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Amy Irving
Amy Irving (1989).jpg
Irving at the Governor's Ball After the Academy Awards on March 29, 1989
Amy Davis Irving

(1953-09-10) September 10, 1953 (age 70)
Alma mater
Occupation Actress
Years active 1975–present
  • (m. 1985; div. 1989)
  • Bruno Barreto
    (m. 1996; div. 2005)
  • Kenneth Bowser
    (m. 2007)
Children 3
Relatives David Irving (brother)

Amy Davis Irving (born September 10, 1953) is an American actress and singer, who worked in film, stage, and television. Her accolades include an Obie Award, and nominations for two Golden Globe Awards and an Academy Award.

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 and the film Honeysuckle Rose (1980), receiving a Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress. She was cast in Barbra Steisand's musical epic Yentl (1983), for which she was nominated for both an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and a Razzie Award for Worst 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 to 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 life

Irving was born on September 10, 1953, in Palo Alto, California. Her father was film and stage director Jules Irving (born Jules Israel) and her mother is actress Priscilla Pointer. 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, and one of Irving's maternal great-great-grandfathers was also Jewish. Irving was raised in her mother's faith of Christian Science, and her family observed no religious traditions.

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. She attended the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco 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. There, Irving graduated from the Professional Children's School. 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).

Opening night537
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. ..... 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.

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

Personal life

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. 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, 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.

In 1989, she became romantically and professionally involved with Brazilian film director Bruno Barreto; 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.

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



Year(s) Play Role Notes Ref.
1976 Carrie Sue Snell
1978 Fury, TheThe Fury Gillian Bellaver
1979 Voices Rosemarie Lemon
1980 Honeysuckle Rose Lily Ramsey
1980 Competition, TheThe Competition Heidi Joan Schoonover
1983 Yentl Hadass Vishkower
1984 Micki & Maude Maude Salinger
1987 Rumpelstiltskin Katie
1988 Crossing Delancey Isabelle Grossman
1988 Who Framed Roger Rabbit Singing voice of Jessica Rabbit Voice-only
1990 Show of Force, AA Show of Force Kate Melendez
1991 American Tail: Fievel Goes West, AnAn American Tail: Fievel Goes West Miss Kitty Voice-only
1993 Benefit of the Doubt Karen Braswell
1995 Kleptomania Diana Allen
1995 Call of the Wylie Mel Short film
1996 Carried Away Rosealee Henson
1996 I'm Not Rappaport Clara Gelber
1997 Deconstructing Harry Jane
1998 One Tough Cop FBI Agent Jean Devlin
1999 Confession, TheThe Confession Sarah Fertig
1999 Rage: Carrie 2, TheThe Rage: Carrie 2 Sue Snell
1999 Blue Ridge Fall Ellie Perkins
2000 Bossa Nova Mary Ann Simpson
2000 Traffic Barbara Wakefield
2001 Thirteen Conversations About One Thing Patricia
2002 Tuck Everlasting Mother Foster
2005 Hide and Seek Alison Callaway
2009 Adam Rebecca Buchwald
2018 Unsane Angela Valentini
2021 A Mouthful of Air Bobbi Davis


Year(s) Play Role Notes Ref.
1975 Rookies, TheThe 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
1977 I'm a Fool Lucy Television movie
1984 Far Pavilions, TheThe Far Pavilions Anjuli 3 episodes
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"
2001 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Rebecca Ramsey Episode: "Repression"
2001 American Masters Voice of Novels Episode: "F. Scott Fitzgerald: Winter Dreams"
2002–2005 Alias Emily Sloane 9 episodes
2010 House Alice Tanner Episode: "Unwritten"
2013 Zero Hour Melanie Lynch 10 episodes
2015 Good Wife, TheThe Good Wife Phyllis Barsetto Episode: "Innocents"
2018 Affair, TheThe Affair Nan Episode 4.5

Stage credits

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


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
1984 Academy Awards Best Supporting Actress Yentl Nominated
Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Supporting Actress Nominated
1987 Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Miniseries or Television film Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna Nominated
1988 Obie Awards Distinguished Performance by an Actress The Road to Mecca Won
1989 Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical Crossing Delancey Nominated
2001 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture Traffic Won

See also

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