She's been in showbiz since she was just barely old enough to vote, and today Hollywood veteran Joan Cusack is celebrating a big milestone. Her first role was in a film called "Cutting Loose," released in 1980, but you probably wouldn't be able to spot her very easily since it was a very small part in a very small film. Over her career she's shared plenty of screen time with her brother who you also might recognize, especially since their names sound so similar, John Cusack.
Today, Cusack is turning 50 years old. Her fans have grown accustomed to seeing her in all kinds of roles from quirky to downright scary. But no matter the part Joan has always been able to stand out for her realism and dedication to the part. Join us now as we take a look back at her most memorable roles and films.
Jessie the Cowgirl in the "Toy Story" Franchise - Most recently, Cusack has been playing the part of Jessie, the cowgirl doll that Woody meets in "Toy Story 2." Her unmistakable energy can be heard in Jessie's enthusiasm for adventure. Part of the reason that film was widely held as being a better story was the addition of the female counterpart to Woody, and Cusack certainly brought her to life in an extraordinary way. Joan is signed on for the upcoming fourth installment of the popular Pixar franchise, though no release date has been set as of yet.
Geek Girl #1 in "Sixteen Candles" - It's not often that you can list what is essentially a bit part without dialogue as being one of an actress's most memorable roles, but this was the part that started getting her more and more work, and it's notable because her brother has a role in the film as well. Cusack is the girl with the neck brace who's seen trying to drink from the water fountain and dancing with another geeky girl. The fact that she's so memorable in this film is a testament to her ability to hold an audience's attention, no matter how small the role.
Marcella in "Grosse Pointe Blank" - There's simply no denying the on-screen chemistry that Joan and John have with other. It's very likely that their relationship as brother and sister off-screen can help them interact well with each in scenes. Playing the eccentric but powerful assistant to her brother John's conflicted professional hit man, Joan steals every single scene she's in. Within the film she shows how she's able to stay bitingly funny with just a hint of complete psychosis underneath, which is a trademark of hers.
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