Sissy Spacek won an Academy Award for her stunning portrayal of country music legend Loretta Lynn in this rags to riches story set against the exciting backdrop of country music. Just as good as Spacek are Academy Award winner Tommy Lee Jones and Beverly D'Angelo, who shine in powerful supporting roles. Every star did their own singing, filling the soundtrack with dozens of musical treasures. A truly powerful film, simultaneously inspirational and cautionary, about the nuances and pratfalls of fame.

  • Feb 22, 1980
  • Drama

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Cast & Crew

  • Beverly D'Angelo

    Beverly D'AngeloActor

    Intriguing, inspiring, and never less than interesting -- key adjectives in describing the career of Beverly D'Angelo, which has well passed the three-decade mark. Perhaps deserving better movies than she generally found herself in, she nevertheless was always an object of fascination and the one to watch...whatever the role. Hardly the shrinking violet type, Hollywood counted on her for her colorful personality, down-to-earth demeanor and scene-stealing capabilities. Beverly Heather D'Angelo was born on November 15, 1951 in Columbus, Ohio, the daughter of musicians Priscilla Ruth (Smith), a violinist, and Eugene Constantino "Gene" D'Angelo, a bass player who also managed a TV station. Her maternal grandfather, Howard Dwight Smith, was the architect who designed the Ohio ("Horseshoe") Stadium at Ohio State University. Her mother had English, Irish, Scottish, and German ancestry, and her father was of Italian descent. Beverly once attended an American school in Florence, Italy. Initially drawn to art, Beverly worked as a animator/cartoonist at Hanna-Barbera Productions before moving to Canada to pursue a rock singing career, To make ends meet she worked as a session vocalist and sang anyplace she could -- from coffeehouses to topless bars. At one point the teenager was invited to join up with rockabilly legend Ronnie Hawkins. Beverly's acting career started up when she left the Hawkins band and joined the Charlottetown Festival repertory company. She was touring Canada as Ophelia in "Kronborg: 1582", a rock musical version of Shakespeare's "Hamlet" when the renowned Colleen Dewhurst caught a performance and saw promise in both Beverly and the show. Eventually musical director Gower Champion got into the mix and the show was completely revamped, becoming the rock musical "Rockabye Hamlet", which made its way to Broadway in 1976. While the show itself was short-lived, Beverly's Ophelia attracted fine notices and she soon found herself on the West coast with film and TV opportunities. After this point, she seldom returned to the stage but did star alongside Ed Harris in the 1995 off-Broadway production of Sam Shepard's "Simpatico", which earned her a Theatre World Award. A role in the TV miniseries Captains and the Kings (1976) led to bit parts in The Sentinel (1977) and in the Woody Allen classic Annie Hall (1977). A string of co-starring roles followed with First Love (1977), the Clint Eastwood starrer Every Which Way but Loose (1978) and the film adaptation of the hit counterculture musical Hair (1979). Best of all for Beverly was her powerhouse featured performance as the one-and-only Patsy Cline in the acclaimed biopic Coal Miner's Daughter (1980). Both she and Oscar winner Sissy Spacek (as fellow country singer Loretta Lynn) expertly supplied their own vocals. Playing everything from tough-as-nails prostitutes, party girls and barflies to rich, prim widows and depressed, alcoholic moms, most of Beverly's output was solid during this time. Playing happening kind of gals, she customarily rose above much of the standard comedic or dramatic material given. An interesting gallery of offbeat characters came her way in a number of hit-or-miss features: Paternity (1981), Finders Keepers (1984), Big Trouble (1986), Maid to Order (1987), High Spirits (1988), Cold Front (1989), Daddy's Dyin'... Who's Got the Will? (1990), The Pope Must Diet (1991), Man Trouble (1992), Lightning Jack (1994), The Crazysitter (1994), Merchants of Venus (1998) and Sugar Town (1999). She also sang in a few of these films. Beverly attracted mainstream notice as Chevy Chase's beleaguered wife in the comedy spoof Vacation (1983) and its three sequels. Stronger roles came with such films as the English/Irish production The Miracle (1991) and the Neo-Nazi film American History X (1998). She was also a favorite of director John Schlesinger who used her in Honky Tonk Freeway (1981) and Eye for an Eye (1996), among others. In the spoof Pterodactyl Woman from Beverly Hills (1997), in which she served as associate producer, Beverly gamely starred as a chic Beverly Hills housewife who turns into a flying prehistoric reptile by night. On TV, Beverly scored well as matricide victim Kitty Menendez in Menendez: A Killing in Beverly Hills (1994) and earned an Emmy-nomination (and arguably gave the best performance) as Stella Kowalski opposite "Hair" co-star Treat Williams in the TV remake of A Streetcar Named Desire (1984). Other topnotch TV mini-movies included Sweet Temptation (1996) and Judgment Day: The John List Story (1993), in which she played Robert Blake's devout wife. On primetime she has been cast quite assertively in recurring parts -- lately she has been spotted on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999) as a defense attorney, and on Entourage (2004) as a talent agent. Beverly's off-camera romantic life has been just as interesting. Following her relationship with "Hair" director Milos Forman, she married Lorenzo Salviati, an economics student who also was an Italian duke. She left Hollywood and lived with him in Europe, but separated after two years and returned. A six-year relationship with Irish director Neil Jordan was followed by one with Oscar-winning production designer Anton Furst; this ended tragically when, just weeks after their breakup, he committed suicide. A former union with the volatile Al Pacino produced twins Olivia and Anton, who were born in 2001. These days, Beverly's career on camera has remained secondary to the raising of her children. Occasionally she has made use of her vocal talents performing at L.A. nightclubs and with a jazz band that included brother Jeff. From time to time she still lights up the screen as a brash professional or somebody's colorful mom; whatever time she has on screen, whether major or minor, it is always welcomed and never, ever less than...interesting.
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  • Sissy Spacek

