Geena Davis was born on January 21, 1956 in Wareham,
Massachusetts to William and Lucille Davis (a civil engineer and
a teacher's assistant, respectively). One of the first signs of
her interest and great skill in the performing arts was her
budding talent in music. She learned piano, flute and drums, and
she also played organ well enough even as a teenager to serve as
an organist at her church in Wareham. Enrolling at New England
College, Geena Davis eventually graduated with a bachelor's
degree in drama from Boston University in 1979. While an
exchange student in Sandviken, Sweden, Davis became fluent in
After graduating, Geena signed with New York's Zoli modeling agency and served as a window mannequin for Ann Taylor. With a height of six feet and a shoe size of 9(US)/40(EUR), Geena Davis was a striking model cast from a different mold. Davis was working as a model when director Sydney Pollack spotted her and cast her in Tootsie (1982) as a soap opera actress. She followed this up with roles in the short-lived television series Buffalo Bill (1983–1984) and Sara (1985). Geena Davis made a breakthrough with The Fly and Beetlejuice. She received an Oscar as Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Accidental Tourist (1988) and a Best Actress nomination for her role in Thelma and Louise (1991). Davis replaced Debra Winger for the lead in A League of Their Own, but her first vehicle Hero was a box office flop. Following this, Geena Davis teamed up with then husband Renny Harlin for the box office disasters Cutthroat Island and The Long Kiss Goodnight.
Geena Davis starred in the short-lived sitcom The Geena Davis Show (2000–2001). In early 2004, she guest-starred as Grace Adler's sister Janet on the NBC sitcom Will & Grace. She most recently starred in the ABC television series Commander in Chief as the first female President of the United States, who ascends to the office after the sitting president dies. This role garnered Davis a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama Series in 2006, and she also was nominated for a SAG Award for Outstanding Female Actor in a Drama Series and an Emmy. However, almost from its premiere, the show was managed poorly by ABC. This led to two extended breaks and a substantial loss of viewers, which resulted in an unfortunate cancellation of the series during the May 2006 "sweeps" period. The series finale aired on June 14, 2006.
Geena has been married four times, including her current marriage. Her ex-husbands include Jeff Goldblum (with whom she co-starred in three films, including The Fly and Earth Girls Are Easy) from 1987 to 1990 and Renny Harlin (who directed her in Cutthroat Island as well as The Long Kiss Goodnight) from 1993 to 1998. She has been married to Iranian-American Dr. Reza Jarrahy since September 1, 2001, with whom she has three children: daughter Alizeh Keshvar (born April 10, 2002) and fraternal twins Kian William Jarrahy and Kaiis Steven Jarrahy (delivered by Caesarean section on May 9, 2004).
Geena Davis is fronting the Women's Sports Foundation campaign Geena Takes Aim in support of Title IX — an Act of Congress focusing on equality in sports opportunities and eventually expanded to prohibit gender discrimination in United States' educational institutions.
Geena Davis is also the founder of SeeJane, a program to dramatically increase the percentages of female characters — and to reduce gender stereotyping — in media made for children eleven and under. SeeJane is a program of the national nonprofit Dads and Daughters, where Davis serves as an honorary Board member. Dads and Daughters works to make the world safer and fairer for daughters.
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