Maggie Gyllenhaal life and biography

Maggie Gyllenhaal picture, image, poster

Maggie Gyllenhaal biography

Date of birth : 1977-11-16
Date of death : -
Birthplace : New York City, New York, U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2010-06-15
Credited as : Actress, role in The Dark Knight (2008), daughter of Stephen Gyllenhaal

0 votes so far

Margaret Ruth "Maggie" Gyllenhaal ( born November 16, 1977) is an American stage and screen actress. She is the daughter of director Stephen Gyllenhaal and screenwriter Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal (née Achs) and the older sister of actor Jake Gyllenhaal. She made her screen debut when she began to appear in her father's films. Gyllenhaal later achieved recognition in a supporting role in the indie cult hit Donnie Darko (2001). She made her break-through role in the 2002 sadomasochistic comedy Secretary, for which she received critical acclaim and a Golden Globe nomination.

Gyllenhaal has appeared in an eclectic range of films, including the indie film Sherrybaby (2006), for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe, the romantic comedy Trust the Man (2006) and big-budget films such as World Trade Center (2006) and The Dark Knight (2008). She next starred in the 2009 musical-drama Crazy Heart, for which she received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress nomination. Gyllenhaal has also appeared in theatrical plays, including Closer (2000) and television productions including Strip Search (2004).

Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal took a daring part for her first starring film role, that of James Spader's partner in the sado-masochistic 2002 comedy The Secretary. Gyllenhaal dismissed any criticism of the movie as politically incorrect.

"It seems like he's dominating," Gyllenhaal said in the movie's defense in a New York Times interview with Dana Kennedy. "But the boundaries of the situation are totally up to me. In the end I had to say: 'Step up, I want you. I know you want me. Come on, I'm taking a risk. Take a risk, too.'"

Was Child Actress

Born in 1977, Gyllenhaal and her brother Jake, also an up-and-coming actor, grew up in Los Angeles. Both parents are Hollywood veterans: father Stephen Gyllenhaal directed the acclaimed 1992 Jeremy Irons film Waterland, while the siblings' screenwriter/producer mother Naomi Foner penned the 1995 drama Losing Isaiah, which starred Jessica Lange. As a youngster, Gyllenhaal appeared in several of her parents' works, including Waterland and A Dangerous Woman, the 1993 Debra Winger film about a mentally disturbed character.

Before settling on an acting career, Gyllenhaal neared a degree in English literature from Columbia University. She began winning roles in quirky films, such as the 2000 John Waters movie Cecil B. DeMented and another comedy-noir, Donnie Darko, with her brother in the lead. Her industry profile rose with parts in Riding in Cars with Boys alongside Drew Barrymore, and in one of 2002's most critically acclaimed films, Adaptation, with Nicolas Cage and Meryl Streep.

Spanked in Secretary

Gyllenhaal decided to audition for the title role in The Secretary after reading the controversial script.

"I read three-quarters of the script, put it down and immediately called my agent," she told Daily Variety writer Ramin Zahed. "It was the best thing I'd read. Then I read the last quarter and got very nervous."

Directed by Steven Sheinberg, the film asks viewers to sympathize with Lee Holloway, who has recently emerged from a stay in a psychiatric facility. She takes a job as secretary to icy attorney E. Edward Grey, played by Spader. Grey behaves dreadfully toward her when her lack of office skills becomes evident, but she develops a crush on him anyway. When he spanks her one day for a simple typing error, the dynamics of their relationship are forever altered. The movie earned surprisingly good reviews.

Newsweek critic David Ansen asserted that it "manages to be simultaneously subversive and sweet," noting that Sheinberg "sees this as a romantic comedy in which two terrified, lost souls find liberation in kink...In the wrong hands, the conceit could have turned ugly and offensive. But Spader and Gyllenhaal have a hushed, hilarious chemistry that works like a charm."

Came From "Fierce" Women

Gyllenhaal has three films slated for release in 2003 including In God's Hands, which is currently still in production; Mona Lisa Smile, which casts her alongside Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst and Julia Stiles; and Casa de Los Babys, a John Sayles work about six American women who travel to South America to adopt children. She's also been tapped to play Valerie Gaddis in 2004's Criminal, an English-language version of the Argentine hit Nine Queens (2000).

The actress describes herself as coming from a long line of "fierce" women, she told Kennedy in the New York Times. "My grandmother was a pediatrician, and it was a huge struggle for her. Her sister was a lawyer for 50 years...My mom is a Hollywood writer. She has a fierceness to her. I'm resting on the shoulders of those people."

Gyllenhaal has been in a relationship with actor Peter Sarsgaard since 2002. In 2006, the two became engaged and Gyllenhaal gave birth to their daughter, Ramona, on October 3, 2006. On May 2, 2009, she married Sarsgaard in Italy. She is a politically active Democrat and, like her brother and parents, supports the American Civil Liberties Union. Prior to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq she participated in anti-war demonstrations. Gyllenhaal drew criticism in 2005 for her opinion that America was "responsible in some way" for the 9/11 attacks. She is actively involved in human rights, civil liberty, and anti-poverty campaigns.


1992- Waterland
1993- A Dangerous Woman
1996- Shattered Mind
1998- Homegrown
1998-The Patron Saint of Liars
1999- Resurrection
2000- The Photographer
2000-Cecil B. Demented
2001- Riding in Cars with Boys
2001-Donnie Darko
2002- Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
2002-40 Days and 40 Nights
2003- Mona Lisa Smile
2003-Casa de los Babys
2004- Criminal
2004-Strip Search
2005- The Great New Wonderful
2005-Happy Endings
2006-Trust the Man
2006-World Trade Center
2006-Monster House
2008- The Dark Knight
2009- Away We Go
2009-Crazy Heart
2010- Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang

Read more

Please read our privacy policy. Page generated in 0.109s