Jewish Entertainment:
Jewish Actors, Playwrights, Comedians, Musicians

Ellen Barkin

Ellen Barkin was born in the Bronx, a borough of New York City, New York, the daughter of Evelyn (née Rozin), a hospital administrator who worked at Jamaica Hospital, and Sol Barkin, a chemical salesman. Barkin was raised in a lower-middle-class Jewish family, a descendant of immigrants from Siberia and the Russia-Poland border.


Ellen Barkin received her high school diploma at Manhattan's High School of Performing Arts.[1] Ellen Barkin then attended Hunter College and double majored in history and drama. At one point, Barkin wanted to teach ancient history. Ellen Barkin continued her acting education at New York City's Actors Studio. According to Time, Ellen Barkin studied acting for ten years before landing her first audition.[7]


Ellen Barkin and Kate Bosworth at the Deauville American film festival in 2011

Her break-out role was in the comedy-drama film Diner (1982), written and directed by Barry Levinson,[1] for which Ellen Barkin received favorable reviews. Barkin was cast in the drama film Tender Mercies (1983) after impressing its director Bruce Beresford during an audition in New York City, despite her inexperience and his lack of familiarity with her work. Robert Duvall, who played the lead role in Tender Mercies, said of Barkin, "Ellen Barkin brings a real credibility for that part, plus Ellen Barkin was young and attractive and had a certain sense of edge, a danger for her that was good for that part."[8] Ellen Barkin also appeared in the 1983 rock & roll drama film Eddie and the Cruisers.

Barkin would later appear in several successful films, including the thrillers The Big Easy (1987), opposite Dennis Quaid and Sea of Love (1989), opposite Al Pacino. Barkin also appeared in Off-Broadway plays, including a role as one of the roommates in Extremities, about an intended rape victim played by Susan Sarandon who turns the tables on her attacker. About her performance in the play Eden Court, The New York Times critic Frank Rich summarized: "If it were really possible to give the kiss of life to a corpse, the actress Ellen Barkin would be the one to do it. In Eden Court, the moribund play that has brought her to the Promenade Theater, Miss Barkin is tantalizingly alive from her bouncing blond ponytail to the long legs that gyrate wildly and involuntarily every time an Elvis Presley record plays on stage".[9]

Barkin has also done work in made-for-television films like Before Women Had Wings (1997) and The White River Kid (1999). Currently, Ellen Barkin voices the start of each Theme Time Radio Hour with host Bob Dylan on XM's "Deep Tracks". In 2005, Barkin set up a film production company with her brother, George, along with her husband at the time and billionaire investor, Ronald Perelman.

Barkin appeared in her Broadway debut as Dr. Brookner in The Normal Heart, for which Ellen Barkin won the 2011 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play.[10]

Most recently, Barkin has received acclaim for her performance in Another Happy Day. IndieWire have cited her turn as one the best female performances of the year and have shortlisted her as an Academy Award for Best Actress contender.[11]

Personal life

Barkin has a brother, George, who was formerly the editor-in-chief of National Lampoon and High Times. Barkin is the mother of two children, Jack Daniel (born 1989) and Romy Marion (born 1992), from her first marriage, to actor Gabriel Byrne.[1] The two separated in 1993 and divorced in 1999, but are still close;[1] Byrne even attended Barkin's 2000 wedding to businessman Ronald Perelman.[12] According to New York magazine, that marriage ended in a messy divorce in 2006 with Barkin receiving $40 million.[13] In 2007, Barkin sued Perelman for $3.4 million in investment funds he allegedly promised to invest in their film production company.[14] He was ordered to pay her $4.3 million. Ellen Barkin is currently dating Sam Levinson.[15]


