She has show biz in her blood. Martha Plimpton was born November
16, 1970, in New York City to two actors: Keith Carradine and
Shelley Plimpton ("Alice's Restaurant"). Martha began her career at
age 8, when her mom had a friend of hers, composer Elizabeth
Swados, enroll her in an actors' workshop. At age 10, she got a
small part in "Rollover" (1981), and Martha also made a series of
Calvin Klein commercials. Martha's first substantial film role was
as a tomboy in "The River Rat"; the following year, Steven
Spielberg cast her in "The Goonies" (1985). Martha met River
Phoenix while they were both filming "The Mosquito Coast" (1986).
Since she was only 15 at the time, she did not date River Phoenix
at first. Even though Martha had a small part in the movie, it
established her as a serious actress. Martha would appear in movies
such as the screwball comedy "Stars and Bars"; that same year she
was paired again with River Phoenix in "Running on Empty" (1988).
They dated a while and then broke up; however his beliefs in PETA
(People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and being a strict
vegetarian are still with Martha today. Martha has also dated other
actors such as Christian Slater, and for a while was engaged to
actor Jon Patrick Walker. As if making movies didn't keep her busy
enough, Martha frequently worked at theaters and made her Chicago
debut with the Steppenwolf Theatre Company Ensemble in "The
Libertine" in 1996; as a member of that ensemble, Martha received a
National Medal of Arts award in the autumn of 1998. As for movies,
"Colin Fitz" (1996) and "Eye of God" (1997) in which she plays the
starring role, have been run at the Sundance Film Festival.
Although some recent movies have had low box office, ["Pecker"
(1998) $2.1 million, and "200 Cigarettes" (1999) $6.8 million]
Martha's performances shine and she rises above her material.
Perhaps recalling how important acting lessons were to her as a
child, big-hearted Martha donates her time and efforts to the "52nd
Street Project" which is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to
matching the inner-city children with professional theater artists
to create original theater, by writing, directing and performing
their own plays. Perhaps one of the inner-city kids she is coaching
will be the next famous actress in Hollywood.
Biography courtesy of the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com).