Born 1956, Charleston, Kanawha County
Ann Magnuson is a multi-talented writer, actress, singer, musician and stage performer whose extensive career covers almost every facet of the arts. She has acted in Hollywood blockbusters, off-Broadway plays, TV sitcoms and indie films, fronted various bands, written for numerous publications and has presented her original performance art pieces at museums, including The Museum of Modern Art, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, The Andy Warhol Museum and Tokyo’s Sogetsu Hall.
Growing up in Charleston, she performed in local theater productions. After studying theater in London, she moved to New York City in 1978 where she became an integral part of the city’s arts scene, managing the now-infamous Club 57 and performing regularly at other venues, including Mudd Club, Danceteria and CBGB. Her movie career includes Clear and Present Danger, Desperately Seeking Susan, Making Mr. Right, The Hunger and Panic Room. She was a series regular on the ABC-TV sitcom Anything But Love starring Jamie Lee Curtis.
As a singer and songwriter, Ann has been in many bands, including the sardonic folk trio Bleaker Street Incident and the heavy metal band Vulcan Death Grip. Her psycho-psychedelic band Bongwater issued five albums and gained an international cult following. She also wrote and performed songs with the legendary John Cale for his performance piece Life Underwater. Magnuson has released four solo projects and has written and performed in numerous one-woman shows, many which feature stories and songs about growing up in West Virginia.
She recently released “Open Letter to an Open Letter” (an epic spoken-word-with-music rant about the Internet) and was guest curator of a major gallery exhibition about Club 57 that opened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2018.