Debra Winger

A string of roles in campy projects like the TV series "Wonder Woman" (ABC/CBS, 1976-79) gave no indication that Debra Winger was destined to become one of the most acclaimed actresses of her generation. In fact, her fiercely committed and emotional performances in such popular and critically regarded films as "Urban Cowboy" (1980) and "An Officer and a Gentleman" (1982) solidified her as a leading performer with few peers. Winger appeared to reach the peak of her popularity and abilities with her turn as a terminally ill daughter in James Brooks' haunting "Terms of Endearment" (1983), which earned her an Academy Award nomination and unanimous praise from the film community. But a mercurial personality - brought to light by her well-publicized squabbles with her "Endearment" co-star Shirley MacLaine and "Gentleman" director Taylor Hackford and co-star Richard Gere - cast a pall over her career, as did several ill-advised career decisions. By the time she had reached age 40, Winger had largely turned her back on the movie industry; becoming, in the process, a symbol of the plight faced by Hollywood actresses of a certain age. This unfair, unspoken Hollywood mindset was chronicled in the documentary, "Searching for Debra Winger" (2002), which was the first public exposure the actress had received in years. Perhaps it was this confrontation of the issue raised by many middle-aged actresses which helped turn the tide, causing Winger to slowly return to acting in the new millennium. Although she would never again reach her early Eighties peak, Winger's later performances in such features as "Rachel Getting Married" (2008) and "Boychoir" (2015), as well as the TV series "In Treatment" (HBO 2008-2010) and "The Ranch" (Netflix 2016- ), proved age had no bearing on the actress' timeless appeal.