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Award-winning actress enjoying thriving career spanning over 4 decades

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Over the years, Dianne Wiest has excelled on screen and is undoubtedly one of the most talented entertainers of her era. Although she began her journey as a stage performer and gradually became a beloved figure on television, Wiest’s remarkable career is not limited to the stage and TV. She has also made a significant mark in the world of cinema. 

Throughout her illustrious career, she has earned numerous accolades, including the highly prestigious Emmy Awards and Academy Awards. With a career spanning over four decades, Wiest has consistently basked in the spotlight. Despite the passage of time and the natural ageing process, she displays no signs of slowing down. She continues to shine brightly and currently graces a popular television show. 

Dianne Wiest’s biography

Dianne Wiest smile

Dianne Wiest is an American actress known for her versatile and acclaimed performances in film, television and theatre. She was born on March 28, 1946, in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. Wiest has had a successful career spanning several decades and has received multiple awards, including two Academy Awards for “Best Supporting Actress”.

Her educational journey took her to Nurnberg American High School in Germany during her high school years. Initially aspiring to become a ballet dancer, she had a change of heart during her senior year and decided to pursue a career in theatre instead.

Wiest attended the University of Maryland and graduated in 1969 with a degree in arts and sciences. This educational background laid the foundation for her successful career in acting and the performing arts.

Some of her notable film roles include performances in movies such as Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) and Bullets over Broadway (1994), both of which earned her Oscars awards. 

As for her zodiac sign, Dianne Wiest was born on March 28, which makes her an Aries, according to the astrological calendar.

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Dianne Wiest’s career

Wiest began her career in the world of theatre. She initially pursued her passion for acting by leaving her theatre studies in Maryland to join a Shakespearean troupe. Her talent and dedication to the craft led to supporting roles in various theatre productions, including a production of Ashes with the New York Shakespeare Festival.

She also had the opportunity to act at the prestigious Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut, where she played the title role in Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler. During this time, she worked as an understudy both off-Broadway and on Broadway, gaining valuable experience.

Broadway debut

Wiest made her Broadway debut in 1971 in Robert Anderson’s Solitaire/Double Solitaire. Her talent on the Broadway stage was evident, and she continued to shine in various productions.

She landed a significant four-year role as a member of the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., where she portrayed memorable characters like “Emily” in Our Town, “Honey” in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and leading roles in plays such as S. Ansky’s The Dybbuk, Maxim Gorky’s The Lower Depths, and George Bernard Shaw’s Heartbreak House. She even toured the USSR with the Arena Stage, showcasing her talent on an international stage.

In 1976, Wiest attended the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference and took on leading roles in Pirates by Amlin Gray and  A History of the American Film by Christopher Durang. Her performances continued to garner attention and acclaim.

Outside Broadway success

Dianne Wiest

Wiest’s off-Broadway journey has been equally impressive. She appeared in two plays by Tina Howe: Museum and The Art of Dining. Her role as the shy and awkward author Elizabeth Barrow Colt in The Art of Dining earned her several off-Broadway theatre awards, including an Obie Award, a Theatre World Award, and the Clarence Derwent Award.

Throughout the 1980s, she continued to shine in various off-Broadway productions, including Hedda Gabler, A Kind of Alaska, Serenading Louie,” and Hunting Cockroaches.

Transition to film and television

While Wiest established herself as a theatre actress, she also ventured into the world of film and television. Her breakthrough in film came with her roles in Woody Allen’s movies, such as Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), which earned her an Academy Award for “Best Supporting Actress” and Bullets Over Broadway (1994), for which she won another Academy Award.

Her success in film continued with roles in Edward Scissorhands, Little Man Tate, The Birdcage and Practical Magic. She showcased her versatility by portraying a wide range of characters in different genres.

In television, Wiest won an Emmy Award for her performance in Road to Avonlea (1997) and another Emmy for her role in In Treatment (2008). She also appeared in popular series like Law & Order and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Dianne Wiest’s movies

Throughout her extensive career, Wiest has appeared in countless movies and TV shows. Here is a list of some of the movies and television shows that the veteran award-winning actress has appeared in.

