Geena (Virginia) Elizabeth Davis
Movie start and producer, Geena Davis was born Virginia Elizabeth Davis, on January 21st 1956 in Wareham, Massachusetts, United States. Her mother Lucille, was a teacher’s assistant and her father William Morris a civil engineer. Her brother’s name is Dan. Music was one of her first interests and thus she learned piano, flute and drums and played organ well enough to play at the church.
She graduated from New England College with a bachelor’s degree in dramatic Arts from Boston University in 1979. On a student exchange in Sandviken, Sweden, Geena becomes bilingual. She is fluent in Sweden as well as in English.|
She then moves to New-York to start a model career and signed a contract with the Nyw-York Zoli modelling agency, which will give her a chance to work, among others, for Victorias’s Secret lingerie’s magazine, without abandoning her actress training.
When posing for Victoria’s secret, she was noticed by Sydney Pollack, a movie director, who offered her a small part in Tootsie, a movie in which she plays a model.
The great success of this comedy will launch the career of the actress, who starts being recognized in the field thanks to her TV Series.
She follow this up with roles in the short-lived tv-series Buffalo Bill for which she also wrote an episode, and Sara in 1985.
In 1986, she made her film breakthrough with The Fly, with Jeff Goldblum, and two years later she appears in Beetljuice, a film by Tim Burton, where she plays the wife of Alec Baldwin. The same year, she received the Oscar of the Best supporting Actress for a role in the romantic drama The Accidental Tourist.
In 1991, the actress reaches the apogee of her career when interpreting Thelma Dickinson in the road movie of Ridley Scott, Thelma and Louise, which will be worth a Best Actress nomination. This feminist role of a strong woman suits the actress, who invests herself a lot in this kind of characters: in 1992, she plays a base-ball player in A League of Their Own and received a Best Actress Golden Globe Award for her performance. The film is a worldwide blockbuster.
She then co-starred in Hero alongside Dustin Hoffman and Andy Garcia.
In 1994, with her husband of the time the director Renny Harlin, she creates her own production house, but their first common directions are commercial disasters. The film Cutthroat Island, in which Geena plays a sexy corsair, had a budget of 92 million dollars and only made less than 15 million in America, while The Long Kiss Goodnight, where she has the role of a muscular secret agent who lost her memory, doesn’t really meet the expected success.
For a while, Geena Davis withdraws from movie shootings to dedicate her time to her second passion: archery.
she was a semi-finalist in trials for the United States’ Olympic Archery team.
In 1999, she is back on the road of success with the role of the adoptive mother of Stewart Little, the mouse, then the following year, she is the main character of her own TV Series: the Geena Davis Show. In 2002, she is back in the role of Eleanor Little for the needs of Stewart Little 2.
In 2004, she appears in Will&Grace, the NBC sitcom as Grace Adler’s sister.
She recently starred in ABC television series Commander in Chief as the first female president of the United States. This role garnered her a Golden Globe for Best Actress in Drama series in 2006 and she also was nominated for SAG Award for Outstanding Female Actor in a drama series and en Emmy Award.
In 2001, Geena got married with Reza Harrahy, an Iranian-American doctor. They have three children: a daughter, Alizeh Keshvar and twins, Kian William and Kaiis Steven.
Davis was previously married to Richard Emmolo, the actor Jeff Goldblum and Renny Harlin.
Davis is also a member of American Mensa, the society of persons with IQs in the statistical top 2% with an IQ of 140.
Geena is also an activist and is fronting the Women’s Sports Foundation campaign, Geena takes Aim in support of Title IX, an Act Of Congress focusing on equality in sports opportunities, now expanded to prohibit gender descimination in United States’ educational institutions.
Davis is sponsoring the largest research project on gender in children’s entertainment at the university of southern California, the Annenberg School for Communication.
he study, directed by Dr. Stacy Smith, shows that there are nearly 3 males to every 1 female character in the nearly 400 P, PG, PG-13, and R-Rated movies the undergraduate team of Annenberg students coded.
Davis decided, after the study, to launch the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media in 2007.
The institute’s job is to try to increase the presence of female characters in media aimed at children and reduce the stereotypes we all know of both genders. The institute works in collaboration with entertainment industries.