Hemingway, Mariel 1961-

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HEMINGWAY, Mariel 1961-


Born November 22, 1961 (some sources say November 21) in Ketchum, ID (some sources say Mill Valley, CA); daughter of John Hadley (a writer) and Byra Louise (Whittlesey) Hemingway; granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway (a writer); married Steven Douglas Crisman (a restaurateur, writer, and producer), December 9, 1984; children: Dree Louise, Langley Fox (daughters). Education: Studied for the stage with Harold Guskin.


Agent—c/o Author Mail, Simon & Schuster, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020.


Actor, producer, model, restaurateur, and writer. Actor in films, including (as Kathy McCormick) Lipstick, Paramount, 1976; (as Tracy) Manhattan, United Artists, 1979; (as Chris Cahill) Personal Best, Warner Brothers, 1982; (as Dorothy Stratten) Star '80, Warner Brothers, 1983; (as Meli) Creator, Universal, 1985; (as Christine Connelly) The Mean Season, Orion, 1985; (as Lacy Warfield) Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Warner Brothers, 1987; (as Sasha Michaels) The Suicide Club, Suicide Productions, 1987; (as Cheryl King) Sunset, TriStar, 1988; Fire, Ice, and Dynamite, 1990; (as Janet Dubois/Louise) Delirious, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Pathe, 1991; (as Alice Parks) Falling from Grace, Columbia, 1992; (as herself, uncredited) Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult, Paramount, 1994; (as Joan Branson) Deceptions II: Edge of Deception, Warner Brothers, 1995; (as Janet) Bad Moon, Warner Brothers, 1996; (as Beth Kramer) Deconstructing Harry, Fine Line Features, 1997; (as Jo Bhaer) Little Men (also known as Louisa May Alcott's Little Men) Legacy Releasing, 1998; (as Nova Clarke) Kiss of a Stranger, 1999; (as Disney Rifkin) American Reel, North by Northwest Entertainment, 1999; (as Cynthia Lee) The Contender, Dream-Works Distribution L.L.C., 2000; (as Carly Matthews) Portland, Londinium, 2000.

Actor in television series and specials, including (as Sydney Guilford) Civil Wars, ABC, 1991-92; Tales from the Crypt, HBO, 1991; (as Sharon) Roseanne, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," ABC, 1994; (as Stephanie Wells) CPW (also known as Central Park West), CBS, 1995; (host) Saturday Night Live, NBC, 1995; (host) Famous Families, Fox Family Channel, 1998.

Actor in television movies, including (as Sue Ann Cunningham) I Want to Keep My Baby, CBS, 1988; (as Helen Mason) Steal the Sky, HBO, 1988; (as Alma Heusser) Into the Badlands, USA Network, 1991; (as Cathy Mahone) Desperate Rescue: The Cathy Mahone Story (also known as Raid on Jerash), NBC, 1993; (as Virginia Aird) September (also known as Rosamunde Pilcher's September), Showtime, 1996; (as Madeline Jeffreys) The Crying Child, USA Network, 1996; (as Alex McGregor) First Daughter, TBS, 1999; (as Kat) Road Ends, Cinemax, 1999; (as Laura Barnes) The Sex Monster, Cinemax, 1999.

Actor in stage productions, including (as Charlene Loody), The Palace of Amateurs, Dallas, TX; California Dog Fight, Manhattan Theatre Club, New York, NY, 1985.

Appeared in numerous television specials, including Voices That Care, Fox, 1991; A Day in the Life of Hollywood, Showtime, 1992; (as voice of Martha Gellhorn) Normandy: The Great Crusade, The Discovery Channel, 1994; (host) "Panama: Paradise Found?," Wild! Life Adventures, TBS, 1998; (narrator) Ernest Hemingway: Wrestling with Life, A&E, 1998; Intimate Portrait: Mariel Hemingway, Lifetime, 1998.

Hemingway has also appeared on television at numerous awards presentations, including The 44th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, Fox, 1992; (host) The 15th Annual CableACE Awards, 1994; (presenter) The 51st Annual Golden Globe Awards, 1994; (presenter) The Newsweek American Achievement Awards, 1995.


