Amy Irving is one of those actors whose entire life has been centered around acting and Hollywood. Born to producer and actor Jules Irving and actress Priscilla Pointer, her earliest memories were about movie sets and auditions. She made her Broadway debut at age 13 and went on to study theater at the American Conservatory Theater and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
Married to Steven Spielberg for four years between 1985 and 89, Irving has been around the block for a long time. With a career spanning over five decades, she has been the recipient of an Obie Award and has been nominated for two Golden Globe Awards and an Academy Award. Here we explore some top Amy Irving roles you need to know.
1. Anna Anderson In “Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna”
Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna tells the story of Anna Anderson. She’s a woman who claimed to be the Russian Grand Duchess Anastasia, the sole surviving member of the Romanov family. The mini-series explores Anna’s journey and the controversy surrounding her identity. In the role, Amy Irving delivers a stellar performance. She skillfully portrays Anna’s desperation, resilience, and yearning for recognition and acceptance. Her performance earned her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television.
2. Gillian Bellaver In “The Fury”
Amy Irving’s portrayal of Gillian Bellaver in the supernatural thriller The Fury remains one of her standout performances. Directed by Brian De Palma and released in 1978, the film is about a young woman with psychic powers. She becomes the target of a covert government agency. The covert government agency seeks to exploit her powers for its own sinister purposes. What makes Irving’s performance in The Fury special is her ability to convey a wide range of emotions. From moments of fear and desperation to displays of raw power and unpredictable rage.
3. Sue Snell In “Carrie”
Irving’s first appearance in a movie, the 1976 horror film, tells the story of a high school student with telekinetic powers. It further narrates the devastating consequences of her mistreatment. Irving takes on the role of Sue Snell, a popular and empathetic student who begins to question her involvement in the torment inflicted upon Carrie White (Sissy Spacek). As the story unfolds, Sue experiences guilt and remorse for her part in the bullying and becomes determined to make amends.
4. Isabelle Grossman in Crossing Delancey
Crossing Delancey is a romantic comedy released in 1988. Irving delivers a charming and endearing performance as Isabelle Grossman. She’s a single, independent woman living in New York City. The film revolves around the intersecting lives of Isabelle. There’s her traditional Jewish grandmother and a pickle vendor named Sam ( Peter Riegert). As Isabelle, Irving beautifully portrays a modern woman torn between her grandmother’s desire to see her settled down with a nice Jewish man and her own pursuit of personal and professional fulfillment. Throughout the film, Irving’s chemistry with Sam, adds a delightful and heartwarming dynamic to the story.
5. Barbara Wakefield in Traffic
Amy Irving played Barbara Wakefield in the film Traffic, released in 2000. The film explores the complexities of the drug trade and its impact on individuals and society. Directed by Steven Soderbergh, Amy Irving delivers an affecting performance as Barbara Wakefield. She’s the wife of a high-ranking government official who is appointed as the new U.S. Drug Czar. Irving’s character confronts the harsh reality of her husband’s position. Meanwhile, she grapples with their daughter’s drug addiction. Her performance effectively conveys the emotional turmoil, frustration, and determination of a mother fighting to save her child.
6. Melanie Lynch In “Zero Hour
Paul Scheuring created this conspiracy television series. It starred Anthony Edwards as Hank, a magazine editor, who becomes immersed in a dangerous and complex conspiracy when his wife, Laila (Jacinda Barrett), is abducted. Amy Irving’s role as Melanie Lynch plays a significant part in the unfolding mystery, with her own secrets and connections to the larger plot. While Zero Hour faced a short run and was canceled after one season, Amy Irving’s performance as Melanie Lynch showcased her talent and ability to contribute to the tension and intrigue of a conspiracy thriller series.