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Debra Winger

Debra Winger

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Also Known As: Mary Debra Winger Died:
Born: May 16, 1955 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Cleveland, Ohio, USA Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A string of roles in campy projects like the TV series "Wonder Woman" (ABC/CBS, 1976-79) gave no indication that Debra Winger was destined to become one of the most acclaimed actresses of her generation. In fact, her fiercely committed and emotional performances in such popular and critically regarded films as "Urban Cowboy" (1980) and "An Officer and a Gentleman" (1982) solidified her as a leading performer with few peers. Winger appeared to reach the peak of her popularity and abilities with her turn as a terminally ill daughter in James Brooks' haunting "Terms of Endearment" (1983), which earned her an Academy Award nomination and unanimous praise from the film community. But a mercurial personality - brought to light by her well-publicized squabbles with her "Endearment" co-star Shirley MacLaine and "Gentleman" director Taylor Hackford and co-star Richard Gere - cast a pall over her career, as did several ill-advised career decisions. By the time she had reached age 40, Winger had largely turned her back on the movie industry; becoming, in the process, a symbol of the plight faced by Hollywood actresses of a certain age. This unfair, unspoken Hollywood mindset was chronicled in the documentary,...

A string of roles in campy projects like the TV series "Wonder Woman" (ABC/CBS, 1976-79) gave no indication that Debra Winger was destined to become one of the most acclaimed actresses of her generation. In fact, her fiercely committed and emotional performances in such popular and critically regarded films as "Urban Cowboy" (1980) and "An Officer and a Gentleman" (1982) solidified her as a leading performer with few peers. Winger appeared to reach the peak of her popularity and abilities with her turn as a terminally ill daughter in James Brooks' haunting "Terms of Endearment" (1983), which earned her an Academy Award nomination and unanimous praise from the film community. But a mercurial personality - brought to light by her well-publicized squabbles with her "Endearment" co-star Shirley MacLaine and "Gentleman" director Taylor Hackford and co-star Richard Gere - cast a pall over her career, as did several ill-advised career decisions. By the time she had reached age 40, Winger had largely turned her back on the movie industry; becoming, in the process, a symbol of the plight faced by Hollywood actresses of a certain age. This unfair, unspoken Hollywood mindset was chronicled in the documentary, "Searching for Debra Winger" - which was the first public exposure the actress had received in years. Perhaps it was this confrontation of the issue raised by many middle-aged actresses which helped turn the tide, causing Winger to slowly return to acting in the new millennium. Although she would never again reach her early Eighties peak, Winger's later performances in such features as "Rachel Getting Married" (2008) proved age had no bearing on the actress' timeless appeal.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Lola Versus (2012)
3.
 Sometimes in April (2005) Prudence Bushnell
4.
 Dawn Anna (2005) Dawn Anna
5.
 Eulogy (2004) Alice Collins
6.
 Radio (2003) Linda Jones
7.
 Searching for Debra Winger (2003) Herself
8.
 Big Bad Love (2001) Marilyn Barlow
9.
 Rumi: Poet of the Heart (1998) Narrator
10.
 Wizard Of Oz In Concert, The (1995) Narration
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1972:
Lived in Israel with an Israeli youth program; served in the Israeli army for three months
:
Return to Los Angeles and joined an acting workshop led by Michael Gazzo
:
At 18, was involved in an automobile accident and suffered a cerebral hemorrhage as a result; was left partially paralyzed and blind for ten months; after she recovered, decided that she would pursue acting in Los Angeles
1976:
Made TV acting debut as the title character's younger sister Drusilla on the CBS series "Wonder Woman"
1977:
Film acting debut in "Slumber Party '57"
1978:
Made TV-movie debut in "Special Olympics" (CBS)
1980:
Breakthrough screen role as John Travolta's love interest in "Urban Cowboy"
1982:
Lent her voice (mixed with the voice of an elderly woman) to the title character of "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial"
1982:
Received first Best Actress Academy Award nomination as Richard Gere's love interest in "An Officer and a Gentleman"
1982:
First film with Nick Nolte, "Cannery Row"; hired to replace Raquel Welch
1983:
Played a terminally ill woman in a strained relationship with her mother and husband in "Terms of Endearment"; garnered second Best Actress Academy Award nomination
1986:
Starred opposite Robert Redford in the Ivan Reitman comedy "Legal Eagles"
1987:
Had a box-office hit as the detective tracking down a female serial killer in "Black Widow"
1987:
Made an uncredited appearance in "Made in Heaven," starring then-husband Timothy Hutton
1990:
Second feature with Nolte, "Everybody Wins"; film scripted by Arthur Miller
1990:
Co-starred with John Malkovich in "The Sheltering Sky"
1993:
Earned third Best Actress Oscar nomination as American poet Joy Gresham opposite Anthony Hopkins as C. S. Lewis in "Shadowlands"
1995:
Last film for six years, starring with Billy Crystal in the comedy "Forget Paris"
1996:
Announced "retirement" from acting
1998:
Co-starred with husband Arliss Howard in the stage production of "How I Learned to Drive"
1998:
Narrated the documentary about the 13th century writer, "Rumi: Poet of the Heart"
2001:
Returned to features co-starring with husband Arliss Howard (who also directed) in "Big Bad Love"
2002:
Subject of the documentary directed by actress Rosanna Arquette titled "Searching for Debra Winger"; film focused on the various pressures women face working in the film industry while trying to juggle their professional commitments with their personal responsibilities
2003:
Featured in "Radio" with Ed Harris and Cuba Gooding, Jr.
2004:
Appeared in Michael Clancy's black comedy "Eulogy"
2005:
Co-starred in the HBO film "Sometimes in April" about the Rwandan Genocide of 1994
2005:
Directed by husband Arliss Howard in the Lifetime movie "Dawn Anna"; received an Emmy nomination for portraying a woman dealing with severe brain disease and family tragedy
2008:
Played Anne Hathaway's emotionally unavailable mother in Jonathan Demme's "Rachel Getting Married"; earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Supporting Female
2008:
Wrote a book based on her personal recollections titled <i>Undiscovered</i>
2010:
Joined the third season of HBO's "In Treatment" as a new patient
2012:
Co-starred with Greta Gerwig in the comedy "Lola Versus"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

California State University, Northridge: Northridge , California -

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Nick Nolte. Actor. Became involved during filming of "Cannery Row".
husband:
Timothy Hutton. Actor. Divorced; have child (Noah) together.
companion:
Robert Kerrey. Politician. Nebraska senator; met in 1983 while Winger was filming "Terms of Endearment" in Lincoln, Nebraska; relationship ended in 1985.
husband:
Arliss Howard. Actor. Met c. 1993; married in November 1996.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Robert Winger. Meatpacker.
mother:
Ruth Winger. Office manager. Died March 19, 1996.
sister:
Marla Winger. Older.
brother:
Marc Winger. Older.
son:
Emmanuel Noah Hutton. Born on April 29, 1987; father, Timothy Hutton.
son:
Babe Howard. Born on June 15, 1997; father, Arliss Howard.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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