Dana Ivey


1942-08-14 (77 years old)

Her name may not ring any bells, but talented actress Dana Ivey has a face familiar to audiences thanks to countless supporting roles in such high-profile films as The Color Purple (1985), Sleepless in Seattle (1993), Sabrina (1995), and Legally Blonde 2 (2003). And though she was almost always at least halfway down the credits list, Ivey consistently added dimension and personality to even the most minor roles. A Georgia native who got her start on-stage, Ivey appeared in numerous American and Canadian theater productions before making her home in New York during the 1980s. It wasn't long before she rose through the ranks of the New York stage scene and made her Broadway debut in Noël Coward's Present Laughter. Roles in Quartermaine's Terms and Driving Miss Daisy (as the eponymous character) earned Ivey two Obies and found her reputation as an actress growing. Subsequent work in the Broadway production of Heartbreak Hotel earned her two supporting actress Tony nominations in the mid-'80s. In 1978, Ivey made her television debut in the daytime soap opera Search for Tomorrow, and soon her small-screen career blossomed in such efforts as the NBC miniseries Little Gloria... Happy at Last. Though Ivey simultaneously nurtured a feature career with supporting roles in Explorers and The Color Purple, it was her performance in the 1986 sitcom Easy Street that truly found her coming into her own on the television. After recalling her previous stage exploits with Heartbreak House and Sunday in the Park With George in 1986, Ivey joined the cast of All My Children in 1989 and spent the majority of the following decade in such features as The Addams Family (1991), Sabrina (1995), and Simon Birch (1998). Although her career leaned increasingly toward feature work, Ivey also remained true to her stage roots, appearing in such plays as The Glass Menagerie in 1998 and Major Barbara in 2001.