Gena Rowlands Poster

Trivia (23)

Born to Edwyn Myrwyn Rowlands, a banker and a state legislator (Assembly, 1927-1935; Senate, 1935-1939), and his wife Mary Allen Neal, a painter, she was raised in Cambria, Wisconsin, until her father was appointed to a position in the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1939. After the Washington years, the family moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1942.

Attended the University of Wisconsin from 1947 to 1950, when she left for New York City to study drama at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

Mother of Nick Cassavetes, Xan Cassavetes and Zoe R. Cassavetes .

She and John Cassavetes made 10 movies together: A Child Is Waiting (1963), Faces (1968), Gloria (1980), Love Streams (1984), Minnie and Moskowitz (1971), Opening Night (1977), A Woman Under the Influence (1974), Machine Gun McCain (1969), Two-Minute Warning (1976) and Tempest (1982).

Sister of David Rowlands.

Her performance as Mabel Longhetti in A Woman Under the Influence (1974) is ranked #63 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).

Name rhymes with henna.

Has suppressed the first version of her husband's (John Cassavetes) film Shadows (1959) and will neither allow it to be shown, nor acknowledge its existence.

Favorite actress of Maggie Gyllenhaal.

As of 2013, she is one of six women who has received a Best Actress Oscar nomination for a performance directed by her spouse. She is the only one who has received two such nominations, for A Woman Under the Influence (1974) and Gloria (1980) (both directed by John Cassavetes). The other five are Elisabeth Bergner for Escape Me Never (1935) (directed by Paul Czinner), Jean Simmons for The Happy Ending (1969) (directed by Richard Brooks), Frances McDormand for Fargo (1996) (directed by Joel Coen), Julie Andrews for Victor Victoria (1982) (directed by Blake Edwards), and Joanne Woodward for Rachel, Rachel (1968) (directed by Paul Newman). Jules Dassin also directed his future wife Melina Mercouri in a Best Actress Oscar nominated performance (Never on Sunday (1960)), but they weren't married yet at the time of the nomination.

Grandmother of Sasha Cassavetes and Virginia Cassavetes.

Daughter of Lady Rowlands.

Mother-in-law of Heather Wahlquist.

Pedro Almodóvar dedicated his movie All About My Mother (1999) to her, Bette Davis and Romy Schneider.

Graduated from Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Virginia, class of 1947. Other alumni include Forrest Tucker, Shirley MacLaine, Warren Beatty and Sandra Bullock.

Sister of Kappa Kappa Gamma women's fraternity.

Her father was of Welsh descent. Her mother had English ancestry.

She and her real life mother Lady Rowlands played daughter and mother in two films together, Minnie and Moskowitz (1971) and A Woman Under the Influence (1974). They also appeared together in Opening Night (1977), although did not portray daughter and mother in that film.

She played the sister of her real life husband John Cassavetes in Love Streams (1984).

Nicknamed "Golden Girl" by her late husband, John Cassavetes, because of her blonde hair.

Saw Marlene Dietrich in The Blue Angel 38 times while ushering in theater in New York in her early twenties. Has been a fan of Dietrich's ever since.

Was pregnant with daughter Xan Cassavetes during the filming of Faces.

As of 2018, has never appeared in a Best Picture Oscar nominated film.