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Penelope Ann Miller
Penelope Ann Miller.jpg
Miller at the ACE Eddie Awards in 2012
Penelope Andrea Miller

(1964-01-13) January 13, 1964 (age 59)
Other names Penelope Miller
Occupation Actress
Years active 1985–present
(m. 1994; div. 1995)

James Huggins
(m. 2000)
Children 2
Parent(s) Mark Miller (father)
Beatrice Ammidown (mother)

Penelope Ann Miller (born Penelope Andrea Miller; January 13, 1964), sometimes credited as Penelope Miller, is an American actress. She began her career on Broadway in the 1985 original production of Biloxi Blues and received a Tony Award nomination for the 1989 revival of Our Town.

She has starred in several major Hollywood films, particularly in the late 1980s and early 1990s, including Adventures in Babysitting (1987), Biloxi Blues (1988), Big Top Pee-wee (1988), The Freshman (1990), Awakenings (1990), Kindergarten Cop (1990), Other People's Money (1991), Year of the Comet (1992), and Carlito's Way (1993), for which she received a Golden Globe Award nomination.

She returned to Broadway in the 1995 original stage production of On the Waterfront. Her other films include a starring role in The Relic (1997) and supporting roles in Chaplin (1992), Along Came a Spider (2001), and The Artist (2011).

Early life

Miller was born in Los Angeles, California, to Beatrice (née Ammidown), a costume designer, publicist, and journalist, and Mark Miller, a television actor and producer. Her mother was the goddaughter of businessman Aristotle Onassis and an editor of Harper's Bazaar. She has two sisters: older, Marisa Miller, who is also a film actress, and younger, Savannah Miller, a social worker.

Miller graduated from high school in Los Angeles and attended Menlo College in Atherton, California for two years from 1981 to 1983, then moved to New York City to study theatre at HB Studio.


Her Broadway theatre break came in 1985 when she was cast in the lead (opposite Matthew Broderick) in the Neil Simon play Biloxi Blues. (She also starred with Broderick in the 1988 film version of that play). She played a role in one episode ("Death and the Lady") of the television series Miami Vice (which aired on October 16, 1987), and accepted several other small roles in film and television work. She then returned to Broadway in a revival of Our Town; her portrayal of Emily garnered her a Tony award nomination. She then appeared as Pee-wee Herman's (Paul Reubens) fiancée, Winnie Johnston, in the 1988 release of Big Top Pee-wee. She played a supporting role in 1989's "Dead Bang", a cop thriller starring Don Johnson.

In 1990, she played Paula in Awakenings, starring Robert De Niro and Robin Williams. She also appeared in the 1990 movies Downtown, with Anthony Edwards and Forest Whitaker, and Kindergarten Cop, alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger, playing a teacher, hiding with her son Dominic from her criminal husband Cullen Crisp (Richard Tyson). She subsequently appeared in a number of other theatrical movies, notably as Edna Purviance in Chaplin and with Tim Daly as Margaret "Maggie" Harwood in Peter Yates' film Year Of The Comet, both in 1992, and the following year she appeared as the love interest of Al Pacino's character in Carlito's Way.

Miller co-starred as the daughter of the character played by Marlon Brando in 1990's The Freshman, again opposite Matthew Broderick, and as the lawyer and stepdaughter of the character played by Gregory Peck in 1991's Other People's Money. She appeared as Margo Lane in The Shadow with Alec Baldwin, as well as in the film Miles from Home directed by Gary Sinise. She had the lead role in the big-budget creature feature The Relic (1997) as Dr. Margo Green. In 1998, she portrayed Barbara Henry in Ruby Bridges a made-for-television movie that was made by the Disney company, about Ruby Bridges, the first black student to attend an all-white elementary school in New Orleans. In 2000, she played the scandalous teacher Mary Kay Letourneau in the TV version of a true story, All-American Girl: The Mary Kay Letourneau Story.

In 2002, Miller starred in the film Dead in a Heartbeat and in a two-part episode of A&E's series A Nero Wolfe Mystery. Her 2005 film Funny Money was voted the top film of the Sarasota Film Festival. She appeared in the Fox series Vanished for six episodes, playing the ex-wife of a U.S. senator whose wife has mysteriously disappeared. Her 2007 comedy Blonde Ambition co-starring Jessica Simpson and Luke Wilson, which is considered as a brilliant & cult film for its writing and for the many references it has. She guest-starred as Fran on Desperate Housewives. Miller appeared in the horror film The Messengers, co-starring Dylan McDermott and Kristen Stewart. The film was produced by director Sam Raimi's production company, Ghost House Pictures. In 2011, she portrayed Doris, the wife of protagonist George Valentin (Jean Dujardin), in the Academy Award-winning film The Artist.

After a recurring role on the ABC soap series Mistresses, Miller was cast in 2015 as a regular in the first season of ABC's drama series American Crime.

In October 2020, Miller was cast as First Lady Nancy Reagan in Reagan, an upcoming 2023 biographical film based on the life of President Ronald Reagan.

Personal life

In 1994, Miller married actor Will Arnett. They divorced in 1995.

Miller married James Huggins, and they have two daughters: Eloisa May and Maria Adela. On March 14, 2012, Miller filed for legal separation from Huggins after 12 years of marriage. On June 15, 2012, Miller withdrew her request for separation.


