Madeleine Stowe is a famous American film and TV actor who is best known for her portrayal of ‘Kathryn Railly’ in ’12 Monkeys.’ She studied cinema and journalism at the ‘University of Southern California’ but took up a career in acting before completing her course. Her portrayal of ‘Cora Munro’ in ‘The Last of the Mohicans’ was regarded as one of the most outstanding performances in her early career. She later appeared in the multiple award-winning movie ‘Short Cuts.’ She has played a blind musician in the thriller ‘Blink’ and a prostitute in the Western movie ‘Bad Girls.’ Some of her other remarkable projects include ‘We Were Soldiers’ and ‘Saving Milly. She has won an ‘American Veterans Center’ award and an ‘Imagen Award.’ She is married to actor Brian Benben and has a daughter named May, whom she raised at the family ranch in Texas. She is an active member of the board of directors of the foundation ‘Artists for Peace and Justice’ that addresses the issue of poverty. She was honored with a ‘Humanitarian Award’ by the ‘Keck School of Medicine’ of the ‘University of Southern California.’
Childhood & Early Life
Madeleine Marie Stowe Mora was born on August 18, 1958, in Los Angeles, California, US, to Mireya and Robert Stowe. Her father was a civil engineer from Oregon, and her mother belonged to an influential family of Costa Rica. She is the eldest of the three siblings in her family. She grew up in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Her father suffered from multiple sclerosis. This affected her and turned her into an introvert. She learned playing the piano from Sergei Tarnowsky in her teens. Following the death of her piano teacher in 1976, she decided to come out of her shell and started socializing.
She studied cinema and journalism at the ‘University of Southern California’ and made a few appearances at the ‘Solaris,’ a Beverly Hills theater, from where agents picked her up for acting projects before she could complete her education.
She made her debut in the detective series ‘Baretta’ in 1978. She also made a few guest appearances on TV. The same year, she played the lead role of ‘Mary’ in the TV movie ‘The Nativity.’
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Stowe appeared in a number of movies during the late 1970s and the early 1980s but failed to make a major impact. Her first breakthrough was the role of ‘Maria McGuire’ in the crime comedy ‘Stakeout.’ The movie aced the box office in 1987.
Having made her mark, she co-starred with Mark Harmon in the comedy movie ‘Worth Winning’ and played a leading role in the independent film ‘Closet Land’ in 1991. Her performance opposite Kurt Russell in the 1992 crime drama ‘Unlawful Entry’ also earned her positive reviews.
Her portrayal of ‘Cora Munro’ in ‘The Last of the Mohicans’ later that year was widely acclaimed and became one of the most outstanding performances in her career. This was closely followed by her award-winning performance in the movie ‘Short Cuts.’
She proved herself to be a versatile actor and played varied roles. She portrayed a blind musician in the thriller ‘Blink’ and a prostitute in the movie ‘Bad Girls.’ She also appeared in the neo-noir thriller ‘China Moon’ and the science-fiction movie ‘12 Monkeys.’ Her performance in ’12 Monkeys’ earned her a ‘Saturn Award’ nomination in 1993.
After the birth of her daughter, she concentrated on films. From 1998 to 2002, she appeared opposite John Travolta in ‘The General’s Daughter,’ with Mel Gibson in ‘We Were Soldiers,’ and opposite Sylvester Stallone in ‘Avenging Angelo.’
In 2002, she returned to TV with ‘The Magnificent Ambersons.’ However, she also started spending more time with her family and devoted less time to acting.
She was seen as ‘Victoria Grayson’ in the serial ‘Revenge,’ from 2011 to 2015, and as ‘Lillian’ in the series ‘12 Monkeys’ in 2016.
Some of her notable films are ‘Gangster Wars’ (1981), ‘Worth Winning’ (1989), ‘The Last of the Mohicans’ (1992), ‘Short Cuts’ (1993), ’12 Monkeys’ (1995), ‘The General’s Daughter’ (1999), ‘We Were Soldiers’ (2002) and ‘Octane’ (2003).
Some of her noteworthy TV projects have been ‘Baretta’ (1978), ‘Little House on the Prairie’ (1980), ‘Blood & Orchids’ (1986), ‘Saving Milly’ (2005), ‘The Christmas Hope’ (2009), ‘Revenge’ (2011–2015), and ‘12 Monkeys’ (2016).
Awards & Achievements
She, along with the cast of ‘Short Cuts,’ won the ‘Volpi Cup’ for the ‘Best Ensemble Cast’ at the ‘Venice Film Festival’ in 1993 and the ‘Golden Globe Award’ for the ‘Best Ensemble Cast’ in 1994. She also won the ‘Best Supporting Actress’ award at the ‘National Society of Film Critics’ ceremony in 1994 for the same role. In 1996, she was honoured with the ‘Best Actress in a Genre Motion Picture’ award by the magazine ‘Sci-Fi Universe’ for her role in ‘12 Monkeys.’
She was awarded the ‘Best Actress Award’ by the ‘American Veterans Center’ in 2003 for her performance in ‘We Were Soldiers.’ She also won the 2005 ‘Imagen Award’ for the ‘Best Actress’ for her performance in ‘Saving Milly.’
The ‘Keck School of Medicine’ of the ‘University of Southern California’ honored her with a ‘Humanitarian Award’ in 2014.
Stowe married actor Brian Benben in 1982 and was blessed with a daughter named May Theodora Benben in 1996. She took a break from her acting career from 1996 to 1998. This helped her spend time with her husband and raise her daughter, with whom she lived at a ranch near Johnson City, Texas.
She has been an active member of the board of directors of the foundation ‘Artists for Peace and Justice.’ The foundation addresses issues of poverty in communities around the globe. She visited Haiti in 2008 to work for the cause.
She was named one of the “50 Most Beautiful People in the World” by ‘People’ in 1994. She was also named one of the “100 Sexiest Stars in Film History” by the magazine ‘Empire’ the following year.
Her film ‘Revenge’ and the TV serial of the same name are not related.
She idolizes John Travolta and had once disguised as a reporter to meet him.