Golden Globe Award nomination, best acting debut in a motion picture-female, 1977, for Lipstick; Academy Award nomination, best supporting actress, British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award nomination, best supporting actress, Young Artist Award nomination, best juvenile actress in a motion picture, 1980, all for Manhattan; Golden Globe Award nomination, best actress in a drama series, 1993, for Civil Wars; Grand Jury Award, L.A. Outfest, oustanding actress in a feature film, 1999, for The Sex Monster.


Finding My Balance: A Memoir, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2003.


Actress Mariel Hemingway has led a storied life, her constant traveling companion one of the more famous names in literature. She has had considerable success in film and television, found a stable life as wife and mother, and pursued her muse in whatever ways she's chosen. But Hemingway has also endured tragedy and turmoil, including a tumultuous and dysfunctional family life while growing up; the death by suicide of her sister, model and actress Margaux Hemingway; the mental illness of her eldest sister, Muffet; the sudden death of her hospitalized father, and the lingering cancer death of her mother. Ernest Hemingway, her grandfather, committed suicide some four months before Mariel was born, but his death has followed her with its own type of persistence. On occasion, there is even talk of a "Hemingway Curse."

"Finding herself to be the stable center of a vastly dysfunctional family," Mariel Hemingway "keeps her balance with yoga," wrote a Kirkus Reviews critic. In her book, Finding My Balance: A Memoir, Hemingway recounts her successes and tragedies while exploring the long-term healing and stabilizing power of yoga in her life.

Hemingway got an early start in movies, acting in Lipstick at age thirteen in 1976, along with her sister, Margaux, who had encouraged her to try out for the part. She then played opposite Woody Allen in Manhattan, a performance that earned her an Academy Award nomination. She then took on some riskier roles, starring as a lesbian athlete in Personal Best and as murdered Playboy playmate Dorothy Stratten in Star '80. Projects following the Stratten film, however, were less successful, and included movies such as Creator, The Mean Season, and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, which she is quoted in an interview in Los Angeles Magazine as calling "one of the stupidest things I've ever done."

In 1987, she left the film business to become a full-time wife and mother. She and her husband, Stephen Crisman, have two teenage daughters, Dree and Langley. However, in 1991, she returned to acting, assuming the role of divorce lawyer Sydney Guilford in the TV series Civil Wars. During her time on the show, she caused a stir by appearing "nude" in an episode as a photographer's model, though her appearance was more the result of photographic trickery and the entire scene revealed "less than is often displayed at the beach these days," wrote Alan Carter in Entertainment Weekly. Despite the family-values controversy, Hemingway later said in a Los Angeles Magazine interview, "Frankly, I didn't think it was a big deal. I've done things in movies that were far more revealing. I did it because I thought it was positive: here was a woman who felt good about her body and exploring the fantasy of being photographed that way." Though she left the Civil Wars cast after a short time, she continued to act in television movies and appear in episodes of TV series.

Although her acting career thrived, Hemingway's personal life brought her consistent tragedy, beginning with the tumultuous early family life she experienced with her parents, Jack and Byra. Their marriage was not a happy one, which led to episodes of rage from her mother and increasing detachment, and alcoholism, from her father. Her sister, Joan, nicknamed Muffet, experimented with drugs such as LSD and was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Muffet's psychological problems and drug use manifested themselves in dangerous and frightening ways. In one episode, "She was holding scissors to my mother's throat and screaming at her," Hemingway said in the transcription of an interview with Connie Chung in America's Intelligence Wire. "And my mother was just saying calm down, you're going to scare your little sister. And, indeed, she turned to me and because we had this incredible connection, she dropped the scissors. It was all over."

Her sister Margaux became a top fashion model despite a lifestyle that included heavy drinking and drug use. Despite her success, Margaux "turned to alcohol and drugs to get out of her pain," Hemingway said in the Chung interview. "And she was in this jetset life. And it turned on her." The lifestyle extracted "a heavy price," she said. In 1996, Margaux was found dead in her California home. The coroner concluded that she had died a suicide, but Mariel didn't believe it. "I know my sister," she said in the Chung interview. "Had she committed suicide, she would have left a note. She was a flamboyant, outspoken, wonderful woman, who also would have wanted people to know. She wouldn't have just—it just wouldn't have happened."

