Melissa Leo stages major comeback with Best Supporting Actress Oscar win

Melissa Leo

By Kim Palacios It’s hard to believe that in 1998, Melissa Leo was unemployed and, in her own words, unemployable. During a recent interview on NPR, the actress described being fired from the role that brought her into the mainstream, that of Detective Sergeant Kay Howard on “Homicide: Life on the Street”. Leo walked a long road to her comeback, her hard work seemingly culminating in a 2008 Academy Award nomination for her lead role as Ray Eddy in “Frozen River”. She didn’t win two years ago, but she won tonight for Best Supporting Actress for her role in “The Fighter”.

In “The Figher”, Leo plays Alice Ward, mother and manager of boxer Micky Ward. Her performance was as memorable for her characterization of the real life figure as it was for her ability to capture the vernacular of the era.

Upcoming television appearances for Leo include multiple episodes of the HBO series “Treme”. Though if you’d like to catch her in forthcoming films, you’ll have to look hard. Most films in which Leo plays which are close to release are low budget indies that are expected to have limited distribution.

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