DEBRA WINGER Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Debra Winger                                                                   
Birth name: Mary Debra Winger                                                       
Born: 16 May 1955 Cleveland Heights, Ohio                                           
Debra Winger (born May 16, 1955) is an Academy Award- nominated American actress.   
Born Mary Debra Winger in Cleveland Heights, Ohio to a Jewish family. In the         
early 1970s she spent several years volunteering in a Kibbutz in Israel and         
serving in the Israel Defense Forces. After returning to the United States, she     
was involved in an automobile accident and suffered a cerebral hemorrhage as a       
result. She was left partially paralyzed and blind for ten months, although she     
was initially told that she would never see again. With time on her hands to         
think about her life, she decided that, if she recovered, she would move to         
California and become an actress.                                                   
Her first acting role was as "Debbie" in the 1976 sexploitation film Slumber         
Party '57. Her next role was as Diana Prince's younger sister Drusilla (Wonder       
Girl) in the Wonder Woman television series. She got her first starring role in     
Urban Cowboy in 1980, opposite John Travolta for which she received a BAFTA         
award nomination. In 1982, she co-starred with Nick Nolte in "Cannery Row". Also     
in 1982, she starred opposite Richard Gere in An Officer and a Gentleman, for       
which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. In 1986 Winger       
was in Legal Eagles with Robert Redford and Daryl Hannah. Her voice, digitally       
altered, was used as the voice of E.T. (1982) though she was not credited in the     
Her acting work has received acknowledgement and critical acclaim. She was           
nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress twice since 1982: Terms of         
Endearment in 1983, and for Shadowlands 1993, for which she also received her       
second BAFTA award nomination. In 1995, Winger turned 40 and began a hiatus from     
the film industry, during which she spent a semester as a teaching fellow at         
Harvard University. In 2001, a critically acclaimed documentary film titled         
Searching For Debra Winger was made by director/writer/actor Rosanna Arquette       
and released in 2002 after Winger returned to performing.                           
Other films include Made in Heaven, Everybody Wins, The Sheltering Sky, Leap of     
Faith, Black Widow, Betrayed, Wilder Napalm, Cannery Row, A Dangerous Woman, and     
Sometimes in April, Thank God It's Friday. She also earned an Emmy Award             
nomination for her title role in Dawn Anna in 2005, directed by her second           
husband, Arliss Howard.                                                             
In 1995 she performed in The Wizard of Oz in Concert: Dreams Come True a musical     
performance of the popular story at Lincoln Center to benefit the Children's         
Defense Fund. The performance was originally broadcast on Turner Network             
Television (TNT), and issued on CD and video in 1996.