Elizabeth McGovern was born on the 18th of July, 1961, in Evanston, Illinois, USA. She was seen by an agent when performing in school plays, and then began studying acting seriously. She went to Juilliard. She was offered her first part whilst still there, in the film Ordinary People. She then earned an Oscar nomination for her role in Ragtime. She then moved into theatre, and has switched between films and the stage ever since. She has appeared in Johnny Handsome, The Handmaidís Tale, Law & Order, Three Moons Over Milford, The Truth, Buffalo Soldiers, and The Flamingo Rising. She married Simon Curtis in 1992, and they live together in London. They have two daughters.