Blythe Katharine Danner (born February 3, 1943) is an Emmy- and Tony Award-winning American actress. She is the mother of actress Gwyneth Paltrow.
Danner first appeared on stage with the Theater Company of Boston and the Trinity Square Repertory Company (now Trinity Repertory Company) in Providence, Rhode Island. She first gained national attention at age 25 by winning the Theatre World Award for her performance in the Lincoln Center Rep's production of The Miser. In 1970, she appeared in her first film role, in a television production of Dr. Cook's Garden. Danner was a close friend of actor Christopher Reeve and appeared with him in several plays.
With her WASPy appearance and husky voice, Danner has most frequently been cast as a middle class or upper class wife, or more lately, matriarch; although in 1986 in Brighton Beach Memoirs, she portrayed a middle-aged Jewish woman, and in the 1982 TV movie Inside the Third Reich, she played the wife of Albert Speer. Her earliest starring film roles were opposite Alan Alda in To Kill a Clown (1972) and in the title role of Lovin' Molly (1974), directed by Sidney Lumet. She has appeared in two films based on the novels of Pat Conroy, The Great Santini (1979) and The Prince of Tides (1991), as well as two television movies adapted from books by Anne Tyler, Saint Maybe and Back When We Were Grownups, both for the Hallmark Hall of Fame.
Danner is more recently known for her roles opposite Robert De Niro in the 2000 comedy hit Meet the Parents and its 2004 sequel, Meet the Fockers (with Barbra Streisand and Dustin Hoffman). From 2004 to 2006 she starred in the TV series Huff.
From 2001 to 2006, she regularly appeared on Will & Grace as Will's mother Marilyn. In 2005, she was nominated for three Emmy Awards, for her work on Will & Grace, Huff and Back When We Were Grownups. Emmy host Ellen DeGeneres poked fun at Blythe Danner during the award ceremony, saying that Danner should not be nervous because she was almost certain to win at least one Emmy. She did, for Huff. In July 2006, she won a second consecutive Emmy award for Huff. For 25 years, she has been a regular performer at the Williamstown Summer Theater Festival, where she also serves on the Board of Directors.
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