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JOAN CUSACK (Jessie) has received two Academy Award® nominations, first for her comic portrayal of a Staten Island secretary in "Working Girl” opposite Harrison Ford and Melanie Griffith, and again for her role as Kevin Kline's jilted bride in the critically acclaimed "In & Out.” She was the recipient of an American Comedy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for her role in "Runaway Bride,” opposite Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. She also recently received a Daytime Entertainment Emmy® nomination for her work in "Peep and the Big Wide World.”

She made her screen debut in "My Bodyguard” at age 15. She has starred in such films as "Friends with Money,” "Ice Princess,” "Raising Helen,” "School of Rock,” "Arlington Road,” "High Fidelity,” "Cradle Will Rock” and "Where the Heart Is.” She has also starred in films with her brother, John Cusack, including "War, Inc.,” "Grosse Pointe Blank” and "Martian Child.” Her filmography includes comedic femme fatale roles in "Addams Family Values,” "Nine Months,” "The Cabinet of Dr. Ramirez,” "Corrina, Corrina,” "Toys,” "Hero,” "My Blue Heaven,” "Men Don't Leave,” "Broadcast News,” "Say Anything” and "Sixteen Candles,” among others. Most recently, Cusack appeared in "Confessions of a Shopaholic” for Walt Disney Films and "Kit Kittredge: An American Girl” for HBO Films.

Cusack's appearances on the small screen include a regular role on "Saturday Night Live” during the show's 1985-86 season and a starring role alongside Anne Bancroft in the BBC production of Paddy Chayefsky's "The Mother.” She also starred in the sitcom "What About Joan.”

Her theatrical work includes the premiere of "Brilliant Traces” at New York's Cherry Lane Theatre, "The Road” at La Mama and the role of Imogen in "Cymbeline” at the Public Theater in New York. She portrayed Helena in "A Midsummer Night's Dream” at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, and was directed by JoAnne Akalaitis in "'Tis a Pity She's a Whore.”

Cusack studied acting at the Piven Theatre Workshop. She became a member of the improvisational group "The Ark” while studying at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where she graduated with a degree in English.

Her recent film work includes "My Sister's Keeper,” starring Cameron Diaz and Alec Baldwin; "Acceptance,” based on the Susan Coll novel; and "Mars Needs Moms,” an ImageMovers animated film co-starring Seth Green. She is currently working on the Chicago-based comedy "Progress Notes,” a series she will produce and star in for NBC.

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