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Monessen grad Frances McDormand frontrunner to win second Oscar

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Fox Searchlight
Frances McDormand in a scene from 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.' The film was nominated for an Oscar for best picture on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. The 90th Oscars will air live on ABC on Sunday, March 4.

Oscar winner Frances McDormand, who grew up in Monessen, is the early favorite to win the award for best actress again this year for her role in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”

A1975 graduate of Monessen High School, McDormand was born in Chicago and adopted by her Canadian-born parents, who moved her and two siblings to the Pittsburgh area. She earned her bachelor of arts in theater at Bethany College in Bethany, W.Va., just 50 miles southwest of Pittsburgh, before attending Yale University for her master of fine arts.

She’s already received awards from the Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild and several other critics groups for her work in “Three Billboards …” as a mother challenging local authorities to solve her daughter’s murder.

The movie is nominated for a total of seven Oscars, including best picture and best supporting actor for both Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell.

McDormand has been back to the area to film two movies — “Wonder Boys” (2000) with Michael Douglas and Toby Maguire, and “Promised Land” (2012) with Matt Damon and John Krasinski.

She won a best actress Oscar in in 1997 for “Fargo” and has been nominated three times for best supporting actress. She also has an Emmy for HBO’s “Olive Kitteridge” (2014) and a Tony for best lead actress in a play for 2011’s “Good People.”

McDormand is married to director Joel Coen. She has collaborated with Coen and his brother, Ethan, on several films, including “Fargo.”

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