About Mary Stuart Masterson
Mary Stuart Masterson (born June 28, 1966) is an American film, stage and television actor and director.
Masterson was born in Manhattan to writer/director Peter Masterson and actor Carlin Glynn. She has two siblings: Peter Masterson Jr., and Alexandra Masterson, who are both involved in the entertainment industry. As a teen, she attended Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training Center in upstate New York with actors Robert Downey, Jr. and Jon Cryer. Later, she attended schools in New York, including eight months studying anthropology at New York University.
Masterson's first film appearance was in The Stepford Wives (1975) at the age of eight, playing a daughter to her real-life father. Rather than continue her career as a child actor, she chose to continue her studies, although she did appear in several productions at the Dalton School. In 1985, she returned to cinema in Heaven Help Us as Danni, a rebellious high school dropout working at a soda fountain. She appeared with Sean Penn and Christopher Walken in the film At Close Range (1986) as Brad Jr's girlfriend Terry, a film based on an actual rural Pennsylvania crime family led by Bruce Johnston, Sr. during the 1960s and 1970s. She later starred as the tomboyish drumming Watts in the teenage drama Some Kind of Wonderful (1987). As a result, she is loosely connected with the Brat Pack. The same year Francis Ford Coppola cast her in Gardens of Stone in which she acted with her parents, hired by Coppola to play her on-screen parents. In 1989, she starred as Lucy Moore, a teenage girl giving up her first baby to a wealthy couple, played by Glenn Close and James Woods in Immediate Family. For her work in that film she received a "Best Supporting Actress" award from the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures.
Masterson continued acting in both films and television during the 1990s. In 1991, she starred in Fried Green Tomatoes, a film based on the novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe. The film was well-received, with film critic Roger Ebert applauding Masterson's work. The following year she was invited to host Saturday Night Live. In 1993, she played opposite Johnny Depp in Benny & Joon as Joon, his mentally ill love interest. In 1994, she acted in Bad Girls, playing Anita Crown, a former prostitute, who joins with three other former prostitutes (played by Madeleine Stowe, Andie MacDowell and Drew Barrymore) in traveling the Old West. In 1996, Masterson acted alongside Christian Slater in the romantic drama Bed of Roses.
Although Masterson carried on her work in the film industry, by 2000 she had made a move towards television. In 2001, she produced her own television series, Kate Brasher. The show received mediocre reviews and was canceled by CBS after six episodes. In 2004, Masterson starred in the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning HBO biographical drama Something the Lord Made. In 2004, she began guest starring on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Dr. Rebecca Hendrix, a role for which one critic wrote that "Masterson is perhaps best known...."
Masterson has appeared in Broadway theatre productions, and was nominated for a 2003 Tony Award as "Best Featured Actress in a Musical" in the Maury Yeston musical Nine: The Musical, directed by David Leveaux.
Masterson has narrated several audiobooks, including I See You Everywhere by Julia Glass, Book of the Dead by Patricia Cornwell, and Look Again by Lisa Scottoline.
By May 1993, Masterson revealed she had written a screenplay for a film tentatively entitled Around the Block, a romantic comedy about a "woman who conquers her fears by becoming a singer"; in a cover story about Benny & Joon's box office success, she told Entertainment Weekly she was going to direct it herself, with principal photography expected that autumn.
In 2001, she began her directing career with a segment titled "The Other Side" in the television movie On the Edge.
Masterson made her feature film directorial debut in 2007, with The Cake Eaters, which premiered at the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival as well as the Ashland Independent Film Festival where it received awards for "Best Picture". Of her move to directing, Masterson said in an interview, "When I signed to do this, I wasn't scared but, yes, it was scary. I'm already 40, although we don't want to talk about that. In '92, I wrote my first screenplay, which I then was to direct, but I ended up taking an acting job because it takes forever to get a movie made."
Masterson has been married three times. In 1990, she married George Carl Francisco; they divorced in 1992. In 2000, she married American film director Damon Santostefano; they divorced in 2004. In 2006, Masterson married actor Jeremy Davidson. Both had starred in the 2004 production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Masterson gave birth to their son on October 11, 2009. It was announced on March 8, 2011, that she was expecting twins. Masterson gave birth in August 2011.
Awards and nominations