Amy Irving

Amy Davis Irving (born September 10, 1953) is an American actress of film, stage, and television, and a singer. Her accolades include an Obie Award, two Golden Globe Award nominations, and one Academy Award nomination.

Amy Irving
Amy Irving (1989).jpg
Irving at the Governor's Ball After the Academy Awards on March 29, 1989
Born (1953-09-10) September 10, 1953 (age 68)
Alma materAmerican Conservatory Theater
London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art
Years active1975–present
(m. 1985; div. 1989)
(m. 1996; div. 2005)
Kenneth Bowser
(m. 2007)

Born in Palo Alto, California, to actors Jules Irving and Priscilla Pointer, Irving spent her early life in San Francisco before her family relocated to New York City during her teenage years. In New York, she made her Broadway debut in The Country Wife (1965–1966) at age 13. Irving subsequently studied theater at San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater and at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art before making her feature film debut in Brian De Palma's Carrie (1976), followed by a lead role in the 1978 supernatural thriller The Fury (1978).

In 1980, Irving appeared in a Broadway production of Amadeus before being cast in Yentl (1983), for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. In 1988, she received an Obie Award for her Off-Broadway performance in a production of The Road to Mecca, and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for her performance in the comedy Crossing Delancey (1988).

Irving went on to appear in the original Broadway production of Broken Glass (1994) and the revival of Three Sisters (1997). In film, she starred in the ensemble comedy Deconstructing Harry (1997), and reprised her role in The Rage: Carrie 2 (1999) before co-starring opposite Michael Douglas in Steven Soderbergh's crime-drama Traffic (2000). She subsequently appeared in the independent films Thirteen Conversations About One Thing (2001) and Adam (2009). From 2006–2007, she starred in the Broadway production of The Coast of Utopia. In 2018, she reunited with Soderbergh, appearing in a supporting role in his horror film Unsane.

Early lifeEdit

Irving was born on September 10, 1953 in Palo Alto, California.[1] Her father was film and stage director Jules Irving (born Jules Israel) and her mother is actress Priscilla Pointer.[1] Her brother is writer and director David Irving and her sister, Katie Irving, is a singer and teacher of deaf children. Irving's father was of Russian-Jewish descent,[2] and one of Irving's maternal great-great-grandfathers was also Jewish.[3] Irving was raised in her mother's faith of Christian Science, and her family observed no religious traditions.[2]

She spent her early life in San Francisco, California, where her father co-founded the Actor's Workshop, and where she was active in local theater as a child.[4][5] She attended the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco[1] in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and appeared in several productions there. She also trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. As a teenager, Irving relocated with her family to New York City, where her father was appointed the director of the Lincoln Center Repertory Theater.[2] There, Irving graduated from the Professional Children's School.[6] She made her Off-Broadway debut at age 17 in And Chocolate on Her Chin.


Irving's first stage appearance was at 9 months old in the production "Rumplestiltskin" where her father brought her on the stage to play the part of his child who he trades for spun gold. Then at age 2, she portrayed a bit-part character ("Princess Primrose") in a play which her father directed. She had a walk-on role in the 1965–66 Broadway show The Country Wife at age 12. Her character was to sell a hamster to Stacy Keach in a crowd scene. The play was directed by family friend Robert Symonds, the Associate Director of the Lincoln Center Repertory Theater, and who later became her stepfather after her father died and her mother remarried. Within six months of returning to Los Angeles from London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in the mid-1970s, Irving was cast in a major motion picture and was working on various TV projects such as guest spots in Police Woman, Happy Days, and a lead role in the mini-series epic Once an Eagle opposite veterans Sam Elliott and Glenn Ford, and a young Melanie Griffith. She played Juliet in Romeo and Juliet at the Los Angeles Free Shakespeare Theatre in 1975, and returned to the role at the Seattle Repertory Theatre (1982–1983).

