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Kathleen Quinlan
Kathleen Quinlan 1975.JPG
Quinlan in 1975
Kathleen Denise Quinlan

(1954-11-19) November 19, 1954 (age 68)
Occupation Actress
Years active 1972–present
Warren Long
(m. 1987, divorced)

(m. 1994)
Children 1

Kathleen Denise Quinlan Abbott (born November 19, 1954) is an American film and television actress. She is best known for her Golden Globe-nominated performance in the 1977 film of the novel I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, and her Golden Globe and Academy Award-nominated role in the 1995 film Apollo 13, along with many roles in other feature films, television movies and series, in a career spanning almost five decades.

Personal life

She was born in Pasadena, California, the daughter of Josephine (née Zachry), a military supply supervisor, and Robert Quinlan, a television sports director, and raised in Mill Valley, California, where she attended Tamalpais High School, studied drama, and began her acting career.

She was married to artist Warren Long in 1987. She met actor Bruce Abbott on the TV movie Trapped (1989) and they married on April 12, 1994. They have one son, Tyler, who was born in 1990.


Quinlan had an uncredited role in 1972's One Is a Lonely Number but her official credited film debut was in George Lucas's 1973 movie American Graffiti, at the age of nineteen.

As a young actress in the 1970s, she also had guest-starring roles in many popular television series of the day, including Police Woman, Kojak, Ironside, Emergency!, and The Waltons.

Her most celebrated roles include playing Deborah, a sixteen-year-old schizophrenic, in the film version of the novel I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, for which she earned a Best Actress in a Motion Picture-Drama Golden Globe nomination, and portraying Marilyn Lovell, the wife of Tom Hanks's astronaut character Jim Lovell, in the 1995 movie Apollo 13, earning her both a Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture Golden Globe nomination and a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nomination.

Quinlan also appeared in feature films like Lifeguard (1976), Airport '77 (1977), The Promise (1979), The Runner Stumbles (1979), Sunday Lovers (1980), Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983), Sunset (1988), Clara's Heart (1988), and Trial by Jury (1994). She featured in numerous TV movies as well, including Little Ladies of the Night (1977), She's in the Army Now (1981), Blackout (1985), Trapped (1989), Strays (1991), Last Light (1993), the adaptation of the novel In the Lake of the Woods (1996), Blessings (2003), and more. She played Jim Morrison's Celtic pagan consort Patricia Kennealy-Morrison in Oliver Stone's The Doors. In 1997, she appeared in Event Horizon (1997) and won a Blockbuster Entertainment Award as Favorite Supporting Actress-Suspense for Breakdown (1997), playing Kurt Russell's character's kidnapped wife.

She had a main role for three seasons on the series Family Law, along with recurring roles as the mother of the two brothers on Prison Break, and in Chicago Fire and Blue. She was in two episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, plus episodes of many other shows, such as Diagnosis: Murder, Glee, and The Event. She was in the TV series House, the 2006 remake of the horror classic The Hills Have Eyes, the 2007 film Breach, Made of Honor (2008), and played a senator in "Alliances," a 2011 episode of the science-fiction series Stargate Universe.

As of 2022, Quinlan's most recent work is a 2019 episode of How to Get Away with Murder, a lead role in the film Walking with Herb, filmed in 2018 and released in 2021, and a part in the horror flick The Stairs. She is cast as the wife of John McClane in the Die Hard reboot, Easter (2024), replacing Bonnie Bedelia.



Year Title Role Notes
1973 American Graffiti Peg
1976 Lifeguard Wendy
1977 Airport '77 Julie
1977 I Never Promised You a Rose Garden Deborah Blake
1979 Promise, TheThe Promise Nancy McAllister / Marie Adamson
1979 Runner Stumbles, TheThe Runner Stumbles Sister Rita
1980 Sunday Lovers Laurie Segment: "Skippy"
1982 Hanky Panky Janet Dunn
1983 Independence Day Mary Ann Taylor
1983 Twilight Zone: The Movie Helen Foley Segment: "It's a Good Life"
1984 Last Winter Joyce
1985 Warning Sign Joanie Morse
1987 Wild Thing Jane
1987 Man Outside Grace Freemont
1988 Sunset Nancy Shoemaker
1988 Clara's Heart Leona Hart
1991 Doors, TheThe Doors Patricia Kennealy
1994 Trial by Jury Wanda
1995 Apollo 13 Marilyn Lovell
1995 Perfect Alibi Melanie Bauers
1997 Zeus and Roxanne Mary Beth Dunhill
1997 Breakdown Amy Taylor
1997 Event Horizon Peters
1997 Lawn Dogs Clare Stockard
1998 My Giant Serena Kamin
1998 Civil Action, AA Civil Action Anne Anderson
2003 Battle of Shaker Heights, TheThe Battle of Shaker Heights Eve Ernswiler
2004 El padrino Judge Scorsi
2006 Hills Have Eyes, TheThe Hills Have Eyes Ethel Carter
2007 American Fork Agnes Orbison
2007 Breach Bonnie Hanssen
2008 Dissection of Thanksgiving, TheThe Dissection of Thanksgiving Carol
2008 Made of Honor Joan
2010 Elektra Luxx Rebecca Linbrook
2010 River Why, TheThe River Why Ma
2010 Eagles in the Chicken Coop Mary Bernstein
2010 Harm's Way Bea
2012 Life's an Itch Audrey
2013 Horns Lydia Perrish
2014 After Nora Valentino
2017 Elizabeth Blue Carol
2017 Parallel Marissa
2017 ADDicted Kate Dawson Completed
2018 Chimera Masterson Completed
2021 Walking with Herb Sheila Amable-Amo
2021 The Stairs


