Edna Rae Gillooly was born on 7 December 1932, in Detroit, Michigan USA, of French, Irish, Dutch, and Canadian descent. As Ellen Burstyn, she became an actress best known for being a part of numerous theatre productions, films and television series; she was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in “The Last Picture Show”, similarly for her performance in “The Exorcist”. All of her efforts have helped put her net worth to where it is today.
How rich is Ellen Burstyn? As of early-2017, sources inform us of a net worth that is at $15 million, mostly earned through success in acting. She won an Academy Award for her performance in “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore”, and a Tony Award for her involvement in the production “Same Time, Next Year”. All of these achievements ensured the position of her wealth.
Ellen Burstyn Net Worth $15 million
Burstyn attended Cass Technical High School, however she dropped out during her senior year after failing her classes. She then got work as a model for a department store, and continued working in that manner travelling around several cities in the United States. In 1955 she appeared as a dancing girl in “The Jackie Gleason Show”, and then decided to become an actress under the name “Ellen McRae,” before changing it to Burstyn after her third marriage.
In 1957, Ellen made her debut on Broadway, and joined The Actors Studio. She would win a Tony Award for her performance in “Same Time, Next Year” on stage in 1975, but was concurrently making frequent guest appearances in various TV shows, such as “Perry Mason” , “The Virginian”, “Ben Casey”, and “77 Sunset Strip” – in 1968 she even starred in her own sitcom entitled “The Ellen Burstyn Show”, however it was cancelled after one season.
Her net worth was starting to increase significantly, including from her film appearances, and in 1971 she received an Academy Award nomination for her performance in “The Last Picture Show”. Two years later she received another nomination for her performance in “The Exorcist”, and eventually she would win an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the Martin Scorsese film “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore”. Over the next few years she would receive around three more nominations..
In 1990, Burstyn would win the Sarah Siddons Award thanks to her work in theatre. A decade later, she would appear in the drama “That’s Life” before starring in the series “The Book of Daniel”. She also appeared in the film “The Fountain” and later had a recurring role in the HBO series “Big Love”. She won a Primetime Emmy Award thanks to her guest appearance in the series “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”. A few of her latest projects include Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar”, and the film “The Age of Adaline”.
For her personal life, it is known that Ellen married Bill Alexander, and that their marriage ended in divorce in 1957. The following year she married Paul Roberts, but they divorced in the same year. Her next marriage would be in 1964 to Neil Nephew and it was problematic, eventually ending in divorce in 1967, and which she talked about in the autobiography “Lessons in Becoming Myself”. Ellen also acknowledges that she identifies with numerous faiths.
Aside from her acting work, Ellen is a part of numerous organizations and projects. She is a former president of the Actors’ Equity Association, and is part of the Board of the Jefferson Awards for Public Service. She is also co-president of the Actors Studio, and has been inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame.
Ellen Burstyn plays two unusual roles where she becomes older than her parents. First, as Murph in Interstellar where she is older than her father. The second, as Flemming in The Age of Adaline where she is older than her mother.
Recipient of the 2006 Career Achievement in Acting Award from the Hamptons Film Festival.
In 2005, she was awarded with the Lifetime Achievement Award in Acting of the Savannah Film Festival.
Her third (and last) husband, Neil Burstyn was a bright, talented upcoming actor and writer (The Monkees (1966)). According to Ellen, he eventually degenerated into mental illness and became schizophrenic and violent. He left her just before she became a star. When she refused his pleas to get back together, he stalked and terrorized her for many years. He committed suicide in 1978.
Worked as an acrobat and as a model for paperback covers.
Was listed as a potential nominee on the 2007 Razzie Award nominating ballot. She was suggested in the Worst Supporting Actress category for her performance in the film The Wicker Man (2006), however, she failed to receive a nomination.
Made a special Academy Awards appearance in 1998, at the The 70th Annual Academy Awards (1998), and participated in the Oscar Winners Tribute sequence along with other Academy Award winners.
