Debra Winger


Debra Lynn Winger (born May 16, 1955) is an American actress. Early films include Thank God It’s Friday (1978), with Jeff Goldblum and Donna Summer, Willard Huyck’s French Postcards (1979), with Miles Chapin, Blanche Baker, David Marshall Grant, Valérie Quennessen, Mandy Patinkin, Marie-France Pisier, and Jean Rochefort; James Bridges’s Urban Cowboy (1980), with John Travolta, Scott Glenn, Barry Corbin, and Madolyn Smith; and David S. Ward’s Cannery Row (1982), with Nick Nolte, Audra Lindley, and narration by John Huston.

Winger received back to back Academy Award nominations for Best Actress for Taylor Hackford’s An Officer and a Gentleman (1982), with Richard Gere, David Keith, Robert Loggia, and Louis Gossett Jr.; and James L. Brooks’s Terms of Endearment (1983), with Shirley MacLaine, Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, Jeff Daniels, and John Lithgow.

Other films in the 1980s include Marks Murder (1984), with Darrell Larson and Paul Winfield; Ivan Reitman’s Legal Eagles (1986), with Robert Redford, Daryl Hannah, Brian Dennehy, Terence Stamp, and Steven Hill; Bob Rafelson’s Black Widow (1987), with Theresa Russell, Sami Frey, Nicol Williamson, Dennis Hopper, and Diane Ladd; an uncredited appearance in Alan Rudolph’s Made in Heaven (1987), with Timothy Hutton (her first husband), Kelly McGillis, Maureen Stapleton, Ann Wedgeworth, Mare Winningham, Don Murray, and Amanda Plummer; and Costa-Gravas’s Betrayed (1988), with Tom Berenger, John Heard, Betsy Blair, John Mahoney, and Ted Levine.

Winger received her third Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in Richard Attenborough’s Shadowlands (1993), with Anthony Hopkins, Edward Hardwicke, and Joseph Mazzello. Other films in the 1990s include Everybody Wins (1990), with Nolte, Will Patton, Judith Ivey, and Jack Warden; Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Sheltering Sky (1990), with John Malkovich, Campbell Scott, Jill Bennett, and Timothy Spall; Leap of Faith (1992), with Lolita Davidovich, Liam Neeson, Lukas Haas, Meat Loaf, M.C. Gainey, and Philip Seymour Hoffman; Wilder Napalm (1993), with Dennis Quaid, Arliss Howard (her second husband), M. Emmet Walsh, and Jim Varney; Stephen Gyllenhaal’s A Dangerous Woman (1993), with Barbara Hershey, Gabriel Byrne, David Strathairn, Chloe Webb, John Terry, and Laurie Metcalf; Forget Paris (1995), with Billy Crystal (who also directed), Joe Mantegna, Julie Kavner, Richard Masur, and Cathy Moriarty; and the unfinished film Divine Rapture (1995), with Marlon Brando, Johnny Depp, John Hurt, Angeline Hall, Byrne, and Richard Harris.

Films in the 2000s include Big Bad Love (2001), with Howard (who also directed), Paul Le Mat, Rosanna Arquette, Angie Dickinson, and Michael Parks; Radio (2003), with Cuba Gooding Jr., Ed Harris, Alfre Woodard, and S. Epatha Merkerson; Eulogy (2004), with Zooey Deschanel, Hank Azaria, Famke Janssen, Kelly Preston, Ray Romano, Jesse Bradford, Glenne Headly, Piper Laurie, Rance Howard, Paget Brewster, René Auberjonois, and Rip Torn; and Jonathan Demme’s Rachel Getting Married (2008), with Anne Hathaway, Rosemarie DeWitt, Bill Irwin, Anna Deavere Smith, and Tunde Adebimpe.

Films in the 2010s include Daryl Wein’s Lola Versus (2012), with Greta Gerwig, Joel Kinnaman, Zoey Lister-Jones, and Bill Pullman; François Girard’s Boychoir (2015), with Dustin Hoffman, Kathy Bates, Josh Lucas, and Eddie Izzard; The Lovers (2017), with Tracy Letts, Aidan Gillen, Melora Walters, Tyler Ross, and Jessica Sula; and Miranda July’s Kajillionaire (2020), with Evan Rachel Wood, Richard Jenkins, and Gina Rodriguez.

