Priscilla Pointer

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Priscilla Pointer
Michael Dunn Priscilla Pointer The Inner Journey.JPG
Priscilla Pointer and Michael Dunn (c. 1968)
Priscilla Marie Pointer

(1924-05-18) May 18, 1924 (age 97)
New York City, U.S.
Years active1954–2010
(m. 1947; died 1979)

(m. 1980; died 2007)
Children3, including David Irving and Amy Irving

Priscilla Marie Pointer[1] (born May 18, 1924) is an American stage, film, and television character actress. She began her career in the theater, including productions on Broadway. Later, Pointer moved to Hollywood to act in films and on television. She is the mother of Amy Irving, therefore making her the former mother-in-law of filmmakers Steven Spielberg and Bruno Barreto and the mother-in-law of documentary filmmaker Kenneth Bowser, Jr.

Personal life[edit]

Pointer was born in New York City. Her mother Augusta Leonora (née Davis) was an artist and an illustrator, and her father Kenneth Keith Pointer was an artist.[1][2] One of her maternal great-grandfathers, Jacob Barrett Cohen, was from a Jewish family that had lived in the United States since the 1700s.[1][3][4]

Pointer was married to film and stage director Jules Irving, former artistic director of Lincoln Center, from 1947 until his death in 1979; they are the parents of Katie Irving, director David Irving, and actress Amy Irving.[5] In 1980, she married actor/director/producer Robert Symonds, who had been Jules Irving's producing partner at Lincoln Center. She appeared several times in stage productions with Symonds, and they remained married until the latter's death in 2007.


Pointer has appeared in many films, including Carrie (1976), in which she played the onscreen mother of Amy Irving's character; The Onion Field (1979); Mommie Dearest (1981); Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983); A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987); David Lynch's Blue Velvet; and Coyote Moon (1999). In addition to Carrie, she has played onscreen mother to Amy Irving in Honeysuckle Rose (1980) and Carried Away (1996). They were both in the films The Competition in 1980 and Micki & Maude in 1984.

Pointer appeared in three films that her son David Irving directed: Rumpelstiltskin (a 1987 musical version, which starred her daughter), Good-bye, Cruel World, and C.H.U.D. II: Bud the C.H.U.D.

Pointer's first starring television role was on Where the Heart Is as Adrienne Harris Rainey (1972–1973). She has made many guest appearances on television, including Adam-12, L.A. Law, The A-Team, Judging Amy, The Rockford Files, and Cold Case.

From 1981 to 1983, Pointer had a recurring role on the soap opera Dallas as Rebecca Barnes Wentworth, the mother of Cliff Barnes (Ken Kercheval), Pamela Barnes Ewing (Victoria Principal), and Katherine Wentworth (Morgan Brittany).

TV and Filmography (partial)[edit]


  1. ^ a b c
  2. ^ "Priscilla Pointer Biography (1924-)".
  3. ^ Archives, American Jewish. "First American Jewish Families - American Jewish Archives".
  4. ^ Elzas, Barnett A. (Barnett Abraham) (April 25, 2019). "Jewish marriage notices from the newspaper press of Charleston, S.C., 1775-1906". New York : Bloch Pub. Co. – via Internet Archive.
  5. ^ Fisher, James (2011). Historical Dictionary of Contemporary American Theater: 1930-2010. Scarecrow Press. p. 393. ISBN 9780810879508. Retrieved June 23, 2019.

External links[edit]