Happy birthday to the great Oscar-nominated Debra Winger, who turns 65 on May 16, 2020. One of the most enigmatic actresses of her generation, Winger burst onto the film scene in 1980 with “Urban Cowboy” and in the course of the next three years, she was nominated for four Golden Globe Awards (for “Urban Cowboy” twice, “An Officer and a Gentleman” and “Terms of Endearment”) as well as two Oscar nominations (for “Officer” and “Terms”). To many female moviegoers in particular, Winger embodied the kind of tough, self-sufficient woman that they aspired to become, yet there was always room within Winger’s characters for love with the right person.
Post-1983, Winger continued to work steadily, earning a fifth Golden Globe nod for 1993’s “A Dangerous Woman” as well as a third Oscar nomination and second BAFTA nom for 1993’s “Shadowlands.” However, after 1995’s romantic comedy “Forget Paris,” Winger virtually disappeared from high-profile films, choosing a semi-retirement with occasional film work now and then. The idea of retiring at the peak of one’s career was almost unheard of at that time and even inspired Rosanna Arquette‘s 2002 documentary “Searching For Debra Winger.” She made a triumphant return to high-profile movies in 2008 as Anne Hathaway‘s mother in Jonathan Demme‘s “Rachel Getting Married.” Winger is currently co-starring in Netflix’s comedy series “The Ranch.”
So let’s raise a glass to an actress who has been determined to do things her own way and has had enormous success doing it. Tour our photo gallery featuring her 10 greatest screen performances, ranked worst to best.