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MELISSA LEO (Alice Ward) is an Academy Award ® nominated actress who has been a staple in both film and television for over 20 years. She received universal critical adulation for her virtuoso performance in Sony Pictures Classic's Frozen River in which Leo stars as Ray Eddy, a mother who finds herself involved in smuggling across the American/Canadian border through Mohawk territory. The film premiered at The Sundance Film Festival in 2008 where it won the Grand-Jury prize for Best Drama. Melissa won the 2009 Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Actress for Frozen River along with the National Board of Review Spotlight Award. She also won a series of other awards for her performance: the San Sebastian International Film Festival's Silver Shell Best Actress Award; Best Actress at the Marrakesh International Film Festival; a Gotham Independent Film Award for Breakthrough Actor; a Florida Film Critics Award for Best Actress; an Ohio Film Critic's Award for Best Actress; the Santa Barbara International Film Festival Virtuoso Award; and recognition as one of Variety's "10 Actor's To Watch." Her performance: has garnered nominations for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Lead Actress; a Critic's Choice Award for Best Actress; a Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress; and a Satellite Award for Best Actress Motion Picture, Drama; and earned Leo her first Academy Award ® nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role.

Prior to Frozen River, Leo was most widely known for her genius 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; The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada in which she starred opposite Dwight Yoakam and Tommy Lee Jones; and Hide and Seek in which she starred opposite Robert DeNiro.

Her other memorable works include: The Young Riders, The ‘L' Word, and Hollywood Dreams. Leo recently completed Welcome to the Riley's opposite James Gandolfini and Kristen Stewart for director Jake Scott.

Leo studied Drama at Mount View Theatre School in London, England and later at the SUNY Purchase Acting Program.


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