Rebecca De Mornay

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Rebecca De Mornay
Rebecca De Mornay in 2006
Born Rebecca Jane Pearch
(1959-08-29) August 29, 1959 (age 55)[1]
Santa Rosa, California, U.S.
Other names Rebecca George
Occupation Actress
Years active 1982–present
Spouse(s) Bruce Wagner (1986–1990; divorced)
Patrick O'Neal (1995–2002; divorced)
Children 2
Parents Wally George (deceased)
Julie DeMornay (née Eager; deceased)

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 (1985), Thelma in The Trip to Bountiful (1985), Helen McCaffrey in the thriller Backdraft (1991) and her portrayal of the nanny Peyton Flanders in the popular 1992 thriller The Hand That Rocks the Cradle.

Personal life[edit]

She was born Rebecca Jane Pearch on August 29, 1959,[2] in Santa Rosa, California. Her parents were Julie (Eagar)[3] and Wally George ( George Walter Pearch), a disc jockey and later television host.[4] Her paternal grandmother was vaudeville performer and child film actress Eugenia Clinchard.

When she was two, her parents divorced and, at the age of five, she took her stepfather's surname, De Mornay. Her older step-brother, Jonathan, was a millionaire at 18 and later founded the Venture Capitalists Secure1Capital.[citation needed] Another step-brother, Peter, is a guitarist.[5] She attended the independent Summerhill School in Leiston, Suffolk, England,.[6] She later trained as an actress in New York at the Lee Strasberg Institute.[5]

DeMornay was briefly engaged to singer Leonard Cohen.[7] She married writer Bruce Wagner on December 16, 1986, but they divorced in 1990.[8] She later married Ryan O'Neal's son, sportscaster Patrick O'Neal in 1995, and they had two daughters: Sophia (born November 16, 1997) and Veronica (born March 31, 2001).[5] They divorced in 2002.


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 was the thriller The Hand That Rocks the Cradle. She also appeared in a 1988 remake of Roger Vadim's provocative And God Created Woman, Ron 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.[2]

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).[9]

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]

The name "Rebecca De Mornay" is used for a character (played by actress Sonya Eddy) in two episodes of Seinfeld: "The Muffin Tops" and "The Bookstore."[10] 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.[11]

Filmography and credits[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
1989 Dealers Anna Schuman
1990 By Dawn's Early Light Capt. Moreau
1991 Backdraft Helen McCaffrey
1992 The Hand That Rocks the Cradle Mrs. Mott/Peyton Flanders Won – 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


  1. ^ "California Births, 1905 - 1995". Family Tree Legends Records Collection (Online Database). Pearl Street Software. Retrieved 2013-03-25. "Pearch, Rebecca J. 08/29/1959. Female. Sonoma." 
  2. ^ a b "Rebecca De Mornay reportedly arrested for DUI". USA Today. Associated Press. July 11, 2007. Retrieved December 11, 2010. "Associated Press records indicate De Mornay's age is 45, while some other sources give it as 48." 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Hammer, Joshua (February 27, 1984). "Rabble-Rouser Wally George Is the New Pitchman and Great Right Hope of TV Squawk Shows" 21 (8). People. Retrieved December 11, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c "Rebecca De Morney — about this person". New York Times. Retrieved December 11, 2010. 
  6. ^ Smithers, Rebecca (2000-03-24). "Radical boarding school escapes closure threat". (London: Guardian News and Media Limited). Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  7. ^ King, Randall (2009-08-29). "Rebecca De Mornay joins film's killer cast". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 2013-01-27. 
  8. ^ "Still Holding, Bruce Wagner — book review". New York Magazine. November 3, 2003. Retrieved December 11, 2010. 
  9. ^ Rebecca De Mornay at the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2010-08-30.
  10. ^ Sonya Eddy at the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2010-08-30.
  11. ^ "17 S2 E1 Karl's Film Idea 1/2". YouTube. 2011-07-24. Retrieved 2013-01-27. 

Further reading[edit]

  • "The Key To Rebecca". Saturday Review 12 (1): 30–34. January–February 1986. 
  • Tykus, Michael J. (2000). "Rebecca de Mornay". Contemporary Theatre, Film, and Television 29. Gale Research Co. p. 135. ISBN 978-0-7876-3188-8. 
  • Room, Adrian (2010). "Rebecca de Mornay". Dictionary of Pseudonyms: 13,000 Assumed Names and Their Origins (5th ed.). McFarland. p. 141. ISBN 978-0-7864-4373-4. 
  • Segrave, Kerry; Martin, Linda (1990). "Rebecca de Mornay". The Post-Feminist Hollywood Actress: biographies and filmographies of stars born after 1939. McFarland & Co. pp. 265–269. ISBN 978-0-89950-387-5. 
  • Aylesworth, Thomas G.; Bowman, John S.; Fairbanks, Douglas (1992). "De Mornay, Rebecca". World Guide to Film Stars. Great Pond. p. 69. ISBN 978-1-56657-007-7. 
  • Sleeman, Elizabeth (2001). "De Mornay, Rebecca". The International Who's Who of Women 2002 (3rd ed.). Routledge. p. 131. ISBN 978-1-85743-122-3. 
  • Riggs, Thomas, ed. (2005). "De MORNAY, Rebecca". Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television: A Biographical Guide 64. Gale / Cengage Learning. ISBN 978-0-7876-9037-3. 

External links[edit]