Lindsay Ann Crouse
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About Lindsay Ann Crouse
Lindsay Ann Crouse (born May 12, 1948) is an American actress.
Crouse was born in New York City, the daughter of Anna (née Erskine) and Russel Crouse, a playwright. Her maternal grandparents were Pauline (Ives) and author and educator John Erskine. Her full name—Lindsay Ann Crouse—is an intentional tribute to the Broadway writing partnership of Lindsay and Crouse. Her father and his writing partner, Howard Lindsay, wrote much of The Sound of Music. Their 1946 play State of the Union won that year's Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Their last collaboration was Mr. President in 1962. "In our family, the work ethic was held up as some kind of byword," Crouse says. "At any hour, somebody's typewriter was going."
After graduating from Radcliffe College in 1970, Crouse began her performing career as a modern and jazz dancer but she soon switched to acting and made her broadway debut in Much Ado About Nothing in 1972.
Crouse's film career began in 1976, with a small roles in television and theatrical movies. In 1977 she appeared as Lily Braden, the discontented wife of hockey player Ned Braden, in the comedy classic Slap Shot. Crouse was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the 1984 movie Places in the Heart. Among her films was a starring role in House of Games, the 1987 film directed and written by her then-husband David Mamet in which she plays Margaret Ford, a psychiatrist who is intrigued by the art of the con. "It's always hard to be directed by someone who's close to you," Crouse says. "Because everybody needs to go home and complain about the director. Everybody."
Crouse has appeared in featured and guest roles in a number of television series. Notable roles include a recurring portrayal of Kate McBride, a lesbian police officer on Hill Street Blues during its sixth season in 1986, one of the earliest appearances of a lesbian character in a major American TV show. Crouse is also known for her role in the fourth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where she was a recurring supporting cast member playing Professor Maggie Walsh. Crouse has also guest-starred on Alias, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Columbo, Criminal Minds, Law & Order, ER, Millennium, and NYPD Blue.
In recent years, Crouse has concentrated on the theater. "Once you get your driver's license, you end your film career," says Crouse. "Look at my generation. Great actresses like Glenn Close and Susan Sarandon—there's nothing written for anyone over a certain age." In 2007 Crouse opened a revival of The Belle of Amherst, a one woman show about the life of poet Emily Dickinson, at the Gloucester Stage in Gloucester, Massachusetts. "You can't stop and recite something," says Crouse. "You have to keep the poetry very, very active, which is pretty easy with Dickinson. She was striving so hard to understand what life was about. It's very dramatic poetry in that way.
Crouse appeared in Lee Blessing's Going to St. Ives with the Gloucester Stage Company during the summer of 2008 and provided the narration for Virginia Lee Burton: A Sense of Place, a documentary film about Virginia Lee Burton.
Crouse married playwright David Mamet in 1977. Crouse caught Mamet's eye in the hockey classic Slap Shot. When he heard she had a part in his play Reunion at the Yale Repertory Theater, Mamet packed a bag and told a friend, "I'm going to New Haven to marry Lindsay Crouse." When the two did indeed wed, Crouse's mother took her aside and told her what Oscar Hammerstein had told her when she married Russel Crouse: "A playwright's wife is the only woman who knows how her husband feels when she's having a baby."
John Lahr writes in his book Show and Tell: New Yorker Profiles that when Mamet married Crouse in 1978, he "married into show business aristocracy." Lahr also writes that Mamet got his first screenwriting assignment through Crouse. Crouse was on her way to audition for Bob Rafelson's 1981 remake of The Postman Always Rings Twice and Mamet told Crouse to tell Rafelson that "he was a fool if he didn't hire me to write the screenplay." Although Mamet was joking, Crouse did it and Rafelson called Mamet and asked Mamet why he should hire him for the screenplay. "Because I'll give you a good screenplay or a sincere apology," said Mamet. Mamet got the job.
Crouse and Mamet have two daughters, Willa and Zosia. They divorced in 1990. Crouse is now married to Rick Blue, a television director and editor.
Crouse's brother is Timothy Crouse, author of The Boys on the Bus about political journalism during the 1972 presidential campaign. Timothy Crouse also co-authored a new libretto for the musical Anything Goes with John Weidman that opened at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre on Broadway on October 19, 1987, and ran for 784 performances.
Crouse is a Buddhist and since 2005 has organized an annual Buddhist educational program at a retreat at Windhover in Rockport, Massachusetts. "[Buddhism] is not an exclusive club. It has something to offer everyone at all levels," says Crouse. "Buddhism is dynamic and has captured the interests of Americans. Even our quantum physics validate[s] ideas the Buddha taught 2,500 years ago."