Marta Heflin

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Marta Heflin
Michelle Heflin

March 29, 1945
DiedSeptember 18, 2013 (aged 68)
Manhattan, NY, U.S.

Marta Heflin (March 29, 1945 – September 18, 2013) was an American actress who appeared in several Robert Altman films, including Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean and A Perfect Couple.[1][2][3][4][5] Known for her waifish appearance, Heflin also acted in various New York stage musicals prior to her film career, such as Fiddler on the Roof, Hair, and Jesus Christ Superstar.[2]

Marta was the daughter of American theatre producer and journalist Julia Heflin and public relations executive Martin Heflin.[2] She was the niece of Oscar-winning actor Van Heflin and actress Frances Heflin.[1]

After struggling with prolonged illness, Heflin died in Manhattan at the age of 68.[1] In 2014, the Marta Heflin Foundation, a private grant-making foundation that supports the work of other charitable organizations, was set up as part of her legacy.[6]

Film career[edit]

After appearing in a number of stage musicals in New York in the 1960s and 70s, Heflin made her transition to the small screen in the soap opera The Doctors.[2] Next came a supporting role as Quentin in Frank Pierson's 1976 remake of A Star Is Born, starring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson.[7] After working with director Robert Altman in the comedy of manners A Wedding (1978), Heflin was handpicked to replace actress Sandy Dennis in the role of Sheila Shea, a rock singer who dates an older Greek-American businessman after meeting him through a videotape computer dating service, in Altman's film A Perfect Couple (1979).[1]

In the 1980s, Heflin appeared in two TV movies: Playing for Time (1980), a drama set in a concentration camp starring Vanessa Redgrave, and The Gentleman Bandit (1981), which followed a priest falsely accused of a string of armed robberies.[2] In 1982, Heflin reunited with Altman for the Broadway production of Ed Graczyk's play Come Back to the Five and Dime, in which she played Edna Louise, a member of an all-female fan club named the Disciples of James Dean.[1] She reprised the role in Altman's film adaptation of the play later that year.[1]


In 2014, the Marta Heflin Foundation was established to support the work of other charitable organizations.[6] Heflin's private Foundation has since awarded PAWS NY with a $10,000 grant for its Foster and Emergency Care Program, which provides care for pets whose guardians are facing health emergencies of their own.[8]


Film and television
Year Title Role Notes
1969 The Doctors Shana Golan Regular role, 38 episodes
1976 A Star Is Born Quentin
1978 A Wedding Shelby Munker
1979 A Perfect Couple Sheila Shea
1980 Playing for Time Esther TV movie
1981 The Gentleman Bandit Marie TV movie
1982 Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean Edna Louise
1982 The King of Comedy Young Girl (final film role)


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Actress Marta Heflin Dies at 68". The Hollywood Reporter. 2011-11-17. Retrieved 2013-09-27.
  2. ^ a b c d e Marta Heflin, Actor, Dies at 68; Waif Seen in Altman Films, The New York Times
  3. ^ "Marta Heflin Dies, Actress Often Worked with Robert Altman". Retrieved 12 October 2013.
  4. ^ "Marta Heflin, Film and Broadway Actress, Dies at 68". Retrieved 12 October 2013.
  5. ^ "Actress Marta Heflin Dies at 68". Retrieved 12 October 2013.
  6. ^ a b "Charity Navigator - Unrated Profile for Marta Heflin Foundation". Charity Navigator. Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  7. ^ "Marta Heflin". IMDb. Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  8. ^ "PAWS NY Receives Grant From Marta Heflin Foundation To Formalize Innovative Foster and Emergency Care Program – PAWS NY". Retrieved 2019-03-10.

External links[edit]

Marta Heflin at IMDb