Ellen Barkin

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Ellen Barkin
Barkin at the Ocean's Thirteen premiere, 2007
BornEllen Rona Barkin
(1954-04-16) April 16, 1954 (age 60)
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
Years active1978–present
Spouse(s)Gabriel Byrne (1988–1999; divorced)
Ronald O. Perelman (2000–2006; divorced)
Children2 (with Byrne)
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Ellen Barkin
Barkin at the Ocean's Thirteen premiere, 2007
BornEllen Rona Barkin
(1954-04-16) April 16, 1954 (age 60)
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
Years active1978–present
Spouse(s)Gabriel Byrne (1988–1999; divorced)
Ronald O. Perelman (2000–2006; divorced)
Children2 (with Byrne)

Ellen Rona Barkin (born April 16, 1954) is an American actress, known for her roles in the films The Big Easy, Sea of Love and Switch. She won an Emmy Award in 1997, for Before Women Had Wings and a Tony Award in 2011, for The Normal Heart.

Early life[edit]

Barkin was born in the Bronx, a borough of New York City, New York,[1] the daughter of Evelyn (née Rozin), a hospital administrator who worked at Jamaica Hospital, and Sol Barkin, a chemical salesman.[2][3][4] Barkin was raised in a lower-middle-class Jewish family,[5][6] a descendant of immigrants from Siberia and the Belarusian-Polish border.[7]

Barkin received her high school diploma at Manhattan's High School of Performing Arts.[1] She then attended Hunter College and double majored in history and drama. At one point, Barkin wanted to teach ancient history. She continued her acting education at New York City's Actors Studio. According to Time, she studied acting for ten years before landing her first audition.[8]


Ellen Barkin and Kate Bosworth at the Deauville American film festival in 2011

Her break-out role was in the comedy-drama film Diner (1982), written and directed by Barry Levinson,[1] for which she received favorable reviews. Barkin was cast in the drama film Tender Mercies (1983) after impressing its director Bruce Beresford during an audition in New York City, despite her inexperience and his lack of familiarity with her work. Robert Duvall, who played the lead role in Tender Mercies, said of Barkin, "She brings a real credibility to that part, plus she was young and attractive and had a certain sense of edge, a danger to her that was good for that part."[9] She also appeared in the 1983 rock & roll drama film Eddie and the Cruisers.

Barkin later appeared in several successful films, including the thrillers The Big Easy (1987), opposite Dennis Quaid and Sea of Love (1989), opposite Al Pacino. Barkin also appeared in off-Broadway plays, including a role as one of the roommates in Extremities, about an intended rape victim played by Susan Sarandon who turns the tables on her attacker. About her performance in the play Eden Court, The New York Times critic Frank Rich summarized: "If it were really possible to give the kiss of life to a corpse, the actress Ellen Barkin would be the one to do it. In Eden Court, the moribund play that has brought her to the Promenade Theater, Miss Barkin is tantalizingly alive from her bouncing blond ponytail to the long legs that gyrate wildly and involuntarily every time an Elvis Presley record plays on stage".[10]

Barkin has also done work in made-for-television films like Before Women Had Wings (1997), for which she won an Emmy as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie and The White River Kid (1999). Currently, she voices the start of each Theme Time Radio Hour with host Bob Dylan on XM's "Deep Tracks". In 2005, Barkin set up a film production company with her brother, George, along with her husband at the time and billionaire investor, Ronald Perelman.

Barkin appeared in her Broadway debut as Dr. Brookner in The Normal Heart, for which she won the 2011 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play.[11]

Barkin has received acclaim for her performance in Another Happy Day. IndieWire cited her turn as one of the best female performances of the year.[12]

She most recently played Jane Forrest on the short-lived NBC show The New Normal.

Personal life[edit]

Barkin has a brother, George, who was formerly the editor-in-chief of National Lampoon and High Times. Barkin is the mother of two children, Jack Daniel (born 1989) and Romy Marion (born 1992), from her first marriage, to actor Gabriel Byrne.[1] The two separated in 1993 and divorced in 1999, but are still close;[1] Byrne even attended Barkin's 2000 wedding to multi-billionaire and businessman Ronald Perelman.[13] According to New York magazine, that marriage ended in a messy divorce in 2006 with Barkin receiving “not one penny more” than $20 million, according to a friend of hers.[14] In 2007, Barkin sued Perelman for $3.4 million in investment funds he allegedly promised to invest in their film production company.[15] He was ordered to pay her $4.3 million. She dated director/writer Sam Levinson in 2011.[16]

Barkin is an outspoken Twitter user, coming under scrutiny in August 2012 when she retweeted the message of one of her followers that read: “C’mon #Isaac! Wash every pro-life, anti-education, anti-woman, xenophobic, gay-bashing, racist SOB right into the ocean! #RNC ” She did not express any disagreement in her retweet.[17] Barkin has also stated on Twitter that she is an atheist.[18]

And again in November 2014, she again made headlines when she said on Twitter that fetuses, babies and infants are not persons because they “cannot talk.” [19]



