Mary McDonnell is a two-time Oscar®-nominated actress, who is known for her character portrayals in both period and present-day screen roles, as well as a long history of stage and film roles.
Mary Eileen McDonnell was born on April 28, 1952 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, to Eileen (Mundy) and John McDonnell, a computer consultant, both of Irish descent. Raised in Ithaca, New York, she graduated from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Fredonia. She later attended drama school and was accepted into the prestigious Long Wharf Theatre Company on the East Coast. Two decades later, she landed her breakthrough film role, in Kevin Costner's Dances with Wolves (1990), playing "Stands with a Fist", a white woman raised by the Sioux Indians. She earned her first Academy Award nomination for the role.
McDonnell's film credits include the Lawrence Kasdan films Grand Canyon (1991) and Mumford (1999) (opposite such seasoned performers as Robert Redford, Sidney Poitier, and Ben Kingsley); R