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Elizabeth McGovern is a film, television, and theater actress and a musician. In 1980, while studying at Julliard, she was offered a part in her first film. Elizabeth signed on to play the part of Jeanine Pratt in Robert Redford's Oscar-winning flick, Ordinary People. The following year, she wound up with an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in recognition of her performance as Evelyn Nesbit in the film Ragtime (1981).
In 1984, McGovern starred alongside Robert De Niro, acting as his love interest in the Sergio Leone gangster epic Once Upon a Time in America. Four years later, she took on a familiar role as Mickey Rourke's girlfriend in the 1989 crime drama Johnny Handsome. A few months later, she temporarily switched gears and decided to portray a rebellious lesbian by the name of Moira in Volker Schlöndorff's romantic sci-fi thriller The Handmaid's Tale.
In 2010, Elizabeth began her portrayal of Cora, Countess of Grantham, on the popular British TV series "Downtown Abbey." The role, which continued through 2013, garnered McGovern a tremendous amount of exposure.
Elizabeth McGovern is married to British director/producer Simon Curtis.