Kate Nelligan, née Patricia Colleen Nelligan, actress (b at London, Ont 16 Mar 1951). Kate Nelligan studied at York University and received her drama training at the Central School of Speech in London, Eng. She made her London debut as Jenny in Knuckle by David Hare, with whose work she has become most associated. She received the London Critics Award as Most Promising Actress for Knuckle in 1974. In 1978 she played Susan Traherne in Hare's Plenty at the National Theatre, repeating the role in New York in 1982.
Other significant roles include Pegeen Mike in The Playboy of the Western World and Sybil in Private Lives (1972-73) at the Bristol Old Vic; Ellie Dunn in Heartbreak House (1975) at the Old Vic; Marianne in Tales from the Vienna Woods (1977) at the National and Rosalind in As You Like It (1977) at STRATFORD. She joined the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Mass, in 1984 to play Josie in Eugene O'Neill's Moon for the Misbegotten.
The versatile Nelligan has been highly praised for her acting on television and stage and in film. She has played major roles in such television productions as Thérèse Raquin, Hare's Dreams of Leaving, Harold Pinter's Old Times and the Canadian production Love and Hate: A Marriage Made in Hell, in which she played JoAnn Thatcher. She has received Tony nominations for her work on the Broadway stage for Plenty (1983), A Moon for the Misbegotten (1984), Serious Money (1988) by Caryl Churchill and Spoils of War (1989) by Michael Weller. She played the central role of Lyssa Dent Hughes, the daughter of a Republican senator and a descendant of Ulysses S. Grant, in Wendy Wasserstein's An American Daughter (1997), at the Cort Theatre in New York City.
Since making her film debut in The Count of Monte Cristo in 1974, she has played a wide range of roles in numerous films including The Romantic Englishwoman (1975), Dracula (1979), Eye of the Needle (1980), Without a Trace (1982), Eleni (1985), The Prince of Tides (1991), Frankie and Johnny (1991), Shadows and Fog (1992), Fatal Instinct (1993), Wolf (1994), How to Make an American Quilt (1995), Up Close and Personal (1996), U.S. Marshalls (1998) and The Cider House Rules (1999). She has worked with such major film directors as Mike Nichols, Lasse Hallstrom, Peter Yates and Woody Allen.
Nelligan was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in The Prince of Tides and received the British Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress for Frankie and Johnny. She returned to the CBC in 1994 to star in the made-for-TV movie about the Dionne quintuplets, Million Dollar Babies. She has appeared in several Canadian films including Bethune: The Making of a Hero (1990), The White Room (1990) and Margaret's Museum (1995), for which she received a Genie Award as Best Supporting Actress.
She continues to do challenging and important work playing Nina Wade in the six-hour CBC mini-series Human Cargo (2003) and Judge Sylvia Quinn in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2010). She has appeared in Blessed Stranger: After Flight 111 (2000), Walter and Harry (2001), the mini-series A Wrinkle in Time (2003), In from the Night (2005) and Premonition (2007).