Irving at the opening night for Heartbreak House, December 1983

Irving auditioned for the role of Princess Leia in Star Wars, which went to Carrie Fisher. She then starred in the Brian DePalma-directed films Carrie as Sue Snell (her mother was also in Carrie), and The Fury as Gillian Bellaver. In 1999 she reprised her role as Sue Snell in The Rage: Carrie 2. She starred with Richard Dreyfuss in 1980 in The Competition. Also in 1980 she appeared in Honeysuckle Rose which also marked her on-screen singing debut. Both her and Dyan Cannon's characters were country-and-western singers, and both actresses did their own singing in the film. In 1983 she featured in Barbra Streisand's directorial debut, Yentl, for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. In 1984 she co-starred in Micki + Maude, In 1988 she was in Crossing Delancey (for which she received a Golden Globe nomination). That same year, she also gave another singing performance in the live-action/animated film Who Framed Roger Rabbit, providing the singing voice for Jessica Rabbit. In 1997 she appeared in Woody Allen's Deconstructing Harry. Irving also appeared in the TV show Alias as Emily Sloane, portrayed Princess Anjuli in the big-budget miniseries epic The Far Pavilions and headlined the lavish TV production Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna. More recently Irving appeared in the films Traffic (2000), Tuck Everlasting (2002), Thirteen Conversations About One Thing (2002) and an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in 2001.

Irving's stage work includes on-Broadway shows such as Amadeus (replacing Jane Seymour due to pregnancy) at the Broadhurst Theatre for nine months, Heartbreak House with Rex Harrison at the Circle in the Square Theatre, Broken Glass at the Booth Theatre and Three Sisters with Jeanne Tripplehorn and Lili Taylor at the Roundabout Theatre. Additional Off-Broadway credits include: The Heidi Chronicles; The Road to Mecca; The Vagina Monologues in both London and New York; The Glass Menagerie with her mother, actress Priscilla Pointer; Celadine, a world premiere at George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, New Jersey; and the 2006 one-woman play, A Safe Harbor for Elizabeth Bishop. In 1994, she and Anthony Hopkins hosted the 48th Tony Awards at the Gershwin Theatre, New York.

Irving's last Broadway appearance was in the American premiere of Tom Stoppard's The Coast of Utopia at New York's Lincoln Center during its 2006–07 season. In 2009 she played the title role in Saint Joan, in an audio version by the Hollywood Theater of the Ear. In May 2010 Irving made her Opera Theatre of Saint Louis debut in the role of Desiree Armfeldt in Isaac Mizrahi's directorial debut of Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music.[citation needed]

In October 2010 Irving guest-starred in "Unwritten," the third episode of the seventh season of the Fox series House M.D..[7] In 2013, Irving appeared in a recurring role in the cancelled Zero Hour.[citation needed] In 2018, she co-starred in the psychological horror film Unsane, directed by Steven Soderbergh.[8]

Personal lifeEdit

Irving dated American film director Steven Spielberg from 1976 to 1980. She then had a brief relationship with Willie Nelson, her co-star in the film Honeysuckle Rose.[9] The breakup with Spielberg cost her the role of Marion Ravenwood in Raiders of the Lost Ark, which he had offered to her at the time,[10] but they reunited and were married from 1985 to 1989. She received an estimated $100 million divorce settlement after a judge controversially vacated a prenuptial agreement that had been written on a napkin.[11]

In 1989, she became romantically and professionally involved with Brazilian film director Bruno Barreto;[12] they were married in 1996 and divorced in 2005. She has two sons: Max Samuel (with Spielberg), born June 13, 1985; and Gabriel Davis (with Barreto), born May 4, 1990.[13]

She married Kenneth Bowser Jr., a documentary filmmaker, in 2007. He has a daughter, Samantha, from a previous marriage with entertainment lawyer, Marilyn Haft. [11] As of 2015, Irving resides in New York City.[14]



