Faye Dunaway (born January 14, 1941), known as Faye Dunaway, is an
Academy Award-winning American actress. She has starred in a variety of films,
from blockbusters such as The Towering Inferno and the camp classic Mommie
Dearest, to the most critically acclaimed including Bonnie and Clyde, Chinatown,
and Network. She received Academy Award nominations for Best Actress for her
performances in Bonnie and Clyde and Chinatown, before winning the category with
her 1976 performance in Network.
Faye was born in Bascom, Florida, the daughter of Grace April (née Smith), a homemaker, and John MacDowell Dunaway, Jr., a career army officer. Faye Dunaway attended the University of Florida, Florida State University, and Boston University, but graduated from the University of Florida in theater. In 1962, Faye joined the American National Theater and Academy.
Faye appeared on Broadway in 1962 as the daughter of Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons. Her first screen role was in 1967 in The Happening. In 1967, she was in Hurry Sundown, but that same year, she gained the leading female role in Bonnie and Clyde opposite Warren Beatty, which earned her an Oscar nomination. She also starred in 1968 with Steve McQueen in the caper film The Thomas Crown Affair (and had a small role in the 1999 remake with Pierce Brosnan).
It was in the 1970s that she began to stretch her acting abilities in such films as Three Days of the Condor, Little Big Man, Chinatown, The Three/Four Musketeers, Eyes of Laura Mars, and Network, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress as the scheming TV executive Diana Christensen.
In the 1980s, although her performances did not waver, the parts grew less compelling. Faye would later blame Mommie Dearest (1981) for ruining her career as a leading lady. Some critics panned the movie, although the film grossed $19 million in its first release and was one of the top 30 grossing films of the year. The film was immediately embraced as a cult classic. She played an alcoholic in Barfly (opposite Mickey Rourke). In a later movie, Don Juan DeMarco (1995), Faye co-starred with Johnny Depp and Marlon Brando.
Faye starred in the 1986 made-for-television movie. Beverly Hills Madam opposite Melody Anderson, Donna Dixon, Terry Farrell and Robin Givens. Faye won an Emmy for a 1994 role as a murderer in "It's All in the Game," an episode of the long-running mystery series Columbo.
In 1996, she toured nationally with the stage play Master Class. The story about opera singer Maria Callas was very powerful and well received. Faye bought the rights to the Terrence McNally play for possible film development.
In 2006, Faye played a character named Lois O'Neill in the sixth season of the crime drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. She served as a judge on the 2005 reality show The Starlet, which sought, American Idol-style, to find the next young actress with the potential to become a major star. In the spring of 2007, the direct-to-DVD movie release of Rain, based on the novel by V. C. Andrews and starring Dunaway, was released. In 2009 Faye stars in film The Bait by Polish film director and producer Dariusz Zawiślak. The Bait is a contemporary version of a drama Balladyna by Polish 19th - century poet Juliusz Slowacki.
Faye has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7021 Hollywood Boulevard, which was awarded on October 2, 1996.
Faye has been romantically linked to a series of men ranging from the comedian Lenny Bruce to the actor Marcello Mastroianni. She has been married twice, from 1974 to 1979 to Peter Wolf, the lead singer of the rock group The J. Geils Band, and from 1984 to 1987 to Terry O'Neill, a British photographer. She and O'Neill have one child, Liam O'Neill (born 1980). In 2003, despite Dunaway's earlier claims that she had given birth to Liam, Terry revealed that Liam was adopted.
Faye is an adult convert to Roman Catholicism.
This Faye Dunaway Biography Page is Copyright © 2004 - 2009 Chuck Ayoub