Joan Allen

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Allen, the youngest of four children, was born in Rochelle, Illinois, the daughter of Dorothea Marie , a homemaker, and James Jefferson Allen, a gas station owner. She has an older brother, David, and two older sisters, Mary and Lynn. Allen attended Rochelle Township High School, and was voted most likely to succeed. She transferred to Northern Illinois University in 1976, where she graduated. Allen began her performing career as a stage actress and on television before making her film debut in the movie, Compromising Positions (1985).

In 1989, Allen returned to the stage and won a Tony Award for her Broadway debut performance in Burn This. She also starred in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Heidi Chronicles.

Television as her Career Center highlighted her performing careers... Receiving and excelling in the job opportunity she chooses.

Allen is respected by peers for her professionalism and the intense preparation she brings to each role. For example, to play a blind woman in the Michael Mann film Manhunter (1986), she went to a school for the blind and wore a blindfold for several days. Brian Cox, her co-star in Manhunter (as Dr. Hannibal Lecter) and later in The Bourne Supremacy, called Allen the finest actress he had ever worked with and one of the best in the business.

Joan Allen


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