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Kathleen Quinlan

Noted for her ability to consistently deliver honest and inspired performances on film, television and stage, Kathleen Quinlan is an actress who strikes a true balance between critical and popular acclaim.

Most recently, Quinlan starred in Miramax's The Battle of Shaker Heights. She also starred in A Civil Action, alongside John Travolta, Robert Duvall, William H. Macy and John Lithgow. Quinlan played Anne Anderson, the leader of a group of eight families who lost their children to leukemia caused by the dumping of an industrial solvent into the water supply and are involved in a corporate class action suit. Adapted from Jonathan Harr's nonfiction bestseller by writer/director Steven Zaillian and based on the true story of a 1981 Woburn, Massachusetts, court case, A Civil Action follows in the tradition of such films as Norma Rae, Silkwood and The Verdict.

Quinlan received Best Supporting Actress nominations from both the Academy Awards and Golden Globes for her touching, heartfelt portrayal of Marilyn Lovell, the wife of astronaut Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks), in Ron Howard's box-office smash Apollo 13.

Quinlan followed with a series of roles in five feature films, including her starring role opposite Kurt Russell in Jonathan Mostow's action-thriller Breakdown, as well as George Miller's Zeus and Roxanne, Paul W. S. Anderson's Event Horizon, Michael Lehmann's My Giant and John Duigan's independent drama Lawn Dogs.

Among her numerous other feature credits include her indelible performance as Patricia Kennealy, the seductive witch who captivated Jim Morrison (Val Kilmer) in Oliver Stone's The Doors. Other credits include Trial by Jury, opposite Joanne Whalley-Kilmer and Armand Assante; Clara's Heart, opposite Whoopi Goldberg; Blake Edwards' Sunset, with James Garner and Bruce Willis; the Joe Dante-directed segment of Twilight Zone: The Movie; Riki Shelach Nissimoff's The Last Winter; Robert Mandel's Independence Day; Sunday Lovers and Hanky Panky, both opposite Gene Wilder; Stanley Kramer's The Runner Stumbles; Gilbert Cates' The Promise, with Beatrice Straight; her critically acclaimed performance as a schizophrenic patient in Anthony Page's I Never Promised You a Rose Garden; Jerry Jameson's Airport '77; Daniel Petrie's Lifeguard, opposite Sam Elliott and Anne Archer; and her screen debut in George Lucas' American Graffiti, with Ron Howard and Cindy Williams.

For television, Quinlan starred in the Fox telefilm In the Lake of the Woods, opposite Peter Strauss; as well as Lifetime's critically acclaimed Stolen Babies; USA's Trapped; and the HBO films Dreams Lost, Dreams Found and Blackout. Additional credits include An American Story, Wolf, The Operation, She's in the Army Now, When She Says No and Children of the Night.

On stage, Quinlan appeared in Les Liaisons Dangereuses at the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles. She received a Theater World Award in 1978 for her performance in Joseph Papp's Public Theater production of Taken in Marriage. Her other stage credits include Uncommon Woman and Others and Accent on Youth.

Born in Pasadena and raised in Mill Valley, California, Quinlan trained as a diver and gymnast before beginning her acting career. A surfing enthusiast, she resides in Malibu with her husband, actor Bruce Abbott, and son, Tyler.

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

Kathleen Quinlan Facts

Birth NameKathleen Denise Quinlan
BirthdayNovember 19, 1954 (69)
BirthplacePasadena, California, USA

Selected Filmography

Made Of Honor
The Hills Have Eyes
Apollo 13
Event Horizon
Eagles in the Chicken Coop
Twilight Zone: The Movie
The Doors
Danielle Steel 2 DVD Collection
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