Year Title Role Notes
1973 Emergency! Janet "Understanding"
1974 Harry O Sharon "Guardian at the Gates"
1974 Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law Jill "House of Friends"
1974 Can Ellen Be Saved Melissa TV film
1974 Police Woman Debbie Sweet "The Beautiful Die Young"
1974 Kojak Janet Conforti "Hush Now, Don't You Die"
1974 Where Have All the People Gone? Deborah Anders TV film
1974 Lucas Tanner Joyce Howell "Lucas Tanner", "Three Letter Word"
1974 Ironside Peggy Lynch "Run Scared"
1974–1976 Waltons, TheThe Waltons Selina Linville "The Thoroughbred", "The Collision"
1975 Missing Are Deadly, TheThe Missing Are Deadly Michelle TV film
1975 Abduction of Saint Anne, TheThe Abduction of Saint Anne Anne Benedict TV film
1975 Turning Point of Jim Malloy, TheThe Turning Point of Jim Malloy Edith Evans TV film
1975 Switch Robin Morgan "The Deadly Missiles Caper"
1977 Little Ladies of the Night Karen Brodwick TV film
1981 She's in the Army Now Pvt. Cass Donner TV film
1984 When She Says No Rose Michaels TV film
1985 Blackout Chris Graham TV film
1985 Children of the Night Lois Lee TV film
1986 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Ann Foley "The Canary Sedan"
1987 Dreams Lost, Dreams Found Sarah McAllister TV film
1988 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Karen Wilson "Fogbound"
1989 Trapped Mary Ann Marshall TV film
1990 Operation, TheThe Operation Ginnie TV film
1991 Strays Lindsey Jarrett TV film
1992 American Story, AnAn American Story Hope Tyler TV film
1993 Stolen Babies Bekka TV film
1993 Tribeca Karen "Heros Exoletus"
1993 Last Light Kathy Rubicek TV film
1993 The Hidden Room Julia "Refuge"
1995 Picture Windows "Lightning"
1996 In the Lake of the Woods Kathy Waylan TV film
1999 Too Rich: The Secret Life of Doris Duke Nanaline Duke TV film
1999 Diagnosis: Murder Dr. Kate Delieb "Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of My Life"
1999–2002 Family Law Lynn Holt Main role
2003 Blessings Meredith Blessing TV film
2004 Perfect Romance Tess Kelly TV film
2004 Riverman, TheThe Riverman Sande Keppel TV film
2004 Dead Will Tell, TheThe Dead Will Tell Beth Hytner TV film
2006 House Arlene McNeil "Meaning"
2007 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Barbara Tallman "Monster in the Box"
2008–2009 Prison Break Christina Rose Scofield Recurring role (season 4)
2009 Empire State Colleen Cochrane TV film
2010 Event, TheThe Event Erika Jarvis "Your World to Take", "Everything Will Change"
2011 Stargate Universe Sen. Michaels "Alliances"
2011 Cinema Verite Mary TV film
2011 Glee Dr. Shane "Born This Way"
2012–2013 Chicago Fire Nancy Casey Recurring role
2012–2014 Blue Jessica Recurring role
2015 How Not to Propose Susan TV film
2018 Marvel's Runaways Susan Ellerh 3 episodes
2018 Saving My Baby Virginia TV film
2019 How to Get Away with Murder Britt "Say Goodbye"

Awards and nominations

  • Best Actress Golden Globe Nomination 1978 - I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (1977)
  • Best Supporting Actress Golden Globe Nomination 1996 - Apollo 13 (1995)
  • Best Supporting Actress Academy Award Nomination 1996 - Apollo 13 (1995)
  • Blockbuster Entertainment Award as Favorite Supporting Actress-Suspense Winner - Breakdown (1997)
  • 20/20 Awards Best Supporting Actress Nomination 2016 - Apollo 13 (1995)
  • Awards Circuit Community Awards (ACCA) Best Actress in a Supporting Role Nomination - Apollo 13 (1995)
  • Awards Circuit Community Awards (ACCA) Best Cast Ensemble - Apollo 13 (1995)
  • Chicago Film Critics Association Awards (CFCA Award) Nominee for Best Supporting Actress 1996 - Apollo 13 (1995)
  • Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards (DFWFCA Award) Nominee for Best Supporting Actress 1996 - Apollo 13 (1995)
  • European Cinematography Awards (ECA) Best Actress Winner 2020 - The Stairs (2021)
  • FilmQuest (FilmQuest Cthulhu) Best Supporting Actress Winner 2018 - Chimera Strain (2018)
  • Mystfest Best Actress Winner 1985 - Blackout (1985)
  • NOLA Horror Film Fest Best Supporting Role Winner 2018 - Chimera Strain (2018)
  • Online Film & Television Association (OFTA Television Award) Best Actress in a New Drama Series Nominee 2000 - Family Law (1999)
  • Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Cast Winner 1996 - Apollo 13 (1995) (shared with Kevin Bacon, Tom Hanks, Ed Harris, Bill Paxton, and Gary Sinise)
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