American actress Helen Slater was trained at New York's High School for the Performing Arts. In 1984 she was signed for the leading role in Supergirl, perhaps hoping that this modest special-effects fest would do for her what Superman did for another unknown, Christopher Reeve. Alas, Supergirl was a failure, not so much due to Slater's spunky but antiseptic performance as to an uninvolving script and lackluster direction. Since Supergirl, Slater has been seen to best advantage in supporting parts, notably the sweet-tempered kidnapper in Ruthless People (1986) and cattle-drive novice Bonnie Rayburn in City Slickers (1991). In the decades to follow, Slater would appear in numerous projects, but found particular success with roles on the TV series Gigantic and The Lying Game.
Biography by Hal Erickson
- Made her stage debut at 8 in a production of Pinocchio.
- Began acting professionally as a teenager, appearing in commercials for chewing gum and cereal.
- First starring role came with the 1982 ABC Afterschool Special Amy and the Angel.
- Dyed her hair blonde and gained 20 pounds for her feature debut as Supergirl (1984).
- Along with actor Gina Gershon, cofounded New York theatre group the Naked Angels in 1987; also cofounded two Los Angeles theatre groups, Otis Inspired and the Bubalaires.
- Released her first CD, One of These Days, in 2003.