Gena Rowlands at the London West Hollywood Hotel, West Hollywood, California, in 2015.
 
Gena Rowlands on Wikipedia
 
Gena Rowlands on The Internet Movie Database
 
 
 
 
 
 
Gena Rowlands
Forecourt Ceremony held on Friday, December 5, 2014
 
Born: Virginia Cathryn Rowlands, June 19, 1930, in Cambria, Wisconsin
Age at the time of the ceremony: 84
 
Gena Rowlands is a luminous screen presence. Carefully balancing work in mainstream Hollywood films with the work of husband John Cassavete's family of actors making idiosyncratic films, Rowlands' work onscreen is always interesting.

Rowlands' mother Mary was a homemaker and actress, while her father Edwin was a banker and state legislator. With her brother David, the family moved to Washington D.C. when Edwin got a slot in the USDA in 1939. In 1942, they moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and later lived in Minneapolis, Minnesota. From 1947 to 1950, she attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She was very popular at school amd pledged to Kappa Kappa Gamma.

After graduating, Rowlands headed to New York City, where she studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. While there, she met and struck up a friendship with fellow student John Cassavetes. They would marry in April, 1954. She performed in community theatres and worked at the Provincetown Playhouse in New York. She toured in a production of The Seven Year Itch after it opened in New York in 1952.

Rowlands' first credit is for a show called Top Secret with Paul Stewart (who directed), aired in syndication in September 1954. Paul Stewart would become part of Rowlands' acting family, playing parts in each others projects for years to come. Rowlands appeared in many of the anthology television shows of that time, including Studio One in Hollywood with Richard Kiley, aired over CBS in August 1955.

Broadway director Joshua Logan cast Rowlands as "The Girl" in Paddy Chayefsky's Middle of the Night starring Edward G. Robinson and Martin Balsam for 477 performances, from February 1956 to May 1957. She made her film debut (second billed) in the soufflé The High Cost of Loving (released in May 1958) with José Ferrer (who directed — do we detect a trend?)

Rowlands was an uncredited extra in husband John's directorial debut film Shadows (released in November 1958) with Cassavetes in the lead; she continued to appear in television, including Alfred Hitchcock Presents with Dick York, aired over NBC in October 1960.

Rowlands co-starred in the western Lonely Are the Brave (released in May 1962) with Kirk Douglas, and got caught up in John's directing of A Child Is Waiting (released in January 1963) with Burt Lancaster. Cassavetes and producer Stanley Kramer fought over the film, and it shows. It flopped.

Meanwhile, Gena kept at working in television, where she brought her warm appeal to shows like Bonanza with Lorne Greene, aired over CBS in September 1963 and Run for Your Life with Ben Gazzara, aired over NBC in January 1966. She took a part in Tony Rome (released in November 1967) with Frank Sinatra. Rowlands took the role of Adrianne Van Leyden for 39 episodes of Peyton Place with Dorothy Malone, aired over ABC from July to December 1967.

Rowlands co-starred in husband John's breakthrough film, Faces (released in March 1968) with John Marley. Both Gena and John took parts in the Italian crime movie Machine Gun McCain (released in October 1970), in order to pay for John's films. Rowlands starred in the meet cute comedy Minnie and Moskowitz (released in December 1971) with Seymour Cassel with John directing. Universal financed the picture, and it did okay, but Cassavetes knew that studio production coin meant studio interference.

Their next project, A Woman Under the Influence (released in November 1974) with Peter Falk, was a low-budget affair, hand-booked into theatres by Cassavetes himself. They both got Oscar nominations for the picture. Meanwhile, to make ends meet, Rowlands and Cassavetes both appeared in the football disaster film Two-Minute Warning (released in November 1976) with Charlton Heston.

Opening Night (released in December 1977) with Ben Gazzara, was such a homebrew affair that Cassavetes personally put up the letters on the marquee of the Fox Wilshire in Beverly Hills — the only house to play the film for years. The film did not break out, got panned and was ignored fror years, but it has a following now.

Rowlands starred as Peter Falk's wife for director William Friedkin in The Brink's Job (released in December 1978). The film didn't do well. Rowlands realized a dream come true by playing opposite Bette Davis in the television movie Strangers: The Story of a Mother and Daughter aired over CBS in May 1979.

Somehow, husband Cassavetes wrote and directed the gunmoll-on-the-run movie Gloria (released in October 1980) with Buck Henry. The film didn't do well. Rowlands worked for director Paul Mazursky in his modern-day adaptation of the Tempest (released in September 1982) with Cassavetes playing the Prospero role. It flopped.

Rowlands won a primetime Emmy and a Golden Globe Award for playing the title role in The Betty Ford Story with Josef Sommer as Gerald, aired over ABC in March 1987. Rowlands wowed many with her performance as a professor re-examining her life in Woody Allen's Another Woman (released in November 1988) with Mia Farrow.

For director Lasse Halstrom, Rowland joined the cast of Once Around (released in February 1991) with Richard Dreyfuss. Rowland won an Emmy for Face of a Stranger with Tyne Daly, aired over CBS in December 1991. She played Sandra Bullock's mother in
Hope Floats (which played the Chinese in May 1998).

In the multi-storyline Playing by Heart (released in December 1998), Rowland played Sean Connery's wife. She won another Emmy for Hysterical Blindness with Uma Thurman, aired over HBO in August 2002. Rowlands made quite a stir by appearing in her son Nick Cassavete's film of The Notebook (released in June 2004) with Ryan Gosling.

Rowlands was asked to make her impressions in the Forecourt in connection with the release of Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks (released in December 2014) with Cheyenne Jackson. Later, Rowlands was presented with an Honrary Oscar for her lifetime of work at the AMPAS 7th Annual Governors Awards, on November 14, 2015.
 
 
Caption TK
TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX®, Hollywood, California. Gena Rowlands Forecourt ceremony, Friday, December 5, 2014. Gena Rowlands stands in triumph (and in wet cement).
 
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