Oscar Actors: Irving, Amy–Background, Career, Awards, Cumulative Advantage

Amy Irving Career Summary

Occupational Inheritance: Yes, both parents actors

Social Class: Middle

Religion/Ethnicity/Nationality: Jewish


Training: LAMDA (London)

Stage Debut: age 13

Broadway Debut:

Film Debut: Carrie, 1976; age 23

Breakthrough: Crossing Delancey, 1988

Oscar Nomination: Yentl, 1983; age 30

Other awards: Obie Award; 2 Golden Globe noms

Career Span: 1955-present

Career Output:

Marriage: 3, all directors: Spielberg, Bruno Barreto. K. Browser, docu filmmaker



Amy Davis Irving (born September 10, 1953) is an American actress of film, stage, and television. Her accolades include an Obie Award, two Golden Globe nominations, and one Oscar Award nomination.

Born in Palo Alto, California to actors Jules Irving and Priscilla Pointer, Irving spent her early life in San Francisco before her family relocated to New York during her teenage years.

She made her Broadway debut in The Country Wife (1965–1966) at age 13.

Irving studied theater at San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater and at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art before making her feature debut in De Palma’s Carrie (1976), followed by lead role in the supernatural thriller The Fury (1978).

In 1980, Irving appeared in a Broadway production of Amadeus before being cast in Yentl (1983), for which she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress Oscar.

In 1988, she received an Obie Award for her Off-Broadway performance in  The Road to Mecca, and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for her performance in the comedy Crossing Delancey (1988).

Irving appear in the original Broadway production of “Broken Glass” (1994) and the revival of Three Sisters (1997).

In film, she starred in the ensemble comedy Deconstructing Harry (1997), and reprised her role in The Rage: Carrie 2 (1999) before co-starring opposite Michael Douglas in Soderbergh’s crime-drama Traffic (2000).

She subsequently appeared in the indies ‘Thirteen Conversations About One Thing” (2001) and “Adam” (2009).

From 2006–2007, she starred in the Broadway production of The Coast of Utopia.

In 2018, she reunited with Soderbergh, appearing in a supporting role in his horror film Unsane.


Irving was born on September 10, 1953 in Palo Alto, California.[1] Her father was film and stage director Jules Irving (born Jules Israel) and her mother is actress Priscilla Pointer.[1] Her brother is writer and director David Irving and her sister, Katie Irving, is a singer and teacher of deaf children. Irving’s father was of Russian-Jewish descent,[2] and one of Irving’s maternal great-great-grandfathers was also Jewish;[3] though Irving was raised in Christian Science, and her family observed no religious traditions.[2]
She spent her early life in San Francisco, California, where her father co-founded the Actor’s Workshop, and where she was active in local theater as a child.[4][5] She attended the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco[1] in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and appeared in several productions there. She also trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. As a teenager, Irving relocated with her family to New York City, where her father was appointed the director of the Lincoln Center Repertory Theater.[2] There, Irving graduated from the Professional Children’s School.[6] She made her Off-Broadway debut at age 17 in And Chocolate on Her Chin.
Career[edit source]
Irving’s first stage appearance was at 9 months old in the production “Rumplestiltskin” where her father brought her on the stage to play the part of his child who he trades for spun gold. Then at age 2, she portrayed a bit-part character (“Princess Primrose”) in a play which her father directed. She had a walk-on role in the 1965–66 Broadway show The Country Wife at age 12. Her character was to sell a hamster to Stacy Keach in a crowd scene. The play was directed by family friend Robert Symonds, the Associate Director of the Lincoln Center Repertory Theater, and who later became her stepfather after her father died and her mother remarried. Within six months of returning to Los Angeles from London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in the mid-1970s, Irving was cast in a major motion picture and was working on various TV projects such as guest spots in Police Woman, Happy Days, and a lead role in the mini-series epic Once an Eagle opposite veterans Sam Elliott and Glenn Ford, and a young Melanie Griffith. She played Juliet in Romeo and Juliet at the Los Angeles Free Shakespeare Theatre in 1975, and returned to the role at the Seattle Repertory Theatre (1982–1983).

Irving auditioned for the role of Princess Leia in Star Wars, which went to Carrie Fisher. She then starred in DePalma-directed films The Fury as Gillian Bellaver, and Carrie as Sue Snell (her mother was also in Carrie).

In 1999 she reprised her role as Sue Snell in The Rage: Carrie 2.

She starred with Richard Dreyfuss in 1980 in The Competition. Also in 1980 she appeared in Honeysuckle Rose which also marked her on-screen singing debut. Both her and Dyan Cannon’s characters were country-and-western singers, and both actresses did their own singing in the film. In 1983 she featured in Barbra Streisand’s directorial debut, Yentl, for which she received Best Supporting Actress nomination.

In 1984 she co-starred in Micki + Maude, In 1988 she was in Susan Sandler’s Crossing Delancey (for which she received aGolden Globe nomination). That same year, she also gave another singing performance in the live-action/animated film Who Framed Roger Rabbit, as the singing voice for Jessica Rabbit. In 1997 she appeared in Woody Allen’s Deconstructing Harry.

Irving also appeared in the TV show Alias as Emily Sloane, portrayed Princess Anjuli in the big-budget miniseries epic The Far Pavilions and headlined the lavish TV production Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna.Irving appeared in the films Traffic (2000), Tuck Everlasting (2002), Thirteen Conversations About One Thing (2002) and an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in 2001.

Irving’s stage work includes on-Broadway shows such as Amadeus (replacing Jane Seymour) for nine months, Heartbreak House with Rex Harrison at the Circle in the Square Theatre, Broken Glass at the Booth Theatre and Three Sisters with Jeanne Tripplehorn and Lili Taylor at the Roundabout Theatre.

Additional Off-Broadway credits include: The Heidi Chronicles; The Road to Mecca; The Vagina Monologues in both London and New York; The Glass Menagerie with her mother, actress Priscilla Pointer; Celadine, a world premiere at George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, New Jersey; and the 2006 one-woman play, A Safe Harbor for Elizabeth Bishop.

In 1994, she and Anthony Hopkins hosted the 48th Tony Awards at the Gershwin Theatre, New York.

Irving’s last Broadway appearance was in the American premiere of Tom Stoppard’s The Coast of Utopia at New York’s Lincoln Center during its 2006–2007 season. In 2009 she played the title role in Saint Joan, in an audio version by the Hollywood Theater of the Ear.

In May 2010 Irving made her Opera Theatre of Saint Louis debut as Desiree Armfeldt in Isaac Mizrahi’s director debut of Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music.

In October 2010 Irving guest-starred in “Unwritten,” the third episode of the seventh season, of the Fox series, House M.D.. In 2013, Irving appeared in a recurring role in the Zero Hour.

In 2018, she co-starred in the psychological horror film Unsane, directed Soderbergh.

Irving dated American film director Spielberg from 1976 to 1980, and then had brief relationship with Willie Nelson, her co-star in Honeysuckle Rose. The breakup with Spielberg cost her the role of Marion Ravenwood in Raiders of the Lost Ark, but they reunited and were married from 1985 to 1989.

In 1990 she became romantically and professionally involved with Brazilian film director Bruno Barreto; they were married in 1996 and divorced in 2005. She has two sons: Max Samuel (with Spielberg), born June 13, 1985; and Gabriel Davis (with Barreto), born May 4, 1990.
She married Kenneth Bowser Jr., a documentary filmmaker, in 2007.[11] As of 2015, Irving resided in New York City.[14]