45 facts about Blythe Danner, actress and mother of Gwyneth Paltrow and Jake Paltrow

45 facts you missed about Blythe Danner.

1. Her full name is Blythe Katherine Danner.

2. She is known for her role as Marilyn Truman, mother of Will, on the sitcom Will & Grace, and for co-starring opposite Robert De Niro in the three Meet the Parents franchise films.

3. She is the mother of actress Gwyneth Paltrow and director Jake Paltrow.

4. In 1970 she won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her performance in Butterflies Are Free.

5. She won two Primetime Emmy Awards for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama for her role as Izzy Huffstodt on Huff.

6. Her other film work includes roles in 1776, The Great Santini, Mr. and Mrs. Bridge, The Prince of Tides, Husbands and Wives, and I'll See You in My Dreams.

7. Danner was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

8. Her father Harry Earl Danner was a bank executive.

9. Her brother is opera singer/actor Harry Danner.

10. She has a sister-in-law, performer-turned-director Dorothy (Dottie) Danner.

11. She also has a half-brother, violin maker William Moennig.

12. Danner has Pennsylvania Dutch (German), and some English and Irish, ancestry.

13. Her maternal grandmother was a German immigrant.

14. One of her paternal great-grandmothers was born in Barbados.

15. Danner graduated from George School, a Quaker high school located near Newtown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania in 1960. She started her Friends School experience in Kindergarten at Media-Providence Friends School, then known as Media Friends, in Media, PA.

16. A graduate of Bard College, Danner's first roles included the 1967 musical Mata Hari (closed out of town), and the 1968 off-Broadway production, Summertree.

17. Her early Broadway appearances included roles in Cyrano de Bergerac and The Miser.

18. She won a Best Supporting Actress Tony playing a free-spirited divorcee in Butterflies Are Free.

19. In 1972, Danner portrayed Martha Jefferson opposite Ken Howard's Thomas Jefferson in the movie version of 1776. That same year, she played a wife whose husband has been unfaithful opposite Peter Falk and John Cassavetes in the Columbo episode "Etude in Black".

20. Her earliest starring film role was opposite Alan Alda in To Kill a Clown.

21. She appeared in Futureworld, playing Tracy Ballard with co-star Peter Fonda.

22. In the 1982 TV movie Inside the Third Reich, she played the wife of Albert Speer.

23. In the film version of Neil Simon's semiautobiographical play Brighton Beach Memoirs, she portrayed a middle-aged Jewish mother.

24. She has appeared in two films based on the novels of Pat Conroy, The Great Santini and The Prince of Tides, as well as two television movies adapted from books by Anne Tyler, Saint Maybe and Back When We Were Grownups, both for the Hallmark Hall of Fame.

25. Danner appeared opposite Robert De Niro in the 2000 comedy hit Meet the Parents, and its sequels, Meet the Fockers and Little Fockers.

26. From 2001 to 2006, she regularly appeared on Will & Grace as Will Truman's mother Marilyn.

27. From 2004 to 2006, she starred in the TV series Huff.

28. In 2005, she was nominated for three Emmy Awards: for her work on Will & Grace, Huff, and Back When We Were Grownups. Emmy host Ellen DeGeneres poked fun at Danner during the awards ceremony, saying that Danner should not be nervous because she was almost certain to win at least one Emmy, which she did, for Huff.

29. In July 2006, she won a second consecutive Emmy award for Huff.

30. For 25 years, she has been a regular performer at the Williamstown Summer Theater Festival, where she also serves on the Board of Directors.

31. In 2006, Danner was awarded an inaugural Katharine Hepburn Medal by Bryn Mawr College's Katharine Houghton Hepburn Center.

32. In 2015, Danner was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.

33. Danner has been involved in environmental issues such as recycling and conservation for over 30 years.

34. She has been active with INFORM, Inc., is on the Board of Environmental Advocates of New York and the Board of Directors of the Environmental Media Association, and won the 2002 EMA Board of Directors Ongoing Commitment Award.

35. In 2011, Danner joined Moms Clean Air Force, to help call on parents to join in the fight against toxic air pollution.

36. After the death of her husband Bruce Paltrow from oral cancer, she became involved with the Oral Cancer Foundation, a national 501(c)3 nonprofit charity.

37. In 2005, she filmed a public service announcement that played on TV stations around the country about the risks associated with oral cancer, and through that shared the personal pain associated with the loss of her husband publicly to further awareness of the disease and the need for early detection. She continues to donate her time to the foundation, and has appeared on morning talk shows, and has done interviews in high profile magazines such as People to further public awareness of the disease and its risk factors.

38. Through The Bruce Paltrow Oral Cancer Fund, administered by the Oral Cancer Foundation, she continues to raise awareness and funding for oral cancer issues, particularly those involving communities in which disparities in health care exist.

39. She appeared in commercials for Prolia, a brand of denosumab for injection.

40. Danner first co-starred with her daughter in 1992 in the TV movie Cruel Doubt and then again in the 2003 film Sylvia playing Aurelia Plath, mother to Gwyneth Paltrow's title role as Sylvia Plath.

41. Danner says: "I have found transcendental meditation very helpful and comforting. It centers me."

42. She is an aunt to Hillary Danner and Katherine Moennig.

43. In 2005 she became the first actress to be nominated for 3 Emmy awards in the same year.

44. Good friend of a cookbook author Sheila Lukins.

45. Norman Lloyd is her longtime friend.

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Blythe Danner

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