The character of Jean Harris seems to be a favorite for Ellen Burstyn. Burstyn was Emmy-nominated for the lead role as Jean Harris in the 1981 TV-movie, The People vs. Jean Harris (1981) and, in 2006, she was nominated as a supporting character (as an ex-lover of Jean Harris's lover) in the cable-movie based on the Harris case in Mrs. Harris (2005). Burstyn is perhaps the first actress to be nominated for a performance that is less than 1-minute long (in fact, it is approximately 15 seconds). She vied for the Emmy with fellow "Mrs. Harris" co-star and Oscar-winner Cloris Leachman. Neither won.
She has Irish, French, Pennsylvania Dutch (German), and Native American ancestry.
Member of the jury at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1977
Co-head of jury at the Berlin International Film Festival 1988
Member of jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1981
Played her Academy Award nominated character from Same Time, Next Year (1978) on Broadway first and won a Tony Award as Best Actress (Dramatic) for the role in 1975.
Is a Vegetarian.
Is an ordained minister.
Practices the mystical Islamic religion Sufism.
Received the National Board of Review's Career Achievement Award in December 2000 at Tavern on the Green.
Says she is often mistaken for fellow actress Louise Fletcher. People tell her she was great in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) (for which Fletcher won an Oscar). Fletcher reports being told frequently that she did a wonderful job in one of Burstyn's roles.
Said in the book "On Women Turning 50" that she did not attend the 1975 Academy Awards, where she won the Best Actress award for Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974), because she was certain she would win and could not handle the pressure and attention. After attending several later Oscar ceremonies at which she lost, she regretted not being there to accept her award.
Wore 20- and 40-pound fat suits and prosthetic necks to play Sara Goldfarb in Requiem for a Dream (2000).
Born at 4:00 AM EST.
Chosen by People Magazine as one of the "50 Most Beautiful People in the World." [May 2001]
She wrote to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences to protest Liv Ullmann's elimination from Oscar contention in 1974 for her performance in Scenes from a Marriage (1973) (aka "Scenes from a Marriage"). AMPAS used a rule under which TV presentations must have appeared in movie theaters in the same year, to prevent Ullmann from being nominated. The result is that Burstyn won the Oscar for her performance in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974).
Received a permanent spinal injury while filming The Exorcist (1973). In the sequence where she is thrown away from her possessed daughter, a harness jerked her hard away from the bed. She fell on her coccyx and screamed in pain, which was filmed for the movie.
My dog knows all my secrets, but she's sworn to secrecy!
I'm a deep-water swimmer. Everything on the surface is usually a mask. I always know what's behind the mask.
[on preparing to undertake a complex role] You have hold of a string that you're following, and you're following where this question leads to that question, and it keeps on going until you come to some specific understanding of this human being - as opposed to every other human being in the world.
The main way you grow is in deepening compassion. Somehow when you go through painful experiences you're more sympathetic to other people's experiences. After you've been working for awhile and discover how much material you have to call on, you end up saying, 'Oh, thank god I had an unhappy childhood!' I suppose there are some actors somewhere who have had a happy childhood. I just haven't met them yet.
"I thought it was fabulous. My next ambition is to get nominated for seven seconds, and, ultimately, I want to be nominated for a picture in which I don't even appear." Interview with Associated Press Radio, 2004, regarding her Emmy nomination for her performance in Mrs. Harris, in which she appeared for 14 seconds.
It's unfortunate but our society is such that, for women in Hollywood, you get to a certain age and just fall off a cliff. But in my case, I refuse to die. I will hang on, by a little finger if necessary.
"I've wanted an Oscar since I was seven years old. It is the basis of all my secret fantasies." -- quoted by Robert Osborne in "Academy Awards 1974 Oscar Annual".
Acting feels like a congenital condition to me - it's in my genes.