|Mary McDonnell (President Laura Roslin)|
Actress Name: Mary McDonnell
Character Name: President Laura Roslin
Character Bio: Laura Roslin was the Secretary of Education under President Richard Adar with whom she had an affair. When we first see Laura Roslin, she is diagnosed with cancer and the future looks grim for her.
During the mass attack of the Cylon on the Twelve Colonies the entire cabinet was wiped out and Laura Roslin became the President as she was the highest up in rank at that time. Laura Roslin has been using a drug called chamall to slow down the cancer, which causes her to hallucinate. The scriptures talk about a dying leader and many believe it to be her including Roslin herself. Laura Roslin decides to play the religious card and it backfires when she gets cured with the bloodcells of the half Cylon / half human baby of Helo and Sharon.
Laura Roslin loses the elections to Gaius Baltar, her former vice-president and settles down as a schoolteacher on New Caprica. After reuniting with the fleet, she forces acting President Tom Zarek (Vice-President under Gaius Baltar and acting President in the absense of Baltar) to step down with the force of the military backing her. She re-instated as President and makes Tom Zarek her Vice-President.
When Gaius Baltar is recaptured from the Cylons, Laura Roslin interrogates him and puts him on trial. While on the stand she is forced to admit that her cancer has returned, and as a result she is talking chamalla again. Laura Roslin is also having visions again.
Actress Bio: Renowned stage and screen actress Mary McDonnell graced East Coast stages for two decades before getting her major screen breakthrough in Dances with Wolves (1990). Born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on April 28, 1952, Mary McDonnell was raised in Ithaca, New York, and graduated from the State University of New York at Fredonia.
After a few seasons in regional repertory, Mary McDonnell established herself on Broadway with such successful 1980s plays as The Heidi Chronicles. She made her film debut in 1984's Garbo Talks; three years later, McDonnell was showered with critical adulation for her portrayal of mining town landlady Elma Radnor in director John Sayles' Matewan.
Further adulation and a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination followed for Mary McDonnell's portrayal of Stands with a Fist, a white woman raised by the Lakota Sioux, in Kevin Costner's Dances with Wolves (1990). One year later, Mary McDonnell starred in the PBS "American Playhouse" dramatization of Willa Cather's O Pioneers!, and also did starring work as the wife of an immigration attorney (Kevin Kline) in Lawrence Kasdan's acclaimed Grand Canyon.
Mary McDonnell's film career has continued with roles in films big and small, ranging from Sayles' excellent Passion Fish (1992) to the 1996 blockbuster Independence Day to Kasdan's Mumford (1999), which cast McDonnell as a dissatisfied housewife with a mail order catalog obsession. A recurring role on ER as a do-gooder in denial sparked her interest in series television, and in 2003 Mary McDonnell landed the plum part of the reluctant president Laura Roslin on the lauded revamp of Battlestar Galactica.
IMDB Link: Mary McDonnell
Official (Fan) Website: The Unofficial Mary McDonnell FansiteTrivia: Mary McDonnell also played the role of First Lady during a devastating attack on Earth by aliens in Independence Day.
What she's doing now: Mary McDonnell is currently starring on Scifi Channel's Battlestar Galactica
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