1978Up in SmokeWoman playing guitarUncredited
1981Kent StateStudentTelevision movie
1981We're Fighting BackChris CapolettiTelevision movie
1982DinerBeth Schreiber
1982ParoleDonnaTelevision movie
1983Tender MerciesSue Ann
1983DanielPhyllis Isaacson
1983Enormous Changes at the Last MinuteVirginia
1983Eddie and the CruisersMaggie Foley
1984Harry & SonKate Wilowski
1984Terrible Joe MoranRonnieTelevision movie
1984The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th DimensionPenny Priddy
1985Terminal ChoiceMary O'Connor
1986Desert BloomAunt Starr
1986Act of VengeanceAnnette Gilly
1986Down by LawLaurette
1986The Princess Who Had Never LaughedPrincess HenriettaTelevision movie
1987The Big EasyAnne Osborne
1987Made in HeavenLucilleUncredited
1988Clinton and NadineNadine PowersTelevision movie
Nominated—CableACE Award for Best Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
1989Johnny HandsomeSunny BoydNominated—Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
1989Sea of LoveHelen CrugerNominated—Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
1991SwitchAmanda BrooksNominated—American Comedy Award for Funniest Actress in a Motion Picture
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1992MacOona Goldfarb
1992Man TroubleJoan Pruance
1992Into the WestKathleen
1993This Boy's LifeCaroline Wolff Hansen
1995Bad CompanyMargaret Wells
1995Wild BillCalamity Jane
1996The FanJewel SternBlockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actress – Adventure/Drama
1996Mad Dog TimeRita Everly
1997Before Women Had WingsGlory Marie JacksonTelevision movie
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
1998Fear and Loathing in Las VegasWaitress at North Star Cafe
1999Drop Dead GorgeousAnnette Atkins
1999The White River KidEva Nell La Fangory
2000Crime and Punishment in SuburbiaMaggie Skolnick
2000MercyDet. Cathy Palmer
2001Someone Like YouDiane Roberts
2004She Hate MeMargo Chadwick
2004PalindromesJoyce Victor
2005Trust the ManNorah
2007Ocean's ThirteenAbigail Sponder
2009Brooklyn's FinestAgent Smith
2009Happy TearsShelly
2010Operation: EndgameEmpress
2010TwelveJessica's mother
2010The ChameleonKimberly Miller
2010Shit YearColleen West
2011Mann's WorldJulieTelevision movie
2011Another Happy DayLynn
2014Very Good GirlsNorma Berger
2014Hands of StoneFilming


2001King of the HillLenoreEpisode: "Hank and the Great Glass Elevator"
2012Modern FamilyMitzy RothEpisode: "Send Out the Clowns"
2012–2013The New NormalJane Forrest22 episodes

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Witchel, Alex (April 22, 2011). "Ellen Barkin Is No Uptown Girl". The New York Times. Retrieved April 24, 2011. 
  2. ^ Hoffman, Jan (April 4, 1993). "FILM; Ellen Barkin: Is She Difficult Or Just Straight Outta Queens?". The New York Times. Retrieved March 29, 2008.
  3. ^ Gottlieb, Jeff. "The Kew Gardens Hills Five". Central Queens Historical Association. Retrieved September 14, 2010. 
  4. ^ "He Doesn't Play a Doctor on TV – But Give Him Time". The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution. May 27, 2001. Retrieved September 14, 2010. 
  5. ^ Kempley, Rita (August 28, 1987). "The Big Time of Ellen Barkin; Acclaimed as an Actress, She's Now Shooting Toward Stardom". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 18, 2008. 
  6. ^ New York Times (2012-09-25). "Ellen Barkin on her 'New Normal' role". SFGate. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  7. ^ Carl Reiner. Interview by Carl Reiner. June 1, 2007. Retrieved March 29, 2008.[dead link]
  8. ^ Corliss, Richard. "Show Business: Barkin Up the Right Tree". Time, October 23, 1989
  9. ^ Bruce Beresford (actor), Robert Duvall (actor), Gary Hertz (director) (April 16, 2002). Miracles & Mercies (Documentary). West Hollywood, California: Blue Underground. Retrieved February 1, 2008. 
  10. ^ Rich, Frank (May 15, 1985). Stage: Ellen Barkin In 'Eden Court'. The New York Times.
  11. ^ Gans, Andrew."The Normal Heart Begins Beating on Broadway April 19" playbill.com, April 19, 2011
  12. ^ Review: 'Another Happy Day' Features One Of The Year's Best Female Performances By Ellen Barkin IndieWire. 15 November 2011
  13. ^ Movie & TV News @ IMDb.com - WENN - 3 July 2000
  14. ^ Geoffrey Gray. "Tough Love". New York. March 19, 2006.
  15. ^ Richard Johnson; Paula Froelich; Bill Hoffmann; Corynne Steindler "Ellen Wants More From Ron" New York Post, August 3, 2007
  16. ^ Ocean's Thirteen star Ellen Barkin moves in with her boyfriend... 31 years her junior. Daily Mail online, 3 June 2011. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
  17. ^ Hugo Gye (2012-08-29). "Ellen Barkin under fire after 'saying she hopes Republicans are drowned by Hurricane Isaac' | Mail Online". Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  18. ^ http://twitchy.com/2013/07/17/ellen-barkin-blasts-violent-vitriolic-tweets-from-christian-conservatives/
  19. ^ [1]

External links[edit]