|Born||Helen Rachel Slater
December 15, 1963
Bethpage, New York, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Robert Watzke (m. 1989)|
|Children||Hannah Nika (b. 1995)|
Helen Slater (born December 15, 1963) is an American actress and singer-songwriter. She appeared as the Kryptonian superheroine in TriStar's 1984 film Supergirl. In the following years, she starred in several successful comedy-drama films such as 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). She was a series regular for the two-season run (2011–2013) on the ABC Family series The Lying Game.
In the 2000s, Slater recorded four albums, singing her own compositions and playing the piano.
Slater was born in Bethpage, New York, the daughter of Alice Joan (née Citrin), a lawyer and nuclear disarmament peace activist based in New York City, and Gerald Slater, a television executive; the two divorced in 1974. She has a brother, David, who is a lawyer in New York City. Her family is Jewish. Slater attended Great Neck South High School and then transferred to the High School of Performing Arts from which she was graduated in 1982. She is not related to actor Christian Slater.
Film and television work
Slater made her acting debut in the ABC Afterschool Special "Amy & the Angel", aired in 1982, alongside James Earl Jones, Meg Ryan, and Matthew Modine. This was also the only film she appeared in exclusively as a brunette . In 1984, she played the title character, versus Faye Dunaway as Selena, in the film Supergirl. The film, directed by Jeannot Szwarc and including other big names like Mia Farrow and Peter O'Toole, received mixed reviews, and was not a box-office success. The film was cited as a reason for publisher DC killing off the original comics character (Supergirl (Kara Zor-El)) in 1985, though a new "Supergirl" soon appeared. Slater's performance was not generally blamed. The film eventually gained a cult following since its release.
In her next film, Slater was cast alongside Christian Slater (no relation) and Yeardley Smith as Billie Jean Davy, a folk hero that styles herself as a modern day Joan of Arc, in the film The Legend of Billie Jean (1985). Next she appeared in two high-profile comedies, Ruthless People (1986) and The Secret of My Success (1987). More high-profile roles followed when she appeared in the cult classic independent comedy Sticky Fingers (1988) with longtime friend Melanie Mayron, City Slickers (1991) with Billy Crystal, the steamy A House in the Hills (1993) with Michael Madsen, and the action-crime drama No Way Back opposite Russell Crowe (1996). Other noteworthy performances were seen in films including 12:01 (1993), Betrayal of the Dove, and opposite Andy Richter in Seeing Other People (2004).
Slater has appeared on episodes of various television series, including The New Adventures of Old Christine, Supernatural, four episodes as the voice of Talia in Batman: The Animated Series, and others. She was a series regular on the half-season run of the 1990 ABC newsroom drama Capital News and the 2011–2013 two season run of the ABC Family series The Lying Game.
During her career, Slater has maintained direct and indirect ties to her 1984 role of Supergirl. She made a brief guest appearance on Seinfeld as a love interest of Jerry Seinfeld, who in reality is a huge fan of the Superman universe. Slater made a return to the Superman franchise, as she was seen in a recurring role as Clark Kent's biological mother, Lara, on the Superman-themed TV series Smallville. In 2015 she would be playing Supergirl's foster mother in the TV show Supergirl.
Slater was a spokeswoman for Preference by L'Oréal in both television and print ads.
Slater co-founded the New York theater group, The Naked Angels, with Gina Gershon. Her stage credits include appearances in Grease and Shakespeare and Friends. Off-Broadway, she starred in Responsible Parties and Almost Romance. She also attended classes at both N.Y.U. and U.C.L.A., to broaden her acting abilities.
Slater has stated that she pursued musical efforts even before doing movies. In the 1989 Patrick Dempsey romcom Happy Together, she sang a medley of Broadway songs as well other songs. In the 1994 movie Lassie, she also sang. For the soundtrack of the film Nowhere In Sight (2000), she contributed the song "The Detour".
