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Ellen Barkin Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trivia (16)  | Personal Quotes (13)

Overview (3)

Born in The Bronx, New York City, New York, USA
Birth NameEllen Rona Barkin
Height 5' 6" (1.68 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Offbeat, unconventionally pretty, and utterly mesmerizing, Ellen Barkin was born in 1954 in the Bronx, New York, to Evelyn (Rozin), a hospital administrator, and Sol Barkin, a chemical salesman. Her parents were both from Russian Jewish families. Raised in the South Bronx and Queens, New York area, she wanted to be an actress as early as her teens and was eventually accepted into Manhattan's High School of the Performing Arts.

Barkin then attended Hunter College and received her degree after double majoring in history and drama. At one point she wanted to teach ancient history, but instead turned her thoughts back to her first love: acting. Barkin then continued her education at New York's Actor's Studio. Fearful of the auditioning process, she studied acting for seven years before finally landing her first audition. While continuing her studies, she worked as a waitress at the avant-garde Ocean Club. Performing off-Broadway in such plays "Shout Across the River" (1979), "Extremities" (1983), "Fool for Love" (1984) and "Eden Court" (1985), she was applauded across the board for her first film lead in Diner (1982) opposite Mickey Rourke and Daniel Stern, and pursued sexy tough-cookie status thereafter with such quirky roles in The Big Easy (1986) starring Dennis Quaid and Siesta (1987) with Irish actor Gabriel Byrne, whom she married in 1987 and separated from in 1993 after producing a son and daughter. She and Byrne divorced in 1999.

With trademark squinting eyes and slightly off-kilter facial features, Barkin continued the fascination of her seamy/steamy girl-from-the-wrong-side-of-the-tracks status most notably opposite Al Pacino in the thriller Sea of Love (1989). In addition, she was well cast as Robert De Niro's abused wife in This Boy's Life (1993), and portrayed "Calamity Jane" in Wild Bill (1995) with earnest. Other impressionable offbeat projects included roles in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999) and Mercy (2000). On TV, she was well-cast in the mini-movie Clinton and Nadine (1988) and won an Emmy award for her gripping performance in Before Women Had Wings (1997) opposite Oprah Winfrey as another abused wife who, in this case, turns her violent anger on her own daughters.

In 2000, Barkin married billionaire Ronald O. Perelman, eleven years her senior and chairman of the Revlon company, and put her career relatively on hold, appearing sporadically in edgy films like She Hate Me (2004) and Palindromes (2004). Barkin and Perelman went through an acrimonious divorce in 2006.

Just prior to her divorce in late 2005, Barkin ventured into independent film production with Applehead Pictures, a company she set up with her brother George Barkin, who is a scriptwriter and former editor-in-chief of National Lampoon and High Times, and former Independent Film Channel executive Caroline Kaplan. In her first major acting appearance since her divorce from Perelman, Barkin co-starred in Ocean's Thirteen (2007) with George Clooney, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt and former co-star Pacino. She followed up Ocean's with a supporting role in Antoine Fuqua's Brooklyn's Finest (2009), Happy Tears (2009) with Parker Posey and Demi Moore, and Twelve (2010).

Recently, Barkin has produced features, including Letters to Juliet (2010) and Another Happy Day (2011) (she also starred in the latter project). On the small screen, she appeared in an episode of Modern Family (2009) and her new NBC show, The New Normal (2012), got a sneak peek during the Olympics.

She lives with her two teenage children in Manhattan.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Spouse (2)

Ronald O. Perelman (28 June 2000 - 14 February 2006) ( divorced)
Gabriel Byrne (18 September 1988 - 1999) ( divorced) ( 2 children)

Trivia (16)

Gave birth to her first child at age 35, a son Jack Daniel Byrne in 1989. Child's father is her first ex-husband, Gabriel Byrne.
Ex-husband, Ronald O. Perelman, is the billionaire owner of the Revlon company.
Once admitted in an interview that she often has to wear glasses because she has a condition that is causing her to lose some vision in one eye.
She studied in New York at the High School of the Performing Arts, Hunter College and the Actors Studio.
She was born and raised in the Bronx in a "middle class Jewish home", and has described her childhood as quite happy. All four of her grandparents were Russian Jewish immigrants.
Considered for role in Brazil (1985) that went to Kim Greist. Director Terry Gilliam has said that he regrets not casting Barkin.
Christie's sold off the jewelery given to her by her ex-husband Ronald O. Perelman.
Sister of George Barkin.
Although she separated from first husband Gabriel Byrne in 1993, she did not file for divorce until May 1999.
Her favorite actor to work with is Al Pacino.
Made her Broadway debut in 2011 as Dr. Emma Brookner in "The Normal Heart".
Barkin got a big break in 1980, when she beat out many actresses, including Amanda Plummer and Diane Lane, and landed a key role as a disturbed teenager in the play, "Shout Across the River", at the Phoenix Playhouse.
She studied for three years under acting teacher Lloyd Richards.
Won a Tony for her Broadway debut in 'The Normal Heart'.
Gave birth to her second child at age 38, a daughter Romy Marion Byrne on November 18, 1992. Child's father is her first ex-husband, Gabriel Byrne.

