Joan Allen

Born Aug. 20, 1956, in Rochelle, Ill., Joan Allen launched her acting career with Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company in 1977, later moving to New York City. She won a 1987 Tony Award for her Broadway debut in "Burn This."

Allen shifted her talents to the screen in such films as Manhunter and Peggy Sue Got Married (both 1986). She drew attention in 1995's Nixon, playing First Lady Pat Nixon, and earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nod for her work. A year later, she was nominated in the same category for The Crucible.

Allen's résumé grew with turns in The Ice Storm (1997), Pleasantville (1998) and The Contender (2000), which brought her a Best Actress Oscar nod. She's since divided her time between big Hollywood fare such as The Bourne Supremacy (2004) and smaller films such as The Upside of Anger (2005). Starring in the TV movie Georgia O'Keeffe (2009), Allen nabbed Golden Globe and Emmy nominations.