Year(s) Play Role Notes Ref.
1976 Carrie Sue Snell [15]
1978 The Fury Gillian Bellaver [15]
1979 Voices Rosemarie Lemon [15]
1980 Honeysuckle Rose Lily Ramsey [15]
1980 The Competition Heidi Joan Schoonover [15]
1983 Yentl Hadass Vishkower [15]
1984 Micki & Maude Maude Salinger [15]
1987 Rumpelstiltskin Katie [15]
1988 Crossing Delancey Isabelle Grossman [15]
1988 Who Framed Roger Rabbit Singing voice of Jessica Rabbit Voice-only [16]
1990 A Show of Force Kate Melendez [15]
1991 An American Tail: Fievel Goes West Miss Kitty Voice-only [15]
1993 Benefit of the Doubt Karen Braswell [15]
1995 Kleptomania Diana Allen
1995 Call of the Wylie Mel Short film
1996 Carried Away Rosealee Henson [15]
1996 I'm Not Rappaport Clara Gelber [15]
1997 Deconstructing Harry Jane [16]
1998 One Tough Cop FBI Agent Jean Devlin [16]
1999 The Confession Sarah Fertig [16]
1999 The Rage: Carrie 2 Sue Snell [15]
1999 Blue Ridge Fall Ellie Perkins
2000 Bossa Nova Mary Ann Simpson [16]
2000 Traffic Barbara Wakefield [15]
2001 Thirteen Conversations About One Thing Patricia [15]
2002 Tuck Everlasting Mother Foster [15]
2005 Hide and Seek Alison Callaway [15]
2009 Adam Rebecca Buchwald [15]
2018 Unsane Angela Valentini [16]
TBA A Mouthful of Air Bobbi Davis Post-production [17]


Year(s) Play Role Notes Ref.
1975 The Rookies Cindy Mullins Episode: "Reading, Writing and Angel Dust"
1975 Police Woman June Hummel Episode: "The Hit"
1975 Happy Days Olivia Episode: "Tell It to the Marines"
1976 James Dean Norma Jean Television movie
1976 Dynasty Amanda Blackwood Television movie
1976 Panache Anne Television movie
1976–1977 Once an Eagle Emily Pawlfrey Massengale 7 episodes [16]
1977 I'm a Fool Lucy Television movie
1984 The Far Pavilions Anjuli 3 episodes [16]
1985 Great Performances Ellie Dunn Episode: "Heartbreak House"
1986 Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna Anna Anderson Television movie
1989 Nightmare Classics The Governess Episode: "The Turn of the Screw"
1994 Twilight Zone: Rod Serling's Lost Classics Episode: The Theatre Melissa Sanders
1998 Stories from My Childhood Anastasia (voice) Episode: "Beauty and the Beast"
1999 Spin City Lindsay Shaw Episode: "The Great Debate" [16]
2001 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Rebecca Ramsey Episode: "Repression" [16]
2001 American Masters Voice of Novels Episode: "F. Scott Fitzgerald: Winter Dreams"
2002–2005 Alias Emily Sloane 9 episodes [16]
2010 House Alice Tanner Episode: "Unwritten" [16]
2013 Zero Hour Melanie Lynch 10 episodes [16]
2015 The Good Wife Phyllis Barsetto Episode: "Innocents" [16]
2018 The Affair Nan Episode 4.5