Movies

  • It’s My Turn (1980): “Gail”
  • I’m Dancing as Fast as I Can (1982): “Julie Addison”
  • Face of Rage (1983): “Rebecca Hammil”
  • Independence Day (1983): “Nancy Morgan”
  • Falling in Love (1984): “Isabelle”
  • Footloose (1984): “Vi Moore”
  • The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985): “Emma”
  • Hannah and Her Sisters (1986): “Holly” (Academy Award-winning role)
  • Radio Days (1987): “Bea”
  • September (1987): “Stephanie”
  • The Lost Boys (1987): “Lucy Emerson”
  • Bright Lights, Big City (1988): “Mrs. Conway”
  • Parenthood (1989): “Helen Buckman” (Academy Award-nominated role)
  • Cookie (1989): “Lenore Voltecki”
  • Edward Scissorhands (1990): “Peg Boggs”
  • Little Man Tate (1991): “Jane Grierson”
  • Bullets over Broadway (1994): “Helen Sinclair” (Academy Award-winning role)
  • Cops & Robbersons (1994): “Helen Robberson”
  • The Scout (1994): “Doctor H. Aaron”
  • Drunks (1995): “Rachel”
  • The Associate (1996): “Sally Dugan”
  • The Birdcage (1996): “Louise Keeley”
  • Practical Magic (1998): “Aunt Bridget ‘Jet’ Owens”
  • The Horse Whisperer (1998): “Diane Booker”
  • I Am Sam (2001): “Annie Cassell”
  • Merci Docteur Rey (2002): “Elisabeth Beaumont”
  • Robots (2005): “Lydia Copperbottom” (Voice)
  • A Guide to Recognising Your Saints (2006): “Flori Montiel”
  • Dedication (2007): “Carol”
  • Dan in Real Life (2007): “Nana Burns”
  • Passengers (2008): “Toni”
  • Synecdoche, New York (2008): “Ellen Bascomb/Millicent Weems”
  • Rage (2009): “Miss Roth”
  • Rabbit Hole (2010): “Nat”
  • The Big Year (2011): “Brenda Harris”
  • Darling Companion (2012): “Penny Alexander”
  • The Odd Life of Timothy Green (2012): “Ms. Crudstaff”
  • The Humbling (2014): “Carol Stapleford”
  • Five Nights in Maine (2015): “Lucinda”
  • Sisters (2015): “Deana Ellis”
  • The Mule (2018): “Mary Stone”
  • I Care a Lot (2020): “Jennifer Peterson”
  • Let Them All Talk (2020): “Susan”
  • My Father’s Dragon (2022): “Iris the Rhinoceros” (Voice)

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Television

  • Zalmen: or, The Madness of God (1975): “Nina”  (Television film)
  • Great Performances: Out of Our Father’s House (1978): “Elizabeth  Gertrude Stern” (Television film)
  • Road to Avonlea (1997): “Lillian Hepworth” (1 episode)
  • The Simple Life of Noah Dearborn (1999): “Sarah McClellan” (Television film)
  • The 10th Kingdom (2000): “The Evil Queen/Christine White” (Mini series, 5 episodes)
  • Law & Order (2000–2002): “D.A. Nora Lewin” (Lead role, 46 episodes)
  • Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2001): “D.A. Nora Lewin” (1 episode)
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2001–2002): “D.A. Nora Lewin” (2 episodes)
  • The Blackwater Lightship (2004): “Lily Devereux Breen” (Television film)
  • Category 6: Day of Destruction (2004): “Secretary of Energy Shirley Abbott” (2 episodes)
  • In Treatment (2008–2009): “Dr. Gina Toll” (Main role, 17 episodes)
  • The Return of Jezebel James (2008): “Talia Tompkins” (2 episodes)
  • Woody Allen: A Documentary (2011): Herself (2 episodes)
  • The Blacklist (2014): “Ruth Kipling” (1 episode)
  • Life in Pieces (2015–2019): “Joan Short” (Main role, 79 episodes)
  • Mayor of Kingstown (2021–present): “Miriam McClusky” (Main role, ongoing series)

Dianne Wiest’s net worth

According to multiple reports, Wiest’s net worth is said to have an estimated net worth of $18 million as of 2023. She earns a living from her screen appearance, as well as other private business endeavours she has been involved in over the years.

Dianne Wiest’s family

Dianne Wiest in a movie
Dianne Wiest in “Mayor Of Kingstown”

Wiest was born into a family with a unique blend of backgrounds. Her parents were Anne Stewart (née Keddie) and Bernard John Wiest. Her mother, Anne Stewart worked as a nurse, while her father, Bernard John Wiest, had a career as a college dean and was a former psychiatric social worker for the U.S. Army.  

Wiest has two brothers, Greg and Don, both of whom she grew up with and shared many childhood experiences with.

In terms of romantic relationships, Wiest had a relationship with her talent agent, Sam Cohn, during the mid-1980s.

One of the most important aspects of Dianne Wiest’s life is her role as a mother. She is a proud mother of two daughters, Emily and Li, whom she adopted years ago. Wiest has chosen to keep her family life relatively out of the public eye.

Dianne Wiest’s age

Wiest was born on March 28, 1948. She is 75 years old as of 2023.

Dianne Wiest now

The Missouri-born actress has been actively appearing on screen in recent times and her career continues to thrive. One of her notable recent projects is her role in the television series, Mayor of Kingstown, where she portrays the lead character, “Miriam McClusky”. However, there was a surprising development in September 2023 when it was announced that Wiest would not be returning for the upcoming third season of the show.

For a while now, there have been rumours that Wiest may leave the show. These rumours picked up steam when the third-season scripts—which had been written before the writers’ strike and placed on hold—were being finished after the strike ended. 

Dianne Wiest’s exit was announced following the show’s official third-season renewal earlier that same month. The production firm behind “Mayor of Kingstown,” MTV Entertainment Studios, has refrained from commenting on the speculation and expectation among fans surrounding the show’s future.

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