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MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL (Rachel Dawes) has, in just the last few years, emerged as one of the film industry's busiest leading ladies, earning praise for her work in both major studio releases and independent features. In 2002, she starred opposite James Spader in the provocative film "Secretary,” which premiered to rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival. Gyllenhaal's performance in the title role brought her numerous honors, including Golden Globe and Independent Spirit Award nominations, a Boston Film Critics Award, and a National Board of Review Award. In addition, she won a Chicago Film Critics Award for Most Promising Performer, which also recognized her work in two other 2002 releases: Spike Jonze's "Adaptation” and George Clooney's "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.”

Gyllenhaal received her second Golden Globe Award nomination, as well as several international film festival awards, for her starring role in the 2006 independent feature "SherryBaby.” That same year, she starred in Marc Forster's acclaimed comedy drama "Stranger Than Fiction,” with Will Ferrell, Emma Thompson, Queen Latifah and Dustin Hoffman; Oliver Stone's real-life drama "World Trade Center”; and a segment of the anthology film "Paris, je t'aime.” Gyllenhaal also lent her voice to the Oscar-nominated animated film "Monster House.”

Her other recent film credits include Bart Freundlich's "Trust the Man,” with David Duchovny and Julianne Moore; Don Roos' "Happy Endings,” with Lisa Kudrow; John Sayles' "Casa de los Babys”; and "Mona Lisa Smile,” in which she starred with Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst and Julia Stiles under the direction of Mike Newell.

Also an accomplished stage actress, Gyllenhaal starred in the Tony Kushner play "Homebody/Kabul,” which ran in Los Angeles and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. She had previously played the role of Alice in Patrick Mauber's award-winning play "Closer,” first at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre and then at Los Angeles' Mark Taper Forum. Her other stage credits include "Antony and Cleopatra” at the Vanborough Theatre in London.

Gyllenhaal was still in her teens when she made her feature film debut in "Waterland,” starring Jeremy Irons and Ethan Hawke. She later appeared in John Waters' quirky Hollywood satire, "Cecil B. Demented,” which led to a co-starring role in the fantasy thriller "Donnie Darko.”

In 1999, while still pursuing her acting career, Gyllenhaal graduated from Columbia University, where she studied Literature.


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