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AMERICAN BEAUTY

ANNETTE BENING (Carolyn Buruham) received an Academy Award nomination and was named Best Supporting Actress by the National Board of Review for her work in "The Grifters." She more recently earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy for her role in Rob Reiner's "The American President," opposite Michael Douglas. This past spring, she returned to the stage for the first time in 10 years to star in the title role of Henrik Ibsen's "Hedda Gabler" at Los Angeles' Geffen Playhouse. On the screen, Bening next stars with Garry Shandling in "What Planet Are You From?"

Bening's most recent film credits include the actioner "The Siege," with Denzel Washington and Bruce Willis, and Neil Jordan's thriller "In Dreams." Her earlier film work includes Tim Burton's "Mars Attacks!"; the updated adaptation of Shakespeare's "Richard III," starring Ian McKellen; "Love Affair," opposite Warren Beatty; Barry Levinson's "Bugsy," also with Beatty; Mike Nichols' "Regarding Henry," opposite Harrison Ford; "Guilty By Suspicion," with Robert Dc Niro; "Valmont," for director Milos Forman; and "Postcards From the Edge." She made her feature film debut in "The Great Outdoors," opposite Dan Aykroyd and John Candy.

Born in Topeka, Kansas and raised in San Diego, Bening was enrolled at a local college when she got a job as a dancer in "The Green Show," presented outside San Diego's famed Old Globe Theatre. This led to a walk-on in a Shakespeare production and two plays with the San Diego Repertory Theatre. Following graduation from San Francisco State University, Bening was accepted by the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, where she trained before joining the acting company. She also appeared in summer Shakespeare festivals and regional productions prior to moving to New York to pursue her career. There, she appeared in "Coastal Disturbances"-originally at the Second Stage, then on Broadway-for which she garnered a Tony nomination and won the Clarence Derwent Award for most outstanding debut performance of the season.

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