Jessica Lange is considered one of the 25 Greatest Actresses of the 90s. The American film, television, and theater actress proved herself to be a living legend throughout her decades in the entertainment industry. Having started as a model and eventually heading into acting, she has received two Academy Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and several other awards. Here’s more information about the iconic actress.
Jessica Lange Biography
Jessica Phyllis Lange was born on the 20th of April, 1949 in Cloquet, Minnesota. Her father, Albert John Lange was a traveling salesman and her mother was a housewife. Sadly, both parents are late. She has two older sisters – Jane and Ann and a younger brother, George. The American actress is of German, Dutch, and Finnish descent.
She attended and graduated from Cloquet High School. She eventually received a scholarship to study art and photography at the University of Minnesota in 1967. A few years later, she moved to Paris and studied mime theater, and later joined the Opera-Comique as a dancer.
The American actress was discovered by Dino De Laurentiis while she worked for the Wilhemina modeling agency on a part-time basis. She made her film debut in Dino’s 1976 remake of the adventure classic King Kong. Her performance earned her first Golden Globe Award.
Jessica is also a photographer with several published works. She is involved with multiple humanitarian projects and is currently a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF with special attention to HIV/AIDS in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Russia. She was even a foster mother to a Romanian child with disabilities. The veteran actress has 3 children and has been married once but involved with several other partners.
Apart from starting out as a part-time model, she was also a waitress at the Lion’s Head Tavern in New York before being discovered. The King Kong film became the fifth-highest grossing film of 1976 and her performance received a positive appraisal. In 1980, working with Jane Curtin and Susan Saint James, she appeared in the crime comedy How To Beat the High Cost of Living.
Jessica Lange went on to feature in the biographical film Frances Farmer in 1982. This role affected her physically and mentally. At this point in her career, she became the first performer to receive two Academy Award nominations in the same year, owing to her performance in Frances Farmer.
From 1986 to 1989, most films Lange took part in were low-budget films such as Crimes of the Heart (1986), Far North (1988), Everybody is an American (1989), and Costa-Gavias Music Box (1989). In the next decade, she decided to create time for her children by taking time off intermittently and working more on television projects.
In 1992, she made her Broadway debut with her role as Blanche DuBois in the production of A Streetcar Named Desire. The play became a CBS television adaptation in 1995 and she made her London stage debut with the same play. Co-starring with Anthony Hopkins and Alan Cumming, she featured in Titus Andronicus, a remake of William Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus which she received excellent reviews for.
Jessica Lange then landed a role in Eugene O’ Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night, with which she became the first American actress to receive an Olivier Award nomination. She also landed supporting roles in Prozac Nation, Grey Gardens, and Normal.
In 2011, she was part of the cast of the FX hit series, American Horror Story, which led to a resurgence in popularity. However, in 2015, she bowed out of the series American Horror Story in its fifth season. On the 12th of November, 2016, she was honored at the Camerimage Film Festival where she received the Krzysztof Kieslowski Award for acting. In 2018, she was cast in the Netflix Series The Politician and also to star opposite Naomi Watts in The Lonely Doll.
Jessica Lange’s Net Worth
The American actress whose career has spanned through decades is said to have an accumulated net worth of $15 million as a result of her presence in films, television, and theater. Jessica Lange is also the face of Marc Jacobs Beauty, which has no doubt contributed to her total net worth.
Jessica Lange is currently not married. However, she was first married to Francisco Paco Grande, a Spanish photographer she met while on scholarship studying art and photography. The pair got married in 1971 but subsequently got divorced in 1981.
In 1976, while she was separated from Paco Grande, she got romantically involved with Mikhail Baryshnikov, a Russian ballet dancer.
By 1982, she was in another relationship with American actor and playwright, Sam Shepard. The couple lived together in New York City before splitting up in 2009. In 2017, Sam Shepard died after suffering complications from Lou Gehrig’s disease which was kept away from public knowledge till his death.
Jessica Lange is a mother to three children, born out of two relationships. Her first child, a daughter, Aleksandra Lange “Shura” Baryshnikov, born in 1981, from her relationship with Mikhail Baryshnikov. Shura happens to be a dance instructor and an actress. You can say it’s a combination of her parents’ strengths.
Her second and third children were from her relationship with Sam Shepard. Jessica’s second child, a daughter – Hannah Jane Shepard born on the 13th of January, 1986. Having graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 2008, she worked as an administrative assistant for Hawthorne Valley Association. Like her mother, she is also involved with various charity organizations including African Solutions to African Problems (ASAP).
The third child and only son are Samuel Walker Shepard who was born on the 14th of June, 1987. He is a musician who joined the New York-based band, The Dust Buster in 2008. The band was later renamed The Down Hill Strugglers. He is indeed a skillful musician who plays the fiddle, banjo, guitar, and harmonica.