Annette was ranked #44 in Glamour's The 50 most glamorous women of '08.
Annette has been nominated for 4 SAG Awards. In 2000 she won both Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Theatrical Motion Picture and Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role for American Beauty. In 2005 she was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role for Being Julia. In 2007 she was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries for Mrs. Harris.
Annette was among People magazine's 100 Most Beautiful People of 2008. At age 49, she was featured in the "Beautiful at Every Age" section.
Annette is the sister-in-law of actress Shirley Maclaine.
Annette studied theater at San Diego Mesa College for two years. She also completed a drama degree in San Francisco State University. She also attended the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, California.
Annette is five feet and eight inches tall.
Annette once worked for a year as a cook on a charter boat.
She received a 2006 Emmy Award Nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Miniseries or T.V. Movie for her work on Mrs. Harris.
She was often rumored to be the model for the current incarnation of the Columbia Pictures logo, even so much so as to believe it herself. Jennifer Joseph was the model for the Columbia Pictures logo.
Her first major role in a theatrical feature was in The Great Outdoors.
She won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy for Being Julia, in which she played a 1930s stage actress in mid-career and mid-life crises. She was nominated for five other Golden Globe awards. In 1992 she was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama for Bugsy. In 1996 she was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical for The American President. In 2000 she was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama for American Beauty. In 2007 she was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy for Running With Scissors and was also nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television for Mrs. Harris.
She lives with her husband and children in Los Angeles, California.
She is a council member for the California Arts Council.
She was formerly a board member of the small L.A. theater company "The Actors' Gang."
During an early part of her career in New York, she auditioned for a part on the soap opera Loving. A screen-test was offered, and after thinking about it, she declined to pursue the matter.
She was hired to play the romantic lead in the sitcom Just in Time. After the first table read, the producers fired her saying they "wanted to move the character in a new direction". She was replaced by Patricia Kalember.
She was the first choice to play the role of Carolyn Burnham in American Beauty.
She was nominated for a Tony for Coastal Disturbances in 1987.
Annette: I didn't picture myself as a movie actress. I began to think about it around college. I remember thinking, "Well somebody has to be in them," so maybe I could do that eventually. It's all been a surprise. I didn't do a movie until I was almost 30. I'm grateful for that because it gave me a chance to be an adult in the world and do work in the regional theater that very few people cared about. I loved it and I wanted to do that stuff.
Annette: We still want to idealize moms, and sometimes we want to idealize actresses who are moms, too. I know that's something I've experienced, but we're all just doing the best we can and we're all trying to raise our kids and talk to them about everything that needs to be discussed. You want to give them limits and also be their allies, so for everybody it's always a bit of a mess and chaotic.
Annette: I don't see myself as competing with other actresses. I mean, I went through a time when I was in New York, and I was going to lots of auditions and trying to get parts, but even then, you're not really competing with the other actresses. There is a competition going on, but it's not like something you can win in that way. You're all sort of in it together, and I think that it's no more so than a lot of other kinds of jobs. So it's not about winning, it's about trying to do the best you can do.
Annette: I remember hearing someone say that good acting is more about taking off a mask than putting one on, and in movie acting, certainly that's true. With the camera so close, you can see right down into your soul, hopefully. So being able to do that in a way is terrifying, and in another way, truly liberating. And I like that about it.
Annette: I knew I wanted children in my life. The acting was always in relation to it. Life at home is chaos. They're wonderful. They're such interesting human beings. I just love it. I'm lucky.
Annette: My parents were very supportive. They went to every show. And they never told me not to do what I was doing.
Annette: We all perform our lives in a way. And the actor is a perfect metaphor to get at that theme of 'how do we find our authentic selves?' And that we all -- whether we're actors or not -- perform ourselves. As a way of searching. As a way of fumbling around and trying to say, is this my voice? Is this who I am? What kind of woman am I? Am I the woman that I am when I'm with my children? Or when I'm with my husband? Or with my girlfriends? Or when I run into my old boyfriend? You know. We're all searching.
Annette: Once you start having on-screen sex, it isn't embarrassing anymore.
Annette: I am really looking forward as I get older and older, to being less and less nice.
Annette: Acting is not about being famous, it's about exploring the human soul.
Annette: I have perfected the art of putting my feet on my husband's lap during awards ceremonies so he can rub them.
Annette: (on convicted killer Jean Harris) Jean says that she had no intention of killing him. She meant to kill herself and she ended up killing him.
Annette: (on convicted murderer Jean Harris) The reason, I think, is that Jean is not sympathetic. She's not a nice girl. She's not out to win people. I think that's why the movies never got made.
Annette: (on the script of "Mrs. Harris") I thought it was very original. The story could have been very cheesy and sensationalized.
Annette: You have to have a wristband to listen to the governor? He represents all of us, right?
Annette: (on "American Beauty" director Sam Mendes) He seemed to know so much more than it would be appropriate for a first-time (film) director to know. I still don't understand how he knows what he knows.
Annette: (on the movie "American Beauty") It's a thrill because the movie was made for love. We did it because we thought it could be very special. It's absolutely a thrill to be a part of something that has meant so much to so many people. We're all just thrilled that people like it.
Annette: Please forgive me for not saying I'll try to do better.
Annette: I love what I do, and I appreciate this very much. Trick question.
Annette: I think we as celebrities have a lot more control.
Annette: Right now, I love the fact that I have so many opportunities, but I know this privileged position cannot last. That doesn't mean that I'll stop working. I picture myself as an old actress doing cameos in films with people saying: "Isn't that that Bening woman?"
Annette: Oh, honey, I'm from Oklahoma! This is who I am - middle-class all the way!