‘The Age Of Innocence’
As a soon-to-be divorcee, Pfeiffer's character is cast out of New York’s social circles in Martin Scorsese’s 1870s period drama “The Age Of Innocence”. Michelle is luminous as Countess Ellen Olenska who comes between her young cousin May (Winona Ryder) and her fiancé (Daniel Day-Lewis) in this tale of social mores and cutting emotional attacks.
Marine-turned-high school teacher LouAnne Johnson takes charge in the 1995 drama “Dangerous Minds”. Faced with a group of underprivileged students who underestimate her character, Pfeiffer pulls out all the stops as the caring instructor who just wants to reach them.
‘The Witches of Eastwick’
Director George Miller’s campy fantasy film about an unlucky-in-love trio played by Pfeiffer, Cher, and Susan Sarandon who, thanks to Jack Nicholson, discover they’re actually witches, turning Pfeiffer’s mousy and bookish Sukie into someone with a lot more power.
As the cocaine-fuelled wife of a crime kingpin, Pfeiffer made her big-screen breakthrough in Brian De Palma’s 1980s ode to excess. Violent, profane, and yet a commercial success, Pfeiffer played up the idea of a mob trophy wife and turned it on its head.
Beautiful people are horrendously wicked in the period drama “Dangerous Liaisons”. With a cast clad in powdered wigs and corsets, the film is filled to the brim with schemers and womanizers, and a young Keanu Reeves. Pfeiffer earned her first-ever Oscar nomination for playing the righteous Madame Marie de Tourvel, who gets caught up in a web of seduction weaved by Vicomte de Valmont (John Malkovich) and Marquise de Merteuil (Glenn Close).
‘Married To The Mob’
“Married To The Mob” borders on farce in its depiction of Mafia widow Angela de Marco, but Pfeiffer’s big-haired, gold-clad performance is the perfect place for the actress to show off her more comedic skills.
Pfeiffer earned her third and most recent Oscar nomination for her role as a 1960s Dallas housewife whose obsession with first lady Jackie Kennedy leads her to be present for the assassination of JFK. Deep in her own grief over the loss of her own child, Pfeiffer’s Lurene Hallett finds herself at JFK’s funeral, making some unlikely friendships that cross racial and social borders.
As the ultimate stage mom, Pfeiffer’s racist, WASP-y villain Velma Von Tussle will do whatever underhanded deed it takes to keep a 1950s teen dance show segregated so her daughter can remain in the spotlight. The actress leaned back on her musical beginnings in “Grease 2” to deliver a breathy and campy ode to her former pageant days with “(The Legend Of ) Miss Baltimore Crabs”.
Pfeiffer made it cool to be a cat lady in Tim Burton’s dark superhero movie, “Batman Returns”. Mousy Selina Kyle turned the tables on her boss Max Schreck (Christopher Walken) and treated Michael Keaton’s Batman like a play thing while clad in a now-iconic leather catsuit. Meow.
‘The Fabulous Baker Boys’
Pfeiffer earned her second Oscar nod for her role as singer and former escort Susie Diamond, who joins a brotherly jazz duo, The Baker Boys (played by real-life brothers Jeff and Beau Bridges). The actress cements her status as a late 1980s blonde bombshell, thanks to one of the film’s most famous scenes: a seductive Susie slithering on top of a grand piano in a silky red dress.