Happy Birthday, Mia Farrow!

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Mia Farrow (born February 9th, 1945) is an American film actress, humanitarian, political activist and mother of fifteen children, both biological and adopted. Farrow starred in many great roles over the course of her life. These included Rosemary's Baby (1968), Secret Ceremony (1968), John and Mary (1969), Follow Me (1972), The Great Gatsby (1974), The Omen (2006), Be Kind Rewind (2008) and Luc Besson's Arthur Series (2006-2010). Farrow was in a relationship with film director Woody Allen for several years, during which she was a star in many of his films. These credits include Zelig (1983), Broadway Danny Rose (1984), The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), Radio Days (1987) and Alice (1990). She is a Goodwill Ambassador at UNICEF and a firm believer in children's rights. As well as this, Farrow campaigned for "Dream for Darfur", narrated a documentary about Rwandan genocide and testified against the former Liberian President. Farrow's involvement with countless charities and campaigns has led her to be named as one of the world's most influential people.

MiaFarrow5Maria de Lourdes Villiers Farrow was born in Los Angeles, California. Her parents were both involved in the film industry and her time spent on set with them as a child would influence her career choice. Her three sisters would also grow up to work in film. Farrow's debut was in a short documentary about famous mothers and children. She suffered from Polio as a child and recovered, but the ailment inspired her to help children with the disease in third-world countries.

Mia Farrow began as a supporting actress in various films in the 1960s. She auditioned for The Sound of Music but did not get the part. Instead, Farrow landed a part on a soap opera named Peyton Place. Her regular role in the series would bring her to fame and suddenly the world knew who she was. But she didn't stay for long. She quit the show when her first husband, Frank Sinatra, advised her to. 

 

 

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Trailer for Rosemary's Baby

MiaFarrow4Sinatra and Farrow were married for only two years. It was during this time that Farrow landed the career changing lead role in Rosemary's Baby. She played a scared mother who had become impregnated with the seed of Satan. Her performance was praised by hard-to-please critic Roger Ebert and she was nominated for Best Actress at the Golden Globes. Sinatra asked Farrow to work on his film, The Detective (1968) but it would mean leaving the production of Rosemary's Baby. Farrow stuck with her job, and the pair got divorced. In 1968, Farrow traveled to India to clear her mind with Transcendental Meditation. She was followed by all four of The Beatles, singer Donovan, Mike Love of The Beach Boys and her sister Prudence. The pilgrimage of these stars sparked the interest of the worldwide media. During this decade she also appeared alongside Dustin Hoffman in John and Mary (1969) which was nominated for Best Comedy.

In the 1970s, Farrow married and lived with composer André Previn. Together they adopted two Vietnamese children and one from Korea named Soon-Yi. Sadly, the marriage did not last until the end of the decade. Nevertheless, her career was going brilliantly. Farrow acted in See No Evil (1971), Peter Pan (1976), The Haunting of Julia (1977) and Robert Altman's A Wedding (1978). She also performed alongside Anthony Perkins in a Broadway play called Romantic Comedy. Her acting abilities transcended genre and she was seldom typecast. Farrow would often be starred in the lead role, and this led to her choice of films. Few actors could say the same.

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MiaFarrow8The year was 1980 and Farrow was successful and single again. She met director Woody Allen, who by then had already made some noticeable films. He was captured by her beauty and skill, and cast her in many films. Following Allen's directions, Farrow starred in Zelig (1983), Broadway Danny Rose (1984), The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), Radio Days (1987) and Alice (1990). The public was enamoured with the talented twosome and they adopted two children. Farrow also gave birth to a son, Ronan Farrow. The son of Woody Allen and Mia Farrow was naturally a child prodigy. He would grow up to be an activist also, helping UNICEF and the cause in Darfur alongside his mother.

 

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Clip from The Purple Rose of Cairo


Clip from Radio Days

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In the 1990s, their family was broken apart. Allen had fallen in love with Soon-Yi, Farrow's adopted child from her previous marriage.  A much loved celebrity romance was over. Many fans were furious with Allen.

 But Farrow moved on and adopted six children over the next few years. Sadly, however hard she tried, Farrow could not save all the starving children in the world. Farrow became highly invested in charity work. She traveled to Darfur in Sudan in 2004 and advocated for  refugees. She helped raise money and awareness for children in Africa, putting a special emphasis on those who suffered from Polio. Her involvement with the "Dream for Darfur" Olympics campaign in 2008 was so strong that Steven Spielberg complied to pressure and refused to be an artistic adviser. In 2009 Farrow went on a hunger strike when Sudan got rid of 13 international aid agencies from Darfur. She narrated the 2008 documentary As We Forgive and uses her website as a portal for photography, comments and charity to aid Darfur and Africa.

 

Mia Farrow: With Knowledge Comes Power

MiaFarrow9For going above and beyond in many socio-political issues, Farrow was awarded four honors: the France Legion of Arts and Lettres award, the Refugees International McCall-Pierpaoli Humanitarian Award, the Tiannamen Square Award and the Leon Sullivan International Service award. And yet, Farrow still finds the time to act. In 2008 she appeared in cult favorite Michel Gondry movie Be Kind Rewind and in 2011 she was in independent film Dark Horse. One wonders how Farrow manages to achieve so much with her time. Today, she has a total of nine grandchildren and continues to help UNICEF with their world inspirational work.

 

 

 

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Additional Info

  • Birthday Date: Sunday, 09 February 2014
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