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ANNETTE BENING (Elise Kraft) received an Academy Award nomination and was named Best Supporting Actress by the National Board of Review for her role in "The Grifters." Most recently, she appeared in a supporting role in Tim Burton's "Mars Attacks!"

Previously, Bening starred in "The American President," opposite Michael Douglas and directed by Rob Reiner, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress/Musical or Comedy.

Her other films include Ian McKellen's controversial adaptation of Shakespeare's "Richard III," "Love Affair" and "Bugsy" opposite Warren Beatty, "Regarding Henry," "Guilty By Suspicion," "Valmont" and "Postcards From the Edge."

Born in Topeka, Kansas, and reared 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. That led to a walk-on in a Shakespeare production, this time inside the theater, 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 and then joined the acting company. She also appeared in both Summer Shakespeare festivals and regional productions.

Moving to New York, Bening appeared in "Coastal Disturbances," originally at the Second Stage, then on Broadway, her performance earning her a Tony nomination and the Clarence Derwent Award for most outstanding debut performance of the season.

On television, Bening has guest-starred on such series as "Miami Vice" and "Wiseguy." She made her feature film debut in "The Great Outdoors," opposite Dan Aykroyd and John Candy.

Bening recently completed a starring role in the forthcoming release "The Untitled Neil Jordan Project," aka "In Dreams."

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