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Helen Slater Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (22) | Personal Quotes (7)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 15 December 1963Massapequa, Long Island, New York, USA
Birth NameHelen Rachel Schlacter
Height 5' 7¼" (1.71 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Helen Slater was born in Bethpage, New York, to Alice Joan (Citrin), a lawyer and peace activist, and Gerald Slater, a television executive. She was raised in Massapequa, Long Island, New York, and is of Eastern European Jewish descent. Appearing in many shows as a child, she attended the New York High School of Performing Arts, graduating in 1982. Having made her acting debut in ABC Afterschool Specials: Amy & the Angel (1982), co-starring with James Earl Jones and Matthew Modine. Helen took her career very seriously. Within months of her graduation, she attended auditions for the upcoming spin-off of the famous Superman (1978) franchise, Supergirl (1984). It was to be shot in England at Pinewood Studios, where the first "Superman" movies were filmed. Slater even spoke to Christopher Reeve about playing a superhero to assure herself she could do it. After being the first to present herself for audition, she was cast as the lead in the film and her career took off. Although Supergirl (1984) received mixed reviews, most critics were impressed with Helen's abilities. In fact, the critics' consensus was that she did a better job at keeping a secret identity (a mousy schoolgirl) than Reeve did as Clark Kent. In her next film, she was cast as a modern-day "Joan of Arc" in The Legend of Billie Jean (1985) with Yeardley Smith and Peter Coyote. The film, though not particularly successful, has managed to attract a somewhat cult following. She next appeared in one of her best-received roles, that of the female half of the bumbling husband-and-wife team that kidnaps Bette Midler in the comic blockbuster, Ruthless People (1986), and scored again in the hit The Secret of My Succe$s (1987). Both roles helped to cement her status as an actress of note. Next, she and her friend, Melanie Mayron, starred in the feminist comedy, Sticky Fingers (1988), a critical but not financial success. It was in this film and her next, Happy Together (1989), that she was able to prove that she could do comedy as well as drama. She went on to do more feature films such as City Slickers (1991), A House in the Hills (1993) and Lassie (1994), before making regular appearances on television. Her regional stage credits include appearances in such plays as "Grease" and "Shakespeare and Friends". On Broadway, she starred in "Responsible Parties" and "Almost Romance". She also attended classes at both NYU and UCLA, trying to broaden her acting abilities. On television, she has appeared in Caroline in the City (1995), as well as many others. She also became a spokeswoman for Preference by L'Oreal in both TV and print ads. She is an accomplished pianist and now has an album out called "One of These Days". She co-founded the New York theater group, The Naked Angels, with her friend Gina Gershon. In 1990, she married award-winning editor Robert Watzke and they have a daughter, born in 1995. She stepped out of the limelight for a couple of years, appearing mainly in the occasional TV show, but came back strong in 2003, showing moviegoers and TV audiences how great an entertainer she really is.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Helen's Biggest Fans

Spouse (1)

Robert Watzke (17 September 1989 - present) (1 child)

Trade Mark (1)

Often portrays smart and/or artistic characters who get into trouble

Trivia (22)

Gave birth to a 7-lb., 10-oz. baby girl, Hannah Nika, on August 28, 1995.
Attended and graduated from the famous New York High School of Performing Arts.
Performed some of her own stunts in Supergirl (1984).
Enjoys singing and playing the piano.
Attended the premiere of Supergirl (1984) with Superman (1978) star Christopher Reeve. Reeve was originally set for a cameo in the film, playing cousin to Slater as Superman, but bowed out later.
Co-founded the New York-based Theater group The Naked Angels with Gina Gershon.
In addition to her piano skills, she is also a classically trained singer.
Was the first girl to audition for Supergirl (1984). The producers thought she was the strongest of all who auditioned, and after months of callbacks and screen tests, she was cast.
Her real hair color is brown. After dying it once for Supergirl (1984), she kept it blonde for her future roles until she became a spokeswoman for Preferance by L'oreal. She can be seen with her natural hair in her first feature, ABC Afterschool Specials: Amy & the Angel (1982).
Barry Friedman was one of her acting coaches at the New York High School for Performing Arts.
Gained over 20 pounds for the role in Supergirl (1984).
Spoke to Christopher Reeve about portraying a superhero. They spent all day on the streets of New York with Reeve giving advice on being a super-heroine.
Wrote a musical called "Ugly Duckling." Though a take on the original story, it is written for adults and centers around human characters, and she is trying to get it published.
Was a member of the Actor's Movement Studio.
Best friend is Helen Hunt.
Released 2nd album titled "Crossword." Another self-penned collection of music recorded live in a studio. This time, music is more jazz inspired, rather than folk like her debut. Slater had written songs for her "Crossword" album before her first album was released. After recording "Crossword," Slater was prepared to compose another collection for album #3. [January 2005]
Ranked # 70 on VH1's "!00 Greatest Teen Stars".
Reunited with her Happy Together (1989) co-star Patrick Dempsey in an episode from his sitcom Grey's Anatomy (2005).
Both she and Christian Slater achieved early success playing brother and sister in The Legend of Billie Jean (1985), leading many to believe they were real-life siblings. Although they share the same last name, they are not, in fact, related.
Tested successfully for a role in The Slugger's Wife (1985) but was forced to drop the part due to contractual details.
She played Superman's cousin Kara Zor-El / Supergirl / Linda Lee in Supergirl (1984), Superman's mother Lara Lor-Van in Smallville (2001), and Supergirl's foster mother Eliza Danvers in Supergirl (2015).
Appearing at Collector Mania convention, coming back into the limelight. [April 2006]

Personal Quotes (7)

[on facing mid-life crisis] I can't speak for all women, but I do think that . . . I mean, me and my girlfriends, we definitely . . . we're in crisis on a continuous basis . . . or at least monthly, for sure, I don't know. It's funny because we just bust ourselves! We go to therapy, we eat right, we stay away from caffeine, we try to have loving relationships with our mothers and more communication with our fathers, and still the black abyss will open up!
[on looking at herself in the home-made Supergirl costume she wore to her audition] I looked at myself in the mirror and I thought, "I look like such a jackass".
[about her character "Christy Wills" in The Secret of My Succe$s (1987)] At first I wanted her to appear more military-like, wearing more blue and the like, but then Herb [director Herbert Ross] told me to have her display more female qualities, which turned out to be right because we could then see she was more apt to being both an executive and a woman.
[on her teen years] I was terribly gawky--too goofy to become a high-kicking cheerleader--with stringy brown hair and bad posture. Definitely nobody noticeable!
[on her character "Mary" in No Way Back (1995)] Mary . . . is a chatty, loopy, quirky flight attendant who doesn't understand all that's going on around her. She realizes the situation soon enough and perceives Yuji is innocent, but she knows that Zack is also in a terrible conflict with his son. Yet she questions him: Why is he doing this? How can he take this guy [Yuji] to his death? Mary wises up very quickly.
[on her performance in 'Sticky Fingers' (1988)] One of the ways Melanie and I prepared for our roles was to invent clown characters. My clown's name was 'Colleen,' which we changed to 'Caullie Flower,' and Melanie's clown was 'Little Mellie Joy.' There's an actual specific formula to doing clown work. You have the authority figure and the clown, and what 'clown' means to both Melanie and I is that you're on the wire. That's the beauty of the art of the clown... that they're so open, all the way.
I saw far more beautiful, bustier, more luscious-looking girls auditioning. I don't think I got it because I'm a brilliant actress. I can't be a brilliant actress at 20. I just think I loved her more than anybody else at the audition.

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