Who is Beverly D’Angelo?
Beverly D’Angelo is a Golden Globe and Emmy award nominee American actor and singer who became a household name in the USA owing to the ‘National Lampoon’s Vacation’ film series, with the sequels spreading out across 3 decades. Despite her stellar acting chops, Beverly never achieved the success her less talented contemporaries did. She charmed the audiences with her colourful persona, down to earth attitude and her ability to steel every shot she was in. Beverly started her career as an animator in the 60s, and later moved to Canada to find a career in Rock music as a singer. Her acting career started with Broadway Musicals in the mid 70s and since then she has appeared in over 60 movies and several TV shows. Her fist big break came in cult director Woody Allen’s ‘Annie Hall’ where she played a minor role. The role, however small, was enough to get Beverly into the mainstream Hollywood and a string of hits such as ‘Hair’ and ‘Coal Miner’s Daughter’ followed. Beverly hasn’t looked back since and later in her life she became part of cult films such as ‘American History X’ and a hit TV series ‘Entourage’ for HBO.
Childhood & Early Life
Beverly D’Angelo was born Beverly Heather D'Angelo Upper Arlington, Ohio, U.S., on 15th November 1951, to Priscilla Routh and Eugene D’Angelo. The influence of art was extremely high in her house as her mother was a famous violinist and her father was a bass player and managed a TV station. She is the granddaughter of a highly regarded architect, Howard Smith, who is credited to have designed the Ohio Stadium.
The musical genes acquired by her parents had quite a strong influence on her as a child and she started singing to her parents. On their appreciation, she grew increasingly fond of music, specially rock and jazz music. Somewhere during her teenage, her focus shifted towards acting.
Beverly was a wannabe artist since her teenage years and showed an immense inclination towards animation shows, particularly those made by Hannah Barbara studios. Most of her schooling was done in Italy. She later pursued fine arts, but she left her education midway to pursue a career in animating and music, and left for USA. Initially, she didn’t have much interest in acting, which later turned out to be the predominant career option for her.
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Upon moving to the USA, Beverly started her animation career at the Hannah Barbara studios as an illustrator to their animation shows, but somehow got tired of it and moved to Canada. She spent a few years in Canada, playing music in bars and coffee houses to make the ends meet.
She joined a band named ‘The Hawks’ and was attached to the band for some time, before she left. ‘The Hawks’ changed their name to ‘The Band’ later and achieved immense success.
Angelo’s first acting break came in 1976, when she appeared in a Broadway show based on Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ titled ‘Rockabye Hamlet’. The very same year, a Television miniseries titled ‘Captains and the Kings’ came her way and she appeared in the first three episodes. Angelo started gaining confidence about her acting through the appreciation she received.
The role in the miniseries got her introduced to Woody Allen, who presented her a small yet key role in 1977’s ‘Annie Hall’, in which he starred himself as the lead. Angelo appeared the same year in another film ‘Sentinel’ and proclaimed her arrival in the west coast. Hollywood didn’t take long to be in her awe, and in 1978 she appeared in Hollywood biggie Clint Eastwood starrer ‘Every Which Way but Loose’ and ‘Hair’.
But her best performance was yet to come in the form of a meaty role in ‘Coal Miner’s Daughter’, a highly successful film wherein she played Patsy Cline. The film was a biopic and based on true events, and Angelo was praised worldwide for her brave portrayal. She also sang for the film for her own character and was eventually nominated for a Golden Globe Award for ‘Best actress in a supporting role’ category.
In the following few years, Angelo practically dominated Hollywood with her portrayals of prostitutes, rich brats, widow, troubled mother etc. She appeared in films such as ‘Paternity’, ‘Finders Keepers’, ‘The Pop Must Diet’ and ‘The Crazysitter’. Her second major nomination came in 1984, with a TV movie titled ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, which earned her quite a few roles in TV movies such as ‘Slow Burn’ and ‘Sweet Temptation’.
The role which actually made her a household name in America came in 1983 with ‘National Lampoon’s Vacation’, where she portrayed the character of Ellen Griswold. Later, Angelo played the character in the 4 sequels that were made across almost 20 years. During most of the 90s she appeared in comedy films
In 1994, she won the prestigious ‘Theatre World Award’ after her return to the theatre circuit.
After the turn of the century, Angelo slowed down a bit with movies and her only key roles were Barbara Miller in the HBO series ‘Entourage’, a role in ‘Gamers: The movie’ and in ‘Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay’. She was also seen in ‘The House Bunny’ and ‘Black Water Transit’.
Apart from acting, Angelo has provided her voice for characters in two episodes of the popular American animation TV series, ‘The Simpsons’. She first appeared in third season of the show in 1992 as a folk country singer. Later in 2008, she reprised the same character in the nineteenth season of the show. Presently, she is seen in cafes and bars singing Jazz songs, just for her passion, along with her brother, Jeff.
Beverly D’Angelo has dated quite a number of men from the industry and her romantic life has been a constant attraction for the media and tabloids. She had a relationship with ‘Hair’ director Milos Forman, which ended up badly.
A relationship with an Italian student followed which ended up in marriage. During that time, she briefly said goodbye to her Hollywood career, but the marriage ended bitterly a couple of years later and she returned to Hollywood.
A relationship with a leading production designer Anton Furst followed in 1991, which culminated tragically as the Oscar winner designer committed suicide. However, she started dating Hollywood superstar Al Pacino in late 90s and she had twins with Pacino in 2001. The couple broke up in 2003 and Beverly has maintained a single status until now.
As of June 2017, Beverly’s net worth is USD 20 million.