Who is Rebecca De Mornay?

She rose to prominence playing Lana in the 1983 comedy crime-drama “Risky Business”, also starring Tom Cruise and Joe Pantoliano, however, Rebecca De Mornay has nearly 60 acting credits to her name. Although perhaps known best for the aforementioned role, she had notable performances in hit movies such as “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle” and “Runaway Train”, among others.

Rebecca is also a renowned music producer and songwriter, who sold numerous songs to German rock ‘n’ roll musicians – her most notable work is the theme song for the movie “Goodbye Bruce Lee: His Last Game of Death”.

Image source

Early life, family, and education

Her birth name is Rebecca Jane Pearch, and she was born under the zodiac sign of Virgo on 29 August 1959, in Santa Rosa, California USA. She holds American nationality and comes from a family of English, French and German descent. She is the daughter of Wally George (birth name George Walter Pearch), a conservative radio and television commentator, and his ex-wife Julie. The two divorced in 1960, and Julie married Richard De Mornay, whose surname Rebecca later adopted.

Most of her early days Rebecca spent in Pasadena, California, with her mother, stepfather and stepbrother, until 1962, when her stepfather died of a stroke. Rebecca moved with her mother and stepbrother to Europe, where they lived in several countries.

When it comes to Rebecca’s educational background, she matriculated from a private high school in Germany, then didn’t go to college. In 1980, she returned to the US and since she dreamed of becoming an actress, enrolled at the Lee Strasberg Institute, in Los Angeles, California, to study acting.

Roles in movies

Rebecca made her acting debut as an Understudy in the 1981 musical drama “One from the Heart”, co-written and directed by the great Francis Ford Coppola, which was nominated for the Oscar – Best Music, Original Song Score, and Its Adaptation or Best Adaptation Score.

Two years later, Rebecca was cast to play her breakthrough role in “Risky Business”, followed by her role as Cathy Pitkin in “Testament”, also in 1983. Her next role came in 1985, when she was seen as Debby Palmer in the musical romantic comedy “The Slugger’s Wife”, starringd opposite Michael O’Keefe.

Later that year, Rebecca portrayed Sara in the action drama “Runaway Train”, which followed the story of a female railway worker who finds two escaped convicts trapped on a speeding train that has no brakes. The movie had eight award nominations, including three for Oscars (Best Film Editing, Best Actor in a Supporting Role- E. Roberts, and Best Actor in a Leading Role – Jon Voight, and two wins.

In the following years, Rebecca starred in “Beauty and the Beast” (1987), “And God Created Woman” (1988), “Dealers” (1989), and “Backdraft” (1991).

Another of Rebecca’s notable roles was her portrayal of Peyton Flanders in the 1992 thriller drama “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle”, also starring Matt McCoy and Annabella Sciorra. Her performance in the movie earned her a nomination for the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, Saturn Award for Best Actress, Chicago Film Critics Association Award nomination – Best Actress, MTV Movie + TV Award nomination for Best Female Performance, and she won MTV Movie + TV Award for Best Villain.

The ’90s saw Rebecca in “The Three Musketeers” (1993), “Never Talk to Strangers” (1995), and “Thick as Thieves” (1999). In the early 2000s, she co-starred in several TV movies, while she was seen on big-screen as Derian McCall in “The Right Temptation” (2000), and as Caroline Suzanne in “Identity” (2003).

In 2005, she played Mrs Kroeger in the comedy “Wedding Crashers”, starring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, which won the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Movie Comedy. Rebecca was next cast to play Richard’s Mom in the 2007 biographic drama “Music Within”, which followed the story of Richard Pimentel, a former firefighter who lost his hearing in the Vietnam War, but overcame his handicap and through his public speaking skills, inspired other injured war veterans. The movie won Dallas International Film Festival Audience Award for Narrative Feature Film.

Three years later, Rebecca was seen in “Flipped” and “Mother’s Day”, followed by her roles in “Apartment 1303 3D” (2012), “Collar” (2015), and “I Am Wrath” (2016). Most recently, Rebecca played Aggie in the 2020 movie “She Ball”, a comedy sports drama, written and directed by Nick Cannon, which was nominated for the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) Jury Award for Best US Narrative.

Roles in series

Rebecca made her first TV series appearance as Rose Peasley in an episode of the series “Tall Tales & Legends” in 1986. Five years later, she was seen as Flo in the 1991 TV mini-series “An Inconvenient Woman”, which was nominated for three Primetime Emmys.

Her most notable TV series role was her portrayal of Winifred Torrance in the 1997 mini-series “The Shining”, also starring Steven Weber and Wil Horneff. This television adaptation was based on the novel of the same title by Stephen King, had 15 wins, including two Primetime Emmys, and 10 other nominations. Rebecca was nominated for the Online Film & Television Association (OFTA) Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture or Miniseries.

In the following years, Rebecca was seen as Elaine Nichols in five episodes of the series “ER” in 1999, and guest-starred in two episodes of the 2003 series “Boomtown”. She followed with her role as Hannah Rose in “Practice” (2004). Three years later, Rebecca was cast to play Cissy Yost in “John from Cincinnati”, a fantasy mystery drama about the dysfunctional Yost family, also starring Greyson Fletcher and Willie Garson, which although having no nominations the audience rated it as ‘worth of watching, aside from the super-natural moments, very true-to-life show’.

Between 2015 and 2019, Rebecca had the recurring role as Dorothy Walker in the series “Jessica Jones”, and concurrently, from 2016 through 2021, she played Penelope Decker in the hit series “Lucifer”.

Love life and relationships

Rebecca has been the subject of numerous speculations about her romantic life – what we do know is that back in the 1980s, she dated actor Harry Dean Stanton; they co-starred in Rebecca’s debut movie, “One From the Heart”. However, on the set of “Risky Business”, she began an affair with her co-star, Tom Cruise, so Rebecca and Harry broke up, dated Tom Cruise, from whom she separated in 1985.

On 16 December 1986, Rebecca married Bruce Alan Wagner, an American novelist and screenwriter. The two didn’t have children together, and divorced in 1990.

Soon afterwards, Rebecca began a relationship with Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen. The two co-produced his album “The Future” (1992) which Leonard dedicated to Rebecca. The two became engaged in 1992, but separated the following year.

In the late ‘90s, Rebecca was in a relationship with Patrick O’Neal, a former actor and sportscaster. Their first daughter, Sophia De Mornay-O’Neal was born on 16 November 1997, and is also an actress. Rebecca gave birth to her and Patrick’s second daughter, Veronica on 31 March 2001, who also followed in her mother’s footsteps.

Subsequently, Rebecca and Patrick separated, and as of June 2023, it seems that she’s single.

What is she doing now?

Rebecca’s admirers will be happy to hear that she has five upcoming movies, some of them still in development, while the movie “Peter Five Eight” is set to premiere by the end of 2023. Also, the movie entitled “Giving Thanks”, is set to premiere in the following year.

How rich is Rebecca De Mornay?

During her more than 40 years-long acting career, Rebecca’s made numerous appearances in successful movies and series, although she’s probably still remembered as the rebellious Lana from “Risky Business”. According to sources, as of June 2023, her net worth has been estimated at over $11 million.

Subscribe for the updates

* indicates required

Write A Comment

Pin It