Stage creditsEdit

Year(s) Play Role Notes Ref.
1965–1966 The Country Wife Ensemble Vivian Beaumont Theatre [18]
1975 Romeo and Juliet Juliet Capulet Los Angeles Free Shakespeare Society [19]
1981–1982 Amadeus Costanze Weber Broadhurst Theatre [18]
1982 Romeo and Juliet Juliet Capulet Seattle Repertory Theatre [20]
1983 Blithe Spirit Elvira Festival Theatre, Santa Fe, New Mexico [21]
1983–1984 Heartbreak House Ellie Dunn Circle in the Square Theatre [18]
1984 The Glass Menagerie Laura Festival Theatre, Santa Fe, New Mexico [22]
1987 Three Sisters Masha Williamstown Theatre Festival [23]
1988 The Road to Mecca Elsa Barlow Promenade Theater, New York [24]
1990 The Heidi Chronicles Heidi Doolittle Theatre, Los Angeles [25]
1994 Broken Glass Sylvia Gellburg Booth Theatre [18]
1997 Three Sisters Olga Criterion Center Stage Right [18]
2002 The Guys Joan The Bat Theatre Company, New York [26]
2002 Ghosts Mrs. A. Classical Stage Co. [27]
2004 The Exonerated Bleecker Street Theatre [28]
2004 Celadine Celadine George Street Playhouse [29]
2006 A Safe Harbor for Elizabeth Bishop Elizabeth Bishop 59E59 Theaters [30]
2006 The Coast of Utopia: Part I Varvara Vivian Beaumont Theatre [18]
2006–2007 The Coast of Utopia: Part II Maria Ogarev Vivian Beaumont Theatre [18]
2008 The Waters of March Summer Shorts Festival, New York [31]
2010 A Little Night Music Desiree Armfeldt Opera Theatre of Saint Louis [32]
2011 We Live Here Maggie Manhattan Theatre Club [33]


List of albums, with selected chart positions and certifications, showing other relevant details
Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
US Country
CAN Country
Honeysuckle Rose
(credited as "Willie Nelson and Family")
  • Released: July 18, 1980
  • Label: Columbia
  • Formats: LP, cassette
11 1 3 24 4


Year Award Category Nominated work Outcome Ref.
1981 Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Supporting Actress Honeysuckle Rose Won [41]
1984 Academy Awards Best Supporting Actress Yentl Nominated [42]
Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Supporting Actress Nominated [43]
1987 Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Miniseries or Television film Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna Nominated [44]
1988 Obie Awards Distinguished Performance by an Actress The Road to Mecca Won [45]
1989 Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical Crossing Delancey Nominated [44]
2001 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture Traffic Won [46]


