Born on April 23, 1655 in Perth, Australia, Judy Davis is a two-time Academy Award nominated and BAFTA-winning actress best known for her role in My Brilliant Career, a 1979 classic. Davis had a Catholic upbringing, and graduated from the National Institute of Dramatic Art in 1977.
Judy Davis rose to popularity for her role as Sybylla Melvyn in the coming-of-age saga My Brilliant Career. She also played the lead in such Australian New Wave classics, such as Winter of Our Dreams in 1981 and Heatwave in 1982. Her first venture into the global film industry was in 1981, when she played the younger Golda Meir with Ingrid Bergman in the television docudrama A Woman Called Golda. Three years later in 1984, she bagged a role in David Lean’s final film and the movie adaptation of E.M. Forster’s novel A Passage to India. Such role earned her an Oscar nomination, despite rumors that she clashed with her director during the film’s production.
The next two films of Judy Davis saw her return to her roots, Australian cinema, appearing in Kangaroo and High Tide. She earned the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress for both roles, while a National Society of Film Critics raved about her performance in High Tide during its brief run in the U.S. In 1990, she played a brief cameo in Woody Allen’s Alice. Her other screen credits include Barton Fink and Naked Lunch. Both won awards in international film festivals such as in Cannes and Independent Spirit Award. She then played two more roles, in Improptu and Where Angels Fear to Tread, another E.M. Forster novel turned film. Her other notable screen credits include On My Own, Children of the Revolution, Deconstructing Harry, Celebrity, Absolute Power, Swimming Upstream, The Break-up and Mary Antoinette.
Other than movies, Davis also performed well in the small screen, earning an ample amount of Emmy nominations to solidify her place. In 2007, Davis played the role of Joan McCallister, the lead’s oldest and wisest friend in the USA Network miniseries The Starter Wife. The series was nominated for 10 Emmy’s, including one for lead Debra Messing for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie. She reprised the role when The Starter Wife was renewed as a regular series.