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JOAN CUSACK (Verushka) has received two Academy Award® nominations, one for her comic portrayal of a Staten Island secretary in "Working Girl” with Harrison Ford and Melanie Griffith, and the other 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 Emmy Award® nomination for her work in "Peep and the Big Wide World.”

Cusack appeared in "Kit Kittredge: An American Girl” for HBO Films. 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.” Her filmography includes comedic femme fatale roles in "Addams Family Values,” "Grosse Point Blank,” "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. She made her screen debut in "My Bodyguard” at age 15. Most recently Cusack was the voice of Jessie the Yodeling Cowgirl in Toy Story 3.

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.” Joan will soon be seen on the John Wells Showtime series Shameless.

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

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

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