PROFILE
Name:
Rebecca Pidgeon
Birth Date:
October 10, 1963
Birth Place:
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Nationality:
American
Famous for:
Her role in 'State and Main' (2000)
BIOGRAPHY
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State and Main

Background:

Rebecca Pidgeon is an actress and singer who began her career as the lead vocalist of the U.K. group Ruby Blue during the late 1980s to early 1990s. She left the band after recording two albums and later released several solo albums, such as “The Raven” (1994), “The New York Girl's Club” (1996), “The Four Marys” (1998), “Tough on Crime” (2005) and “Behind the Velvet Curtain” (2008). Pidgeon made her feature film debut as Nancy Gulliver in the British film adaptation of “The Dawning” (1988). However, it was not until she was cast in David Mamet's play “Speed-the-Plow” (1989) that she began her professional and personal relationship with the noted director and writer. Pidgeon has since acted in Mamet's films “Homicide” (1991), “The Spanish Prisoner” (1997), “The Winslow Boy” (1999, earned a Chlotrudis nomination), “Heist” (2001) and “Redbelt” (2008). She won an Online Film Critics Society Award, a Florida Film Critics Circle Award and a National Board of Review Award for her performance as Ann in “State and Main” (2001). She has also appeared in his plays “Oleanna,” “The Old Neighborhood” and “Boston Marriage” and in his television series “The Unit” (2006-2009).

Pidgeon and David Mamet have been married since 1991. They have two kids together.


Cambridge

Childhood and Family:

Rebecca Pidgeon was born on October 10, 1963, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to English parents. At the time, her father was visiting a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). When she was five, her father accepted a teaching position in Edinburgh and subsequently moved the family to the United Kingdom. Therefore, Rebecca has dual citizenship with the United States and Britain. Growing up in Edinburgh, she was friends with singer Shirley Manson as a teenager. Rebecca trained at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, along with Liza Tarbuck, Serena Harragin and Clive Owen. She later left the U.K. and moved back to the United States.

In 1989, while costarring in a London production of “Speed-the-Plow,” Rebecca met American writer and director David Mamet (born November 30, 1947), who was still married to actress Lindsay Crouse at the time. Despite his marriage, the two began dating and after Mamet divorced in 1990, the couple married on September 22, 1991. Rebecca gave birth to her first child, daughter Clara Mamet, on September 29, 1994. Her second child, son Noah Mamet, was born on February 1, 1999. She has stepdaughters named Willa Mamet (born 1982) and Zosia Mamet (born 1988).


The Dawning

Career:

Rebecca Pidgeon got her start as the lead singer of the U.K. group Ruby Blue. The group released two albums, “Glances Askances” in 1987 and “Down From Above” in 1990. David Mamet co-wrote some of the songs on “Down From Above.” After they married, Pidgeon left the group and returned to the United States. Apart from music, Pidgeon also tried acting during that period. In 1987, she portrayed Sarah in two episodes of the British comedy series “Burst” and Sally Byfleet in the 1988 TV miniseries “Campaign,” starring Josie Lawrence, Camille Coduri and Penny Downie. She made her feature film debut opposite Anthony Hopkins in the British drama “The Dawning” (1988), which was adapted from Jennifer Johnston's novel “The Old Jest.” The film and her performance were well received by critics.

In 1989, Pidgeon played the only female character in the London stage production of David Mamet's “Speed-the-Plow” and their romance began shortly after. In 1991, she was cast as Sonya in the television adaptation of Anton Chekhov's “Uncle Vanya,” where Mamet wrote the adaptation, and had a small role in Mamet's film “Homicide,” starring Joe Mantegna, William H. Macy and Ving Rhames. The next year, she portrayed Connie in the TNT adaptation of Mamet's “The Water Engine,” starring Charles Durning, Patti LuPone and William H. Macy. On stage, she was cast in the female lead of Carol in her New York City stage debut “Oleanna,” opposite William H. Macy. The role is said to have been written for her by Mamet. Pidgeon later wrote the score for the Mamet directed film version of “Oleanna,” which starred Debra Eisenstadt in her role.

