Joan Cusack

Joan Cusack


10/11/1962, New York, New York, USA

Birth Name

Joan Mary Cusack


out of 10
User Rating
40 votes


Often referred to as "John Cusack's sister" Joan Cusack is arguably Hollywood's most underrated actresses. No stranger to the big and small screen, Joan is most widely recognized for her roles in In & Out, Working Girl and Say Anything. Even at her forties, Joan is still a…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • In 2015, Joan won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series playing Sheila on Shameless.

    • Joan has said that her favorite junk food is Hostess Ho-Hos.

    • Joan and her family enjoy watching Monty Python and Mel Brooks movies.

    • Joan married Richard Burke in 1993. They are still married today. They have had two children together, a son named Dylan John Burke, born June 17, 1997 and a second son, Miles, in July 2000.

    • In 1998, Joan was nominated for a Online Film Critics Society Awards in the category of Best Supporting Actress for her role as Marcella in the 1997 film Grosse Pointe Blank.

    • In 1998, Joan won a Broadcast Film Critics Association Award in the category of Best Supporting Actress for her role as Emily Montgomery in the 1997 film In & Out.

    • In 1994, Joan was nominated for a Saturn Award in the category of Best Supporting Actress for her role as Debbie Jellinsky in the 1993 film Addams Family Values. Six years later, Joan was nominated for a Saturn Award again in the category of Best Supporting Actress for her role as Cheryl Lang in the 1999 film Arlington Road.

    • In 1998, Joan was nominated for a Blockbuster Entertainment Award in the category of Favorite Actress-Comedy for her role as Emily Montgomery in the 1997 film In & Out. Fellow nominee was Mike Myers for his role in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. Both were beat out by winner Jim Carrey for his role in the 1997 hit Liar Liar.

    • Joan, along with Steve Zahn, sang the song "Wannabe" for the film and film's soundtrack of Chicken Little, in which she has a starring role in.

    • Joan starred as herself on The Travel Channel show Joan Cusack's Local Flavor, a show where she traveled around Europe visiting families associated with the culinary arts.

    • Because Joan didn't want to leave her family in Chicago when offered the starring role in the television show What About Joan, so she told producers that the show would have to shoot in Chicago, where she and her family live.

    • Joan shares her birthday on October 11 with Michelle Trachtenberg, her on-screen daughter in the 2005 Disney film Ice Princess.

    • Joan stands at 5' 9" or 1.75 m.

    • In 2005, Joan was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program for her role as the narrator in Peep and the Big Wide World.

    • Joan played an older woman involved with a grieving widower's (Jessica Lange) son, in the 1990 movie Men Don't Leave. She plays a psychotic, revenge seeking ex-girlfriend who is out to get her boyfriend (Bill Paxton) back from his current love played by Ellen Degeneres, in the 1996 movie Mr. Wrong.

    • Joan is set to portray cooking legend Julia Child in a new movie about her life, production starts in late December, 2006.

    • Joan was a founder of the three woman improv comedy group "An Impulsive Thing", along with Holly Wortell & Bonnie Hunt.

    • Joan performed "The Mirror Song" in the 1992 movie Toys, starring Robin Williams, and LL Cool J.

    • Joan appeared in a television commercial for US Celluar in 2002, and for DirecTV in 2004.

    • Joan was set to play the role of Bobbie Mancotiz in the 2004 movie The Stepford Wives with her brother John, but dropped out of the role to tend to her ailing grandfather. Bette Midler replaced her.

    • Joan was the first regular cast member of Saturday Night Live to be nominated for an Academy Award.

    • Joan received an Academy Award nomination for playing the role of Melanie Griffith's best friend in the 1988 movie Working Girl. Then again in 1997, for her role as a jilted bride of a man who realizes that he is gay in In & Out.

    • Joan's first major role in a film was in the 1980 movie The Bodyguard.

    • Joan is known for her impersonations of: Jane Fonda, Brooke Shields, and Queen Elizabeth.

    • Joan and her brother John have appeared in eight movies together so far: Class in 1988, Grandview, USA in 1984, 16 Candles in 1984, Broadcast News in 1987, Say Anything in 1989, Gross Pointe Blank in 1997, Cradle Will Rock, in 1999, and High Fidelity in 2000.

    • Joan and John used to put on family plays in their garage. Joan would play the princess, their sister Ann would be the queen, and little brother John was always the dog.

    • Joan's entire family are actors and actresses, including all four siblings and her parents.

    • Joan majored in English at the University of Madison, and went on to study acting at the Priven Theater Workshop in Evanston, Illinois.

  • Quotes

    • Joan: Parents have a lot of anxiety letting go of their kids. They think that if they can get them into the best [college] they could possibly ever go, that will secure their life, and they wouldn't have to worry about anything, which is really not real. It's destructive to your children to have them feel like if they're not the very best, then they don't mean anything. An Ivy League school doesn't guarantee that you're going to have a meaningful life. It's sad.

    • Joan: I remember my dad, who was awesome, saying to me, "If you really want to act your whole life, you should go to college first." He said I should learn about all the other wonderful things in the world and have great professors. He was a great lover of 18th century poetry, for some reason. Who knows why. But he really appreciated college, and he wanted his kids to have that experience.

    • Joan: I was brought up with humor. It's an important skill as a way of looking at the world. I value humor, but I never feel like I'm funny or that I'm a jokester. I don't think about entertaining -- that's another skill. It doesn't come naturally to me.

    • Joan: Working with John is great. He and I know how to play off of each other, because we have been doing it all of our lives. We were the ones creating the Christmas plays for the family gatherings, and writing stories to act out for our friends.

    • Joan: My first job now is as a mother, evrything else is secondary. My kids understand that I am an actress, and they are always so surprised to hear my voice on a cartoon character, or see my face on a video box. If it ever gets to be too much though, the career and the kids, I will simply set the career aside.

    • Joan: My favorite role so far, is playing Tim Robbin's wife in the thriller Arlington Rd, it was quite a stretch from the usual roles that I had been taking. The seriousness of the role was intense, I like working under intense conditions.

    • Joan: It was a terrible blow that was dealt when I was fired from Saturday Night Live, but I have to say that a few doors opened right away. Movie roles started to roll in, and pretty soon, I was over it.

    • Joan: I can't imagine being a single parent, or a single parent that doesn't have a lot of money. That's a big, huge impact on your life and your dynamic. I am the kind of person that needs support, my heart goes out to those who are struggling to be mothers.

    • Joan: If you do television, and it's great, it's the best job there is. Every week it's another opportunity to really make that work & figure out how to make it work better. I love that it's like theater too, and the audience, and it's so short, like twenty minutes...It's like a Haiku or something.

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    Joan Cusack is a true actress. You really believe that she got into acting because she loves it for what it is. You'll never see her in any tabloids and you won't hear any gossip about her. In her roles, you sense more realism than many other actor's who are considered more talented than her. Of all of her roles in all of her movies, my favorite has to be "High Fidelity."moreless