Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio: 6 Things You Need To Know

Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio may not be a household name or even a B-list celebrity/actress that you would want to check up on her day-to-day activities every other minute of the day. What she is, however, is a seasoned-reliable actress of Italian descent who has played various roles both on the big screen, on television, and on Broadway musicals. Here is a look at her biography as well as things you did not know about her.

Biography and Early Life

Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio was born on November 17, 1958, in Lombard, Illinois, to parents of Italian descent. Her father, Frank A. Mastrantonio operated a bronze foundry while her mother, Mary Dominica (née Pagone), was a housewife. They were first-generation Italian-Americans.

Mastrantonio grew up in Oak Park Illinois, a municipality that was also home to the famous novelist, Ernest Hemingway. She attended Oak Park-River Forest High School where she was very active in drama, performing in a lot of school plays. Aside from acting, Mastrantonio had a passion for singing, opera singing to be exact. She went ahead to enroll at the University of Illinois where she studied voice. Her first big-time job was in an Opryland production of Showboat.

Things To Know About Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio

1. Mastrantonio Moved To New York To Pursue An Operatic Career

After completing her university degree, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio moved to New York where she did a lot of Broadway musicals with her first show there being the 1981 revival of West Side Story. Other productions followed all through her acting years, including Copperfield, The Human Comedy, Man of La Mancha, New York Shakespeare Festival productions of Measure for Measure, Henry V, and Twelfth Night, where she received praise for her fiery portrayal of Viola. She also did a benefit performance of A Christmas Carol with other high-profile acts at the Symphony Space in New York.

2.  Mastrantonio Was Listed Among The “Promising New Actors of 1986”

While in New York already performing on Broadway, Mastrantonio got cast in Brian De Palma’s 1983 remake of the 1932 film of the same name, Scarface. The movie tells a story about a powerful drug kingpin in Miami who came to the United States as a refugee from Cuba before rising to own a multimillion-dollar drug empire. Legendary actor of Italian descent, Al-Pacino played the lead role in the movie with Mastrantonio playing his younger sister Gina.

She followed that role with an Oscar and Golden Globe-nominated performance in The Color of Money (1986), starring alongside Paul Newman and Tom Cruise. Her profile began to rise in the movie industry which led to her being listed as a promising new actor that year by a well-respected Hollywood actor and producer who is also the chief editor of Theatre World.

3. She Has Received A Number Of Awards And Nominations

Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio has received a number of nominations and awards for both her performances on stage and in movies. For stage performances, she has garnered two Drama Desk Award nominations and a Tony Award nomination. For films, her nominations include a Golden Globe, Oscar, and the New York Film Critics nomination for Best Supporting Actress in The Color of Money. For her role in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, she was nominated for Best Female Performance at the MTV Movie Awards and Best Supporting Actress at the Saturn Awards.

4. Mastrantonio Has Featured In A Number Of Your Favorite TV Series

The all-around reliable actress has featured in a number of TV series. She has had recurring roles in Without a Trace, Limitless, Law & Order: Criminal Intent where she played unit commander Capt. Zoe Callas, and in Grimm as Kelly Burkhardt, the mother of the show’s protagonist. She has also guest-appeared in TV series such as Blue Bloods, Hostages, and Marvel’s The Punisher.

5. She Is Married With Kids

Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio is married to Pat O’Connor, an Irish BAFTA-winning movie director. The couple got married in 1990 and have two sons; Jack O’Connor who was born in 1992 and Declan O’Connor who was born in 1997.

6. She Is A Mental Health Advocate

When not acting on the stage or on any of her roles, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio is a mental health advocate. From what we gathered, this is so because she once battled mental and emotional stress.