Mariel Hemingway: Exploring Her Legacy in Film and Literature

Mariel Hemingway, an American actress born on November 22, 1961, entered the acting world at 14 with her debut in “Lipstick” (1976). Her performance in this film earned significant attention and paved the way for …

Mariel Hemingway

Mariel Hemingway, an American actress born on November 22, 1961, entered the acting world at 14 with her debut in “Lipstick” (1976). Her performance in this film earned significant attention and paved the way for her continued success in the industry. Mariel is not only recognized for her work in front of the camera but also for her notable family lineage as the granddaughter of the esteemed writer, Ernest Hemingway.

Her breakthrough role came three years later in Woody Allen’s “Manhattan” (1979), for which she received nominations from both the Academy and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Hemingway’s career has spanned several decades, featuring a variety of roles in both film and television. Beyond her screen accomplishments, she has also made contributions to the literary world and has been involved in mental health advocacy, sharing her journey to promote awareness and support for those facing emotional challenges.

Early Life

Mariel Hemingway was born into a family marked by artistic legacy and personal tragedy. Her early years set the stage for a career in the arts, as she grappled with the weight of her family name and the personal drive to forge her path.

Family Legacy

Mariel Hemingway was born on November 22, 1961, in Mill Valley, California. She is the youngest daughter of Byra Louise (née Whittlesey) Hemingway and Jack Hemingway, making her the granddaughter of the famed Nobel Prize-winning novelist Ernest Hemingway. Tragically, Ernest Hemingway died by suicide just four months before Mariel was born, casting a long shadow over the Hemingway family. Despite this, the Hemingway legacy strongly influenced Mariel’s upbringing and later, her career choices.

Beginnings in Acting

Hemingway’s acting career began in her early years, and she quickly earned a name for herself, independent of her storied ancestors. By the age of 16, she had already made her film debut, stepping into the limelight with her role in “Lipstick” (1976), which also featured her sister Margot. Her breakthrough performance came three years later in Woody Allen’s “Manhattan” (1979), where she demonstrated her capacity to take on complex roles and hold her own alongside established actors. This performance solidified her place in the acting world as a talented and serious actress.

Acting Career

Mariel Hemingway, an American actress, gained prominence with a series of notable roles in both film and television. Her acting career began in her teens, with a Golden Globe-nominated breakout role that set the stage for a succession of critically acclaimed performances.

Breakthrough Performances

Hemingway’s early introduction into acting was marked by her role in the drama Lipstick (1976), at the young age of fourteen. This performance earned her a nomination for a Golden Globe. A few years later, Hemingway’s portrayal in Woody Allen‘s Manhattan (1979) confirmed her as a serious actress in Hollywood. For Manhattan, she received both Academy Award and BAFTA Award nominations, cementing her status as a formidable talent in the industry.

Filmography Highlights

Throughout her career, Hemingway demonstrated versatility across various genres. Here are some highlights:

  • Drama/Comedy: She starred in the film Personal Best (1982), showcasing her range in depicting complex relationships and personal struggle.
  • Biographical Drama: In Star 80 (1983), Hemingway delivered a compelling performance that further solidified her acting credentials.
  • Television: She made notable appearances on the small screen, including in the TV series Civil Wars, receiving another Golden Globe nomination for her work.

Mariel Hemingway’s career not only includes lead roles but also supporting parts, such as the First Daughter in Sunset (1988). Her body of work, diverse and expansive, reflects her ability to engage audiences across multiple narratives and genres.

Personal Struggles and Advocacy

Mariel Hemingway has faced significant personal challenges and has channeled these experiences into mental health advocacy. Her public role allows for a unique perspective on the impact of mental illness and the importance of speaking out.

Family and Mental Health

Mariel Hemingway comes from a family where mental illness and addiction have been recurrent issues. Her older sister, Margaux Hemingway, struggled with similar challenges and tragically died by suicide. Mariel herself was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2006, which intensified her commitment to healthy living, involving practices like yoga. Her journey is intimately detailed in her memoirs, such as Out Came the Sun and Finding My Balance—works that delineate her emotional terrain while navigating the landscape of her family’s history.

Public Advocacy

As an advocate for mental health awareness, Mariel uses her platform to educate and break the stigma surrounding mental illnesses. She has been upfront about her struggles with depression and anxiety, helping to illuminate these often misunderstood conditions. Her documentary Running From Crazy delves into her family’s history of mental illness, further amplifying her advocacy efforts. Through speaking engagements and written works, she persistently champions the cause of mental health and underscores the value of open dialogue and treatment.

Writing and Entrepreneurship

Mariel Hemingway has leveraged her literary talent and entrepreneurial spirit to make impactful strides in the realms of writing and lifestyle branding.


Mariel Hemingway is not just an author, but a versatile writer who has made significant contributions to the literary world. Among her works, Mariel’s Kitchen presents a blend of holistic living principles with practical recipes, reflecting her philosophy for healthy living from the inside out. Furthermore, her memoir, Out Came the Sun, provides insight into her personal story, unfolding the complexities of her life and her famous lineage with sincerity and depth. Hemingway’s work often encapsulates themes of emotional and physical well-being, offering her readers content that is both informative and transformative.

Lifestyle Branding

Through her writing, Mariel Hemingway extends the narrative of wellness into the entrepreneurial domain. She has effectively transformed her advocacy for healthy and holistic living into marketable ventures, including a lifestyle brand that mirrors her personal principles. Her brand promotes a way of life that encourages balance, reflecting Hemingway’s belief in the importance of taking care of oneself in a complete, all-encompassing manner. Her approach to lifestyle branding stands out for its authentic connection to her written works and her dedication to fostering wellbeing among her audience.

Personal Life and Relationships

Mariel Hemingway’s off-screen life is marked by her well-known family heritage and her personal relationships, which have been under the public eye due to her family’s fame and her own successful acting career.

Family Connections

Mariel Hemingway is the granddaughter of the renowned American novelist Ernest Hemingway. Born into a family with deep roots in the arts, she has continued the Hemingway legacy through her own work in film. She is also the sister of Margaux Hemingway, who was a notable actress and model. Mariel has two daughters, Dree Hemingway, who is a model and actress, and Langley Fox, a designer and artist. Both daughters, following in their mother’s footsteps, have made their marks in the creative industry.


Mariel Hemingway was married to Stephen Crisman. The marriage lasted for over two decades before the couple decided to part ways. They share two children, Dree and Langley. After her marriage to Crisman ended, Mariel has been in a relationship with Bobby Williams, with whom she collaborates on projects related to health and wellness. Their partnership is not only romantic but also professional as they both advocate for lifestyle practices that promote well-being.

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