Debra Lynn Winger was born on 16 May 1955, in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, USA. She is an actress, best known for films such as “Terms of Endearment”, “An Officer and a Gentleman” and “Shadowlands”, which all earned her Academy Award nominations. She also won a Tokyo International Film Festival Award for her performance in “A Dangerous Woman”; all of her efforts have helped put her net worth to where it is today.
How rich is Debra Winger? As of mid-2016, sources estimate a net worth that is at $16 million, mostly earned through a successful career as an actress. Aside from films, she’s also known for her on stage performances and for her parts in various television shows. Winger has also tried her hand at production work, so as she continues her career it’s likely that her wealth will also increase.
Debra Winger Net Worth $16 Million Dollars
At a young age, Debra suffered in a car accident that left her blind and partially paralyzed for ten months. During recovery, she had resolved that she would try her hand at becoming an actress.
One of her first films was “Slumber Party ’57” in 1976, considered a sexploitation film, a genre identified to be a precursor to pornographic films. She then appeared in a few episodes of the television show “Wonder Woman”, and made a guest appearance in “Police Woman”. Her first major role came in “Thank God It’s Friday”, and this opened an opportunity for her to be a part of “Urban Cowboy” alongside John Travolta, in which her performance would earn her several nominations. In 1982, she was cast in “Cannery Row” and then in “An Officer and a Gentleman” with Richard Gere, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress, and this would continue with a string of nominations for her performances in “Terms of Endearment”, “Shadowlands” and “A Dangerous Woman”. Her voice was also used for the Steven Spielberg film “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”. Her net worth was well established by now.
After numerous films, Winger started to earn notoriety for her difficult attitude towards co-stars. She was supposed to be cast for “Peggy Sue Got Married”, but had a bike accident which forced her out of the film. She was then cast for “A League of Their Own” but dropped out before production started. Despite this, she continued to take parts in various films such as “Black Widow”, “Leap of Faith”, “Everybody Wins”, and “Wilder Napalm”.
Eventually she took a hiatus from acting in the late ’90s, and didn’t appear on the screen until 2001 in “Big Bad Love”. Prior to appearing in the film, she had tried her hand in various stage productions such as “Ivanov”. “Big Bad Love” also marked the first time that she would become a producer. A documentary film about her entitled “Searching for Debra Winger” was released soon after, and she then officially returned to acting, with parts in “Radio”, “Eulogy”, “Sometimes in April”, and “Rachel Getting Married” as Anne Hathaway’s mother. She started earning nominations once again, and then appeared in “Dawn Anna”, “Law & Order” and “In Treatment”, and “Boy Choir” in 2015. One of her latest projects is “The Ranch” which stars Ashton Kutcher and Sam Elliot, scheduled for a 2016 release.
For her personal life, it is known that she had a relationship with Andrew Rubin which lasted for three years. She also dated former Governor of Nebraska Bob Kerrey from 1983 to 1985. She was reported to have dated Nick Nolte who was her co-star in “Cannery Row” and “Everybody Wins”. She then married actor Timothy Hutton in 1986 and they had a son who became a documentary filmmaker. They eventually divorced in 1990, and she then married actor Arliss Howard six years later. They have two sons, one of whom is from Arliss’ previous marriage.
She didn't get along with her leading man Richard Gere during the making of the hit film An Officer and a Gentleman (1982). She publicly called him a "brickwall", while he said there was "tension" between them. He played the title role, had top billing, had more screen time and earned a larger salary than her, while hers was just a love interest role. Still, he reacted badly when he realized that she was stealing every scene she was in with her charisma and acting talent that resulted in a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her, while he wasn't nominated at all. Thirty years later, they patched things up when she presented him with an award at the Rome Film Festival.
She was angry when director Penny Marshall cast Madonna in A League of Their Own (1992) telling her, "You're making an Elvis movie." Marshall didn't know what that meant, which frustrated Winger even more, since she dropped out of the film and Geena Davis got her role. Madonna was no fan of Winger either, since she told Carrie Fisher that one of her nicknames was Kit Moresby, a character from a novel she loved, until she saw the film adaptation of that novel where Winger played Kit in The Sheltering Sky (1990). She told Fisher, "I didn't want to be Kit Moresby anymore, because it was so disappointing. I didn't want people to think that I was Debra Winger." What's ironic is that both their ex-husbands Timothy Hutton and Sean Penn worked together twice in Taps (1981) and The Falcon and the Snowman (1985) and became friends.
She had a on-and-off relationship with Senator Bob Kerrey from 1982 to 1990, but she never married him contrary to persistent rumors, although they remained friends. She picked husbands, who, like her, were also actors. Unlike her, both Timothy Hutton and Arliss Howard were both Gentiles. However, she raised the sons she had with them in Jewish faith.
She had seen her first husband actor Timothy Hutton on TV when he accepted the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for Ordinary People (1980) and fell in love with him. She met him in person two years later in 1983 for a film that they were supposed to be cast in called "Road Show" but it was revamped and made with different actors a decade later under a new title Medicine Man (1992). Hutton later said they talked for six hours about everything at that first meeting, and Winger said there was so much electricity between them that they got scared and ran in opposite directions. They kept running into each other once every six months, and Hutton later described these encounters "like turning magnets around." They finally stuck together when Winger emceed Farm Aid on New Year's Eve in 1986 and Hutton was one of the guests. Almost immediately, they started living together and married just three months later. Despair followed the happy occasion. Her orthodox Jewish grandmother stopped talking to her, because Hutton wasn't Jewish. Worse, Winger miscarried when she got pregnant on her wedding night. She got pregnant again and gave birth to their son Noah Hutton in 1987, but just a year later, they separated and divorced two years later. During their short marriage, they appeared together in two films (Made in Heaven (1987) and Betrayed (1988)) that flopped at the box office, as well as a "Life" magazine cover. A decade after their divorce, Winger (married to her second husband Arliss Howard) said that there was "no bad blood" between them.
