Photo of Ellen Barkin Ellen Barkin

Born in the Bronx, N.Y., on April 16, 1954, blond bombshell Ellen Barkin earned her acting stripes in off-Broadway theater before scoring her first on-camera role in the soap opera "Search for Tomorrow."

But it was her husky voice and smoldering good looks that earned her attention as one of the hottest screen sirens of the 1980s, starring opposite leading men such as Dennis Quaid, Gabriel Byrne (who would later become her husband) and Al Pacino in films including The Big Easy (1987), Siesta (1987) and Sea of Love (1989).

After a standout dramatic role opposite Robert De Niro in This Boy's Life (1993), Barkin turned her attention back to television, a strategy that earned her an Emmy Award for her role as an embittered alcoholic in the Oprah Winfrey-produced made-for-television movie Before Women Had Wings (1997).

Ellen Barkin in This Boy's Life

This Boy's Life

1993 R

In director Michael Caton-Jones's gripping drama (based on Tobias Wolff's autobiography), Caroline (Ellen Barkin) and her son, Toby (Leonardo DiCaprio), bounce from one relationship to another and finally end up in Washington state, where she marries Dwight (Robert De Niro), a modest mechanic. But Dwight fails to be the role model Caroline had hoped for, and Toby is desperate to escape from the weight of his heavy, abusive hand.

  • Ellen Barkin in Happy Tears Happy Tears
  • Ellen Barkin in The Big Easy The Big Easy
  • Ellen Barkin in She Hate Me She Hate Me
  • Ellen Barkin in Ocean's Thirteen Ocean's Thirteen
  • Ellen Barkin in The Cobbler The Cobbler
  • Ellen Barkin in Tender Mercies Tender Mercies
  • Ellen Barkin in Eddie and the Cruisers I & II Eddie and the Cruisers I & II
  • Ellen Barkin in Sea of Love Sea of Love
  • Ellen Barkin in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
  • Ellen Barkin in Brooklyn's Finest Brooklyn's Finest
  • Ellen Barkin in Diner Diner
  • Ellen Barkin in Down by Law Down by Law
  • Ellen Barkin in Clinton and Nadine Clinton and Nadine
  • Ellen Barkin in Johnny Handsome Johnny Handsome
  • Ellen Barkin in Mac Mac
  • Ellen Barkin in Mercy Mercy
  • Ellen Barkin in Someone Like You Someone Like You
  • Ellen Barkin in Operation: Endgame Operation: Endgame
  • Ellen Barkin in Very Good Girls Very Good Girls
  • Ellen Barkin in Desert Bloom Desert Bloom
  • Ellen Barkin in Trust the Man Trust the Man
  • Ellen Barkin in Palindromes Palindromes
  • Ellen Barkin in The Chameleon The Chameleon
  • Ellen Barkin in His Way His Way
  • Ellen Barkin in Another Happy Day Another Happy Day