Calista Flockhart

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Real Name: Calista Flockhart
Birthday: 11/11/1964
Birth Place: Freeport, Illinois


Calista Flockhart Biography:

Calista Flockhart appeared in many Off-Broadway plays such as "All for One", "Sophistry" and "Wrong Turn at Lungfish" before succeeding on Broadway in the role of Laura in "The Glass Menagerie". 

Her breakthrough movie role was as the daughter of a politician engaged to the son of a gay man in "The Birdcage" with Robin Williams and Nathan Lane (1996).  Flockhart's somewhat ordinary looks were frequently a remedy to the high powered actions of stars Robin Williams, Gene Hackman and Nathan Lane.

The daughter of a food company executive,  Calista led a wandering upbringing, living in Iowa, Minnesota and New York before the family finally settled down in New Jersey. After finishing school at Rutgers University, she moved to New York City to start a career.

Calista accepted a range of film and television jobs, and her feature debut was in the small role of a college student in Robert Redford's "Quiz Show" (1994). In 1997, the movie "Drunks" gave her the chance to shine but she was overshadowed by her better known co-stars like Faye Dunaway, Dianne Wiest and Parker Posey. In "Milk and Money" (1996),  Flockhart played the girlfriend of the main character and added a feeling of believability to her blue collar worker role who becomes the focus of a teenage boys romantic feeling in "Telling Lies in America" with Kevin Bacon and Brad Renfro (1997).

Although she had many television projects to her credit, it was as the main character in the David E Kelley created "Ally McBeal" playing along side up-and-comers Lucy Liu and Hayden Panettiere (1997-2002) which shot her to celebrity stardom. As the a Boston lawyer prone to fantasies and dealing with being a single working woman,  Flockhart gave a fantastic depiction that bordered between comedy and tragedy. Her character, who always complained about her sexual and romantic life, touched a nerve with audiences. Everything from her short skirts to her continual search for the right mate was food for the tabloid media. In real life, there was rumor about her love life and, more controversially, her weight.

A tiny, lean woman,  Calista Flockhart was rumored to be suffering from either an eating disorder or a drug problem. No amount of public relations could stop the rumors, not even her appearance on "The Late Show with David Letterman" where she announced that those disapproving of her size could "kiss my skinny, white ass." There were also skits on Saturday Night Live that parodied her slim build and tiny body frame.

The job offers rolled in, on both the small and large screens, most notably "Jane Doe" starring alongside Teri Hatcher (1996). In her first lead role, she gave a convincing performance as a drug addict who falls for a shy writer.  Flockhart then played the role of Helena in Michael Hoffman's screen version of "William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream" (1999), giving a great performance. Along with Christian Bale, Anna Friel, Michelle Pfeiffer and Dominic Westas Lysander, she balanced out the cast of young lovers at the heart of the performance and further illustrated her flexibility skillfully managing both the comedy and the dialog.

Calista next took a dramatic role for her next project, “Things You Can Tell Just By Looking at Her” with Glenn Close and Cameron Diaz (2001), a film following three different stories about various women in the middle of major life problems. Flockhart played a tarot card reader whose outlook feeds her cancer stricken lover. Returning to comedy,  Flockhart joined a cast that included Matthew Broderick and Alec Baldwin in “The Last Shot” (2004), a true story about an FBI agent who sets up an sting  to stop legendary mafia boss John Gotti by enlisting a naive director to direct a movie that will never get made. 

Returning to television work, Flockhart starred in the soap drama, “Brothers and Sisters” (2006-2011), a household story about five brothers and sisters who take over the family’s profitable produce business after the sudden death of their father. Flockhart played a liberal radio talk show host who comes back to her Los Angeles roots to start a television talk show but must deal with her dysfunctional family, especially her separated mother played by Sally Field, while trying to run the family business. After the pilot was filmed,  the network thought the project needed changes and recast half of the cast, Betty Buckley originally played Flockhart’s mother, and fired the executive producer. 

The new and improved “Brothers & Sisters” began in the fall of 2006 with a lead-in from the popular “Desperate Housewives” riding the popularity of Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman and Eva Longoria and gained good viewers and ratings. Even with the over the top and soap opera style scripts and generally slow story plots, Calista showed a lot of dramatic talent, a welcome change to her “Ally McBeal” antics. The show was canceled in 2011.



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