Helen Slater

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Helen Slater
Slater at the October 17, 2009 Big Apple Convention in Manhattan, New York
Helen Rachel Slater

(1963-12-15) December 15, 1963 (age 57)
OccupationActress, singer-songwriter
Years active1982–present
Robert Watzke
(m. 1989)

Helen Rachel Slater (born (1963-12-15)December 15, 1963) is an American actress and singer-songwriter. She played the title role in the 1984 film Supergirl,[1] and returned to the 2015 TV series of the same name, this time as Supergirl's adoptive mother, Eliza Danvers. In the intervening years, she starred in several films including The Legend of Billie Jean (1985), Ruthless People (1986), The Secret of My Success (1987), and City Slickers (1991). She additionally found work as an actress in television, and stage projects, including three guest appearances on the series Smallville (2007–2010).[2]

Early life[edit]

Slater was born in Bethpage, New York. She is Jewish.[3][4][5] Her parents, Alice Joan (née Citrin), a lawyer and nuclear disarmament peace activist based in New York City, and Gerald Slater, a television executive,[citation needed] divorced in 1974.[6] She has a brother, David, who is a lawyer in New York City. Slater attended Great Neck South High School[7] and then transferred to the High School of Performing Arts from which she graduated in 1982.[8]

A common misconception is that she is related to actor Christian Slater, who played her brother in The Legend of Billie Jean.[9]

Film and television work[edit]


Helen Slater film work[10][11][12]
Year Title Role Notes
1984 Supergirl Kara Zor-El / Linda Lee / Supergirl
1985 The Legend of Billie Jean Billie Jean Davy
1986 Ruthless People Sandy Kessler
1987 The Secret of My Success Christy Wills
1988 Sticky Fingers Hattie
1989 Happy Together Alexandra Page Also features singing by Slater
1991 City Slickers Bonnie Rayburn
1993 Betrayal of the Dove Ellie West
1993 A House in the Hills Alex Weaver
1994 Lassie Laura Turner Also features singing by Slater
1995 The Steal Kim
1995 No Way Back Mary
1997 The Long Way Home Herself (voice) Documentary film
1999 Carlo's Wake Lisa Torello
2001 Nowhere in Sight Carly Bauers
2004 Seeing Other People Penelope
2011 Beautiful Wave Jane Davenport Direct-to-video
2012 Model Minority Mrs. Ambrose
2014 Echo Park Julia
2015 The Curse of Downers Grove Diane
2016 DC Super Hero Girls: Hero of the Year Martha Kent (voice) [13]
2016 A Remarkable Life Iris
Helen Slater television work[14][10][12][11]
Year Title Role Notes
1982 ABC Afterschool Special Amy Watson Episode: "Amy & the Angel"
1988 Improv Tonite Herself Guest host[15]
1990 The Great Air Race Jacqui Cochrane Television miniseries
1990 Capital News Anne McKenna Television film
1991 The Hidden Room Lauren Episode: "Wasting Away"[16]
1992 Seinfeld Becky Gelke Uncredited; episode: "The Good Samaritan"
1992 Dream On Sarah Episode: "Theory of Relativity"
1992–1994 Batman: The Animated Series Talia (voice) "Off Balance"
"The Demon's Quest, Part 1"
"The Demon's Quest, Part 2"
1993 12:01 Lisa Fredericks Television film
1993 Chantilly Lace Hannah Television film
1994 Couples Nina Television film
1994 Parallel Lives Elsa Freedman Television film
1997 Caroline in the City Cassandra Thompson Uncredited; episode: "Caroline and the Monkeys"
1997 Toothless Mrs. Lewis Television film
1997–1998 Michael Hayes Julie Siegel 3 episodes
1998 Best Friends for Life Pammy Cahill Television film
2000 American Adventure Kathy Pilot[16]
2001 Will & Grace Peggy Truman Episode: "Moveable Feast"
2003 Boston Public Mrs. McNeal Episode: "Chapter Seventy-Four"
2004 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Susan Coyle Episode: "Families"
2005 Grey's Anatomy Nadia Shelton Episode: "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer"
2006 Jane Doe: The Harder They Fall Stella Andre Television film
2006 The New Adventures of Old Christine Liz Episode: “Teach Your Children Well”
2007 Crossing Jordan Elaine Tallridge Episode: "Seven Feet Under"
2007–2010 Smallville Lara-El 3 episodes
2009 Supernatural Susan Carter Episode: "Family Remains"
2009 Eleventh Hour Susan Wynne Episode: "Medea"
2009 Greek Dr. Magda Stephanopoulos Episode: "Guilty Treasures"
2010–2011 Gigantic Jennifer Brooks 10 episodes
2010 CSI: NY Elizabeth Harris Episode: "Do Not Pass Go"
2011 Private Practice Erin Episode: "Two Steps Back"
2011 Rock the House Diane Petersen Television film
2011 Drop Dead Diva Penny Brecker Episode: "Hit and Run"
2011–2013 The Lying Game Kristin Mercer Main cast
2013 The Good Mother Cheryl Jordan Television film
2014 Caper Luke's Mom Episode: "All Hands on Peltas". YouTube and Hulu series.[17]
2014 The Young and the Restless Dr. Chiverton 4 episodes[18]
2015 Mad Men Sheila Episode: "Person to Person"
2015–present Supergirl Eliza Danvers 12 episodes
2015 Agent X Helen Eckhart Episode: "Fidelity"
2016 DC Super Hero Girls: Super Hero High Martha Kent (voice) Television film[13]

