Rebecca De Mornay (born August 29, 1959) is an American film and television actress. Her breakthrough film role came in 1983, when she played Lana in Risky Business. Her other notable film roles include Sara in Runaway Train in 1985, Thelma in The Trip to Bountiful, Helen McCaffrey in the thriller Backdraft in 1991 and her portrayal of the chillingly twisted nanny Peyton Flanders in the popular 1992 thriller The Hand That Rocks the Cradle.

Personal life[edit source | editbeta]Edit

She was born Rebecca Jane Pearch on August 29, 1959, in Santa Rosa, California. Her father was Wally George (née Pearch), a disc jockey at the time.

When she was two, her parents divorced and, at the age of five, she became known by her stepfather's surname, De Mornay. She has two step-brothers: Jonathan, a businessman, and Peter, a guitarist. She attended the independent Summerhill School in LeistonSuffolkEngland, but her high-school degree was awarded in St. Johann, near Kitzbühel,Austria.[clarification needed] She trained as an actress in New York at the Lee Strasberg Institute.

DeMornay was engaged to singer Leonard Cohen.She married writer Bruce Wagner on December 16, 1986, but they divorced in 1990. Her second marriage was to Ryan O'Neal's son, sportscaster Patrick O'Neal, from 1995 to 2002; the union produced two daughters: Sophia (born November 16, 1997) and Veronica (born March 31, 2001).

Career[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Her film debut was a small part in Francis Ford Coppola's 1982 film One from the Heart. Soon thereafter came her star-making role as a call girl who seduces a high-school student played by Tom Cruise in Risky Business. In 1985, she appeared with Starship's Mickey Thomas in the music video for the song "Sara". The song reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on March 15, 1986.

One of De Mornay's most commercially successful films came in the thriller The Hand That Rocks the Cradle. She also appeared in a 1988 remake of Roger Vadim's provocative And God Created WomanRon Howard's Backdraft (1991) and in 1993, starred as a defense lawyer in Sidney Lumet's murder drama Guilty as Sin. Then she appeared in the 1995 drama film Never Talk to Strangers opposite Antonio Banderas; in which she was also the executive producer.

In 2003, she guest-starred as primary antagonist in the first two episodes of season 2 of Boomtown. In 2004, she guest-starred as attorney Hannah Rose for the last few episodes of The Practice and the following year, had a brief role alongside Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn in Wedding Crashers. De Mornay also starred in the 2007 drama American Venus.

In June 2007, she appeared in the HBO series John From Cincinnati with a starring role as matriarch of a troubled Imperial Beach, California surfing family and the grandmother/guardian of a teen surfer on the brink of greatness. She appeared in Darren Lynn Bousman's Mother's Day (2010).

In 2012, De Mornay played the role of Finch's mom in the movie American Reunion where she portrayed an attractive older woman and a love interest of Stifler.

Cultural references[edit source | editbeta]Edit

The name "Rebecca De Mornay" is used for a character (played by African-American actress Sonya Eddy) in two episodes of Seinfeld: "The Muffin Tops" and "The Bookstore". Rebecca De Mornay has also been referenced in an episode of The Ricky Gervais Show co-starring with "Clive Warren" [sic] (Clive Owen) as part of a movie pitch by Karl Pilkington.

Filmography and credits[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Year Film Role Notes
1982 One from the Heart Understudy as Rebecca de Mornay
1983 Risky Business Lana
1983 Testament Cathy Pitkin
1985 The Slugger's Wife (aka Neil Simon's The Slugger's Wife) Debby Palmer sings
1985 Runaway Train Sara
1985 The Trip to Bountiful Thelma
1987 Beauty and the Beast Beauty sings
1988 Feds Elizabeth 'Ellie' DeWitt
1988 And God Created Woman Robin Shea Moran sings, plays guitar (??)
1989 Dealers Anna Schuman
1991 Backdraft Helen McCaffrey
1992 The Hand That Rocks the Cradle Peyton Flanders MTV Movie Award for Best Villain
1993 Guilty as Sin Jennifer Haines
1993 The Three Musketeers Milady de Winter
1995 Never Talk to Strangers Dr. Sarah Taylor Also executive producer
1996 The Winner Louise as Rebecca DeMornay
1999 Thick as Thieves Petrone
1999 A Table for One (a.k.a. Wicked Ways) Ruth Draper
2000 The Right Temptation Derian McCall
2003 Identity Caroline Suzanne as Rebecca DeMornay
2004 Raise Your Voice Aunt Nina
2005 Lords of Dogtown Philaine
2005 Wedding Crashers Mrs. Kroeger
2007 American Venus Celia Lane
2007 Music Within Richard's Mom
2010 Flipped Patsy Loski
2010 Mother's Day Mother
2011 A Fonder Heart Dr. Bach
2011 Apartment 1303 3D Marilyn
2012 American Reunion Rachel Finch Finch's Mom
Year Title Role Notes
1986 Tall Tales & Legends Slew Foot Sue Episode: "Pecos Bill"
1986 The Murders in the Rue Morgue Claire Dupin TV movie
1990 By Dawn's Early Light Captain Moreau TV movie; as Rebecca DeMornay
1991 An Inconvenient Woman Flo TV movie
1993 Blind Side Linda Kaines TV movie
1994 Getting Out Arlene Holsclaw TV movie
1995 The Outer Limits Woman Episode: "The Conversion"
1997 The Shining Wendy Torrance TV miniseries
1998 The Con Barbara Beaton/Nancy Thoroughgood TV movie; as Rebecca DeMornay
1999 Night Ride Home Nora Mahler TV movie
1999 ER Elaine Nichols Episode: "Leave It to Weaver"

Episode: "Last Rites" Episode: "Greene with Envy" Episode: "Sins of the Father" Episode: "Truth & Consequences"

2000 Range of Motion Lainey Berman TV movie
2001 A Girl Thing Kim McCormack TV movie
2002 The Salem Witch Trials Elizabeth Parris TV movie
2003 No Place Like Home TV movie
2003 Boomtown 'Sabrina Fithian' Jill Foster Episode: "The Love of Money"

Episode: "Inadmissable"

2004 The Practice Hannah Rose Episode: "The Firm"

Episode: "Comings and Goings" Episode: "New Hoods on the Block" Episode: "Adjourned" (a.k.a. Cheers)

2006 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Tessa McKellen Episode: "Manipulated"
2007 John from Cincinnati Cissy Yost Episode: "His Visit: Day Five"

Episode: "His Visit: Day Six" Episode: "His Visit: Day Seven" Episode: "His Visit: Day Eight" Episode: "His Visit: Day Nine"

Music Video
Year Title Role Artist
1985 Sara Sara Starship
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.