Jessica Lange is considered one of the 25 greatest actresses of the 90s. The American film, television, and theater actress proved to be a living legend during her decades in the entertainment industry. After starting out as a model and finally turning to act, she received two Academy Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and several other awards. Click here for more information about the iconic actress.
Jessica Phyllis Lange was born on April 20, 1949, in Cloquet, Minnesota. Her father, Albert John Lange, was a traveling salesman, and her mother a housewife. Unfortunately, both parents are late. She has two older sisters – Jane and Ann – and a younger brother, George. The American actress is of German, Dutch, and Finnish descent.
She attended and graduated from Cloquet High School. Finally, in 1967 she received a scholarship to study art and photography at the University of Minnesota. A few years later she moved to Paris and studied pantomime theater and later joined the Opera-Comique as a dancer.
The American actress was discovered by Dino De Laurentiis when she worked for the model agency Wilhemina on a part-time basis. She made her film debut in 1976 in Dino’s new adaptation of the adventure classic King Kong. Her performance earned her the first Golden Globe Award.
Jessica is also a photographer with several published works. She is involved in numerous humanitarian projects and currently works as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, with a special focus on HIV/AIDS in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Russia. She was even the foster mother of a Romanian child with disabilities. The veteran actress has 3 children and was once married but has been involved with several other partners.
Apart from starting as a part-time model, she was also a waitress at the Lion’s Head Tavern in New York before she was discovered. The 1976 King Kong movie was the fifth highest-grossing film of the year, and her performance was positively reviewed. In 1980, she appeared in the crime comedy How To Beat the High Cost of Living in collaboration with Jane Curtin and Susan Saint James.
Jessica Lange appeared in the biographical film Frances Farmer in 1982. This role influenced her physically and mentally. At this point in her career, she was the first actress to receive two Oscar nominations in the same year for her performance in Frances Farmer.
From 1986 to 1989, most of the films that Lange starred in were low budget films such as Crimes of the Heart (1986), Far North (1988), Everybody is an American (1989), and Costa-Gavia’s Music Box (1989). Over the next decade, she decided to make time for her children by taking time off work and working more on television projects.
In 1992 she made her Broadway debut with her role as Blanche DuBois in the production of A Streetcar Named Desire. The play became a CBS television adaptation in 1995, and with the same play, she made her London stage debut. Together with Anthony Hopkins and Alan Cumming, she played the lead role in Titus Andronicus, a remake of William Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, for which she received excellent reviews.
Subsequently, Jessica Lange was given a role in Eugene O’ Neill’s Journey of the Long Day into Night, which made her the first American actress to be nominated for the Olivier Award. She also received supporting roles in Prozac Nation, Grey Gardens, and Normal.
In 2011, she appeared in the cast of the FX hit series American Horror Story, which led to a resurgence of popularity. In 2015, however, she retired from the series American Horror Story in its fifth season. On November 12, 2016, she was honored at the Camerimage Film Festival, where she received the Krzysztof Kieslowski Award for Acting. In 2018 she was cast in the Netflix series The Politician and also starred opposite Naomi Watts in The Lonely Doll.
Jessica Lange is currently not married. However, she was initially married to Francisco Paco Grande, a Spanish photographer whom she met during her art and photography fellowship. The two married in 1971 but divorced in 1981.
In 1976, when she was separated from Paco Grande, she began a romantic relationship with Mikhail Baryshnikov, a Russian ballet dancer.
In 1982 she was in another relationship with the American actor and playwright Sam Shepard. The couple lived together in New York City before separating in 2009. In 2017 Sam Shepard died after complications of Lou Gehrig’s disease, which was kept from the public until his death.
Jessica Lange’s Net Worth
The American actress, whose career spans decades, is said to have achieved a cumulative net worth of $15 million through her presence in film, television, and theater. Jessica Lange is also the face of Marc Jacobs Beauty, who has undoubtedly contributed to her total assets.
Jessica Lange is a mother of three children who have grown out of two relationships. Her first child, a daughter, Aleksandra Lange “Shura” Baryshnikov, born in 1981, comes from her relationship with Mikhail Baryshnikov. Shura happens to be a dance teacher and actress. You could say it is a combination of her parents’ strengths.
Her second and third children come from her relationship with Sam Shepard. Jessica’s second child, one daughter – Hannah Jane Shepard, born January 13, 1986. After graduating from Sarah Lawrence College in 2008, she worked as an administrative assistant for the Hawthorne Valley Association. Like her mother, she is also involved with various charities, including African Solutions to African Problems (ASAP).
Her third child and only son are Samuel Walker Shepard, born on June 14, 1987. He is a musician who joined the New York-based band The Dust Buster in 2008. The band was later renamed The Down Hill Strugglers. He is indeed a skilled musician who plays fiddle, banjo, guitar, and harmonica.