Below is a compiled list of the most interesting facts about Debra Winger. Check it out!
Mary Debra Winger was born May 16, 1955 in Cleveland, Ohio, to Ruth (Felder), an office manager, and Robert Jack Winger, a meat packer. She is from a Jewish family (originally from Austria-Hungary and the Russian Empire). Her maternal grandparents called her Mary, while her parents called her Debra (her father named her Debra after his favorite actress, Debra Paget). The family moved to California when Debra was five. She fell in love with acting in high school but kept it a secret from her family. She was a precocious teenager, having graduated high school at an early age of 15. She enrolled in college, majoring in criminology. She worked part-time in the local amusement park when she got thrown from a truck and suffered serious injuries and went temporarily blind for several months. She was in the hospital when she vowed to pursue her passion for acting.
Interesting Facts about Debra Winger
- In 1995, she appeared in London, Washington, and New York with both the London Symphony and the New World Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas, performing his composition based on the life of Anne Frank.
- She was originally signed to play Peggy Sue Bodell in Peggy Sue Got Married (1986) but was forced to withdraw after her back was severely injured in a bicycle accident. Debra missed out on other roles, due to the many months it took her to fully recover.
- Among her admirers was Bette Davis who lauded the actress for having talent and for being “difficult,” since she, herself, had been called “difficult” because she went the distance for her roles.
- She turned down the role of Alex Forrest in Fatal Attraction (1987), which went to Glenn Close.
- She had seen her first husband actor Timothy Hutton on TV when he accepted the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for Ordinary People (1980) and fell in love with him. She met him in person two years later in 1983 for a film that they were supposed to be cast in called “Road Show” but it was revamped and made with different actors a decade later under a new title Medicine Man (1992). Hutton later said they talked for six hours about everything at that first meeting, and Winger said there was so much electricity between them that they got scared and ran in opposite directions. They kept running into each other once every six months, and Hutton later described these encounters “like turning magnets around.” They finally stuck together when Winger emceed Farm Aid on New Year’s Eve in 1986 and Hutton was one of the guests. Almost immediately, they started living together and married just three months later. Despair followed the happy occasion. Her orthodox Jewish grandmother stopped talking to her, because Hutton wasn’t Jewish. Worse, Winger miscarried when she got pregnant on her wedding night. She got pregnant again and gave birth to their son Noah Hutton in 1987, but just a year later, they separated and divorced two years later. During their short marriage, they appeared together in two films (Made in Heaven (1987) and Betrayed (1988)) that flopped at the box office, as well as a “Life” magazine cover. A decade after their divorce, Winger (married to her second husband Arliss Howard) said that there was “no bad blood” between them. In 2016, she and Howard invited their ex-spouses to spend Thanksgiving with them, and she said there was no awkwardness or tension anymore, and they comforted each other, with the disappointing news that Donald Trump was just elected President of United States.
- Has two sons: Noah Hutton (Emmanuel Noah Hutton; b. April 29, 1987) with ex-husband Timothy Hutton, and Babe Howard (Gideon Babe Ruth Howard; b. June 15, 1997) with husband Arliss Howard.
- Born at 5:15pm-EDT
- When she was 14, her father had installed a burglar alarm for the celebrated director George Cukor and told him that his daughter wanted to be a actress. Cukor looked at Winger and told her, “That voice, and you got no walk and you got no class!” She suspected that her father might have put Cukor up to this, in order to discourage her from pursuing a acting career. Cukor was still alive when Winger became a star with Urban Cowboy (1980) but he didn’t get a chance to know about her first Oscar nomination as Best Actress for An Officer and a Gentleman (1982), since the nomination was announced a few days after he died.
- Her notorious off-camera clashes with equally mercurial Shirley MacLaine brought out the best in both actresses in the complexity of their on-camera contentious mother/daughter relationship during the making of their Oscar-winning film Terms of Endearment (1983). When MacLaine nabbed the Best Actress Oscar instead of fellow nominee Winger in 1984 and famously shouted, “I deserve this!,” she managed to address her co-star as “dear Debra” despite the fact there was no love lost between them.
- Tim Matheson said that the then-unknown Debra “rocked her audition” to play his girlfriend in Dreamer (1979) but the studio decided to cast Susan Blakely instead.
- Friends with Sheena Easton.
- Attended and graduated from Oliver Wendell Holmes Junior High School in Northridge, California in 1970.
Personal Quotes by Debra Winger
You see people on TV flying in to places just to pick up a baby, or brush some flies away. That’s great if they can bring that issue to public attention. But that’s not what I wanted to do. I was interested in committing to something that I could function in whether I was Debra Winger or not. Because nobody might care about that next week.- Debra Winger
I tend to wear outfits that match the walls.- Debra Winger
I do admit to being challenging, but it’s always for the work, it’s never personal. I will walk out on a scene if it’s all lit and ready to go but it’s not happening.- Debra Winger
A good marriage is different to a happy marriage.- Debra Winger