April 16, 1954
New York, New York
Ellen Barkin is the second child and only daughter of a chemical salesman father and his hospital administrator wife. Ellen was reared in the Bronx and as a teen attended the famed New York High School of the Performing Arts. Following graduation, she attended Hunter College where she earned degrees in Ancient History and Drama. Ellen would later attend the noted Actors Studio in New York and appeared onstage in Fiddler On The Roof, Dracula and some television.
Ellen made her film debut uncredited in the Cheech and Chong comedy hit Up in Smoke. Following her appearance in the reefer smash and a few more TV projects, she starred as the token female in Barry Levinson's 1982 nostalgiac tale Diner. The next year, she co-starred as Robert Duvall's ill-fated daughter in the Bruce Beresford drama Tender Mercies, then in Sidney Lumet's Daniel, followed by Eddie and the Cruisers.
Ellen portrayed Penny Priddy, girlfriend of the titular lead in W.D. Richter's cult hit The Adventures of Bucakroo Banzai in 1984. She virtually burned up the celluloid with a breakout role in Jim McBride's The Big Easy in 1987. Later she appeared with a rather eclectic ensemble as the lead in Mary Lambert's Siesta. She went on to marry
co-star Gabriel Byrne, with whom she would have a son and daughter.
Ellen's efforts in the last years have done rather tepid business at the box office but has appeared in such efforts alongside actors of note and worked with equally noted directors. In 1992, she was among the cast of fellow New Yorker John Turturro's Mac and appeared in Bob Rafelson's Man Trouble, co-starring Jack Nicholson.
She is married to Revlon exec Ron Perelman.
Photo © Unknown - Bio by Robert Baum © 2001 - [used with permission]
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