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Ellen Barkin

Ellen Barkin has been one of the industry's most respected actresses for more than 25 years, with a wide range of roles in projects encompassing major motion pictures and acclaimed independent films, as well as television and theatre. She recently received rave reviews for her work in the independent feature Palindromes, directed by Todd Solondz, and also starred in Spike Lee's comedy She Hate Me.

In addition, Barkin won an Emmy Award for her performance in the Oprah Winfrey-produced telefilm Before Women Had Wings. Her portrayal of an alcoholic, abusive mother in that project also brought her a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television.

Before starting her acting career, the Bronx native attended the prestigious High School of the Performing Arts in New York and studied drama and history at Hunter College. She continued to hone her acting skills in workshops at the renowned Actors Studio. Barkin made her professional acting debut in 1980, appearing in a theatrical production of Irish Coffee. In 1982, she starred in the original off-Broadway production of Extremities, with Susan Sarandon and James Russo.

That same year, Barkin broke onto the big screen as the female lead in Barry Levinson's acclaimed comedic drama Diner, playing the vulnerable, neglected wife of an obsessive husband. Her early film work also includes starring roles in Bruce Beresford's Tender Mercies, with Robert Duvall; Sidney Lumet's Daniel; Eddie and the Cruisers; Harry & Son, directed by and also starring Paul Newman; and Jim Jarmusch's Down by Law.

Barkin continued to captivate both critics and audiences when she starred as a sultry attorney in Jim McBride's crime drama The Big Easy, with Dennis Quaid. She then delivered another memorable performance opposite Al Pacino in Harold Becker's hit romantic thriller Sea of Love, starring as the seductive prime suspect in a string of murders who becomes involved with the lead detective on the case.

Barkin went on to earn a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Motion Picture -- Comedy or Musical for her performance as a man trapped in a woman's body in Blake Edwards' Switch. She also starred opposite Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio in Michael Caton-Jones' drama This Boy's Life, based on the autobiographical book by Tobias Wolff. Barkin portrayed Caroline, a mother who is trying to provide a stable life for her young son but whose marriage instead traps them in a life of dysfunction and abuse.

Her other notable film credits include Someone Like You, with Ashley Judd and Hugh Jackman; Drop Dead Gorgeous, with Kirsten Dunst; Tony Scott's The Fan, with Robert De Niro; Wild Bill, alongside Jeff Bridges; Bad Company, with Laurence Fishburne; Bob Rafelson's Man Trouble, opposite Jack Nicholson; Mike Newell's Into the West; and Desert Bloom, opposite Jon Voight.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2007.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

Ellen Barkin Facts

Birth Name Ellen Rona Barkin
BirthdayApril 16, 1954 (67)
BirthplaceBronx, New York, USA
Height5' 7" (1m70)  How tall is Ellen Barkin compared to you?
Social Media EllenBarkin

Selected Filmography

Wild Bill
The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai
Ocean's Thirteen
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Operation: Endgame
Drop Dead Gorgeous
Hands of Stone
Someone Like You
The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension
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