Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why Miriam From Mayor Of Kingstown Looks So Familiar

It looks like Taylor Sheridan, who wrote and directed "Wind River" and is a creator of both "Yellowstone" and its prequel spinoff, "1883," is expanding his influence even more with another original series for Paramount+ called "Mayor of Kingstown." The series is set in a small town in Michigan, in which one family basically runs the law and prison system there. While it has nothing to do with ranches or cowboys, the series certainly has the same intensity, violence, and complex characters that are trademarks of "Yellowstone."

"Mayor of Kingstown" stars Jeremy Renner in the lead role as Mike McLusky, who is known as the "Mayor," due to the fact that he maintains control over anything and everything that happens in Kingstown. In fact, it's a family business, with Kyle Chandler as Mitch McLusky, Mike's older brother, and Taylor Handley as Kyle McLusky, the youngest, who works as a detective and is only starting to get a clear picture of what his brothers really do. Watching over them is Miriam McLusky, the matriarch, who knows exactly what's happening with her sons but clearly dislikes it, leading to a dark animosity mostly targeted at Mike. 

For many "Mayor of Kingstown" viewers who tune in on Paramount+, Miriam is likely a very familiar face. The actress who plays the character has had a monumental career and has been acting since the 1970s. Here's why Miriam looks so familiar. 

Dianne Wiest began her career on top in major classics

Dianne Wiest first started acting in 1975, but she very quickly started nabbing roles in big projects that are seen as classics today. Only a few years into her career, Wiest appeared as Vi Moore in 1984's "Footloose," and the next year she was Emma in "The Purple Rose of Cairo." It only went up from there, as she starred in "Hannah and Her Sisters" in 1986 as Holly, a role that won her an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role — her first (via IMDb). 

Her presence in film only got bigger year by year, as Wiest appeared as Lucy, the mother of Michael (Jason Patric) and Sam (Corey Haim), in "The Lost Boys" in 1987, and Peg, an Avon lady in the neighborhood, in "Edward Scissorhands" at the end of the decade. She also got another Academy Award nomination in 1989 for "Parenthood." Directed by Ron Howard, the film also stars Steve Martin, Rick Moranis, Mary Steenburgen, Keanu Reeves, and Joaquin Phoenix in an early role. "Parenthood" focuses on a family and their everyday troubles, and it was adapted into a TV series twice, in 1990 and 2010, although the latter was much more successful. 

In the '90s, Wiest continued her success with hits like The Birdcage

There was no stopping Wiest, and the 1990s were filled with even more fantastic roles for the actress. At the start of the decade, Wiest played Helen Sinclair in "Bullets Over Broadway," costarring John Cusack, Chazz Palminteri, and Jennifer Tilly. The movie follows the ups and downs of a Broadway production of a play called "God of Our Fathers," and Wiest plays one of the show's stars. The movie was a critical success, earning seven Academy Award nominations. The only one the film won was Best Actress in a Supporting Role, for Wiest, becoming her second Academy Award to date (via IMDb). 

The other major film of this period in Wiest's career is "The Birdcage," a comedy seen by many as a landmark LGBTQ+ film. Directed by Mike Nichols and adapted by Elaine May, the 1996 comedy stars Robin Williams and Nathan Lane as Armand and Albert Goldman, life partners who run a successful drag club in Miami Beach called The Birdcage. When Armand's son Val (Dan Futterman) calls then to say that he's fallen in love with a woman named Barbara (Calista Flockhart) and they are getting married, the fiancée's parents, Senator Kevin Keeley (Gene Hackman) and Louise Keeley (played by Wiest), come to Miami Beach to meet Armand, who Barbara has told her parents is straight. As you could probably guess, a hilarious misadventure follows.

Wiest ventured into TV in the 2000s with Law & Order

In the 2000s, Wiest got her first major television part in a fantasy series called "The 10th Kingdom." But a more iconic role came shortly after when she got the part of Interim D.A. Nora Lewin in the original "Law & Order" series, which first started airing in 1990. The character Lewin is the replacement D.A. of Adam Schiff (Steven Hill), first appearing in the premiere episode of Season 11. In the series, she is the first woman to be New York County District Attorney, which unfortunately has not yet come to pass in real life (via manhattanda.org).

At the beginning of her tenure in the show, Lewin is optimistic with strong morals, but she is very devoted to following the law as it is. Appearing in two seasons, one of Lewin's biggest storylines is about her facing the possibility of pursuing the death penalty for a murderer, although she is personally against it. There are also other points during her time in "Law & Order" when Lewin clashes with her coworkers over similar issues of values and beliefs. 

After "Law & Order," Wiest took a bit of a break from TV, returning at the end of the decade to star in "In Treatment." She plays Dr. Gina Toll in the series, a retired psychotherapist reeling from the death of her husband. While grieving, Toll suddenly decides to return to work and open her own practice, and one of her first patients back is Dr. Paul Weston (Gabriel Byrne). The role earned her two Emmy nominations (via IMDb).

More fantastic roles came in the 2010s, most notably Life in Pieces

Going into the 2010s, Wiest continued providing rousing portrayals of interesting movie characters, with a few films she starred in earlier in the decade being "The Big Year" and "The Odd Life of Timothy Green." But it wasn't until the end of the decade that Wiest made another strong impression with two roles, one in film and one in television. 

For the film, Wiest played Mary in "The Mule," the 2018 crime drama directed by and starring Clint Eastwood. The story follows Eastwood's character, Earl Stone, who is a 90-year-old horticulturist who somehow ends up wrapped up with the Mexican cartel and starts working as a drug mule. Wiest's character Mary is Earl's wife, and the two's relationship becomes strained due to his business.

Her other major role of the decade leans more into straight comedy, which is somewhat of a rarity for Wiest. The actress starred in the TV series "Life in Pieces," a show about three generations of a family living in Los Angeles, for four seasons from 2015 to 2019. "Life in Pieces" also stars Colin Hanks, Betsy Brandt, Thomas Sadoski, Zoe Lister-Jones, and many more. Wiest's character is Dr. Joan Pirkle Short, who works as a therapist and looks after her family with her husband, John Short (James Brolin).

In the 2020s, Wiest has already given three astonishing performances in big projects

Looking at Wiest's career at the start of the 2020s, it seems like it's going to be another good decade for the actress. Starting off strong, she has already given three standout performances, one being her exciting new role in "Mayor of Kingstown," which she's sure to get award attention for. In 2020, Wiest starred alongside Rosamund Pike in the Netflix film "I Care a Lot." The dark comedy-drama is about Pike's character, Marla Grayson, who is a con artist manipulating the system to steal from wealthy older people. She soon sets her sights on Wiest's character, Jennifer Peterson, thinking she will be another easy win. But unbeknownst to her, Peterson is deeply connected with the mafia, and they will do anything to get her back. 

Alongside "I Care a Lot," Wiest also acted in the movie "Let Them All Talk" the same year. Directed by Steven Soderbergh, the movie stars Meryl Streep as Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Hughes, who decides to travel to the U.K. on the Queen Mary 2 to receive a literary award. Alice brings along her nephew Tyler (Lucas Hedges) and two old friends, Roberta (Candice Bergen) and Susan (Wiest), but she spends most of her time on the trip working on her next book. Wiest's character Susan has been estranged from Alice for years, but she takes the opportunity to make up and enjoy the vacation, even meeting and connecting with someone on the ship.