- Capt. Sharon Raydor
Mary McDonnell is renowned for her work in film, television and theatre. As a two-time Oscar®-nominee, McDonnell has transformed both period and present-day screen roles into dynamic character portrayals.
McDonnell’s first Oscar nomination was a Best Supporting Actress nod for her portrayal of Stands with a Fist, a white woman raised by the Sioux in Kevin Costner’s Dances with Wolves. She also received her first of two Golden Globe nominations for her performance. McDonnell garnered a Best Actress Academy Award® nomination and Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of a paraplegic soap-opera star in John Sayles’ critically acclaimed Passion Fish, a story portraying the relationship between a woman and her taciturn caretaker.
Some of the films in McDonnell’s extensive filmography include acclaimed cult film Donnie Darko; Nola with Emmy Rossum; two Lawrence Kasden films, Grand Canyon and Mumford; Roland Emmerich’s Sci-Fi blockbuster Independence Day, with Bill Pullman and Will Smith; William Friedkin’s Blue Chips, with Nick Nolte; and Sneakers, with Robert Redford, Sidney Poitier and Ben Kingsley.
Last year, McDonnell appeared in the critically acclaimed award-winning Margin Call, a behind-the-scenes look at an investment bank over a 24-hour period right before the financial crisis, where she had a pivotal cameo role opposite Kevin Spacey. And Scream 4, which took moviegoers back to Woodsboro for more terror, McDonnell portrayed Sidney Prescott’s aunt Kate.
McDonnell received outstanding reviews for her portrayal as President Laura Roslin in the Peabody Award-winning series Battlestar Galactica. McDonnell also garnered an Emmy nomination for her recurring guest role on the television series ER. Some of her other television credits include TNT’s adaptation of Arthur Miller’s The American Clock; the CBS series High Society and the critically acclaimed television movies Behind the Mask and Two Small Voices. She also co-starred on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy as Dr. Virginia Dixon, a brilliant cardiothoracic surgeon battling Asperger’s Syndrome.
McDonnell began her career in theatre and has starred in a wide variety of both Broadway and Off-Broadway productions. She received an Obie Award for her performance in Emily Mann’s Still Life and has starred in such Off-Broadway productions as Sam Shepard’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Buried Child, John Patrick Shanley’s Savage in Limbo, John O’Keefe’s All Night Long, Michael Cristofer’s Black Angel, Kathleen Tolan’s A Weekend Near Madison, Paula Cizmar’s Death of a Miner and Dennis McIntyre’s National Anthem. Her Broadway credits include Tennessee Williams’ Summer and Smoke, Wendy Wasserstein’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Heidi Chronicles and Emily Mann’s Execution of Justice.