Denotes projects that have not yet been released Denotes projects that have not yet been released


Year Title Role Notes
1987 Hotshot Mary Film debut
1987 Adventures in Babysitting Brenda
1988 Biloxi Blues Daisy Hannigan
1988 Big Top Pee-wee Winnie Johnson
1988 Miles from Home Sally
1989 Dead Bang Linda Kimble
1990 Downtown Lori Mitchell
1990 Freshman, TheThe Freshman Tina Sabatini
1990 Awakenings Paula
1990 Kindergarten Cop Joyce Palmieri / Rachel Crisp
1991 Other People's Money Kate Sullivan
1992 Year of the Comet Margaret Harwood
1992 Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag, TheThe Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag Mrs. Elizabeth Louise "Betty Lou" Perkins
1992 Chaplin Edna Purviance
1993 Carlito's Way Gail
1994 Shadow, TheThe Shadow Margo Lane
1997 Relic, TheThe Relic Dr. Margo Green
1997 Little City Rebecca
1998 Break Up Grace
1998 Outside Ozona Earlene Demers
1999 Chapter Zero Cassandra
2000 Lisa Picard Is Famous Penelope Ann Miller
2000 Forever Lulu Claire Clifton
2001 Along Came a Spider Elizabeth Rose
2001 Full Disclosure Michelle Video
2006 Funny Money Carol Perkins
2007 Messengers, TheThe Messengers Denise Solomon
2007 The Deal Laura Martin
2007 Blonde Ambition Debra
2008 Free Style Jeannette Bryant
2009 Saving Grace B. Jones Bea Bretthorst
2010 Flipped Trina Baker
2011 Artist, TheThe Artist Doris Valentin
2011 About Sunny Louise
2013 Saving Lincoln Mary Todd Lincoln
2013 Robosapien: Rebooted Joanna Keller
2016 The Birth of a Nation Elizabeth Turner
2016 The Bronx Bull Debbie Forrester
2018 American Dresser Vera
2020 Adverse Nicole
2023 ReaganProjects that have not yet been released Nancy Reagan Post-production
TBA Murder at Hollow CreekProjects that have not yet been released Lori Rhodes Filming

Television films

Year Title Role Notes
1988 Tales from Hollywood Hills: Closed Set Tina
1994 Witch Hunt Kim Hudson
1997 The Last Don Nalene De Lena
1997 The Hired Heart Garnet Hadley
1997 Merry Christmas, George Bailey Mary Hatch Bailey
1998 Rhapsody in Bloom Lilah Bloom
1998 Ruby Bridges Barbara Henry
1999 Rocky Marciano Barbara Cousins
2000 All-American Girl: The Mary Kay Letourneau Story Mary Kay Letourneau
2000 Killing Moon Laura Chadwick
2001 Dodson's Journey Meredith Dodson
2001 Woman's a Helluva Thing, AA Woman's a Helluva Thing Zane Douglas
2002 Dead in a Heartbeat Dr. Gillian Hayes
2002 Scared Silent Kathy Clifson
2003 Rudy: The Rudy Giuliani Story Donna Hanover
2003 National Lampoon's Thanksgiving Family Reunion Pauline Snider
2004 Carry Me Home Harriet
2005 Personal Effects Bonnie Locke
2008 Deadliest Lesson, TheThe Deadliest Lesson Gloria
2017 NY Prison Break Joyce Mitchell
2019 The College Admissions Scandal Caroline DeVere

Television series

Year Title Role Notes
1985 Tales from the Darkside Keena Episode: "Ring Around the Redhead"
1987 Facts of Life, TheThe Facts of Life Kristen Morgan Episode: "The Greek Connection"
1987 Family Ties Joyce Episode: "Higher Love"
1987 Popcorn Kid, TheThe Popcorn Kid Gwen Stottlemeyer 6 episodes
1987 Miami Vice Jill Ryder Episode: "Death and the Lady"
1987 St. Elsewhere Laurel Episode: "Ewe Can't Go Home Again"
1989 Great Performances Emily Webb Episode: "Our Town"
1991 Morton & Hayes Jody Episode: "The Bride of Mummula"
1997 Last Don, TheThe Last Don Nalene De Lena Episode: "#1.1"
1998 Closer, TheThe Closer Erica Hewitt 10 episodes
2002 Nero Wolfe Mystery, AA Nero Wolfe Mystery Lucy Valdon 2 episodes
2003–2004 Minute with Stan Hooper, AA Minute with Stan Hooper Molly Hooper 13 episodes
2005 CSI: NY Rose Whitley Episode: "What You See Is What You Get"
2005 Desperate Housewives Fran Ferrara Episode: "Coming Home"
2006 Vanished Jessica Nevins 9 episodes
2009–2011 Men of a Certain Age Sonia Tranelli 9 episodes
2013–2014 Mistresses Elizabeth Grey 10 episodes
2015 American Crime Eve Carlin 10 episodes
2018 Riverdale Ms. Wright 1 episode
2018 Criminal Minds Dr. Elizabeth Rhodes 1 episode
2022 Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story Joyce Dahmer 10 episodes

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
1991 3rd Chicago Film Critics Association Awards Most Promising Actress
The Freshman
1994 51st Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Carlito's Way
1995 21st Saturn Awards Best Actress
The Shadow
1997 23rd Saturn Awards Best Actress
The Relic
1998 2nd Hollywood Film Awards Special Jury Award for Best Acting in a Feature
Rhapsody in Bloom
2001 1st DVD Exclusive Awards Best Supporting Actress
Full Disclosure
2012 10th Gold Derby Awards Best Ensemble Cast
The Artist
18th Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Nominated
2016 20th Satellite Awards Best Ensemble – Television Series
American Crime

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Penelope Ann Miller para niños

National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Legendary Hispanic musicians
Carlos Santana
Ricky Martin
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