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Caroline Goodall Biography

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Birth Name: Caroline Goodall
Born: 11/13/1959
Birth Place: London, England, GB

Goodall was born Nov. 13, 1959 and raised in London by a literary publisher father and journalist mother. While she did seem poised to follow in the family footsteps with her literary studies at Bristol University, Goodall's early interest in the stage was stoked by her discovery and casting in the British children's series "The Moon Stallion" when she was 18 years old. She added drama to her college curriculum and launched her career with the Royal Court, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and the Royal National Theatres, with whom she apprenticed and eventually toured internationally in productions ranging from contemporary comedies to the Bard's tragedies.

Throughout the 1980s, Goodall worked on stage and became an increasingly frequent television performer, seen in the States in small roles in "Charles & Diana: A Royal Love Story" (ABC, 1982), and in the middling Tom Hanks romantic drama, "Every Time We Say Goodbye" (1986). In 1990, her screen career began to take off with her performance in the Masterpiece Theater production "After the War," as well as with her starring role in the taut Australian miniseries "Cassidy" (1990), which earned her a Best Actress nomination from the Australian Film institute. Goodall went on to give a lovely glow to the role of the adult Peter Pan's (Robin Williams) wife in Steven Spielberg's fantasy "Hook" (1991); the director tapped her again for his Holocaust epic "Schindler's List" (1993), where she played the eponymous hero's wife. A sizable role in the Sylvester Stallone actioner "Cliffhanger" (1993) as an airplane pilot in cahoots with the villainous John Lithgow, further raised the actress' international profile.

Next, Goodall played opposite Michael Douglas in the Michael Crichton thriller "Disclosure" (1994) and the following year, her leading role in "Hotel Sorrento" as an author whose supposedly fictional hit novel upsets her suspiciously similar family, earned her another Best Actress nod from the Australian Film Institute. Ridley Scott tapped Goodall to play the physician wife of the skipper of a floating school in his adventure "White Squall" (1996) before she starred as a battered wife who has an affair with a charming but psychotic man (Mark Harmon) in the psychological thriller, "Casualties" (1997). In 1998, her lead role in the romantic dramedy "The Secret Laughter of Women" was well received in critic's circles. In 2001, Goodall played Igraine, mother of King Arthur, in the medieval miniseries "Mists of Avalon" (TNT), which told the warrior legend based on the experiences of the women involved. From that top-rated cable offering, Goodall joined another royal production, the Disney megahit "The Princess Diaries" (2001), in which she played the fun-loving, artist mother of a teen (Anne Hathaway) who discovers she is European royalty and called upon to behave as such.

Her next pair of film appearances were lesser-seen indies - "Harrison's Flowers" (2002), a drama set in war-torn Yugoslavia, and the romantic comedy "Easy" (2003), in which she played the lesbian assistant and ex-wife of an Irish cable talk show host (Brian F. O'Byrne). Goodall reprised her role in the sequel, "The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement" (2004) and moved on to a similarly-themed family-friendly comedy, "Chasing Liberty" (2004), in which she played the First Lady of the United States and mother of a teen daughter (Mandy Moore) whose insistence on nonstop protection from the Secret Service has comic romantic consequences. Goodall next appeared as part of the ensemble of the dark, drug-fueled indie film "The Chumscrubber" (2005), and made a few guest appearances on American television dramas including "Alias" (ABC, 2001-06).

Goodall's high-profile parenting roles continued to earn her more work in family-friendly films, including the Venice-set adventure "The Thief Lord" (2006) and "River's End" (2006), in which she played the wife of a Texas sheriff (Barry Corbin) and mother of a troubled teen (Sam Huntington). After a supporting role as a snooty British tourist in the comic misfire "My Life in Ruins" (2009), Goodall fared better playing Lady Radly in "Dorian Gray" (2009), an adaptation of the beloved Oscar Wilde novel about a vain young man's attempt to maintain his youth.

By Susan Clarke