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Lisa Pelikan Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (1)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trivia (15)  | Personal Quotes (2)

Overview (1)

Born in Berkeley, California, USA

Mini Bio (1)

Lisa made her feature film debut as the young 'Julia' in Fred Zinnemann's JULIA sharing the title role with Vanessa Redgrave, her television debut as the ingénue in the Hallmark Hall of Fame production of THE COUNTRY GIRL with Jason Robards and Shirley Knight, and her theatrical debut starring as 'Wendla' in SPRING'S AWAKENING with the Circle Repertory Company in New York City.

With numerous credits and awards in theater, television and film, it is amazing to learn that it was just a twist of fate that brought Lisa to an acting career in the first place. Although she had been seriously interested in dancing and fine art from an early age, surgery in high school to remove a bone tumor from within the bone marrow of her leg cut short all possibilities of her dream of being a prima ballerina.

On a dare, she applied to The Juilliard School of Drama, which also has a prestigious dance division. She had never acted on stage before her Juilliard audition. On the basis of her very first audition, she was not only accepted, but also offered a full scholarship.

During her first year at school, Lisa was cast in the Hallmark Hall of Fame production of THE COUNTRY GIRL starring Jason Robards, Shirley Knight (and fellow actor John Lithgow). Then, Czechoslovakian film director Jan Kadar made a plea to John Housemann, Juilliard's school director, to release Lisa for a PBS film he was directing. Juilliard forbids students working before graduation, but Mr. Housemann became Lisa's biggest supporter and mentor, and allowed Lisa to juggle classes and acting jobs.

Her feature film debut came when she was cast as the young "Julia" in the acclaimed film, JULIA, sharing the title role with Vanessa Redgrave. On working with the renowned director, Fred Zinnemann, Lisa relates, "That was a magical entry into the world of filmmaking. Mr. Zinnemann took me under his wing when he saw how much I wanted to learn, not only about acting, but also about the entire process of filmmaking. He made me feel that my ideas were important, and he actually listened to what I had to say. It was a very special time."

Besides various forms of dance, Lisa has always had an active physical life. She is a 5.7 rock climber, has won swim team awards; and enjoys sailing, yoga and horseback riding. She has performed many of her own stunts in her films. Hobbies include fine art painting with oils, acrylic, and watercolors; sketching with pencil and charcoal, and works with pen and ink.

As a child, Lisa was raised in Italy, Japan, and France where her father was the financial attaché for the US government, and Ambassador to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); and her mother was a prominent social psychologist.

Growing up she endured the trauma of being raised with the name 'Pelikan' and having curly red hair. Now she enjoys her odd name, her red hair, her two strong, healthy, beautiful, legs, and her acting career.

Among her honors: Best Director: ADA (Artistic Director Achievement Award) for directing "'night, Mother" at The Interact Theatre Company; both lead actors were nominated, and one received Best Actress. Best Actress In A Comedy: ADA (Artistic Director Achievement Award) for her leading role in the world premiere stage production of "Panache"; Outstanding Performance: Drama-Logue Award for her one- woman performance in the world premiere stage production of "Only A Broken String of Pearls" (now called "Zelda") portraying the life of Zelda Fitzgerald; Best Ensemble Performance: L.A. Drama Critics Award for her work as Breda in the premiere west coast stage production of Enda Walsh's "The New Electric Ballroom." L.A. Drama Critics Award for her work as Libby in the premiere west coast stage production of Craig Lucas' "Blue Window"; Best Actress: International Science Fiction and Horror Film Festival for her leading role in the feature film, "Jennifer."

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Kathy Bartels

Spouse (2)

Bruce Davison (4 July 1986 - 12 April 2006) ( divorced) ( 1 child)
Robert Harper (30 May 1981 - 1984) ( divorced)

Trivia (15)

Attended Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, Maryland
Born in Paris and raised in Italy and Japan, her father (Robert Grant Pelikan) was a financial attaché for various US embassies overseas and her mother (Helen Leese Biren) was a prominent psychologist.
Was leaning toward a dance career when surgery in high school cut short her pursuit.
Lovely, fragile-looking, frizzy red-haired leading lady of stage, film and TV who made her movie debut with the title role of Julia (1977) in 1977, playing Vanessa Redgrave in earlier years. Redgrave won a supporting Oscar.
Primarily a stage actress, she won a Drama-Logue Award for her one-woman play about Zelda Fitzgerald (aka Zelda Fitzgerald, wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald) entitled "Only a Broken String of Pearls." She also directs, having helmed a stage production of "'Night, Mother" at the Interact Theatre in Los Angeles.
Offered a full scholarship at Juilliard School of Drama in the 1970s.
Gave birth to her 1st child at age 41, a son Ethan Davison on April 5, 1996. Child's father is her now ex-2nd husband, Bruce Davison.
Currently starring in The American Premiere of Never Land with The Rogue Machine Theatre Company in LA. [November 2009]
Playing Ruella in 'Communicating Doors' at the Odyssey theatre in LA [September 2002]
Currently starring in and receiving rave reviews in the critically-acclaimed Los Angeles Times Critics' Choice hit production of Daisy in the Dreamtime - a Fountain Theatre production at Inside the Ford at the Ford Amphitheatre in Los Angeles. [April 2004]
Starring and receiving rave reviews for her "brilliant comic timing" in Accomplice at the Colony Theatre in Burbank thru March 13, 2005. [February 2005]
Currently starring as "Amanda" in "The Glass Menagerie" by 'Tennesse Williams' at The Colony Theatre directed by Jessica Kubzansky in a "controversial, life changing production" of this classic play. [February 2007]
As an actress, she was highly influenced by Lauren Bacall.
Her acting mentor was the late Lauren Bacall.
Credits Lauren Bacall as her favorite acting mentor/best friend.

Personal Quotes (2)

[I feel] lucky and blessed in film work to be as successful as I've been. I could have done more. I could do better. It's already in the can, and we move on."
Where some might grow a little stale, I always feel the longer I do a play, the better I get. I'm one of those actors who constantly keeps working on the role...I love that part of theatre. There is always tomorrow night to be better.

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