Melissa Leo is an American actress who is well-known for her role as Alice Eklund-Ward, the mother and manager of boxers Micky and Dicky Ward, in the Oscar-winning film, “The Fighter”(2010) for which she received several nominations and awards including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Leo got her initial breakthrough role as detective and later sergeant Kay Howard on the television series, “Homicide: Life on the Street”(1993–1997). She is also known for her appearance on the television shows, “All My Children” and “The Young Riders”.
With her naturalistic depictions of tough, unemotional, and unglamorous women dealing with challenging circumstances, she has managed to receive several accolades, including an Academy Award, a Primetime Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, two Critics’ Choice Awards, and a Screen Actors Guild Award. Besides, Leo isn’t married yet and is survived by her 2 sons.
What is Melissa Leo Famous for?
- Famous for her role as Alice in Oscar-winning film, “The Fighter”(2010).
Where was Melissa Leo Born?
Melissa Leo was born on September 14, 1960, in Manhattan, New York City, United States. Her birth name is Melissa Chessington Leo. Her nationality is American. Leo belongs to White ethnicity while Virgo is her zodiac sign.
Melissa was born as the daughter in a well-to-do family to Arnold Leo III(father) and Margaret Chessington(mother). Her father, Arnold was an editor at Grove Press, fisherman, and former spokesman for the East Hampton Baymen’s Association while her mother, Margaret, worked as a teacher.
She grew up on the Lower East Side along with her brother, Erik Leo. Leo’s parents however divorced, and her mother moved to Red Clover Commune, in Putney, Vermont along with them. She spent her summers with her father in Springs, a neighborhood in East Hampton, New York.
Melissa attended Bellows Falls High School in Bellows Falls, Vermont and then at the age of 15, she went to London to study acting at the Mountview Theater Arts, a leading drama school and SUNY Purchase, but she didn’t graduate instead moved to New York City to pursue a career in acting. She also took acting classes at the Brattleboro Center for the Performing Arts and also performed with the Bread and Puppet Theater Company when she was a child.
Melissa Leo’s Career Highlights
- Melissa Leo made her acting debut which also turned to be her first career break with the lead role as Linda Warner in a soap opera, “All My Children” in 1984. She remained in the show for over 4 years till 1988 even winning the “Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Ingénue/Woman in a Drama Series” at the 12th Daytime Emmy Awards.
- She then played the lead role of Patti Mullen in a television film, “Silent Witness” in 1985. She also appeared in “A Time of Destiny”, “Last Summer in the Hamptons”, and “Venice/Venice”.
- Leo got much recognition for her role as Det. Sgt. Kay Howard, a detective and later sergeant on the television series, “Homicide: Life on the Street” in 1993 in its first five seasons until 1997. She reprised her role in the television movie, “Homicide: The Movie”.
- Leo’s other breakthrough came three years later in the Alejandro González Iñárritu film, “21 Grams” in 2003. For her role, she shared the Best Ensemble Acting award from the Phoenix Film Critics Society in 2003.
- In 2005, Melissa appeared in the films, “Hide and Seek”, “American Gun” and appeared with a minor role in “Mr. Woodcock”.
- The same year, she appeared alongside Tommy Lee Jones in a French-American neo-western film, “The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada” for which she won the Bronze Wrangler at the Western Heritage Awards along with Jones in 2006.
- In 2008, she gave an intense performance as a heroic woman, Ray Eddy in a crime drama film, “Frozen River”, for which she received several critical praises as well as several awards and nominations, including an Oscar for the Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role.
- She gave a scintillating performance in a Darrell Roodt film, “Lullaby” for which she won Geraldine Page Award and the Maverick Actor Award at the 10th Method Fest in 2008.
- Melissa then appeared in movies, “Righteous Kill”(2008), and in 2009, “Stephanie’s Image”, “True Adolescents”, and “Veronika Decides to Die”.
- She got her another breakthrough with her role as Alice Eklund-Ward, the mother and manager of boxers Micky and Dicky Ward, in David O. Russell’s Oscar-winning movie, “The Fighter” in 2010. She received several praises and earned awards including an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
- Leo then appeared in the HBO miniseries, “Mildred Pierce”(2011), as Ruth McMillan, the Secretary of Defense in “Olympus Has Fallen”(2013), “Oblivion”(2013).
- In the year 2013, she appeared in several movies including “Queen of the Lot”, “Prisoners”, “Call Me Crazy: A Five Film”, “Bottled Up” and “Charlie Countryman”.
- Leo then appeared in films like “The Equalizer”, “The Angriest Man in Brooklyn” and lent her voice to “Dwegons and Leprechauns” and “BoJack Horseman” in 2014.
- Following a year in 2015, she marked her another performance in movies including “She’s The Best Thing in It” and “The Ever After”.
- Leo then played the role of Ruth McMillan in action thriller film, “London Has Fallen”, Gloria in “Burn Country”, and Laura Poitras in “Snowden” in 2016.
- She also appeared as Lady Bird Johnson in a bio-television film, “All the Way” in 2016.
- In 2017, she appeared as Reverend Mother Marie Saint-Clair in a drama film, “Novitiate” and as Madalyn Murray O’Hair in a bio-drama film, “The Most Hated Woman in America”.
- Leo was seen in the movies “Unlovable”, “Furlough”, “The Parting Glass”, “The Equalizer 2” in 2018.
- Leo will star in up-coming movies including “Thunder Force”, “Body Brokers”, “Leave Not One Alive”.
- 2 National Board of Review Award
- Primetime Emmy Award
- California Independent Film Festival Slate Award
- Rhode Island International Film Festival Award
- Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Awards
- Phoenix Film Critics Society Award
- Bronze Wrangler Award
- Florida Film Critics Circle Award
- Gotham Awards
- Independent Spirit Awards
- Women Film Critics Circle Award
- Method Fest Independent Film Festival Award
Who is Melissa Leo’s Husband?
Melissa Leo isn’t married yet even though she is 59 years old as of 2020. Leo was previously in a relationship with John Heard Jr., who was an American actor known for his films like “Heart Beat”(1980), “Cutter’s Way”(1981), “Deceived”(1991). With her late-former boyfriend, Heard she had a son named John Matthew Heard born in 1987.
The couple split after a three-year relationship, however, they separated with a court battle for the son’s custody, which was ultimately given to Melissa in 1994. Later, she adopted another son named Adam Leo. Currently, she lives in Stone Ridge, New York, and is survived by her 2 sons.
What is the Net Worth of Melissa Leo?
Melissa Leo has quite good earnings from her professional career as an actress. Having her career started since 1984, Leo has come a long way up leading her successful career for over 35 years now, undoubtedly managed to earn a healthy fortune from her several movies and appearances on series.
With all of her sources of income, Leo has an estimated net worth of around $10 million.
How Tall is Melissa Leo?
Melissa Leo is a gorgeous lady who has stunning looks even in her late- 50s. With her marvelous acting and charming personality, Leo has managed to win several hearts all around the world. She stands tall with a height of 5ft. 4inch.(1.63m) while her body weighs around 60kg(132 lbs).
She has a well-maintained slim body physique of measurement 34-24-35 inches with 34 B as her bra size and 4(US) as her dress size. She has a fair complexion with brown hair and black eyes.