How Annabeth Gish maintains harmony between family and fame.

The same year that actress Annabeth Gish arrived at Duke University as a freshman, the film Mystic Pizza—which she had a breakout role in alongside Julia Roberts—was released. It was 1989, and in a surreal twist of events, Annabeth encountered the film playing at the Student Union—the college audience largely unaware that one of the film’s stars was in their midst.

Having one foot in the glamorous world of acting and another firmly planted in universal experiences of “real” life has defined Annabeth’s career since she appeared in her first film, Desert Bloom, at age 13. She grew up in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and could have chosen to go straight to Hollywood as a young adult, but she wanted the traditional college experience and the opportunity to immerse herself in the world of ideas—perhaps a natural inclination as the daughter of an English professor father and an elementary school teacher mother.

“I remember making a very deliberate choice not to come out to California and take that time,” she says. “It’s something that I’ve never regretted.”

 

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