WINGER, DEBRA (1955– ), U.S. film actress. Born in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, Winger spent two years of her youth in Israel (where she served for three months in the army and worked on a kibbutz). She returned to the U.S. and first came to serious notice as John Travolta's co-star in Urban Cowboy (1980). She was subsequently chosen for the female lead opposite Richard Gere in An Officer and a Gentleman (1982), for which she received her first Best Actress Oscar nomination. Winger went on to appear in such films as Terms of Endearment (Oscar nomination for Best Actress, 1983); Legal Eagles (1986); Black Widow (1987); Betrayed (1988); Arthur Miller's Everybody Wins (1990); The Sheltering Sky (1990); Leap of Faith (1992); A Dangerous Woman (1993), Wilder Napalm (1993); Shadowlands (Oscar nomination for Best Actress, 1993); Forget Paris (1995); Big Bad Love (produced, 2001); Radio (2003); and Eulogy (2004).
On television, she appeared three times in 1976–77 in the role of Wonder Girl on the series Wonder Woman.
She was married to actor Timothy Hutton from 1986 to 1990. She married actor Arliss Howard in 1996.
M. Cahill, Debra Winger: Hollywood's Wild Child (1984).
[Jonathan Licht and
Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]