In 2003, she released a CD, One of These Days, consisting of her original songs. Notably, the tracks were real-time recordings with Slater singing and playing piano, plus six other musicians total; no multitracking, editing, or dubbing were employed. In 2005, she released a second CD, Crossword, using the same recording approach as the first CD. Both albums were produced by Phil Swann. In 2008 Cortes Alexander recorded Slater's "Any Day Now" and "Love'll Come & Do Just That" on his album Swell. Her third album, Shine, was released in late 2010.
She married filmmaker Robert Watzke in September 1989. Their daughter, Hannah Nika, was born August 28, 1995.
|1982||ABC Afterschool Special||Amy Watson||Episode “Amy & the Angel”|
|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|
|Improv Tonite||Herself||Guest host|
|1989||Happy Together||Alexandra Page|
|1990||The Great Air Race||Jacqui Cochrane||TV movie|
|Capital News||Anne McKenna||TV movie|
|1991||City Slickers||Bonnie Rayburn|
|The Hidden Room||Lauren||Episode: “Wasting Away”|
|1992||Seinfeld||Becky Gelke||Episode: “The Good Samaritan”|
|Dream On||Sarah||Episode: "Theory of Relativity"|
|Betrayal of the Dove||Ellie West|
|1992–1994||The Adventures of Batman & Robin||Talia (voice role)||4 episodes|
|1993||12:01||Lisa Fredericks||TV movie|
|Chantilly Lace||Hannah||TV movie|
|A House In The Hills||Alex Weaver|
|Parallel Lives||Elsa Freedman||TV movie|
|No Way Back||Mary|
|1997||The Long Way Home||Herself||Voice role|
|Caroline in the City||Cassandra Thompson||Caroline and the Monkeys|
|Toothless||Katherine's Mom||TV movie|
|1997–1998||Michael Hayes||Julie Siegel||3 episodes|
|1998||Best Friends for Life||Pammy Cahill||TV movie|
|2000||American Adventure||Kathy||TV movie|
|2001||Nowhere in Sight||Carly Bauers|
|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”|
|Seeing Other People||Penelope|
|2005||Grey's Anatomy||Nadia Shelton||Episode: "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer"|
|2006||Jane Doe: The Harder They Fall||Stella Andre||TV movie|
|The New Adventures of Old Christine||Liz||Episode: “Teach Your Children Well”|
|2007||Crossing Jordan||Elaine Tallridge||Episode: “Seven Feet Under”|
|2009||Supernatural||Susan Carter||Episode: “Family Remains”|
|Eleventh Hour||Susan Wynne||Episode: “Medea”|
|Greek||Dr. Magda Stephanopoulos||Episode: “Guilty Treasures”|
|2010||Rock the House||Diane Petersen||TV movie|
|CSI: NY||Elizabeth Harris||Episode: “Do Not Pass Go”|
|2010–2011||Gigantic||Jennifer Brooks||10 episodes|
|2011||Private Practice||Erin||Episode: “Two Steps Back”|
|Rock the House||Diane Petersen||TV movie|
|Drop Dead Diva||Penny Brecker||Episode: “Hit and Run”|
|2011– 2013||The Lying Game||Kristin Mercer||Series regular|
|2013||The Good Mother||Cheryl Jordan||TV movie|
|2014||The Young and the Restless||Dr. Chiverton||Daytime drama|
|2015||Mad Men||Sheila||Episode: "Person to Person"|
- One of These Days (2003)
- Crossword (2005)
- Shine (2010)
- Myths of Ancient Greece (2013)
- Pantozzi, Jill (2009-12-07). "Helen Slater is Still "Super"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2010-10-09.
- "60 SECONDS: Helen Slater". Metro. Retrieved 2010-10-09.
- Helen Slater Biography (1963–)
- Helen Slater Biography – Yahoo! Movies
- Helen Slater
- Saporito, Joseph R., Cortés Alexander, Thou ‘Swell’, qmetropolis.com, March 18, 2009
- 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
- Supergirl #50 at the Grand Comics Database
- Official website
- Helen Slater at the Internet Movie Database
- "My Dinner with Supergirl", People magazine, December 3, 1984, Vol. 22 No. 23; interview with Helen Slater, on newsstands during Supergirl's U.S. release.
- Helen Slater Interactive Home Page defunct fan page through Archive  most recent archived version