She spent a good part of the 1980s trying to get the studios to cast her in a biography of the torch-singer Libby Holman, and another on Isabel Eberhardt, a 19th-century mystic who became involved in fighting religious wars in the Middle East. But she had burned bridges with influential Hollywood people with her outspokenness, and the studios were also reluctant to finance female-driven films, so the two biographies were never made.
When she was 14, her father had installed a burglar alarm for the celebrated director George Cukor and told him that his daughter wanted to be a actress. Cukor looked at Winger and told her, "That voice, and you got no walk and you got no class!" She suspected that her father might have put Cukor up to this, in order to discourage her from pursuing a acting career. Cukor was still alive when Winger became a star with Urban Cowboy (1980) but he didn't get a chance to know about her first Oscar nomination as Best Actress for An Officer and a Gentleman (1982), since the nomination was announced a few days after he died.
She was originally signed to play Peggy Sue Bodell in Peggy Sue Got Married (1986) but was forced to withdraw after her back was severely injured in a bicycle accident. Debra missed out on other roles, due to the many months it took her to fully recover.
Her notorious off-camera clashes with equally mercurial Shirley MacLaine brought out the best in both actresses in the complexity of their on-camera contentious mother/daughter relationship during the making of their Oscar-winning film Terms of Endearment (1983). When MacLaine nabbed the Best Actress Oscar instead of fellow nominee Winger in 1984 and famously shouted, "I deserve this!," she managed to address her co-star as "dear Debra" despite the fact there was no love lost between them.
In 1995, she appeared in London, Washington, and New York with both the London Symphony and the New World Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas, performing his composition based on the life of Anne Frank.
She was given the choice of the two roles in Black Widow (1987); she chose the role of the FBI agent, because she didn't understand the motivation as to why the Black Widow kills, so the title role went to Theresa Russell.
Didn't like working with Lynda Carter on Wonder Woman (1975) but Lynda said that they didn't have any problems and was like a big sister to her.
At first, she was excited about winning the role of Wonder Girl on the television series Wonder Woman (1975) but quickly became disillusioned and spent all her salary from the series to hire an attorney to get her out of her contract.
[In 2008, responding to Lynda Carter's claim that Winger made disparaging comments about the 1970s "Wonder Woman" show where they played sisters] I don't know what she's referring to except I used to make jokes about her costumes. But she did have these golden tits that stuck out and when she turned, they didn't. I was 18 years old, staring at these gold bazooms that didn't move. That's all I ever said. So there you go. Lighten up.
[She earned Best Actress Oscar nominations for playing young women who died of cancer in Terms of Endearment (1983) and in Shadowlands (1993)] I remember walking through the living room years ago when the series Roseanne (1988) was on. John Goodman said, "Come on, do you want to go down to the multiplex and watch Debra Winger cough up another lung?" It was the funniest line to me. Then I realized, that's it for me. I can never do another film about death. I've cashed that card.
[In 2010, 17 years after her Oscar-nominated performance in Shadowlands (1993) came out, she told the "New York Times"] It was the most literate script I've ever read. I was sad every day that I wouldn't ever say those lines again.
[on her film debut in Slumber Party '57 (1976)] A cigar-smoking agent had signed me while I was waitressing, but that only resulted in a blue movie.
[on Urban Cowboy (1980)]: I loved it. It was the opening of everything for me because of the way James Bridges worked: the freedom, the collaboration, the end product. It was a slice of life, that movie. I'm real proud of it.
I do admit to being challenging, but it's always for the work, it's never personal. I will walk out on a scene if it's all lit and ready to go but it's not happening. Just because we're on schedule is no reason to shoot bad acting. Someone once said to me, "You're inconsiderate." And I said, "Inconsiderate? Bad acting is the ultimate inconsideration." It's a collective slap to a million faces at the same time.
[on Legal Eagles (1986)] I don't regret doing it, but I don't think it stands on its own against good films. It was a nightmare to make. Shooting was supposed to be ten weeks, and it went on for four months. And it was fat - almost $40 million - and, politically, I'm opposed to that kind of money unless it's an epic. I took my salary and left.
I used to love going on a junket and promoting a film when it was not a 24-hour news cycle, and when there weren't so many media outlets. You could actually talk about the film. And I don't mean to harp on this because, really, it's fine. It's just that it eats itself. It becomes about itself, and its symbiotic and weird and I don't understand the celebrity of it.
[on being labeled "difficult"] It was like armor. It kept the fainthearted at a distance. But perhaps I was too tough.
[on Bernardo Bertolucci] For me, Bernardo is The Function. The only way I can explain it is in the analogy with mathematics and the word 'function' - addition, subtraction, multiplication, anything that numbers go through and change because of it. And when the function is a function of love, the drapes on the windows, the doors that are hung, the characters, the clothes, everything goes through this function and comes out touched and inspired by it. There are a lot of numbers but what really matters is the function.
I have trouble with star billing. I remember thinking on Cannery Row (1982): How can I put my name ahead of Steinbeck's?
[on her early roles in commercials] I was the all-American face. You name it, honey - American Dairy Milk, Metropolitan Life insurance, McDonald's, Burger King. The Face That Didn't Matter - that's what I called my face.