Who is Amy Madigan?
Amy was born in Chicago, Illinois on 11 September 1950. She’s an American actress and singer who began her acting journey in the late 1970s and quickly made her mark in Hollywood. Amy is perhaps known best for her role in the sci-fi film “Field of Dreams” (1989), in which she portrayed Kevin Costner’s wife. In addition to her film work, Amy has appeared in numerous TV series, including “Carnivàle” and “Grey’s Anatomy”.
Early Life and Education
Amy was the only daughter of John J. Madigan, a renowned journalist who worked for “Newsweek”, and Dolores, an administrative assistant and amateur actress.
Amy grew up a devout Roman Catholic and attended St. Aquinas Dominican High School, and it was during her high school days that she became interested in acting, and she started performing in school plays. After matriculating in 1968, she went on to study piano at the prestigious Chicago Conservatory of Music.
Amy attended Marquette University, from which she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy. She later moved to Los Angeles, California, and enrolled at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute to study acting.
Roles in Movies
Amy made her film debut in 1981 in the TV movie “Crazy Times”. In the following years, she built an impressive portfolio, appearing in numerous movies including “Love Letters” (1983), “Streets on Fire” and “Places in the Heart” both in 1984. However, it was her performance in the 1985 film “Twice in a Lifetime” that garnered critical acclaim; her portrayal of Sunny, the waitress who becomes entangled in a love triangle, earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
One of Amy’s most notable roles came in the 1989 Oscar-nominated sci-fi drama “Field of Dreams”. Written and directed by Phil Alden Robinson, the film tells the story of Ray Kinsella, a farmer portrayed by Kevin Costner, who constructs a baseball diamond in his cornfield, guided by an enigmatic voice. Amy portrayed Annie Kinsella, Ray’s supportive and loving wife.
In the same year, Amy played Sarah Weddington, the lawyer who argued before the Supreme Court in the real life drama “Roe Vs. Wade”. Also in 1989, Amy demonstrated her versatility in the comedy “Uncle Buck”, directed by John Hughes. The film follows the story of carefree bachelor Buck Russell played by John Candy, who is tasked with looking after his brother’s children.
Through the 1990s, Amy continued appearing in critically-acclaimed films, such as “The Dark Half” (1993), “Female Perversions” (1996), and “Loved” (1997).
In 2000, she starred in the biographical drama “Pollock”, directed by and starring her husband, Ed Harris, explored the life and career of the influential American painter Jackson Pollock. In the movie, Amy played Peggy Guggenheim, a prominent art collector and patron who recognized Pollock’s talent and supported his work.
Another notable role for Amy was in Ben Affleck’s directing debut “Gone Baby Gone” (2007), which follows a private investigator played by Casey Affleck, who’s hired to find a missing girl.
In the 2010s, Amy starred alongside her husband Ed in several movies, including the comedy-drama “That’s What I Am” (2011), neo-westerns “Sweetwater” (2013) and “Frontera” (2014), and the thriller “A Crooked Somebody” (2017). Also in 2017, Amy starred opposite Giancarlo Esposito in the musical drama “Stuck”, directed by Michael Berry.
Three years later, she played a supporting role in the hit horror “The Hunt”, centered on 12 strangers who are brought together to be hunted. Amy’s most recent movie role was in another horror “Antlers” (2023), directed by Scott Cooper, and which stars Keri Russell, Jesse Plemons and Jeremy T. Thomas.
The cast of the next horror-action movie from Blumhouse, 'The Hunt'.
Roles in TV Series
Amy made her TV debut in 1981, in an episode of the popular action series “Hart to Hart”. Through the 1980s and 1990s, Amy was primarily focused on her work in film, but still made appearances in several TV shows, including “Eureka Stockade”, “American Playhouse”, and “Frasier”.
One of Amy’s most notable TV roles, and her first recurring role, came in the critically-acclaimed series “Carnivàle” (2003-2005), created by Daniel Knauf. The show is set in the US during the Great Depression era of the 1930s and combines elements of dark fantasy, supernatural themes, and historical drama. The series follows two main storylines that eventually intertwine. Amy portrayed Iris Crowe, the fiercely protective and manipulative sister of the main antagonist.
In 2008 and 2009, Amy appeared in nine episodes of the medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy”., in the recurring role as Dr. Wyatt, a psychiatrist who provides therapy sessions to the doctors at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.
From 2010 through 2011, Amy played Marlyn Dunham in the J.J. Abreams’ acclaimed sci-fi series “Fringe”, centered on a scientist and a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent trying to solve the mystery behind a wave of supernatural phenomena.
Most recently, in 2020, Amy appeared in the Showtime fantasy crime drama “Penny Dreadful: City of Angels”, which starred Natalie Dormer, Daniel Zovatto, and Kerry Biche.
Before her career as an actress took off, Amy was a successful singer, a lead vocalist for the band Jelly, which enjoyed moderate success in the 1970s – the band released its only album, “A True Story”, through Asylum Records in 1977. In addition, Amy performed with several other bands who toured across the US. Even though she eventually pivoted to acting, her experience in music greatly informed her artistic expression in her subsequent career.
Marriage with Ed Harris
Amy’s marriage to actor Ed Harris has been a central part of both her personal and professional life. The two met while filming the 1983 movie “Places in the Heart”, and tied the knot on 21 November the same year. Their shared passion for acting has seen them collaborate on numerous projects, including the film “Pollock”, which Harris directed and starred in, with Amy the producer.
The couple’s enduring relationship has been a symbol of stability in an industry often marked by fleeting relationships. Amy and Ed have one child together, daughter Lily Dolores Harris, born in 1993. Coming from a family of renowned actors, Lily has followed in her parents’ footsteps, and made her acting debut in 2021.
Aside from acting and family life, Amy is dedicated to various philanthropic pursuits, upporting organizations that promote women’s rights, education, and the arts. She is known for her advocacy work, using her platform to speak out on issues she cares deeply about.
Despite her fame, Amy has managed to keep her personal life relatively private. She is known for her integrity and her dedication to her craft, often stating in interviews that she believes in the power of stories to change hearts and minds.
Amy’s successful career in film, television, and music has contributed to her net worth, which has been estimated at more than $25 million, as of July 2023.