Debra Winger (Actress) as Juliet - An Officer and a Gentleman
Debra Winger 1
Updated: 8/28/2005

Name: Debra Winger

Birth Name: Mary Debra Winger

Born: May 16, 1955 in Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Claim To Fame: Before beating out more than 200 hopefuls for the lead in Urban Cowboy (1980), which paired her with John Travolta and gave her an opportunity to demonstrate her ability. This arresting, star-making performance led to her casting as a homegrown hopeful Juliet opposite Richard Gere in "An Officer and a Gentleman", which earned her an Oscar nomination, and as Shirley MacLaine's cancer stricken daughter in "Terms of Endearment" for which she was Oscar nominated again.

Family Life: Arliss Howard (December 1996 - present) 1 child (Son named Babe)

Timothy Hutton (March 1986 - 1990) (divorced) 1 child (son named Noah)

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Info: She was involved in a serious accident that left her in a coma. Partially paralyzed and blinded in one eye for several months, Winger thought long and hard about where her life was going, and decided that upon recuperating she would become an actress.

Trivia: She became notorious for turning down worthy roles in quality films, such as Kathleen Turner's role in "Peggy Sue Got Married", Glenn Close's role in "Fatal Attraction", Susan Sarandon's role in "Bull Durham", Michelle Pfeiffer's role in "The Fabulous Baker Boys", Jessica Lange's role in "The Music Box", and Geena Davis' role in "A League of their Own."

Graduated from high school at age 15

James L. Brooks wrote Broadcast News especially for her, but she turned it down because she was pregnant.

Had a romance with then-Governor of Nebraska Bob Kerrey during the filming of "Terms of Endearment."

Spent part of her youth in Israel and served three months in the Israeli army.

She also participated in the extraordinary success of 'E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial', but in an unusual way: her distinctive voice was among those used for the alien visitor.

At first, she was excited about winning the role of "Wonder Girl" on the TV series "Wonder Woman" but quickly became disillusioned and spent all her salary from the show to hire an attorney to get her out of her contract.

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Where Are They Now: In 1995, she stopped acting with no intent to return.

Her absence became so pronounced that her name was used in the title of a 2002 documentary film. Roseanna Arquette's "Searching for Debra Winger," about being a woman in the entertainment industry, brought the actress to the public's consciousness just as she appeared in her first film in six years, "Big Bad Love," with her husband, Arliss Howard.

He convinced her to star in and produce the film about a struggling Southern writer that he had adapted with his brother, James Howard, from stories by Mississippi writer Larry Brown, and that he would direct. After screenings at the Cannes and Toronto film festivals in 2001, the film was critically well-received, but when it opened in the fall the critics were not so kind. And the public stayed far away.

Despite the commercial failure of "Big Bad Love," the two have continued collaborative efforts, most recently the television cable drama "Dawn Anna," (2005) in which Howard directed his wife to an Emmy nomination as outstanding lead actress in a miniseries or a movie.

Both Debra and Arliss will appear as the special guests of the Port Townsend Film Festival taking place on Sept. 23-25, 2005. Why? Debra has a bond with the small town as she spent two months there filming "An Officer and A Gentleman."

Write To Debra Winger:
Debra Winger
671 Latimer Road
Santa Monica, CA 90402

Secondary Address:
Debra Winger
c/o PMK 8500 Wilshire Bl. #700
Beverly Hills, CA 90211-3105


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