Other works[edit]

Stage work[edit]

In 1987, Slater co-founded the New York theater group, The Naked Angels, with Gina Gershon. And in 1991, she also co-founded, with her husband, Robert Watzke, the L.A. based theater group The Bubalaires.[19]

Slater appeared in two off-Broadway plays: "Almost Romance" and "Responsible Parties". She also starred in "The Big Deal" at the Pasadena Playhouse.[20]

Musical career[edit]

In 2003, she released a CD, One of These Days, consisting of her original songs. The tracks were real-time recordings with Slater singing and playing piano, accompanied by six other musicians; no multitracking, editing, or dubbing was employed. In 2005, she released a second CD, Crossword, which used the same recording approach as the first CD. Both albums were produced by Phillip Swann. In 2008, Cortes Alexander recorded Slater's "Any Day Now" and "Love'll Come & Do Just That" on his album Swell.[21]


In 2010, Slater wrote a Supergirl story titled "A Hero's Journey" which appeared in the fiftieth issue of the fifth volume of the Supergirl comic book.[22]


In 1985, DC Comics named Slater as one of the honorees in the company's 50th anniversary publication Fifty Who Made DC Great for her work on the Supergirl film.[23]


  1. ^ Pantozzi, Jill (2009-12-07). "Helen Slater is Still "Super"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2010-10-09.
  2. ^ "60 SECONDS: Helen Slater". Metro. Retrieved 2010-10-09.
  3. ^ "Supermensch: Jewish actors save the world". Haaretz.com.
  4. ^ "JUF : Tweens : Celebrities : Avi Arad". www.juf.org.
  5. ^ "Jews in the News: Gal Gadot, Scarlett Johansson and Billy Crystal | Tampa JCCs and Federation". www.jewishtampa.com.
  6. ^ "Helen Slater Biography – Yahoo! Movies".
  7. ^ Gelder, Lawrence Van (1985-03-03). "Long Islanders; a 'supergirl' Continues to Live up to the Title". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-01-27.
  8. ^ Clark, Krystal (2015-01-22). "Exclusive: Helen Slater reveals how she became the 1st Supergirl, talks CBS reboot". Syfy. Archived from the original on 2018-01-27. Retrieved 2018-01-27.
  9. ^ Hunter, Rob (August 7, 2014). "28 Things We Learned from 'The Legend of Billie Jean' Commentary". Filmschoolrejects.com. Retrieved November 23, 2015.
  10. ^ a b "Helen Slater | Biography, Movie Highlights and Photos". AllMovie. Retrieved 2020-12-23.
  11. ^ a b "Helen Slater Filmography". BFI. Retrieved 2020-12-23.
  12. ^ a b "Helen Slater". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2020-12-23.
  13. ^ a b "Helen Slater". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved 2020-12-23.
  14. ^ "Helen Slater". TV.com. Retrieved 2020-12-23.
  15. ^ "Improv Tonite. S3, E4: Helen Slater, Tim Bedore, Rob Schneider, Paula Poundstone". Apple TV. Retrieved 2020-12-23.
  16. ^ a b "Slater, Helen 1963–". Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2020-12-23.
  17. ^ "All Hands on Peltas: Caper | Chapter 8". YouTube. 2014-03-26. Retrieved 2020-12-23.
  18. ^ "Exclusive: Helen Slater Joins The Young and the Restless". TV Guide. 2014-04-11. Retrieved 2020-12-23.
  19. ^ "Overview for Helen Slater". TCM. 2018-11-05. Archived from the original on 2018-11-05. Retrieved 2020-12-23.
  20. ^ "Photo Flash: Helen Slater Attends Closing Night of "Invincible, The Legend of Billie Jean"". BroadwayWorld. 2012-06-04. Retrieved 2020-12-23.
  21. ^ Saporito, Joseph R., Cortés Alexander, Thou ‘Swell’, qmetropolis.com, March 18, 2009.
  22. ^ Supergirl #50 at the Grand Comics Database
  23. ^ Marx, Barry, Cavalieri, Joey and Hill, Thomas (w), Petruccio, Steven (a), Marx, Barry (ed). "Helen Slater Supergirl Comes to Film" Fifty Who Made DC Great: 51 (1985), DC Comics

External links[edit]