Friday, February 3, 2012

Actress Elizabeth McGovern

Elizabeth McGovern was perhaps the cutest and most adorable actress to emerge in the 1980s. :-) At the beginning of the decade, her performances in 1980's Ordinary People and and 1981's Ragtime (in which she played Evelyn Nesbit, the onetime lover of architect Stanford White, and got a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for), made her America's sweetheart, as well as a star to watch.

Alas, not too many people bothered to watch her in 1982's Lovesick (co-starring Dudley Moore), the 1984 pictures Once Upon a Time In America and Racing With the Moon (the latter co-starring Sean Penn), and the 1987 Hitchcockian thriller The Bedroom Window (co-starring . . . Steve Gutenberg??) By the early nineties, Ms. McGovern was an answer to a trivia question.

The Illinois-born actress married British film director and producer Simon Curtis in 1993 and moved to the U.K., where she focuses on acting in television productions.  (They have two children.)  Ironically, the move eventually made her America's sweetheart once again. She stars as Cora, Countess of Grantham in the ITV series "Downton Abbey," a period drama about aristocrats in early Windsor England (the late 1910s and early 1920s) that has become a huge hit on American public television. (She's also worked in American commercial television.)

Elizabeth McGovern is also a singer-songwriter. In 2008, she joined the band Sadie and the Hotheads, who play a regular gig at The Castle pub venue in London's Notting Hill section.

Fun fact: She was briefly engaged to Sean Penn, whom she met while working on Racing With the Moon. He went on to marry an entertainer who fancied herself as an a actress and a singer/songwriter but completely failed (artistically, anyway) at both professions.

P.S. I once had a crush on a girl in college because she looked a little like Elizabeth McGovern.

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