Kingdom Hearts II” (2005) and “Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII” (2006). She also landed episodic roles in such TV series as “Cold Case” (2004), “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” (2004), “Desperate Housewives” (2006), “Grey's Anatomy,” “Bionic Woman,” “E.R.,” and “Justice” (all 2007) and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (2008), as well as a recurring role in “Arrested Development” (2004-2006, as Ann Veal). She then received a role in the FX short lived drama “Thief” (2006), where she played the stepdaughter Tammi. In addition, she acted in such movies as the Henry Jaglom directed “Going Shopping” (2005), the biopic “Bondage” (2006, with Michael Angarano and Illeana Douglas), Michael Landon Jr.'s “Love's Abiding Joy” (2006), “Jesse Stone: Death in Paradise” (2006, TV) and “Lost in the Dark (2007, TV).
Recently, Whitman portrayed Amanda Willis in the based-on-novel romantic drama “Nights in Rodanthe” (2008), opposite Diane Lane, Richard Gere, James Franco and Scott Glenn. She will soon be seen in “Scott Pilgrim vs The World” (2010) and “The Factory” (2011).
Young Artist: Best Ensemble in a Feature Film, “An American Rhapsody,” 2002
Golden Apple: Youth Female Discovery of the Year, 2001
Young Artist: Best Performance in a Feature Film - Young Actress Age Ten or Under, “Hope Floats,” 1999
Young Artist: Best Performance in a Feature Film - Actress Age Ten or Under, “One Fine Day,” 1997