Irving, Amy

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article
views updated

IRVING, AMY

IRVING, AMY (1953– ), U.S. actress. Irving was born in Palo Alto, California, the daughter of influential stage director/producer Jules Irving and actress Priscilla Pointer. Although her father was Jewish, Amy was raised a Christian Scientist like her mother. As a young woman she trained at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco before moving to England to study at the prestigious London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. When Irving was only 17, she made her off-Broadway debut. She appeared in guest roles on several tv shows before landing the role of Sue Snell, the sympathetic supporting character in Brian De Palma's supernatural thriller Carrie (1976), launching her career. Romantic leads in such films as Voices (1979), Honeysuckle Rose (1979), and The Competition (1980), not to mention her deep blue eyes and long curly locks, made Irving the idol of young men around the globe. Irving went on to star in mostly mature and independent productions such as Crossing Delancey (1988), Deconstructing Harry (1997), and Yentl (1983), for which she won the Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. All are popular films that addressed Jewish identity in their own way. Irving remained loyal to the stage, appearing in many acclaimed Broadway productions, most notably The Heidi Chronicles, Amadeus, and The Road to Mecca, for which she won an Obie Award in 1988. After several years of courtship, Irving married film director Steven *Spielberg in 1985 and had one child with him before their marriage ended in 1989.

[Max Joseph (2nd ed.)]