WELCOME TO THE RILEYS
MELISSA LEO (Lois Riley) is an Academy Award-nominated
actress who has become a staple of both film and television for more than 20
years now. Leo received universal critical adulation for her virtuoso
performance in FROZEN RIVER, in which she starred as Ray Eddy, a mother who
finds herself involved in smuggling through Mohawk territory along the
American/Canadian border. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in
2008, where it won the Grand Jury prize for Best Drama.
For this performance, Leo won the 2009 Independent Spirit Award for Best
Actress along with a host of other honors: the National Board of Review
Spotlight Award, the San Sebastian International Film Festival's Best Actress
Award, the Marrakesh International Film Festival's Best Actress award, the
Gotham Independent Film Award for Breakthrough Actor, the Florida Film Critics
Award for Best Actress, the Ohio Film Critics Award for Best Actress, the Santa
Barbara International Film Festival Virtuoso Award and recognition as one of
Variety magazine's "10 Actors to Watch.â€ť
Additionally, Leo garnered several more nominations in the Best Actress
category, including those of the Screen Actors Guild, Critics Choice Awards,
Chicago Film Critics and Satellite Awards. She also earned her first Academy
Award nomination (Best Actress).
Before FROZEN RIVER, Leo was most widely known for her portrayal of Detective
Kay Howard on HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREETS and for her outstanding work in 21
GRAMS, in which she starred opposite Benicio Del Toro and Sean Penn.
She was also seen in THE THREE BURIALS OF MELQUIADES ESTRADA, in which she
starred opposite Dwight Yoakam and Tommy Lee Jones, and HIDE AND SEEK, alongside
Robert De Niro and Dakota Fanning.
Leo studied drama at Mount View Theatre School in London, England and later
at the SUNY Purchase Acting Program.
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