Elizabeth Lee McGovern is an American actress and musician. She has received many awards, including a Screen Actors Guild Award, three Golden Globe Award nominations, and one Academy Award nomination. Born in Evanston, Illinois, McGovern spent most of her early life in Los Angeles. After attending the American Conservatory Theater and the Juilliard School, she made her feature film debut in Ordinary People (1980). For her role as Evelyn Nesbit in the musical film Ragtime (1981), she received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She subsequently had lead roles in a number of major studio films, including Once Upon a Time in America (1984), She's Having a Baby (1987), The Bedroom Window (1987), The Handmaid's Tale (1990), and The Wings of the Dove (1997). In 2007, McGovern, after years of studying guitar, formed the musical group Sadie and the Hotheads, with whom she has released four studio albums since 2016. She gained further international attention for her portrayal of Cora, Countess of Grantham, in the British drama series Downton Abbey (2010–2015), for which she was nominated for an Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award. She reprised her role as Cora in the subsequent films Downton Abbey (2019) and Downton Abbey: A New Era (2022).
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