Michelle Marie Pfeiffer (; born April 29, 1958) is an American actress and producer. One of the most popular actresses of the 1980s and 1990s, she has received international acclaim and many accolades for her work in both comedic and dramatic films. Noted for her versatility as a character actress, Pfeiffer has become particularly known for portraying nuanced and unglamorous, emotionally distant women as well as strong female characters with intense sex appeal. Pfeiffer is widely considered to be among the most talented actresses of her generation.
Pfeiffer began to pursue an acting career in 1978. After accepting several minor roles in television series and films, her first leading role was in the musical film Grease 2 (1982), the sequel to the popular 1978 film which, despite being critically and commercially unsuccessful, increased public interest in Pfeiffer. Frustrated with being typecast as the token pretty girl, Pfeiffer actively pursued more serious material. She received strong reviews for her breakout performance as gangster moll Elvira Hancock in the crime film Scarface (1983), and while her performance as one-third of the titular trio in the dark fantasy The Witches of Eastwick (1987) proved to be one of her first box office successes, Pfeiffer's starring role in Married to the Mob (1988), in which she was cast against type as a mobster's widow, earned the actress her first of several consecutive Golden Globe Award nominations. Her subsequent roles in Dangerous Liaisons (1988) and The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989) garnered her two Academy Award nominations, for Best Supporting Actress and Best Actress, respectively; her sultry performance as lounge singer Susie Diamond in the latter is considered to be the most critically acclaimed of her career.
After starring as the titular waitress in the romantic comedy Frankie and Johnny (1991), Pfeiffer achieved widespread recognition as Catwoman / Selina Kyle in Tim Burton's superhero film Batman Returns (1992); Pfeiffer's interpretation is widely regarded as one of the most definitive portrayals of the comic book character. She earned a third Academy Award nomination for Love Field (1992) before starring in the critically acclaimed The Age of Innocence (1993), followed by Wolf (1994), What Lies Beneath (2000), and White Oleander (2002). During this time, she also produced a series of films under her production company Via Rosa Productions. After a five-year hiatus from film acting, she appeared in Hairspray (2007), Chéri (2009), and Dark Shadows (2012). She received her first Emmy Award nomination for portraying Ruth Madoff in the HBO television film The Wizard of Lies (2017), and garnered further critical acclaim for her role in Where Is Kyra? (2017). In 2018, Pfeiffer joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Janet Van Dyne, first appearing in Ant-Man and the Wasp.