Ellen Burstyn is a Hollywood legend who has appeared in what seems like everything under the sun during her legendary acting career. Not only has she won countless awards, but she has also appeared in some iconic films that will never be forgotten. She has also been on a soap.
Burstyn has been in everything from The Last Picture Show to The Exorcist to Requiem for a Dream. In addition to her acting, she was the first woman president of Actor’s Equity Union (1982-85). From where she was born and raised to getting permanently injured on set, here are five fast facts about the star.
Who Is Ellen Burstyn?
Burstyn was born on December 7 in Detroit, Michigan. She attended Cass Technical High School, but she dropped out during her senior year because she failed her classes. She then got a job working as a model in Detroit and later moved to Dallas to continue her modeling career. She started pursuing acting after she moved to New York City.
She May Not Be A Doctor In Real Life But…
Burstyn started working in television in the 1950s, guesting on many programs, and in 1965 she landed the role of Dr. Kate Bartok on the now-defunct NBC soap The Doctors. She then went on to appear in a number of other television shows, including The Iron Horse, The Big Valley, and The Virginian.
Dangerous On-Set Mishap
Burstyn permanently injured her spine while filming The Exorcist in the 1970s. In the scene where she is thrown away from her possessed daughter, a harness jerked her too hard and she fell on her coccyx. However, that specific scene was actually kept in the movie because Burstyn’s scream was obviously authentic.
Burstyn has been nominated for six Academy Awards over the course of her career and won an Oscar for Best Actress for her work in Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore. She has also won two Primetime Emmy Awards, one Golden Globe, and been nominated for a number of other acting awards.
Getting Personal With Ellen Burstyn
Burstyn first married William Alexander in 1951, but the couple divorced in 1957. She married Paul Roberts in 1958 and they adopted a son named Jefferson in 1961, but the couple split in 1962. She then married actor Neil Burstyn in 1964, and they divorced in 1972 following a tumultuous marriage.