Debra Winger Biography

Debra Winger photo

Born: May 16, 1955


Date of Birth: May 16, 1955

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, talented actress Debra Winger was raised in California where her family relocated when she was six years old. After graduating from high school, Winger traveled to Israel where she worked on a kibbutz and served three months in the Israeli army. She returned to the States in the early '70s to attend college. While working in a local amusement park, Winger was in a terrible accident that left her in a coma. While recovering, she came to the conclusion that she would like to try acting.

She started in commercials before landing the role as Drusilla, Wonder Woman's little sister on the popular television show. The exposure led to film work and after gaining experience in small roles, she beat out 200 other hopefuls to land the lead role opposite John Travolta in Urban Cowboy (1980). The film was a success and launched Winger into Hollywood's mainstream.

She proved her talent was solid after being nominated for an Oscar in back-to-back years for her performances in An Officer and a Gentleman (1982) and Terms of Endearment (1983). These successful years ended in a ten-year drought that saw Winger move from one failed project to another.

In 1993 she returned to the spotlight with a powerful performance as a spunky American woman who stole the heart of British children's book writer, C.S. Lewis, in Shadowlands. The film failed to garner much notice, but the critics praised it, and she was once again honored with an Academy Award nomination.

Winger has been married twice: First to actor Timothy Hutton for four years during which she gave birth to their son, Emmanuel, and second to actor/director Arliss Howard in 1996.

In June 2008, her memoir, "Undiscovered", a book of short chapters and poems about her life as a mother, daughter and actress, was released. In 2010, she made a return to acting with a recurring role on the television series In Treatment as well as a part in the 2012 film Lola Versus.


Lola Versus(2012)
In the Woods (2012)
Rachel Getting Married(2008)
Searching for Debra Winger (2002)
Big Bad Love(2001)
Rumi: Poet of the Heart (1998) (voice)
Forget Paris (1995)
In Search of Angels (1994) (voice)
Shadowlands (1993)
A Dangerous Woman(1993)
Wilder Napalm (1993)
Leap of Faith (1992)
The Sheltering Sky(1990)
Everybody Wins (1990)
Made in Heaven (1987) (uncredited)
Black Widow (1987)
Legal Eagles (1986)
Mike's Murder (1984)
Terms of Endearment(1983)
An Officer and a Gentleman(1982)
Cannery Row (1982)
Urban Cowboy (1980)
French Postcards (1979)
Thank God It's Friday (1978)
Slumber Party '57 (1977)

Change Location