Born in Bascom, FL, Faye Dunaway was the daughter of an army officer. She studied theater arts at Boston University and later joined the Lincoln Center Repertory Company under the direction of Elia Kazan and Robert Whitehead. Between 1962 and 1967, she appeared in a number of prominent stage productions, including A Man for All Seasons and Arthur Miller's After the Fall, playing a character based on Marilyn Monroe.
Dunaway's breakthrough performance came in an off-Broadway production of Hogan's Goat, which resulted in a contract with director Otto Preminger.
Dunaway made her film debut in his 1967 drama “Hurry Sundown,” but it was her role as Bonnie Parker opposite Warren Beatty in Arthur Penn's “Bonnie and Clyde” that would shoot her to the top of the international film scene. The film, one of the most influential films of the era, earned Dunaway an Academy Award® nomination for Best Actress. Dunaway's next major role cast her opposite Steve McQueen in “The Thomas Crown Affair,” another major hit, followed by “The Arrangement,” starring Kirk Douglas. Other substantial roles for Dunaway include a turn opposite Dustin Hoffman in “Little Big Man,” “The Three Musketeers,” opposite Michael York, and “Chinatown,” starring Jack Nicholson, which earned her another Oscar nomination. But it was her role as a ruthless TV executive in “Network” that earned Dunaway the Academy Award for Best Actress. Additional films for Dunaway include “Three Days of the Condor,” “Eyes of Laura Mars,” “Mommie Dearest,” “The Champ,” “Barfly,” for which she garnered a Golden Globe nomination, “The Two Jakes,” “The Handmaid's Tale,” “Don Juan DeMarco,” “Drunks,” “The Yards” and “The Calling.”
In television, Dunaway starred in numerous miniseries and movies including “A Will of Their Own,” “The Twilight of the Golds,” “Rebecca,” “The People Next Door,” “A Family Divided,” “Cold Sassy Tree,” “Evita Peron” and “After the Fall.” She won a Golden Globe® for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the miniseries “Ellis Island” and an Emmy® for her work as Outstanding Guest Actress in the drama series “Columbo.” Most recently, Dunaway starred in the Lifetime Network movie “Midnight Bayou” and appeared in ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy.”
Dunaway also wrote, directed and produced “Yellow Bird” and is presently developing a film version of the Broadway hit, “Master Class.”