Exuding a quiet elegance that permeates a stunning platinum blonde exterior, the brilliant work of the Connecticut Princess and actress Gretchen Mol has a way of penetrating even the thickest of a fan’s emotional armor.

Two of her films that stripped us bare and left us emotionally shaken were The Thirteenth Floor and An American Affair.

As shared by the informative biography site IMDB.com, “Gretchen Mol was born in Deep River, Connecticut, the daughter of a school principal and his artist wife.

Deep River is a small community located on the Chester Bowles Highway (Rt. 9), nine miles northwest of Old Saybrook (home of the legendary Katharine Hepburn), within commuting distance of New York City.”

Among other great films, she is known for her roles in the films Rounders, Celebrity, 3:10 to Yuma, The Thirteenth Floor, and The Notorious Bettie Page, in which she played the title character. She also appeared as Gillian Darmody in HBO‘s Boardwalk Empire.

In her personal life she has greatly emotionally impacted others in a positive way as well, especially as a spokesperson for the PMD Foundation.

At their educational site pmdfoundation.org they enlighten, “This family driven foundation will proactively serve those affected by Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease (the PMD community) by supporting programs of education, research, service and advocacy.

We are dedicated to providing patients and their families with information about their disease and assistance in identifying sources of medical care, social service, and genetic counseling; establishing a communications network among families; increasing public awareness and acting as an information source for health care providers; and promoting research into causes, treatment, prevention and cure of PMD.”

At ghr.nlm.nih.gov they add, “Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease is an inherited condition involving the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system). This disease is one of a group of genetic disorders called leukodystrophies. Leukodystrophies are characterized by degeneration of myelin, which is the covering that protects nerves and promotes the efficient transmission of nerve impulses.

As a result, individuals with this condition have impaired intellectual functions, such as language and memory, and delayed motor skills, such as coordination and walking.”

As one of our team served as a Job Coach for some time in the Special Needs world, we can truly relate.

One of the more emotionally distressing aspects of that world is that as a Job Coach, by 5pm, we get to go home.

The family members and parents have no exits.

In many cases they will have to be heavily involved for the rest of their lives, which will never be normal, as we might define it.

Some times in life we all need an escape.

Gretchen’s films have certainly provided that.

fciwomenswrestling.com article, Columbia Pictures photo credit

The Thirteenth Floor is a 1999 science fiction crime thriller film directed by Josef Rusnak and loosely based upon Simulacron-3 (1964), a novel by Daniel F. Galouye.

The film stars Craig Bierko, Gretchen Mol, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Vincent D’Onofrio, and Dennis Haysbert. In 2000, The Thirteenth Floor was nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film, but lost to The Matrix.

Here is the brilliant premise that can catch you off guard as you watch it unaware.

fciwomenswrestling.com article, Columbia Pictures photo credit

In late 1990s Los Angeles, Hannon Fuller (Armin Mueller-Stahl) owns a multibillion-dollar computer enterprise and is the inventor of a newly completed virtual reality (VR) simulation of 1937 Los Angeles, filled with simulated humans unaware they are computer programs.

If that were true in real life, in terms of life having a purpose or real meaning, all of that would go out of the window.

Then what are you left with?


Everything that you love and strive for can be taken away at any moment without your consent or control.

If that were true, why even try?

Oddly enough, in our existence, the catch 22 is that we don’t know how much of that is real or not.

Fate can take away our lives or that of our loved ones at any moment and yet, just because we can’t drive our car to the end of the software program, does it make any of this any more real?

Is there some entity that has the power to shut all of this down at its discretion?

Gretchen’s next film that speaks to reality and illusion is entitled An American Affair.

fciwomenswrestling.com article, Screen Media Films photo credit

An American Affair is a 2009 American independent period drama starring Gretchen Mol, James Rebhorn, Noah Wyle, Perrey Reeves, Mark Pellegrino, and Cameron Bright, which was released theatrically by Screen Media Films on February 27, 2009.

Set in 1963, in the swirl of glamour and intrigue that turned President John F. Kennedy‘s Washington into Camelot, a young teenager, Adam Stafford (Cameron Bright) has an inside view of JFK’s torrid affair with his neighbor Catherine (Gretchen Mol) and secret CIA assassination plans.

The story actually is more about the budding attraction between Catherine and Adam and how fantasy soon becomes reality with a very sad ending.

It was fitting that the film ends with Skeeter Davis classic song, The End Of The World.

The End of the World” is a country and pop music hit song recorded by Skeeter Davis that enjoyed international success in the 1960s.

“The End of the World” was written by Arthur Kent and Sylvia Dee; the latter drew on her sorrow from her father’s death.

Some of the lyrics remind us of why the song captivated so many.

Why does the sun go on shining?

Why does the sea rush to shore?

Don’t they know it’s the end of the world?

‘Cause you don’t love me any more

Why do the birds go on singing?

Why do the stars glow above?

Don’t they know it’s the end of the world?

It ended when I lost your love

When you examine Gretchen’s career, she certainly has made her share of films that invite you to think and feel.

Possibly because she has a rich sense of history.

Gretchen is a direct descendant, on her mother’s side (Morgan) of William Brewster, the Leading Elder of the Pilgrims of The Mayflower, and Captain James Avery, Commander of the Pequot Indians.

Her family arrived on the Mayflower and settled in the Stonington Connecticut area shortly thereafter.

With a rich sense of history and a brilliant artful and influential career in the present, because of the emotions that her films can instill, Gretchen Mol is a beautiful and timeless actress that keeps us anticipating her future while often impacting ours.

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OPENING PHOTO fciwomenswrestling.com article, CNN.com photo