Year Title Role Notes
1978 Up in Smoke Woman playing guitar Uncredited
1981 Kent State Student Uncredited
TV movie
1981 We're Fighting Back Chris Capoletti TV movie
1982 Diner Beth Schreiber  
1982 Parole Donna TV movie
1983 Tender Mercies Sue Ann  
1983 Daniel Phyllis Isaacson  
1983 Enormous Changes at the Last Minute Virginia  
1983 Eddie and the Cruisers Maggie Foley  
1984 Harry & Son Kate Wilowski  
1984 Terrible Joe Moran Ronnie TV movie
1984 The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension Penny Priddy  
1985 Terminal Choice Mary O'Connor  
1986 Desert Bloom Aunt Starr Sant Jordi Award for Best Foreign Actress
1986 Act of Vengeance Annette Gilly  
1986 Down by Law Laurette  
1986 The Princess Who Had Never Laughed Princess Henrietta TV movie
1987 The Big Easy Anne Osborne Sant Jordi Award for Best Actress
1987 Made in Heaven Lucille Uncredited
1987 Siesta Claire  
1988 Clinton and Nadine Nadine Powers TV movie
CableACE Award for Best Actress in a Movie or Miniseries
1989 Johnny Handsome Sunny Boyd Nominated - Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
1989 Sea of Love Helen Cruger Nominated - Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
1991 Switch Amanda Brooks Nomination - Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy (1991)
1992 Mac Oona Goldfarb  
1992 Man Trouble Joan Pruance  
1992 Into the West Kathleen  
1993 This Boy's Life Caroline Wolff Hansen  
1995 Bad Company Margaret Wells  
1995 Wild Bill Calamity Jane  
1996 The Fan Jewel Stern  
1996 Mad Dog Time Rita Everly  
1997 Before Women Had Wings Glory Marie Jackson Golden Satellite Awards – Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television – (1997)
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie[16](1997)
Nomination - Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film (1997)
1998 Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Waitress at North Star Cafe  
1999 Drop Dead Gorgeous Annette Atkins  
1999 The White River Kid Eva Nell La Fangory  
2000 Crime and Punishment in Suburbia Maggie Skolnick  
2000 Mercy Det. Cathy Palmer  
2001 King of the Hill Leonore 1 episode: Hank and the Great Glass Elevator
2001 Someone Like You Diane Roberts  
2004 Strip Search   TV movie
(Scenes deleted)
2004 She Hate Me Margo Chadwick  
2004 Palindromes Joyce Victor  
2005 Trust the Man Norah  
2007 Ocean's Thirteen Abigail Sponder  
2009 Brooklyn's Finest Agent Smith  
2009 Happy Tears Shelly  
2010 Operation: Endgame Empress  
2010 Twelve Jessica's mother  
2010 The Chameleon Kimberly Miller  
2010 Shit Year Colleen West  
2011 Mann's World   Pilot TV series
2011 Another Happy Day Lynn  
2012 Modern Family Mitzy Roth One episode: Send Out the Clowns
2012 The New Normal Jane Forrest  

See also



  1. ^ a b c d e Witchel, Alex (April 22, 2011). "Ellen Barkin Is No Uptown Girl". The New York Times. Retrieved April 24, 2011.
  2. ^ Hoffman, Jan (April 4, 1993). "FILM; Ellen Barkin: Is She Difficult Or Just Straight Outta Queens?". The New York Times. Retrieved March 29, 2008.
  3. ^ Gottlieb, Jeff. "The Kew Gardens Hills Five". Central Queens Historical Association. Retrieved September 14, 2010.
  4. ^ "He Doesn't Play a Doctor on TV – But Give Him Time". The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution. May 27, 2001. Retrieved September 14, 2010.
  5. ^ Kempley, Rita (August 28, 1987). "The Big Time of Ellen Barkin; Acclaimed as an Actress, She's Now Shooting Toward Stardom". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 18, 2008.
  6. ^ Carl Reiner. Interview by Carl Reiner. June 1, 2007. Retrieved March 29, 2008.[dead link]
  7. ^ Corliss, Richard. "Show Business: Barkin Up the Right Tree". Time, October 23, 1989
  8. ^ Bruce Beresford (actor), Robert Duvall (actor), Gary Hertz (director) (April 16, 2002). Miracles & Mercies (Documentary). West Hollywood, California: Blue Underground. Retrieved February 1, 2008.
  9. ^ Rich, Frank (May 15, 1985). Stage: Ellen Barkin In 'Eden Court'. The New York Times.
  10. ^ Gans, Andrew."The Normal Heart Begins Beating on Broadway April 19", April 19, 2011
  11. ^ Review: 'Another Happy Day' Features One Of The Year's Best Female Performances By Ellen Barkin IndieWire. 15 November 2011
  12. ^ Movie & TV News @ - WENN - 3 July 2000
  13. ^ Geoffrey Gray. "Tough Love". New York. March 19, 2006.
  14. ^ Richard Johnson; Paula Froelich; Bill Hoffmann; Corynne Steindler "Ellen Wants More From Ron" New York Post, August 3, 2007
  15. ^ Ocean's Thirteen star Ellen Barkin moves in with her boyfriend... 31 years her junior. Daily Mail online, 3 June 2011. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
  16. ^ Ellen Barkin Emmy Nominated

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