Personal Quotes (13)

No more bare bodies in film scenes for me. For my children's sake, I must stop. The other kids at school keep throwing it up to my children, and they are not kind.
It's difficult to be married outside the profession. A lawyer might not understand that going to bed with Gabriel Byrne for three days is work for me. [1987]
[on her second marriage] What the hell was I thinking? Marry a rich guy? Was I crazy? I didn't need that. I was already at the party. I didn't need someone to get me through the door. How could I be so clueless about who I am and what I value? Did I actually think I was going to give up working? It's important for me to work. [Parade Magazine, May 13, 2007]
A successful marriage isn't necessarily one that lasts until you're dead. [Parade Magazine, May 13, 2007]
[on becoming a young actress in the 2000s] Their careers are over in a blink. So I think it's harder for them to feel motivated to exhibit a real professionalism because they must wonder how long they are really going to be around for. It's really bad. There are exceptions obviously. There's no slow build anymore where you get a little part, then you get a little better part, then a better part until one day your agent calls you us and says "Guess what? You're a movie star!" and you say "Thank you!"
I'd rather just be stuck at home watching Turner Classic Movies. I'm stuck with a book and old movies, that's pretty much the beginning and end of my life.
[on working with Paul Newman] You forget he's Paul Newman on the set after a while... that is until you look into his eyes.
It's difficult to get into trouble if you don't take yourself too seriously.
[In a 1984 interview concerning her career] It's like having been brought up in the best neighborhood and having been to the best schools. It's kind of nice to be 29 and have people refer to you as a character actor.
[commenting on #MeToo] My hard won advice: never get into an elevator alone with Terry Gilliam. [Twitter, March 17, 2018]
[commenting on Terry Gilliam's critique of #MeToo in Variety] Ever wonder why Terry Gilliam is giving all these random vitriolic interviews about #metoo? Honest question. Click bait, I understand but even the most superficial level of due diligence would have revealed Gilliam's reputation. #MeToo [Twitter, March 17, 2018]
[on shooting Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) and working with Terry Gilliam] (Laughs) I don't know why everyone talks to me about that movie. I'm in it for five seconds. I went down there to do the one real scene as the waitress at the North Star Café. And then Terry decided it would be fun, since I'm in disguise with a wig and a fake ass and hips-my whole body was padded-to keep disguising me and insert me in, I think, two or three other scenes. (...) One time, I was in a club that they were all in, and I had some fringed, revealing outfit on, very scantily clad. Then I was part of their check-in scene, where I was dressed up as some Middle America lady. But it was fascinating to watch Terry, who I have loved and adored. So I was happy that he just kept saying, "Don't go home." I think he liked having me there, and he knew that I liked being there. So he'd just say, "Can you stay, and be in the nightclub scene, and we'll disguise you again?" And I would say, "Sure." (...) He's fascinating to watch. It's an interesting combination, because he has storyboards, if I remember correctly, so he's got it pretty much planned out, but it's so loose that he just goes with whatever's happening on the set. So it's a kind of perfect combination of a director who knows exactly what he wants out of the scene and how he wants to shoot it, and then will be willing to turn that around 180 degrees if one actor does one interesting thing that catches his eye. And he was very open to the kind of quirky improvisation of Benicio [Benicio Del Toro] and Johnny Depp. [from A.V. Club, March 14, 2015]
[on Down by Law (1986)] I think it took a couple of days to shoot that scene. There is a gentle guiding hand that Jim Jarmusch has that I don't think I've ever experienced before or after. It's very inclusive of you as an artist and what you bring to the table. He's extremely supportive; you feel very protected and very appreciated. And then on top of that all, I had something I've also never had before or after, which was a very strong verbal relationship with Robby Müller, the DP. He would say things like, "Okay, I'm going to be very close," and then he'd walk away. And he knew what that meant to me, that then maybe I don't have to be as big, you know? It could be a tiny little performance. Or he'd say, "I'm going to shoot this scene very dark; I might be on your back a lot of the time." And then I'd know to amp it up a few notches. To me, Robby Müller is a genius of geniuses. And he really works with actors. It's not just him whispering in a corner with Jim Jarmusch. They are both very inclusive of the actors, and it's almost like you're just all part of the same orchestra playing the same symphony together. [2015]

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