  1. ^ a b c "Amy Irving: In Praise Of Older Women". CBS News. 26 April 2006. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Pacheo, Patrick (November 8, 1986). "The Amy Chronicles". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  3. ^ "First American Jewish Families". American Jewish Archives. September 21, 2015. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
  4. ^ "Famous – and almost famous – people raised in Palo Alto". The Mercury News. 7 February 2007. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  5. ^ Berns, Cherie (27 March 1978). "Amy Irving's Enjoying a Close Encounter of Two Kinds: Love with Steven Spielberg and Stardom in 'The Fury'". People. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  6. ^ "Alumni: Distinguished Alumni". Professional Children's School. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  7. ^ "Amy Irving and Dylan Baker to Guest-Star on House". Archived from the original on 16 September 2010. Retrieved September 15, 2010.
  8. ^ Gallagher, Brian (January 29, 2018). "Unsane Trailer: Steven Soderbergh's First Horror Movie Is Here". MovieWeb. Archived from the original on February 20, 2019. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  9. ^ Nelson, Willie (30 May 2015). "Willie Nelson's memoir recalls making movies with Robert Redford". The Australian. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  10. ^ Perry, George (1998). Steven Spielberg: The Making of his Movies. Orion. pp. 44–45. ISBN 0-7528-1848-1.
  11. ^ a b Clarke, Katherine (October 21, 2014). "'Carrie' star Amy Irving wants $2.5M for her Upper West Side pad". New York Daily News.
  12. ^ Hanson, Cynthia (June 27, 1993). "Starting Over". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
  13. ^ Caro, Mark (May 7, 1996). "Irving Revealed". Chicago Tribune. p. 2. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
  14. ^ Keil, Jennifer Gould (30 November 2015). "Amy Irving buys $8.9M Manhattan apartment". New York Post. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t "Amy Irving Filmography". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Amy Irving Credits". TV Guide. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  17. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (September 5, 2019). "'A Mouthful Of Air': Amanda Seyfried, Finn Wittrock, Paul Giamatti, Amy Irving & Jennifer Carpenter Set For Maven Pictures Drama". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 5, 2019.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g "Amy Irving". Playbill. Archived from the original on February 20, 2019. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  19. ^ "Group to stage 'Romeo'". Progress Bulletin. Pomona, California. July 20, 1975. p. 25 – via  
  20. ^ Shakespeare, William (2002). Loehlin, James N. (ed.). Romeo and Juliet. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. p. 64. ISBN 978-0-521-66769-2.
  21. ^ "Blithe Spirit". The Santa Fe New Mexican. Santa Fe, New Mexico. June 24, 1983. p. 29 – via  
  22. ^ Hays, Mary (August 3, 1984). "Easy to be a celebrity in Santa Fe". The Santa Fe New Mexican. Santa Fe, New Mexico. p. 6 – via  
  23. ^ DeVries, Hilary (August 28, 1987). "Williamstown turns up the star power for Chekhov". The Christian Science Monitor. Archived from the original on February 20, 2019. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  24. ^ Rich, Frank (April 13, 1988). "Review/Theater; Athol Fugard's 'Road to Mecca' Examines the Core of Artistry". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 6, 2016. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  25. ^ Allman, Kevin (October 16, 1990). "The Party Chronicles: a First-Night Fete". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on February 20, 2019. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  26. ^ "Tom Wopat and Amy Irving Join The Guys, May 14". Playbill. May 14, 2002. Archived from the original on February 20, 2019. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  27. ^ Brantley, Ben (November 11, 2002). "THEATER REVIEW; An Ibsen Heroine Tries Out 20th-Century Eroticism". The New York Times. Archived from the original on February 20, 2019. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  28. ^ "The Exonerated". The Lucille Lortel Archives. Archived from the original on February 20, 2019. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  29. ^ Gans, Andrew (November 16, 2004). "Amy Irving Is Celadine at George Street Playhouse Beginning Nov. 16". Playbill. Archived from the original on February 20, 2019. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  30. ^ Hernandez, Enio (March 21, 2006). "Amy Irving Provides A Safe Harbor for Elizabeth Bishop in Off-Broadway Solo". Playbill. Archived from the original on February 20, 2019. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  31. ^ Hetrick, Adam (July 31, 2008). "Irving, Kaplan, D'Abruzzo and More Slip Into Summer Shorts in NYC July 31". Playbill. Archived from the original on February 20, 2019. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  32. ^ Fullerton, Krissie (June 7, 2010). "PHOTO CALL: A Little Night Music at The Opera Theatre of St. Louis". Playbill. Archived from the original on February 20, 2019. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  33. ^ Stasio, Marilyn (October 12, 2011). "We Live Here". Variety. Archived from the original on February 20, 2019. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  34. ^ "Honeysuckle Rose chart history: Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  35. ^ "Honeysuckle Rose chart history: Country Albums". Billboard. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  36. ^ David Kent (1993). Australian Charts Book 1970—1992. Australian Chart Book Pty Ltd, Turramurra, N.S.W. ISBN 978-0-646-11917-5.
  37. ^ "Search results for "Honeysuckle Rose" -- Top Albums/CDs". RPM. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  38. ^ "Search results for "Honeysuckle Rose" -- Country Albums/CDs". RPM. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  39. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Willie Nelson – Honeysuckle Rose". Music Canada.
  40. ^ "American album certifications – Willie Nelson & Family – Honeysuckle Rose (soundtrack)". Recording Industry Association of America.
  41. ^ "Honeysuckle Rose |". Retrieved 2021-06-18.
  42. ^ "The 56th Academy Awards | 1984". | Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 2021-06-18.
  43. ^ "Glenn Close receives Oscar and Razzie nominations for the same performance". The Independent. 2021-03-15. Retrieved 2021-06-18.
  44. ^ a b "Amy Irving". Retrieved 2021-06-18.
  45. ^ "1988". Obie Awards. Archived from the original on February 20, 2019. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  46. ^ "Nominations announced for the 7th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards". Screen Actors Guild. 30 January 2001. Archived from the original on 31 October 2001. Retrieved 18 June 2021.

External linksEdit