Childhood & Early Life
Mariel Hadley Hemingway was born on November 22, 1961, in Mill Valley, California, US, to Byra Louise (née Whittlesey) Hemingway and Jack Hemingway as youngest of their three daughters. Joan Hemingway and Margaux Hemingway are elder sisters of Mariel, of whom Margaux, a fashion model and actress who struggled with addiction and depression, committed suicide by drug overdose.
Noted American Nobel laureate, journalist, short-story writer, and novelist Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Elizabeth Hadley Richardson, were her paternal grandparents. Ernest Hemingway, too, took his own life, four months prior to the birth of Mariel.
Her first name was derived from the a town ‘Mariel’ in the Artemisa Province of Cuba, which her father and grandfather often visited for fishing, while she got her middle from her grandmother’s. Mariel spent most part of her early life in Ketchum, Idaho, as her father lived there.
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Mariel and her sister Margaux made their acting debut together, starring as reel-life sisters in the 1976 American rape and revenge thriller film ‘Lipstick.’ Mariel’s performance as Kathy McCormick was well-appreciated and earned a ‘Golden Globe Award’ nomination in ‘New Star of the Year – Actress’ category. The same year, she played the lead role of Sue Ann Cunningham in the television drama film ‘I Want to Keep My Baby.’
She got the most important role of her career in Woody Allen’s romantic comedy ‘Manhattan’ in 1979. She starred with Allen, Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep, Michael Murphy, and Anne Byrne. The film became a huge critical and commercial success. It is often counted among the best films of Allen. Mariel’s remarkable portrayal of Tracy, a high school student and lover of Allen's character, Isaac Davis, at just 16 years of age, fetched her ‘Academy Award’ nomination for ‘Best Supporting Actress’ apart from a ‘BAFTA’ nomination for ‘Best Actress in a Supporting Role.’
She portrayed a bisexual track-and-field athlete ‘Chris Cahill’ in the 1982 sports drama film ‘Personal Best’ that also starred Scott Glenn and real-life track star Patrice Donnelly. The film received critical acclaim and received attention for its lesbian love scenes. Her association with the film led Mariel pose nude in Playboy’s April issue that year. She made it to the cover of the magazine.
Moving on, she played a lesbian/bisexual woman in several films, such as ‘The Sex Monster’ (1999) and ‘In Her Line of Fire’ (2006), and in TV series ‘Roseanne’ (1994–95) and ‘Crossing Jordan’ (2002).
She then portrayed the real-life character of Canadian Playboy Playmate, model, and actress Dorothy Stratten in the 1983 biopic ‘Star 80,’ which was based on Dorothy’s life and murder. It was reported that Mariel enlarged her breasts for playing Dorothy in ‘Star 80,’ but she clarified in ‘Fashionably Late with Stacy London’ show in 2007 that the implants were done much before the film.
Over the years, Mariel performed in several other screen productions. These include films such as ‘Superman IV: The Quest for Peace’ (1987), ‘Deconstructing Harry’ (1997), ‘The Contender’ (2000) and ‘Archie's Final Project’ (2009); television series ‘Central Park West’ (1995); and television movies such as ‘September’ (1996) and ‘See Arnold Run’ (2005).
Meanwhile, she garnered a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress – Television Series Drama for her performance in the lead role of Sydney Guilford in the American legal drama television series ‘Civil Wars’. The series aired on ABC for two seasons from November 20, 1991 to March 2, 1993.
Mariel was part of the Barbara Kopple directed television documentary film ‘Running from Crazy’. The film chronicled through the eyes of Mariel, the story of Mariel, Joan and Margaux and their struggles with their family's history of suicide, substance abuse and mental illness. In the film, Mariel also spoke on abusive incidents that occurred in her childhood; her bouts of mental illness; and the way Margaux’s suicide continued to haunt her. Produced by Oprah Winfrey Network, the film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 7, 2013. It earned Mariel a humanitarian award from the San Diego Film Festival in October that year.
Mariel wrote two memoirs ‘Finding My Balance’ in 2002, and ‘Out Came the Sun’ in 2015. In the latter, she alleged that Allen tried to start a sexual relationship with her following filming of ‘Manhattan’, and that she thrived in resisting his advances.
At present she hosts the monthly TV show ‘Spiritual Cinema’ that is dedicated to spiritual films. She joined hands with American yoga instructor Rodney Yee and hosts a series of yoga practice videos called Yoga Now.
Family & Personal Life
On December 9, 1984, Mariel married documentary filmmaker Stephen Crisman. Their elder daughter Dree Louise Hemingway Crisman, born on December 4, 1987, is an actress and fashion model. The couple’s younger daughter Langley Fox born on August 22, 1989, is an illustrator and model. Mariel and Stephen parted ways in 2008 and divorced in 2009.
Starting from early 2011, she was romantically associated with ex-stuntman Bobby Williams and was described as his partner in April 2015. Together they wrote a self-help book.
Mariel practices Transcendental Meditation.