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Gena Talks at UCR


Actress Gena Rowlands Appears at UCR Palm Desert

The event will include a screening of her acclaimed film "Gloria."

(April 13, 2006)

PALM DESERT, Calif. (www.palmdesert.ucr.edu) — Accomplished actress Gena Rowlands will discuss her career with Professor Charles Evered in an “Inside the Actors Studio” format Saturday, April 22, following a 5 p.m. screening of “Gloria,” in which she starred and earned her first Academy Award nomination.

The event, co-sponsored by Women in Film, is part of the “Nuts and Bolts of the Entertainment Industry” lecture series offered at UCR Palm Desert, 75-080 Frank Sinatra Drive. Admission is free but reservations are suggested and can be made by calling (760) 834-0597.

The elegant Rowlands began her career on Broadway in the 1950s. A native of Wisconsin, she moved to New York to study at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, where she met the man whom she would marry -- actor and filmmaker John Cassavetes — and begin a decades-long artistic collaboration.

Perhaps their most notable work was "A Woman Under the Influence" (1974), in which Rowlands portrayed a mentally unbalanced housewife whose husband (Peter Falk) eventually has her committed. In this role Rowlands received her first Academy Award nomination as best actress.

Rowlands played a tough gun moll who reluctantly becomes the protector of a child in "Gloria" (1980), which earned her a second best actress Oscar nomination. Her final film collaboration with Cassavetes was "Love Streams" (1984), in which she again played an erratic woman coping with a divorce.

In more recent work, Rowlands received an Emmy nomination for best lead actress in a miniseries for her portrayal of Min, an overbearing mother, in the 2001 television drama, "Wild Iris.” In 2002, Rowlands played the mother of Uma Thurman in the highly praised HBO film "Hysterical Blindness.”

Collaborating with her son, Nick Cassavetes, Rowlands delivered one of her finer late-life performances in his film "The Notebook" (2004), playing the Alzheimer's-ravaged present-day version of the lead character Allie, opposite James Garner as the man who stood by her side over the decades. She then appeared as the eccentric wife of a speechless invalid (John Hurt) in “The Skeleton Key” (2005), starring Kate Hudson as a young hospice worker sent to their isolated and haunted plantation to care for the husband.

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The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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