Mary Steenburgen

Mary Steenburgen is an American actress famous for her ‘Oscar’ award-winning role as ‘Lynda Dummar’ in Jonathan Demme's 1980 classic ‘Melvin and Howard.’

Date of birth

Mary Nell Steenburgen was born on February 8, 1953, in Newport, Arkansas, USA.


Her father Maurice Steenburgen was a freight-train conductor who worked at the Missouri Pacific Railroad. Her mother Nellie Mae was a school-board secretary. She has a sister named Nancy Kelly who is a teacher by profession.


After her graduation, Mary joined ‘Hendrix College’ to study drama. During her time at ‘Hendrix College,’ one of her teachers suggested that she audition at New York City's ‘Neighborhood Playhouse.’

Love life

In 1978, Mary Steenburgen started dating Malcolm McDowell, her co-actor from the movie ‘Time After Time.’ They married two years later in 1980 and had two children: son Charlie McDowell and daughter Lilly. They divorced in 1990 after separating a year before. In 1993, she met actor Ted Danson on the set of the film ‘Pontiac Moon.’ They got married in 1995.

Net worth

Not yet established.



After a successful audition at New York City's ‘Neighborhood Playhouse,’ Mary Steenburgen moved to Manhattan in 1972 to study acting. She took up odd jobs to sustain herself for a few years.

Her big break came in 1978 when she was discovered by Jack Nicholson in the reception room of Paramount's New York office. He signed her for the lead role in his second directorial movie ‘Goin' South’.

The next year, Mary worked in the film ‘Time After Time’ alongside Malcolm McDowell. She played the leading female role of ‘Amy Robbins’ who falls in love with an author.

Steenburgen gained considerable fame in her third film ‘Melvin and Howard’ in 1980 where she played the role of ‘Lynda Dummar.’ She was nominated for six different awards for this role and won all of them, including an ‘Academy Award’ and ‘Golden Globe Award.’

She landed many movie roles after appearing in ‘Melvin and Howard.’ She received appreciation from both critics and audience for her performance in films like ‘Cross Creek’ (1983), ‘Parenthood’ (1989), ‘Back to the Future Part III’ (1990), and ‘What's Eating Gilbert Grape’ (1993).

Her other popular films include ‘Philadelphia’ in 1993, ‘Elf’ in 2003, ‘Four Christmases’ in 2008, ‘The Proposal’ in 2009, and ‘Dirty Girl’ in 2010.


Mary Steenburgen went on to have an equally successful career in the television industry after making her TV debut in 1983 in ‘Faerie Tale Theatre.’

She was featured in many television series like ‘Back to the Future’ (1991-92), ‘Ink’ (1996-97), ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ (2000-17), ‘Justified’ (2014-15), and ‘The Last Man on Earth’ (2015-18).

Apart from these series, she has also made guest appearances in several shows.

In addition, she has also appeared in television films like ‘The Attic: The Hiding of Anne Frank’ in 1988, ‘The Gift’ in 1994, ‘Noah's Ark’ in 1999, ‘Living with the Dead’ in 2002, and ‘7 Days in Hell’ in 2015.

She was seen in the 2015 biographical comedy-drama film ‘A Walk in the Woods’ where she played ‘Jeannie.’

In 2018, she appeared in the romantic comedy film ‘Book Club.’ The same year, her composition ‘Glasgow (No Place Like Home) was featured as the climactic musical moment in the film ‘Wild Rose.’

She was cast in a musical dramedy television series titled ‘Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist’ in 2020.

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Mary Steenburgen
First Name Mary
Surname Steenburgen
Born 8th February, 1953
Home City Newport, Arkansas, USA
Current City