Back to the music industry, Pidgeon released her solo album, “The Raven,” in 1994. It was followed by “The New York Girl's Club” in 1996 and “The Four Marys” in 1998. Between her second and third album, Pidgeon was cast in the important role of Susan Ricci in Mamet's suspense film “The Spanish Prisoner” (1997), opposite Campbell Scott and Steve Martin. The same year, she also appeared in the premiere of Mamet's “The Old Neighborhood” at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge. She closed out the decade with a supporting role in Mamet's film remake of “The Winslow Boy,” opposite Nigel Hawthorne and Jeremy Northam, and a lead role in the premiere of Mamet's play “Boston Marriage” (both 1999). She was nominated for a Chlotrudis Award for Best Actress for her performance in the film.

In the new millennium, Pidgeon appeared in the Mamet directed short “Catastrophe” (2000), which was adapted from the Samuel Beckett play. The same year, she also portrayed a spirited New Englander in Mamet's comedy “State and Main,” opposite Alec Baldwin, Charles Durning, Clark Gregg and Philip Seymour Hoffman. The role brought her a Golden Satellite nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, Comedy or Musical and a Phoenix Film Critics Society nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. She also shared an Online Film Critics Society for Best Ensemble Cast Performance, a Florida Film Critics Circle for Best Ensemble Cast and a National Board of Review for Best Acting by an Ensemble for her efforts.

In 2001, Pidgeon worked with Gene Hackman, Danny DeVito, Delroy Lindo, Ricky Jay and Sam Rockwell in Mamet's crime movie “Heist,” where she played the role of Fran Moore. The film earned mixed reviews from critics and was not a success at the box office. She then starred in the short film “Advice and Dissent” (2002), which was written and directed by Leib Cohen. Between 2004 and 2005, she had a recurring role on the FX show “The Shield.” One of three episodes she appeared in was directed by Mamet.

2005 saw Pidgeon reunited with William H. Macy in the Mamet written thriller “Edmond.” She also acted in “Shopgirl,” a dramatic film directed by Anand Tucker that was written by Steve Martin, who also starred in the film. The same year, she released an album called “Tough on Crime.” In 2006, Pidgeon had a recurring role in the short lived series “In Justice” and a featured role in “Provoked: A True Story,” a film starring Aishwarya Rai, Miranda Richardson and Naveen Andrews. It was also in 2006 that she began her recurring role of Charlotte Ryan Canning in the CBS series “The Unit,” which was created by her husband.

Pidgeon next played Leeann Lewis in the television film “Jesse Stone: Sea Change” (2007), opposite Tom Selleck, Kathy Baker and Kohl Sudduth. She then appeared in “How to Be” (2008), an award winning independent dramatic comedy written and directed by Oliver Irving, as Zena Frank in “Redbelt” (2008), a martial arts film written and directed by David Mamet, and as Victoria Compton in the thriller “Cat City” (2008). She was next seen in the David Ondaatje directed movie “The Lodger” (2009), starring Alfred Molina, Hope Davis and Shane West. In 2008, she released an album called “Behind the Velvet Curtain.”

In 2010, Pidgeon was cast with Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, and Karl Urban in the action comedy “Red,” which was loosely inspired by the comic book series of the same name. She also did voiceover work in an episode of the animated sitcom “Glenn Martin DDS” and was an announcer for the short film “Two Painters,” which was written and directed by her husband.


Awards:

  • Online Film Critics Society (OFCS): Best Ensemble Cast Performance, “State and Main,” 2001

  • Florida Film Critics Circle (FFCC): Best Ensemble Cast, “State and Main,” 2001

  • National Board of Review (NBR): Best Acting by an Ensemble, “State and Main,” 2000

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