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Gretchen Mol Biography
- Gretchen Mol was born on November 8, 1972 in Deep River, Connecticut, the daughter of a school principal and his artist wife. Deep River is a small community located on the Chester Bowles Highway (Route 9), nine miles northwest of Old Saybrook (home of the legendary Katharine Hepburn), within commuting distance of New York City. The young Gretchen was bit by the acting bug and participated in high school theatrics, then moved to the Big Apple as a teenager to study acting and musical theater at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy and at the William Esper Studio. Although only 56" tall, too short for a traditional modeling career, her unique beauty brought her modeling jobs as she pursued her dream of becoming a professional actress. Her image began appearing in magazines in 1994. Mol worked at such time-honored Manhattan jobs as restaurant hat-check girl, and while working that gig, she was discovered by a talent agent. The talent agent landed Mol her first acting job, a television commercial for Coca-Cola. She continued to hone her acting skills in summer stock, appearing in such productions as "Bus Stop", "No Exit" and "Godspell". The 23-year-old Gretchen made her film debut in Spike Lee s Girl 6 (1996), a small role that came to her serendipitously, after she had gone for an audition for the soap opera "The Guiding Light." Her career began to quicken, and she appeared in small parts, mostly "girlfriend" roles, in Rounders (1998) starring Matt Damon, and in Woody Allens Celebrity (1998), opposite Kevin Branagh and Leonardo DiCaprio. Gretchen Mol was touted as the "Next Big Thing" after appearing on the cover of the September 1998 of "Vanity Fair". Her most memorable role up to that time was as a mobsters moll in the minor cult classic Donnie Brasco (1997), which was mostly remembered for cinematic turns by Al Pacino, Johnny Depp and Anne Heche. Nonetheless, her beauty and presence led "Vanity Fair" to hype the blonde beauty, heralding the arrival of a major new star. She seemed poised to move up to featured roles. but the announcement turned out to be premature. Brunette Angelina Jolie proved to be Hollywoods Next It Girl. During the seven years that followed the "Vanity Fair" cover story, Mol continued to appear in films and on the stage, including the part of Jennie in the London and New York productions of Neil LaBute s The Shape of Things (2003) in 2001. (She also appeared in the 2003 film.) Proving herself to be not just a pretty face, Mol won good reviews. In 2004, Mol displayed her singing and dancing chops by playing Roxie Hart in the Broadway production of "Chicago." She worked steadily (she appeared in another small role in Woody Allens Sweet and Lowdown (1999), and eventually, Mol won the lead in David E. Kelly TV series "Girls Club" (2002). The series bombed and was canceled after two episodes. However, the intervening period allowed her to develop as an actress. In 2004, the blonde beauty finally had the role that proved to be her acting breakthrough, playing the brunette bombshell The Notorious Bettie Page (2005). Many brunettes have gone blonde, but Mol - the blonde who went brunette rocked the screen with her presence. Her embodiment of the legendary Bettie Page garnered excellent reviews and propelled the flick into art house hit status. Mol married film director Tod Williams on June 1, 2004 and they became parents a little over three years later, when a son, Ptolemy John Williams, was born on October 10, 2007.
Gretchen Mol Filmography
- (2014) True Story as Karen
- (2012) 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards as Herself
- (2012) Love, Marilyn as Herself
- (2012) Project Runway All Stars as Herself - Guest Judge
- (2011) Big Morning Buzz Live as Herself
- (2010) Boardwalk Empire as Gillian Darmody
- (2010) Boardwalk Empire as Gillian Darmody (credit only)
- (2009) An American Affair as Catherine Caswell
- (2009) Life on Mars: Time Warp as Det Jane
- (2008) Life on Mars as Annie Norris
- (2008) Tenure as Elaine Grasso
- (2008) The Memory Keeper's Daughter as Norah Henry
- (2007) 3:10 to Yuma as Alice Evans
- (2007) The Ten as Gloria Jennings
- (2007) The Valley of Light as Eleanor
- (2007) Trainwreck: My Life as an Idiot as Lynn
- (2006) Puccini for Beginners as Grace
- (2006) Rachael Ray as Herself
- (2005) The Notorious Bettie Page as Bettie Page
- (2004) Heavy Put-Away as Mary
- (2003) The Shape of Things as Jenny
- (2002) Freshening Up as Janelle
- (2002) Girls Club as Lynne Camden
- (2002) The Magnificent Ambersons as Lucy Morgan
- (2000) Attraction as Liz
- (2000) Get Carter as Audrey (uncredited)
- (2000) Picnic as Madge Owens
- (2000) Zoe Loses It as Amber
- (1999) Cradle Will Rock as Marion Davies
- (1999) Forever Mine as Ella Brice
- (1999) Just Looking as Hedy Coletti
- (1999) Sweet and Lowdown as Ellie
- (1999) The Directors as Herself
- (1999) The Thirteenth Floor as Jane Fuller/Natasha Molinaro
- (1998) Bleach as Gwen
- (1998) Celebrity as Vicky
- (1998) Finding Graceland as Beatrice Gruman
- (1998) Godzilla as Reporter (uncredited)
- (1998) Music from Another Room as Anna
- (1998) New Rose Hotel as Hiroshi's Wife
- (1998) Rounders as Jo
- (1998) Too Tired to Die as Capri (uncredited)
- (1997) Donnie Brasco as Sonny's Girlfriend
- (1997) SUBWAYStories: Tales from the Underground as The Wife (segment "Love on the A Train")
- (1997) The Deli as Mary
- (1997) The Last Time I Committed Suicide as Mary Greenway
- (1996) Calm at Sunset as Emily
- (1996) Dead Man's Walk as Maggie
- (1996) Girl 6 as Girl #12
- (1996) Spin City as Gwen
- (1996) The Funeral as Helen
- (1996) The Rosie O'Donnell Show as Herself
- (1993) Late Show with David Letterman as Herself
- (1992) HBO First Look as Herself
- (1992) The Tonight Show with Jay Leno as Herself
- (1972) Canada A.M. as Herself/Bettie Page
Gretchen Mol Trivia and Facts
- Graduated from the William Esper Studio.
