Authentic Wisconsin.  Gena Rowlands


Gena Rowlands was born on June 19, 1930 in Madison, Wisconsin..


Gena Rowlands - Actress; was born Virginia Cathryn Rowlands on June 19, 1930 in Madison, Wisconsin and raised in Cambria, Wisconsin. Rowlands is best known for her roles in "A Woman Under the Influence" (1974) and "Gloria" (1980), for which she received best actress nominations.

Rowlands' father, Edwin Myrwyn Rowlands, was a banker, state legislator and member of the Wisconsin Progressive Party. When he was appointed to a position in the United States Department of Agriculture in 1939, the family moved to Washington, D.C. Edwin was then appointed a branch manager position with the U.S. Office of Price Administration so the family moved back to Wisconsin (Milwaukee).

Although the family later moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, Rowland returned to Madison to attended the University of Wisconsin (1947–50) where she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.

While at the University of Wisconsin, Rowlands was selected as queen of the 1948 Pre-Military Ball, and was a "Badger Beauty" in 1949 (or 1950?). This was a time when the university yearbook would do a pictorial spread on five co-eds, of which Rowlands was one of the five.

After college, Rowlands moved to New York City to study drama at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

Rowlands' career in theater, TV and film has spanned over 60 years.

Between 1963-1984, Rowlands made ten films with her husband John Cassavetes. For two of those films, "A Woman Under the Influence" (1974) and "Gloria" (1980) she recieved Academy Award nominations for Best Actress. (No Wisconsin accent for this actress in these films.).


Awards and nominations include:

  • 1974 - Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama, "A Woman Under the Influence"
  • 1974 - Academy Award Nominaton for Best Actress, "A Woman Under the Influence"
  • 1974 - San Sebastián International Film Festival Prize for Best Actress, "A Woman Under the Influence"
  • 1974 - National Board of Review Award for Best Actress, "A Woman Under the Influence"
  • 1977 - National Board of Review Award for Best Actress, "Opening Night"
  • 1977 - Silver Bear for Best Actress, "Opening Night"
  • 1977 - Golden Globe Award Nomination for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama, "Opening Night"
  • 1980 - Academy Award Nominaton for Best Actress, "Gloria"
  • 1980 - Golden Globe Award Nomination for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama, "Gloria"
  • 1980 - Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress, "Gloria"
  • 1985 - Primetime Emmy Award Nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie, "An Early Frost"
  • 1985 - Golden Globe Award Nomination for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film, "An Early Frost"
  • 1987 - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie, "The Betty Ford Story"
  • 1987 - Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film, "The Betty Ford Story"
  • 1991 - Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie, "Face of a Stranger"
  • 1992 - Golden Globe Nomination for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film, "Crazy in Love"
  • 1996 - Golden Globe Nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role, "Unhook the Stars"
  • 2000 Primetime Emmy Award Nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie, "The Color of Love: Jacey's Story"
  • 2001 - Emmy Award Nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie, "Wild Iris"
  • 2003 - Primetime Emmy Award for for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie, "Hysterical Blindness"
  • 2003 - Golden Globe Award Nomination for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film, "Hysterical Blindness"
  • 2003 - Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in a Children/Youth/Family Special, "The Incredible Mrs. Ritchie"
  • 2004 - Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture, "The Notebook"
  • 2007 - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie, "What If God Were the Sun?"
  • 2007 - Screen Actors Guild Award Nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie, "What If God Were the Sun?"
  • 2009 - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series, "Monk"

For more information on Gena Rowlands, visit Wikipedia.


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Gena Rowlands
Actress (Stage & Screen)


Gena Rowlands.

Above: Gena Rowlands.


Gena Rowlands with her husband, John Cassavetes.

Above: Gena Rowlands with her husband, John Cassavetes.


Fredrick March on cover of LIFE magazine.

Above: Gena Rowlands in Garrisons Gorillas (1968).


Gena Rowlands as a guest star on the television program Laramie

Above: Gena Rowlands as a guest star on the television program Laramie.



Above: A short sequence extracted from the film, "Gloria" (1980) starring Gena Rowlands and directed by her husband John Cassavetes.



Above: Gena Rowlands in , "A Woman Under the Influence." (1974) directed by her husband John Cassavetes.



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