    Sissy SpacekActor

    As a kid, Sissy Spacek climbed trees, rode horses, swam, and played in the woods. She was born Mary Elizabeth Spacek on December 25, 1949, in Quitman, Texas, to Virginia Frances (Spilman) and Edwin Arnold Spacek, Sr., a county agricultural agent. Her father's family was of Czech and German origin. Sissy attended Quitman High School and was homecoming queen. After graduating, she embarked on an acting career, gaining interest in the profession through her cousin, actor Rip Torn. Sissy relocated to New York, and through him, enrolled in the New York branch of the Actors Studio. She studied acting at the Lee Strasberg Institute while also pursuing work as a model and singer, appearing in West Village showcases such as the Bitter End for $10 a night. Sissy eventually broke into film and one of her first roles was as Holly in the classic Badlands (1973). The art director on that film was Jack Fisk, with whom she would marry in 1974 and ultimately collaborate on eight films. Sissy followed this landmark film with a star-making and Oscar nominated performance in Carrie (1976), in which she played a humiliated prom queen who goes postal with her telekinesis. Sissy has had an enduring and award winning career in movies and television, which includes an Oscar as Best Actress for Coal Miner's Daughter (1980). The parents of two grown daughters, Sissy and Jack live on a large horse ranch in the foothills of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. Even though she continued to appear in film and television during the late 1980s and 1990s, Sissy devoted most of those years to her family. Then, in 2001, Sissy returned to the big screen in a major way with a powerful performance in In the Bedroom (2001), which not only earned her a sixth Best Actress Oscar nomination, but a win for Best Actress at the Golden Globes, Independent Spirit Awards, and numerous critics association awards. Sissy continues to work steadily as an actress, but in 2012, her credits expanded even further to include a memoir, My Extraordinary Ordinary Life.
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  • Cast Image

    Tommy Lee JonesActor

    Tommy Lee Jones was born in San Saba, Texas, the son of Lucille Marie (Scott), a police officer and beauty shop owner, and Clyde C. Jones, who worked on oil fields. Tommy himself worked in underwater construction and on an oil rig. He attended St. Mark's School of Texas, a prestigious prep school for boys in Dallas, on a scholarship, and went to Harvard on another scholarship. He roomed with future Vice President Al Gore and played offensive guard in the famous 29-29 Harvard-Yale football game of '68 known as "The Tie." He received a B.A. in English literature and graduated cum laude from Harvard in 1969. Following college, he moved to New York and began his theatrical career on Broadway in "A Patriot for Me" (1969). In 1970, he made his film debut in Love Story (1970). While living in New York, he continued to appear in various plays, both on- and off-Broadway: "Fortune and Men's Eyes" (1969); "Four on a Garden" (1971); "Blue Boys" (1972); "Ulysses in Nighttown" (1974). During this time, he also appeared on a daytime soap opera, One Life to Live (1968) as Dr. Mark Toland from 1971-75. He moved with wife Kate Lardner, granddaughter of short-story writer/columnist Ring Lardner, and her two children from a previous marriage, to Los Angeles. There he began to get some roles on television: Charlie's Angels (1976) (pilot episode); Smash-Up on Interstate 5 (1976); and The Amazing Howard Hughes (1977). While working on the movie Back Roads (1981), he met and fell in love with Kimberlea Cloughley, whom he later married. More roles in television--both on network and cable--stage and film garnered him a reputation as a strong, explosive, thoughtful actor who could handle supporting as well as leading roles. He made his directorial debut in The Good Old Boys (1995) on TNT. In addition to directing and starring in the film, he co-wrote the teleplay (with J.T. Allen). The film, based on Elmer Kelton's novel, is set in west Texas where Jones has strong family ties. Consequently, this story of a cowboy facing the end of an era has special meaning for him.
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  • Levon Helm

    Levon HelmActor

  • MICHAEL APTED

    MICHAEL APTEDDirector

Cast & Crew photos provided by TMDb.