- Category : Entertainment-Comedy
- Type : PSP
- Profile : 3/6 - Martyr / Role Model
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Penetration 3
American actress and comedienne, nominated twice for Best Supporting Actress Oscar, a "Saturday Night Live" regular from 1985-1986, who has appeared in movies with her brother, actor John Cusack.
Born the second of five children (including brother John Cusack, also an actor) in a liberal, Irish Catholic family, she was the daughter of a writer and filmmaker father and schoolteacher mother who frequently entertained leading activists of the latter 20th century. As a child, Joan studied with Joyce and Byrne Piven, charter members of the Second City comedy company who had formed a workshop for kids. The shy girl found acting a good outlet and was still studying as a teenager when she landed a small part in "My Bodyguard," a movie filming in Chicago. Her role in the film kept expanding, and she also landed small roles in three other movies.
Right out of college in 1985, she became part of the regular cast of "Saturday Night Live." There were problems, and she left after one season, but she’d been noticed, and landed her first substantial movie role in "Broadcast News," 1987 and in "Working Girl," 1988, where her work received her first Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. After the latter film, she was typecast as a big sister-girl Friday in films. She appeared in "Anything," 1989, "Men Don’t Leave," 1990 and "My Blue Heaven," 1990.
Joan was in a slump until her brother John asked her to join the cast of "Grosse Pointe Blank," 1997. Following that, she played a comedy role in "In and Out" that landed her the New York Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress, a Golden Globe nomination, and her second Oscar nomination. She also appeared in "Runaway Bride" and "Cradle will Rock." She was the voice of Jessie the Cowgirl in "Toy Story 2."
Cusack met attorney Richard Burke in 1993 and they married in 1995. A son, Dylan, was born on 6/17/1997, Chicago and, as of January 2000, they are expecting a second child.
Her father, Richard Cusack, an advertising executive-turned-actor, died of pancreatic cancer in Evanston, IL on June 2, 1993.