An American actress since the 1970s, Amy Irving received recognition for playing Barbra Streisand's wife Hadass in the musical Yentl (1983), in which her impressive performance earned an Oscar nomination. She formerly was known as Sue Snell in director Brian De Palma's Carrie (1976), but received negative reviews after portraying Lily Ramsey in the romance/drama film Honeysuckle Rose (1980). Amy took home a Razzi Award for her work in the film. In 1988, Irving picked up a Golden Globe nomination for her fine turn as chic New Yorker Isabelle Grossman in the romantic comedy Crossing Delancey (1988). In a more recent film, she caught the eye of audiences with the supporting role of Barbara Wakefield, the wife of a drug czar, in the hit film Traffic (2000), where she netted a SAG award. On the small screen, Irving earned praise for portraying Anna Anderson in the NBC miniseries "Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna" (1986), in which she received a nomination at the Golden Globes.
As a stage actress, Amy Irving attracted attention when she appeared off-Broadway with Athol Fugard in the production of "The Road to Mecca" (1988). Due to her brilliant performance, she won an Obie Award. She has also performed in numerous plays such as "Amadeus," "Heartbreak House," "Broken Glass," "The Heidi Chronicles," "The Three Sisters," "The Guys," "Ghosts" and "Celadine."
Off screen, one of John Willis' Screen World 12 Promising New Actors (1979), Irving once was the wife of influential filmmaker Steven Spielberg, but the couple divorced after four years of marriage. Her prenuptial agreement with Spielberg earned her an estimated cool $100 million when the couple split in 1989. She is now the wife of Brazilian director Bruno Barreto, whom she eventually wed in 1996 after six years of living together. She has two sons, Max Samuel (father Steven Spielberg) and Gabriel (father Bruno Barreto).
Childhood and Family:
"My mom taught me to go after my dreams. I have this faith in myself that I must have gotten from her. I believe I can do anything. If I decide I want to be a doctor tomorrow, I'm going to be a doctor." Amy Irving
In Palo Alto, California, Amy Irving was born on September 10, 1953, to prominent theatrical director, producer and actor Jules Irving, and actress Priscilla Pointer. The youngest child of three, Amy has two older siblings: brother David Irving (director) and sister Katie Irving.
Amy Irving, whose nickname is A.J., was introduced to the theater world early. Starting at nine months old, her parents brought her with them and Amy was exposed to the wardrobe department, performing on stage, or observing from the center, second role isle. By the time Amy was 10, she had appeared in a number of plays. In addition to her stage exposure, Amy studied acting at the American Conservatory Theater and Britain's LAMDA.
5' 4" Amy married renowned director Steven Spielberg on November 27, 1985, after a decade-long on-off relationship. However, they divorced in 1989. With Spielberg, Amy has a son named Max Samuel (born in 1985). After the divorce, she met Brazil-born director Bruno Barreto while on the set of the 1990's A Show of Force. She remained with Barreto and the couple officially married in 1996. They have a son named Gabriel.
Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna
Amy Irving became familiar with the spotlight as a baby. She made her stage debut at San Francisco's Actor's Workshop in a production of "Rumpelstiltskin" (1954), and by the age of 10, she had performed in several more productions. In 1975, Irving landed guest spots in television shows like "The Rookies," "Police Woman" and "Happy Days," and had her first television movie appearance in I'm a Fool (1976).
She went on to take roles in the television films James Dean (1976), Dynasty (1976) and Panache (1976).
Her breakout role arrived in 1976 when she teamed up with director Brian De Palma to star in Carrie (1976), a film based on Stephen King's novel. Having the memorable role of Sue Snell, Irving's career began to take flight. That same year, she had her miniseries debut in "Once an Eagle" (1976, played Emily Pawlfrey Massengale) After Carrie, Irving won several starring roles in the next few years. She first rejoined director De Palma in The Fury (1978, played Gillian Bellaver), portrayed Rosemarie Lemon in the drama Voices (1979) and found herself costarring with Richard Dreyfuss in the dramatic film The Competition (1980, as Heidi Joan Schoonover).
Irving also played the supporting role of Lily Ramsey in the romance/drama film Honeysuckle Rose (1980, opposite Willie Nelson and Dyan Cannon). Unfortunately, Irving picked up the 1981 Razzie award for worst supporting actress. She returned to her theatrical roots when she debuted on Broadway in 1980 as Constanze (succeeding Jane Seymour) in "Amadeus." She also appeared on Broadway in support of Rex Harrison in a highly praised revival of Shaw's "Heartbreak House" (1983).
