Melissa Leo

(Melissa Chessington Leo)

Melissa Leo
Melissa Leo
  • Born: September 14, 1960
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Actor

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Melissa Chessington Leo is an American actress. After appearing on several television shows and films in the 1980s, a regular on the television shows All My Children and The Young Riders, in 1985 she was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for her performance on All My Children. Her breakthrough role came in 1993 as Det. Sgt. Kay Howard on the television series Homicide: Life on the Street for the show's first five seasons (1993–97).

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Acting is the business of truth, so that we can see ourselves reflected back and learn. Truth ;Business, Commerce & Finance
An actor has to be very, very careful, as one of the most wonderful props - and actors love props - is a cigarette. There's so much to do with it: you can bring it up to your face, play with the smoke. It's just the greatest - ever since I was 16 and in acting school in England, I've been playing around with cigarettes. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
An actor's life is fairly lonely. Life
Being an actor on a movie set is like going to the playground at recess.
Ever since Marilyn Monroe was transformed from one of the prettiest girls you could ever hope to see into an icon, everyone has been trying to repeat that icon. And now the entire industry is filled with, and by and large run by, wannabes. Hope
I am a smoker, I'm ashamed to say. I had given it up for many years, then picked it up again. It's a horrible habit. I struggle with myself all the time. And I love to smoke. Time ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I do get a fair amount of scripts; I got 'Frozen River' kinda just that way. I have a hard time turning my back on anybody who says they have something for me. Time
I have some close friends I keep in touch with. I knit. I watch a little too much TV. I ski, if the weather's right for that. If I can find a group of buddies, I go rock climbing.
I haven't had a lot of experience with glamour. I've never had to mask myself, as many now not-so-young actresses have had to do. Female actors in that regard have a different lot in life than male actors. Life
I mean, the unfair treatment of women and black people and Indians and other groups, that's real. Mistreatment of other people because 'I'm better than you are' is such a sad part of the world. Women
I think the funny thing about acting for me - and I hold it in a very holy, spiritual way - not to be overly fundamentalist about it, but it's that important to me - is that it is an ancient healing art. Humor ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I think there has only been one time in my entire career that I've ever gone back to shoot a scene. And it was a scene that, when we were shooting it, we knew that it wasn't working. We knew there was a disagreement between the actor and director. So, we went back. Time
I think this notion of acting and glamour is getting in everybody's way.
I'm a very lucky girl who gets to act for a living! So why sit around griping and grousing about what's not there.
I'm not particularly fond of the hybrid writer-director or actor-director.
I'm very old-school. I like a director to direct me. I like to be the actor.
My body has done for me all these years things I couldn't ever even dreamt to do for characters. It's a tool, molecularly speaking, and I need to take care of it.
My mom was a '70s mom. She paved a road that no one had yet walked.
People often expect me to be something other than what I am.
Supporting actors are the support. You can't make a building without support. You can't buy dinner without support.
That's probably the biggest secret of acting: If the actor believes it themselves, they can make you believe it.
The climate informs the character.
The key to acting has much more to do with listening than with talking.
The power of television - it's so present in our lives, we don't even know how powerful it is. Power
There were not enough women like Kay on TV and now there are none. Women
Through all of this lovely interviewing, and nice things people say, and the rest of it, I have learned that I am an actor. That is my profession. That is my job. That is how I make a living. So I am just out there making a living.
To get the hippie out of certain characters is probably the most difficult thing for me. I was not a hippie by choice but by birth.
To play someone when the character masks their own emotions, doesn't understand their own emotions, has no release for their own emotions, and yet is full of emotion - that is a much harder character to play than someone who has somewhere to put it.
Well, I don't think of myself as a feminist at all. As soon as we start labeling and categorizing ourselves and others, that's going to shut down the world.
You know, when I got started on television in the '80s, you would go to the costume department, and if you were a female they put you into a skirt. And you had a pocketbook, usually a shoulder bag.

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