Although the inspirational educator genre is a crowded one, these 5 actresses that have played teachers put their own spin on classic conventions and taught us a thing or two in the process.
- Michelle Pfeiffer. She took on the part of ex-marine Louanne Johson in 1995's "Dangerous Minds". The film was based on the real life Johnson's autobiography and although it received mixed reviews, it was a box office hit the summer of its release.
- Meryl Streep. In 1999's "Music of the Heart", Streep played substitute music teacher Roberta Guaspari, who enriched the lives of her students with the violin. Streep received an Academy Award nomination for her role which was originally to be played by Madonna. This was also the first time director Wes Craven made a film outside of the horror genre.
- Cate Blanchett. In the role of Sheba Hart, Blanchett played a teacher who had an affair with one of her students in 2006's "Notes on a Scandal". She received Golden Globe and Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actress.
- Julia Roberts. In 2003's "Mona Lisa Smile", Roberts played Katherina Ann Watson, a teacher who shook things up at a women's liberal arts college in Massachusetts. To prepare for the part, she sat in on art history classes at New York University.
Frances McDormand. One of the more memorable characters in 2000's "Almost Famous" is Elaine Miller, the main character's mother. McDormand's portrayal of a teacher who can get through to her students but not to her own children earned her Golden Globe & Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actress. Director Cameron Crowe based Elaine on his own mother, who was also a teacher.