Join or Sign In

Sign in to customize your TV listings

Continue with Facebook Continue with email

By joining TV Guide, you agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy.

Mare Winningham Biography

Birth Name:
Mary Megan Winningham
Birth Place:
Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Actor, musician, singer/songwriter

Fast Facts

  • Began acting on the stage with the Teenage Drama Workshop at California State University when she was 12
  • Performed with the Los Angeles Free Shakespeare Company for two years, while still attending high school
  • First TV gig was playing the guitar while performing a Beatles tune on The Gong Show in 1976
  • Played lead role of Maria in her senior-class production of The Sound of Music, opposite Kevin Spacey's Captain Von Trapp; her performance was seen by Hollywood talent agent Meyer Mishkin, who was so impressed that he signed her as a client
  • Learned American Sign Language for her role as Maggie, the daughter of deaf parents eager to make a life of her own, in the acclaimed TV-movie Love Is Never Silent (1985)
  • In 1992, released her first album, a collection of folk songs, entitled What Might Be
  • Converted to Judaism in 2003


  • 2012Emmy-Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie: nominated
  • 1998Golden Globe-Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television: nominated
  • 1997Screen Actors Guild Awards-Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries: nominated
  • 1996Emmy-Outstanding Supporting Actress for a Miniseries or a Special: nominated
  • 1996Independent Spirit Awards-Best Supporting Female: winner
  • 1995Screen Actors Guild Awards-Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role: nominated
  • 1995Oscar-Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: nominated
  • 1990Independent Spirit Awards-Best Supporting Female: nominated
  • 1986Emmy-Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Special: nominated
  • 1983Genie Awards-Best Performance by a Foreign Actress: nominated
  • 1980Emmy-Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Special: winner