TV movies and miniseries include Sometimes in April (2005), with Idris Elba, Oris Erhuero, and Carole Karemera; The Red Tent (2014), with Rebecca Ferguson, Minnie Driver, Morena Baccarin, Iain Glen, Vinette Robinson, and Agni Scott; and When We Rise (2017), with Guy Pearce, Rachel Griffiths, Mary-Louise Parker, Michael Kenneth Williams, Austin P. McKenzie, Emily Skeggs, Jonathan Majors, Fiona Dourif, and Sam Jaeger. She was part of the main cast of the Netflix series The Ranch (2016), with Ashton Kutcher and Sam Elliott; and joined the Amazon series Patriot (2018), with Michael Dorman, Kurtwood Smith, Michael Chernus, Kathleen Munroe, Aliette Opheim, Chris Conrad, and Terry O’Quinn; during the second season.

Each review will be linked to the title below.

(*seen originally in theaters)

(**seen rereleased in theaters)

  • Slumber Party ’57 (1976) – directed by William A. Levey
  • Special Olympics (1978) – directed by Lee Philips – TV movie
  • Thank God It’s Friday (1978) – directed by Robert Klane
  • French Postcards (1979) – directed by Willard Huyck
  • Urban Cowboy (1980) – directed by James Bridges
  • Cannery Row (1982) – directed by David S. Ward
  • E.T. the Extra Terrestrial (1982)** – directed by Steven Spielberg – uncredited
  • An Officer and a Gentleman (1982) – directed by Taylor Hackford
  • Terms of Endearment (1983) – directed by James L. Brooks
  • Mike’s Murder (1984) – directed by James Bridges
  • Legal Eagles (1986) – directed by Ivan Reitman
  • Black Widow (1987) – directed by Bob Rafelson
  • Made in Heaven (1987) – directed by Alan Rudolph
  • Betrayed (1988) – directed by Costa-Gavras
  • Everybody Wins (1990) – directed by Karel Reisz
  • The Sheltering Sky (1990) – directed by Bernardo Bertolucci
  • Leap of Faith (1992) – directed by Richard Pearce
  • Wilder Napalm (1993) – directed by Glenn Gordon Caron
  • A Dangerous Woman (1993) – directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal
  • Shadowlands (1993) – directed by Richard Attenborough
  • Forget Paris (1995) – directed by Billy Crystal
  • Devine Rapture (1995) – directed by Thom Eberhardt – short/unfinished
  • Big Bad Love (2001) – directed by Arliss Howard
  • Searching for Debra Winger (2002) – directed by Rosanna Arquette – herself – documentary
  • Eulogy (2004) – directed by Michael Clancy
  • Dawn Anna (2005) – directed by Arliss Howard (as Less R. Howard) – TV movie
  • Sometimes in April (2005) – directed by Raoul Peck – TV movie
  • Rachel Getting Married (2008) – directed by Jonathan Demme
  • How It Ended (2011) – directed by Gabriel Nussbaum – short
  • Lola Versus (2012) – directed by Daryl Wein
  • The Red Tent (2014) – directed by Roger Young – miniseries
  • Boychoir (2015) – directed by François Girard
  • When We Rise (2017) – directed by Gus Van Sant, Dee Rees, Thomas Schlamme, & Dustin Lance Black – miniseries
  • The Lovers (2017) – directed by Azazel Jacobs
  • Kajillionaire (2020) – directed by Miranda July
  • With/In (2021) – directed by Jonathan Cake, Bill Camp, Elizabeth Marvel, Chris Cooper, Griffin Dunne, Bart Freundlich, Gina Gershon, Sebastian Gutierrez, Arliss Howard, Sanaa Lathan, Julianne Nicholson, Sam Nivola, Rosie Perez, Maya Singer, Morgan Spector, & Mickey Sumner – anthology