- She worked as a hat check girl at a restaurant where her agent-to-be spotted her and got her a coke commercial.
- Her mother is an artist and her father is a special ed teacher at RHAM High School. Her parents divorced when she was young. She has an older brother, Jim Mol .
- Graduated from the prestigious American Musical and Dramatic Academy. That is the same school that actors such as Lee Tergesen ("Oz" (1997) ), Tyne Daly ("Judging Amy" (1999) ) and Paul Sorvino (Goodfellas (1990) ) attended.
- Went to the same high school as Broadway actor Peter Lockyer.
- Grew up in Connecticut. Moved to New York as a teenager to study acting.
- Worked with her husbands ex-wife (Famke Janssen ) on three films - two before she married him (Rounders (1998) and Celebrity (1998) ) and one after she married him (The Ten (2007) ).
- Son Ptolemy John Williams, born 10 October 2007.
- Is expecting her second child with husband Tod Williams .
- Second son, Winter Morgan Williams, was born on February 17, 2011 in New York.
- In addition to being an American Musical and Dramatic Academy alumni with Lee Tergesen , Gretchen also graduated from the same high school(Valley Regional High School in Deep River, Connecticut) as Lee Tergesen. Other notable Valley grads include Justin Haut and Peter Lockyer.
- She is a direct descendant, on her mothers side (Morgan) of William Brewster, Leading Elder of the Pilgrims of The Mayflower, and also Captain James Avery, Commander of the Pequot Indians. Gretchens family, arrived on the Mayflower and settled in the Stonington, CT area shortly thereafter.
Gretchen Mol Quotes
- I wish I could say I have this kind of big plan, but now, so much of it is what comes along the pike, and then, you just say, theres something about that role that just tickles me or sort of feels right.
- I never really have had, at its core, an issue with nudity in films except that I know when I think its exploitative and when I think its beautiful.
- [Of her watching "Bettie Page" pornographic film loops to understand her character in The Notorious Bettie Page (2005) ] I love the loops! I couldnt take my eyes off of them. It was five minutes dedicated to the art of the shoe, and putting the shoe on -- but first the stocking. It was so geisha. There was something so presentational. Bettie was just lost in her own world, dancing around with this fringe bikini on, with this weird lamp on the side table.
Gretchen Mol Photoshoots
- "Playboy" (USA), December 2006, Vol. 53, Iss. 12, pg. 96, by: Stephen Rebello, "Sex in Cinema 2006"
- "New York Times Magazine" (USA), 12 March 2006, pg. 55-63, by: Jeff Koons, ""Gretchen Mol""
- "Star" (USA), 3 January 2005, Vol. 32, Iss. 1, pg. 66-67, "'Star Style': Gold & Silver Goddesses"
- "Celebrity Skin" (USA), September 2004, Vol. 28, Iss. 132, pg. 32, by: staff, "Top 100 Sexiest Stars: #74 Gretchen Mol"
- "Movieline" (USA), October 2000, Vol. XII, Iss. 2, pg. 74-79, by: Photos by: Tony Duran, "turning up the heat"
- "Playboy" (USA), January 1999, Vol. 46, Iss. 1, pg. 183, by: staff, "The Year in Sex"
- "Celebrity Sleuth" (USA), 1999, Vol. 12, Iss. 7, pg. 16-17, by: staff, "Sleuth's Top 10: #5"
- "Playboy" (USA), October 1998, Vol. 45, Iss. 10, pg. 180, by: Nelly Jordan, "Grapevine"
Gretchen Mol Other Works
- Stage: Appeared in "The Shape of Things", Promenade Theater, NYC, 2002.