Hemingway's relationships with her parents ended in tragedy as well. Her mother developed cancer when Mariel was still a child, and Mariel nursed her through her lingering final days. In 2000, her father suffered a stroke while recovering from heart bypass surgery. Mariel was at his bedside when it happened, and even though he lived for several weeks afterward, "he had left his body," Hemingway said in the Chung interview. "I know it. I know it. And I know that I was with him in those last moments of his life, truly."

And within five days of her father's death, she learned that her husband had also been diagnosed with cancer. The melanoma was removed in emergency surgery, however, and the episode served to bring Hemingway, her husband, and her daughters closer together as a family.

Hemingway "credits years of yoga and meditation with giving her the peace of mind to cope with the events in her life," Chung said during the interview. She first encountered yoga in 1976 and took it up seriously in 1986, wrote a biographer on the Citizen-Times Web site. Each chapter in Finding My Balance begins with a description of a yoga pose and its implications to a yoga practitioner. "Hemingway's writing about yoga is surprisingly good as she describes the essence of each pose," wrote Jane Tuma in Booklist.

But Hemingway had some reservations about writing the book. "I would think it would be self-indulgent to write a memoir at my age," she said in an interview with Larry King transcribed in America's Intelligence Wire. "So, I wrote it so that I could share the experience of how I healed through yoga, through meditation, through finding a place of peace and being present, eating well—all of those things." Dave Weich, writing on the Powell's Books Web site, described the book: "More forward thinking than a traditional memoir, more heartfelt than a technical introduction to yoga or meditation, Finding My Balance is the story of a woman learning to balance first on the inside in order to be able to weather the storms from without." The book is "a searingly honest memoir that is firmly practical, as well as a moving narrative of the author's struggle to deal with a complex and often stressful life," wrote a biographer on the Simon Says Web site. A Kirkus Reviews critic observed that the book "should leave most readers standing on their heads with admiration."



Contemporary Theatre, Film & Television, Volume 31, Gale (Detroit, MI), 2000.


America's Intelligence Wire, January 17, 2003, Connie Chung, transcript of interview with Mariel Hemingway; February 22, 2003, Larry King, transcript of interview with Mariel Hemingway.

Book, January-February, 2003, Susan Tekulve, review of Finding My Balance: A Memoir, p. 80.

Booklist, December 15, 2002, Jane Tuma, review of Finding My Balance, p. 715.

In Style, January, 1998, Holly Sorensen, "Her Own Private Idaho," profile of Mariel Hemingway, p. 114.

Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2002, review of Finding My Balance, p. 1674.

Los Angeles Magazine, December, 1992, Ed Dwyer, interview with Mariel Hemingway, p. 34.

Publishers Weekly, December 2, 2002, review of Finding My Balance, p. 44; December 2, 2002, Lynn Andriani, "Another Hemingway Picks up the Pen," interview with Mariel Hemingway, p. 45.

Rolling Stone, April 15, 1982, Tim Cahill, profile of Mariel Hemingway, pp. 22-24.


Citizen-Times (Asheville, NC), http://www.citizentimes.com/ (June 27, 2003), "Mariel Hemingway Turns to Yoga to Break Family Curse," interview with Mariel Hemingway.

Daily Camera,http://www.dailycamera.com/ (March 3, 2003), Mike Sandrock, "Balancing Exercise, the Rest of Life," profile of Mariel Hemingway.

Entertainment Tonight,http://www.etonline.com/ (January 13, 2003), Jann Carl, "Mariel Finds Her Balance," interview with Mariel Hemingway.

Hollywood.com,http://www.hollywood.com/ (July 2, 2003), profile of Mariel Hemingway.

MSN Entertainment,http://entertainment.msn.com/ (July 2, 2003), biography of Mariel Hemingway.

Powell's Books Online,http://www.powells.com/ (July 2, 2003), Dave Weich, "Mariel Hemingway Moves Forward by Standing Still," interview with Mariel Hemingway.

Simon Says Web site,http://www.simonsays.com/ (July 2, 2003), profile of Mariel Hemingway.*