In 1983, Irving turned heads for her great work in Barbra Streisand's directorial debut Yentl, playing wife Hadass. Delivering a fine performance, she received a nomination at the Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actress.
The following years, she played the lead of Indian Princess Anjuli, who loves a British Calvary officer, in the HBO miniseries "The Far Pavilions" (1984), shared the screen with Dudley Moore, as his pregnant girlfriend, in the Blake Edwards' comedy Micki + Maude (1984) and reprised her stage role of Ellie Dunn, opposite Rex Harrison, for the television movie comedy Heartbreak House (1986). Additionally, Irving gained notice when she was cast as Anna Anderson, a woman who claimed to be the daughter of Russian Czar Nicholas II, in the NBC miniseries "Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna" (1986), in which she earned a Golden Globe nomination. She then appeared in her brother's musical Rumpelstiltskin (1987), lent her singing voice to Jessica Rabbit (Kathleen Turner provided speaking voice) in the combination live action, animated film Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) and starred as chic New Yorker Isabelle Grossman, who is matched with a store salesman, in the romantic comedy Crossing Delancey (1988). Irving nabbed another Golden Globe nomination for her good acting in Crossing Delancey. Irving finished the decade with unaccredited parts in the made-for-TV film Nightmare Classics (1989) and the motion picture Casualties of War (1989, voice of girl on the bus).
Aside from her hectic schedule on films, Irving also appeared off-Broadway in Athol Fugard's "The Road to Mecca" (1988). Her love of the theatrical world blossomed when she won an Obie for her bright work in the play.
After several important films in the 1980s, Irving's film chances narrowed in the 1990s. Her opening film, in 1990, was the television movie The Turn of the Screw (1990, as the governess), and she worked with her second husband, Bruno Barreto, in A Show of Force (1990).
Irving followed this up with voice work for the animated film An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991), starred as Karen Braswell in Jonathan Heap's thriller Benefit of the Doubt (1993), appeared in Twilight Zone: Rod Serling's Lost Classics (1994, TV), portrayed Diana Allen in Kleptomania (1995), rejoined her husband Barreto in Carried Away (1996) and found herself with Walter Matthau and Ossie Davis in the comedy I'm Not Rappaport (1996). Irving then made a guest appearance in Woody Allen's Deconstructing Harry (1997), provided her voice to the television series "Stories from My Childhood" (1998), portrayed tough-talking, FBI agent Jean Devlin in One Tough Cop (1998, helmed by Barreto), played Ellie in the drama Blue Ridge Fall (1999), costarred opposite Ben Kingsley in The Confession (1999) and returned in the sequel of Carrie, The Rage: Carrie 2 (1999). Irving also worked in such plays as the L.A. production of Wendy Wasserstein's award-winning "The Heidi Chronicles" (1990), starred on Broadway in Arthur Miller's "Broken Glass" (1994) and teamed up with Jeanne Tripplehorn and Lili Taylor on Broadway's 'The Three Sisters" (1997).
Entering the new millennium, Irving reached celebrity status once more with a starring role, opposite Antonio Fagundes and Alexandre Borges, in director Barreto's romantic hit Bossa Nova (2000). After the huge victory of Bossa Nova, Irving moved on to the high profile film Traffic (2000), playing the wife of a drug lord. Along with the other cast members, Irving netted a Screen Actors Guild for Outstanding Performance by the Cast of a Theatrical Motion Picture.
The crime film starred Benicio Del Toro, Jacob Vargas and Andrew Chavez.
The actress continued with another remarkable film, Thirteen Conversations About One Thing (2001, appeared as Patricia), had a recurring role in the ABC spy series "Alias" (2002-2005) and joined her Carrie costar Sissy Spacek in the family feature drama Tuck Everlasting (2002). Irving also became involved in several plays, including "The Vagina Monologues" (2001) in London, The Guys (2002), Ghosts (2002) and Celadine (2004). Recently, she played the supporting role of Alison Callaway in the nerve-shredding horror Hide and Seek (2005, starring Robert De Niro, Dakota Fanning and Famke Janssen).
- Screen Actors Guild: Outstanding Performance by the Cast of a Theatrical Motion Picture, Traffic, 2001
- Obie: The Road to Mecca, 1988
- Razzie: Worst Supporting Actress, Honeysuckle Rose, 1981