Happy Birthday Geena Davis: Relive the Hollywood Icon’s Best Moments

by Katie Maloney
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Geena Davis turns 65 today. Happy Birthday to the silver screen icon and social justice advocate!

Undoubtedly, Geena Davis is an accomplished actress. From cult classics to Academy Award winning films, Geena has done them all. That’s why, to celebrate Geena’s birthday, we’ve compiled a list of some of her greatest career moments.

Geena’s Greatest Career Moments

Tootsie

We love to find out where successful people got their start. That’s why we’re adding Tootsie to the list of Geena’s best career moments. Tootsie was Davis’s debut film. She was working as a lingerie model when Director Sydney Pollack cast her in the film. She played a soap opera actress.

Geena Davis played a soap opera actress in Tootsie.

The Accidental Tourist

The Accidental Tourist landed Davis her first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Additionally, the film was nominated for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score. The film is about a man whose marriage is falling apart. He temporarily moves in with his siblings where he meets Muriel (Davis) an eccentric animal hospital employee and dog trainer. The two eventually fall in love.

Geena Davis in The Accidental Tourist

Geena Davis Is A Cult Classic Movie Star

The Fly

The sci-fi movie is about a scientist, played by Jeff Goldblum, who begins to transform into a fly after one of his experiments goes terribly wrong. Geena Davis plays a science journalist to whom Goldblum reveals his secret teleportation device. However, it’s not long before Davis learns that Goldblum’s experiment is taking a turn for the worst.

Favorite lines:

Jeff Goldblum: “Don’t be afraid.”

Geena Davis: “No, be afraid. Be very afraid.”

Geena Davis and Jeff Goldblum in The Fly.

Beetlejuice

This cult classic comedy is about a group of poltergeists who try to haunt away their home’s new residents. Davis plays Barbara, a woman who learns she recently passed away after driving into a river. However, she is stuck in the home she inhabited with her husband before she died. Now, she and her husband must find a way to scare the new residents out of their home. So, they enlist the help of underworld-renowned bio-exorcist, Beetlejuice. With a star-studded cast including Davis, Michael Keaton, Wynona Rider, Alec Baldwin, and Catherine O’Hara, this film still has a dedicated cult following.

Geena Davis co-stars in Beetlejuice.

Geena Tackles Gender Stereotypes Later In Her Career

Thelma & Louise

Later in her career, Davis began choosing roles that highlighted the diverse and complex experiences women face. This film is about two best friends who set out on an adventure. However, things quickly turn as they kill a man while defending themselves against him. The two decide to flee from the police and misadventures ensue. In a raw and real way, the film tackles unfortunate experiences women too often face, and how friendship can truly help heal, protect, and offer a ride or die partner in crime to seek revenge with.

Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon in Thelma & Louise

A League Of Their Own

Arguably one of the best sports movies of all time, A League of Their Own chronicles the female professional baseball league that developed when WWII threatened to shut down major league baseball. During their time with the league, the women of the team get in trouble together, hatch plots together, win together, lose together, and navigate sexism and life together. Not only is the film a pillar of women empowerment, but it’s also a powerful ode to one of the greatest sports in history, baseball. Additionally, the film is based on a true story and features big screen greats including Davis, Rosie O’Donnell, Madonna, and Tom Hanks.

Geena Davis and Tom Hanks in A League Of Their Own

Geena Davis’s Greatest Career Moment

Founding the Geena Davis Institute On Gender And Media

Although she has made some incredible films, one of her greatest achievements is founding this institution so that young girls and women can continue to benefit. Davis founded the Institute in 2004. The organization is the only research-based organization working collaboratively within the entertainment industry to create gender balance, foster inclusion and reduce negative stereotyping in family entertainment media. Their tagline is “If she can see it, she can be it.” Davis is dedicated to producing characters and films that allow young girls to feel comfortable owning the diverse, inclusive, and complex characters within themselves. As Davis’s career advanced, she began choosing characters that pushed the boundaries of what a woman “can be,” and that challenged stereotypes. Whether she’s starring in a movie or advocating for equality in film, Geena Davis is a truly empowering heroine.

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