Childhood & Early Life
Blythe was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 3rd February 1943. Blythe’s father, Harry Danner was a bank executive, while her mother, Katherine was a housewife. She has a brother, Harry, who is now an operatic tenor. Blythe has a Pennsylvania Dutch, English, German, and Irish ancestry.
She graduated from a Quaker high school named ‘George School’ located in Newtown, Bucks County in Pennsylvania, in 1960. She then studied at the Bard College in New York.
She holds a B.A. degree in drama from the Bard, William College, and an honorary doctorate from the Hobart/ William Smith College.
Continue Reading Below
Blythe started her acting career as a Broadway artist. She performed her first play in 1965. It was the popular ‘The Glass Menagerie’ by Tennessee Williams.
After that, she appeared in a few others plays including ‘The Knack’ and ‘The Infantry’. In 1967, she acted in the Russian play ‘Three Sisters’ and Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.
Blythe made her TV debut in 1970 with the movie ‘George M!’. Following that, she starred in a number of television films including ‘Dr. Cook’s Garden’, ‘F. Scott Fitzgerald’, and 'The Last of the Belles', ‘A Love Affair: The Eleanor’, and ‘Lou Gehrig Story’ and ‘Sidekicks’.
Her first major TV show was ‘Adam’s Rib’ where she played Amanda Bonner in 13 episodes. She played the major role of Lily Frishcherin the film ‘Kill a Clown’, in 1972.
Danner continued to do films for several consecutive years and became majorly successful in the film industry. Her first few films include ‘1776’, ‘Lovin’ Molly’, ‘Hearts of the West’, and others.
In 1979, she acted in ‘The Great Santini’ directed by Lewis John and written by Pat Conroy. She was cast as the female lead character, Lillian Meechum. She continued giving back-to-back hit films in the 1980s. Some of them were ‘Man, Woman and Child’, ‘Brighten Beach Memoirs’,‘Mr. and Mrs. Bridge’, ‘Alice’, etc.
She played Sally Wingo in another Pat Conroy movie, ‘The Prince of Tides’ in 1991. In 1997, she was cast alongside Roy Schneider, Julian Moore, Bart Freundlich, and Noah Wyle in the drama film, ‘The Myth of Fingerprints’.
Danner was a part of the 1998 superhit American science fiction thriller, ‘The X-Files’. It is based on the television series of the same name. She appeared in several films between 1990 and 2000, including ‘Husbands and Wives’, ‘Napoleon’, ‘To Wong Foo’, ‘Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar’, ‘No Looking Back’, ‘The Love Letter’, and others.
Other than Hollywood cinema, she continued to appear in television films. Between the years 1976 and 1998, she was a part of 21 television films. These included some hit ones like ‘Are You in the House Alone?’, ‘You Can't Take It with You’, ‘Helen Keller: The Miracle Continues’, ‘Tracey Ullman Takes On New York’, ‘Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All’, ‘Murder She Purred: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery’, etc.
Continue Reading Below
In the same period, she made guest appearances in TV shows including ‘Great Performances’, ‘Tales from the Crypt’, and ‘From the Earth to the Moon’.
Although she was experiencing great success in the TV and Film Industry, Blythe continued acting in Broadway plays. She starred in several popular ones like’ Ring Round the Moon’, ‘Much Ado About Nothing’, ‘The Deep Blue Sea’, ‘Nice Work If You Can Get It’, ‘Cyrano de Bergerac’, and many others.
After 2000, she gave some really notable performances in TV and earned several nominations and awards in this period. Some of her hit roles include Marilyn Truman in ‘Will & Grace’, Corinne Mulvaney in ‘We were the Mulvaneys’, Rebecca Davitch in ‘Back when we were Grownups’, and Isabelle Huffstodt in ‘Huff’.
Recently, she has appeared on TV shows like ‘Up all Night’, ‘The Slap’, ‘Madoff’, ‘Odd Mom Out’, and ‘Gypsy’.
She played the role of Dina Byrnes in the film series of the films ‘Meet the Parents’ (2000), ‘Meet the Fockers’ (2004), and ‘Little Fockers’ (2010). She was cast alongside Zach Braff, Jacinda Barrett, and Casey Affleck in the 2006 romantic comedy drama film ‘The Last Kiss’.
Danner played Ruth Minsky in the 2012 American comedy film ‘Hello I must be Going’. She also had some relatively minor roles in ‘The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2’, ‘What's Your Number?’, ‘Detachment’, ‘Waiting for Forever’, and ‘The Lucky One’.
She played Carol Peterson in the 2015 film ‘I’ll See You In My Dreams’ for which she received excellent reviews from critics as well as the common public and earned multiple nominations and awards.
Recently, Danner has been cast in ‘Strange But True’, ‘Hearts Beat Loud’, ‘The Chaperone’, and ‘What They Had’, all scheduled to release in 2018.
Awards & Achievements
Blythe Danner was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a comedy series for the TV series ‘Will & Grace’ in 2005-06. She earned a nomination for the same award for the lead actress in the TV series ‘We Were The Mulvaneys’ in 2002 and 2005.
She further received nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film and Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for her role as Rebecca Holmes Davitch in the series ‘Back When We Were Grownups’.
She won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role in ‘Huff’.
Danner won the Saturn Award for Best Actress for her film ‘Futureworld’.
She was nominated for the Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actress in a Comedy and the Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture for ‘Meet the Parents’ and ‘The Last Kiss’ respectively.
She also got nominations for the Gotham Award for Best Actress and Satellite Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture for the film ‘I’ll See You In My Dreams’.
Blythe Danner won the Tony Award for the play ‘Butterflies are Free’.