Ann Dowd

A prolific character actress from the mid-1980s into the 21st century, Ann Dowd worked steadily if largely anonymously in television and features like "Philadelphia" (1993), "Garden State" (2004) and "Flags of Our Fathers" (2006) before breaking out with a stellar supporting turn in the grueling indie feature "Compliance" (2012). She began her career in Chicago theater, netting several awards for her stage work before moving into television and features in 1985. Dowd worked her way up from bit roles to supporting turns, often as mothers with varying degrees of warmth, before winning critical accolades as a fast food restaurant manager who appeared to blindly acquiesce to an unseen caller's cruel demands upon her workers in "Compliance." The performance vaulted Dowd to national attention, and signaled what seemed to most as the beginning of a new phase in her career.