Born: 16 April 1954
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York
Best known as: Slinky-eyed star of The Big Easy and Sea of Love
Ellen Barkin's days as a sultry leading lady of the silver screen peaked in the late 1980s, with features such as The Big Easy (1987, opposite Randy Quaid) and Sea of Love (1989, opposite Al Pacino). A native New Yorker, she broke through in movies as the lonely wife in the guy-oriented drama Diner (1982, with Kevin Bacon), then went on to become the 1980s version of Angie Dickinson -- a sexpot with a snarl. She proved herself a versatile actress in the 1990s, playing in the comedies Switch (1991) and Man Trouble (1992), as well as darker dramas such as This Boy's Life (1993 -- she was Leonardo DiCaprio's mom) and Bad Company (1995, starring Laurence Fishburne). Her turn as an abused alcoholic in the 1997 Oprah Winfrey TV movie Before Women Had Wings won Barkin an Emmy, but in 2000 she married billionaire Ronald Perelman and almost stopped working entirely. After their 2006 divorce, she appeared in Ocean's Thirteen (2007, opposite Matt Damon), the mostly-male drama Brooklyn's Finest (2009) and the independent features Happy Tears (2009) and Twelve (2010).
Extra credit: Ellen Barkin was married to actor Gabriel Byrne from 1988-93, and to billionaire businessman Ronald Perelman from 2000-06... After Barkin divorced Perelman, she auctioned off the jewelry he'd given her and made more than $20 million.
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