With a heavy heart at the tearful farewell to 66-year-old actress Geena Davis, goodbye Geena Davis.


With a heavy heart at the tearful farewell to 66-year-old actress Geena Davis, goodbye Geena Davis.


Virginia Elizabeth “Geena” Davis (born January 21, 1956) is an American actor[1] and producer. She is the recipient of various accolades, including an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award.

After studying drama at Boston University, Davis made her acting debut in the film Tootsie (1982) and eventually starred in the thriller The Fly (1986), which proved to be one of her first box office hits. While the fantasy comedy Beetlejuice (1988) brought her to prominence, the drama The Accidental Tourist (1988) earned her the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She established herself as a leading lady with the road film Thelma & Louise (1991), for which she received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress, and the sports film A League of Their Own (1992), garnering a Golden Globe Award nomination. However, Davis’s roles in the box office failures Cutthroat Island (1995) and The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996), both directed by then-husband Renny Harlin, were followed by a lengthy break and downturn in her career.

Davis starred as the adoptive mother of the titular character in the Stuart Little franchise (1999–2005) and as the first female president of the United States in the television series Commander in Chief (2005–2006), winning the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama for her role in the latter. Her later films include Accidents Happen (2009) and Marjorie Prime (2017). She has portrayed the recurring role of Dr. Nicole Herman in Grey’s Anatomy (2014–2015, 2018) and that of Regan MacNeil–Angela Rance in the first season of the horror television series The Exorcist (2017).

In 2004, Davis launched the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which works collaboratively with the entertainment industry to dramatically increase the presence of female characters in media. Through the organization, she launched the annual Bentonville Film Festival in 2015, and executive produced the documentary This Changes Everything in 2018. Thanks to the organization, she was awarded with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award bestowed by the Academy Awards in 2019 and with the Governors Award given by the Primetime Emmy Awards in 2022.

Davis was born on January 21, 1956, in Wareham, Massachusetts.[2] Her mother, Lucille (née Cook), was a teacher’s assistant, and her father, William F. Davis, was a civil engineer and church deacon. Both were from small towns in Vermont.[3] Davis has an older brother, Danforth (“Dan”).[4][5]

She became interested in music at an early age. She learned piano and flute and played organ well enough as a teenager to be organist at her Congregational church in Wareham.[6][7] She attended Wareham High School and was an exchange student in Sandviken, Sweden, where she became fluent in Swedish.[6] She studied at New England College. However, she never completed her bachelor’s degree in drama from Boston University in 1979.[clarify][6][8][9] Her first post-university work was as a model for window mannequins at Ann Taylor; she then signed with New York’s Zoli modeling agency.[10]

Davis is said to have adopted the nickname Geena after seeing shows with the characters Cheburashka and Gena the Crocodile (Swedish Drutten och Gena), which aired as a children’s segment in a national television show in Sweden in the late 1970s.

Davis was working as a model when she was cast by director Sydney Pollack in his film Tootsie (1982) as a soap opera actor, whom she has described as “someone who’s going to be in their underwear a lot of time”.[6][11] It was the second most profitable film of 1982,[12] received ten Academy Awards nominations[13] and is considered a cult classic.[14] She next won the regular part of Wendy Killian in the television series Buffalo Bill,[15] which aired from June 1983 to March 1984; and had a writing credit in one episode.[15] Despite the series’ eleven Emmy Awards nominations, lukewarm ratings led to its cancellation after two seasons. Davis concurrently guest-starred in Knight Rider, Riptide, Family Ties and Remington Steele, and followed with a series of her own, Sara, which lasted 13 episodes. During this period, she also auditioned for the 1984 science fiction/action film The Terminator, reading for the lead role of Sarah Connor, which eventually went to Linda Hamilton. In Fletch (1985), an action comedy, she appeared with Chevy Chase as the colleague of a Los Angeles Times undercover reporter trying to expose drug trafficking on the beaches of Los Angeles.[16] She also starred in the horror comedy Transylvania 6-5000 as a nymphomaniac vampire alongside future husband Jeff Goldblum.[17] They also starred in the sci-fi thriller The Fly (1986), loosely based on George Langelaan’s 1957 short story of the same name, where Davis portrayed a science journalist and an eccentric scientist’s love interest.


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