Rebecca De Mornay was born Rebecca J. Pearch on August 29, 1959. Though born in Santa Rosa, California, De Mornay and her half-brother, Peter, grew up in Europe, where their mother relocated the family after the death of Rebecca’s stepfather. Primarily raised in England and Austria, she graduated summa !$#!# laude from a German-speaking school in the Alps and she remains fluent in both French and German. De Mornay began her acting training at the prestigious Lee Strasberg’s Institute in Los Angeles. She then apprenticed with Francis Ford Coppola’s Zoetrope Film Studio before landing her big break in 1983, as a sassy and sophisticated call girl opposite Tom Cruise in the box office hit, Risky Business. She was further catapulted to international stardom as the chillingly twisted nanny in the 1992 thriller, The Hand that Rocks the Cradle.
Rebecca De Mornay’s career was marked with several successful films, due to her roles in Ron Howard’s Backdraft, and in the remake of Roger Vadim's provocative And God Created Woman. She was also acclaimed for her starring role as a defense lawyer in Sidney Lumet’s murder drama Guilty as Sin. Her earlier works however, consist of roles in Testament, The Slugger’s Wife, Runaway Train, The Trip to Bountiful, a 1987 production of Beauty and the Beast, Feds, and Dealers. She has also made a mark on television, getting roles in The Outer Limits, the miniseries The Shining, and several episodes of ER. Other credits of hers include Never Talk to Strangers, Thick as Thieves, The Con, Night Ride Home and A Table for One.
In 2000, De Mornay was seen on The Right Temptation and Range of Motion. This was followed by roles in several television movies like A Girl Thing, Salem Witch Trials, and No Place Like Home. After a role in Boomtown, she was cast on the series The Practice, and played the role of Aunt Nina on Raise Your Voice. In 2005, she got the part of Philaine in Lords of Dogtown, and portrayed Mrs. Kroeger in the comedy Wedding Crashers. Her next role was in Law & Order: SVU, and later in the HBO drama John from Cincinnati as Cissy Yost. She later appeared in American Venus as Celia Lane.
(Photo courtesy of HBO)