Ellen Burstyn, who won a Best Actress Oscar for 1974's Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, has struck the mother lode. The Detroit-born actress, 67, costars as a domineering Italian-American mother in the CBS sitcom That's Life; a frail working-class mother in the thriller The Yards; and a diet-pill-addicted mother in Requiem for a Dream. And don't forget the re-release of '73's The Exorcist, in which she plays one very put-upon mom. "It's amazing," says the now-single Burstyn, who has one son, Jeff, 39, from her third marriage, to actor Neil Burstyn. "I don't know how this happened. I'm just saying, 'Okay, thank you!' "
Whatever the cause, Burstyn doesn't want it to stop. Filming the harrowing Requiem "was so demanding," she says, "but at the end of the day I always felt exhilarated." And busy. Burstyn plans to produce a film for Lifetime Television about women in prison, based on her own script. "I just always make use of my creative energy," she says. "It's a curse if you don't use it."