Amy Irving

Active - 1975 - Present  |   Born - Sep 10, 1953 in Palo Alto, California, United States  |   Genres - Drama, Romance, Action, Comedy

Share on

Biography by Hal Erickson

Amy Irving was the daughter of influential theatrical producer/director Jules Irving and actress Priscilla Pointer. Trained at the American Conservatory Theater and Britain's LAMDA, Irving made her off-Broadway debut in 1970. She remained loyal to the theater even after establishing herself in films, co-starring on Broadway as Mozart's wife in Amadeus (1982), and receiving a 1988 Obie Award for Road to Mecca; other notable stage credits are Heartbreak House and The Heidi Chronicles. She made an unforgettable film debut as a scheming high-schooler in the Brian DePalma shocker Carrie (1976). In 1983, she earned an Oscar nomination for making us believe that she was in love with male-drag-wearing Barbra Streisand in Yentl. Her TV resumé includes the lavish miniseries The Far Pavillions (1985) and the title character in Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna (1986). In 1987, she launched a children's-film series with Rumpelstiltskin (1987), directed by her brother David Irving. Irving was married to director Steven Spielberg from 1985 to 1989. Since 1990, Amy Irving has referred to herself as the wife of Brazilian filmmaker Bruno Barreto, though the couple hasn't yet made it official.

Movie Highlights

See Full Filmography


  • Father is film and stage director Jules Irving, who cofounded the San Francisco Actor's Workshop, and mother is actor Priscilla Pointer, who starred in Amy's film debut, Carrie (1976), as her character's mother.
  • Auditioned for Princess Leia in Star Wars (1977), and although the part went to Carrie Fisher, the two became such close friends that Fisher moved into Irving's Laurel Canyon house when the latter moved out to join boyfriend Steven Spielberg. 
  • Made Broadway debut in 1981 in Peter Shaffer's Amadeus, replacing Jane Seymour in the role of Mozart's wife, Constanze.
  • Other Broadway work includes a 1983-84 revival of George Bernard Shaw's Heartbreak House and the original 1994 production of Arthur Miller's Broken Glass, which earned her Drama Desk Award nominations for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play and Outstanding Actress in a Play, respectively.
  • Other accolades include a 1988 Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Play and an Obie Award for Athol Fugard's The Road to Mecca.