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Birth name Edna Rae GilhooleyNationality USABirth 7 december 1932Ellen Burstyn (born Edna Rae Gillooly; December 7, 1932) is an American actress. Her career began in theatre during the late 1950s, and over the next decade included several films and television series.
(87 years) at Detroit (USA
Academy Award for Best Actress
Burstyn's performance in the acclaimed 1971 ensemble drama The Last Picture Show brought her first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress nomination, after which she moved from supporting to leading film and stage roles. Burstyn received a second Academy Award nomination for her lead performance in The Exorcist (1973), and won the Academy Award for Best Actress the following year for her work in Martin Scorsese's Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore.
In 1975, she won the Tony Award for her lead performance in the Broadway production of Same Time, Next Year, and received a Golden Globe Award and a fourth Academy Award nomination for her performance in the 1978 film version of the play.
Burstyn has worked consistently in film, television and theatre since, receiving multiple awards and nominations along the way, including seven additional Golden Globe Award nominations, five Emmy Award nominations (two wins), and two more Academy Award for Best Actress nominations for her performances in the films Resurrection (1980) and Requiem for a Dream (2000).
Burstyn is one of the very few performers to have won the Triple Crown of Acting. In 2013, she was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame.
Marriages and children
In 1950, she married Bill Alexander, but they divorced in 1957. The following year, she married Paul Roberts, with whom she adopted a son named Jefferson in 1961; the couple divorced that same year.
In 1964, she married fellow actor Neil Nephew, who later changed his name to Neil Burstyn, but the union was turbulent. Neil Burstyn was schizophrenic; he would have episodes of violence, and eventually left her. He attempted to reconcile, but she rejected this, ultimately divorcing him in 1972. In her autobiography, Lessons in Becoming Myself, Burstyn revealed that he stalked her for a period of six years after their divorce. He eventually broke into her house and raped her, but no charges were filed, as spousal rape was not yet legally a crime. He died by suicide in 1978.
Burstyn was raised Catholic but now affiliates herself to all religious faiths. Her spiritual journey began with Sufi Islam. She explains: "I am a spirit opening to the truth that lives in all of these religions... I always pray to Spirit, but sometimes it's to the Goddess. Sometimes it's to Jesus... Sometimes I pray to Ganesha if I need an obstacle removed. Quan Yin is one of my favorite manifestations of the divine, the embodiment of compassion... So I have Quan Yin with me all the time." Burstyn has stated that in her late 30s she began to delve into the spiritual realm, coming under the tutelage of Sufi Muslim teacher Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan; he gave her the spiritual name Hadiya, which means "she who guides" in Arabic.