Getty Images | Youtube/LemonJuice
Source: Getty Images | Youtube/LemonJuice

Debra Winger Still Saves White Dress from 1st Wedding as It Felt 'Electrifying' Wearing It for Her 2nd Husband

Titi Dokubo
Mar 15, 2022
04:40 P.M.
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Actress Debra Winger is married to her second husband, Arliss Howard, for two-and-a-half decades now. She is also a mom of two, and even her wedding dress got a second life that left her with an "electrifying" feeling.


Debra Winger and her first husband, Timothy Hutton, became first-time parents during their nearly four-year marriage. The actress prepared for single life when she met her second husband of 25 years, Arliss Howard. The couple married and welcomed their only son, her second child.

The "An Officer and a Gentleman" actress is 66 and enjoys her life as a mom of two kids and a beloved wife. Here are all the details of the star's love story and life now.

Debra Winger, in a scene from "An Officer and a Gentleman" [left], Portrait of Debra Winger and Arliss Howard for their movie "Big Bad Love" [right] | Sources: Getty Images, Youtube/LemonJuice


Debra Winger, born on May 16, 1955, wanted to be an actress at 14, and after meeting with celebrated director George Cukor, he told her that she had no walk and no class.

Despite his remarks, she became a star when she got a role in "Urban Cowboy" in 1980. When Winger got her first Oscar nomination for her role in "An Officer and a Gentleman," Cukor died.

In 1980, she spotted her first husband, Timothy Hutton, on TV at the Oscars when he received an award for Best Supporting Actor and fell in love with him.

Debra Winger on Season 15 of "Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen" | Source: Getty Images


In 1983 they met in person talked about everything and anything for six hours. The electricity between them was undeniable, but it scared them, so they stayed away from each other.

Once every six months, they ran into each other and finally stuck together in 1986. Shortly after, they started living together, and in three months, they married on March 16, 1986.

In 1988, a year after they welcomed their first son, Noah, they separated and divorced two years later. Ten years after their divorce, Winger married for a second time.

Debra Winger and Timothy Hutton at the 1987 Student Film Awards | Source: Getty Images


Before Winger married Hutton, she dated Bob Kerrey, a former senator and governor of Nebraska. Kerrey and Winger met while she filmed "Terms of Endearment."

After her divorce, she met Arliss Howard on the "Wilder Napalm" set in 1993. She was wearing the white dress she wore for her wedding to Hutton.

While Howard could feel her coming down the hall, when they shook hands, Winger found it electrifying. At the time, she had decided to live alone and never be with anyone.


Howard loved that Winger knew how to blend in. He said that whenever necessary and Winger wanted people to notice her, she knew how to turn on what he called "the Debra Winger thing."

The couple married on November 28, 1996. After over two decades of being married, Winger believes that the secret to their long marriage is by being awake, alive, holding on to love, being able to light up the other one, and some pixie dust.

Debra Winger and Arliss Howard at the opening night of "Ode To Joy" on February 27, 2014, in New York | Source: Getty Images



At 40, Winger decided to walk away from her blossoming acting career after receiving her third Academy Award nomination. It was a personal decision, and she believed that the idea of Hollywood never existed for her.

The actress was no longer interested in the parts she was getting because she had already done them or felt them. The actress started looking for more challenges.

She soon discovered that her life became more challenging than the roles they offered her, and she decided to live her life fully. Even though she left, she knew she was coming back and didn't announce her hiatus.


In 1995, she paused her career and moved to New York to focus on her marriage and enjoy being a mother as she gave birth to her second son, Babe, at 42. She and Howard got a two-bedroom, two-bathroom co-op to raise their kids.

For six years, she stayed away but kept busy by being involved in charity work, environmental activism, acting onstage, and enjoying the simple things of life like gardening, reading, and raising her children.


During her acting hiatus, apart from having her second child, the "Shadowlands" actress also lost her mum, took up teaching with a Harvard University professor, and lived her life.

In 2001, she returned by starring alongside her husband in "Big Bad Love." On her return, she revealed that it was harder to return to acting than leaving it. However, she knows that nothing lasts in the universe, and change makes up life.



When Winger got married to Howard, she became a stepmother to Sam, Howard's son from a previous marriage. By leaving the industry, she had time to home-school the boys and had no regrets because they were part of her "big life."

Her first son, Noah, became a writer and director of documentary and narrative films. In 2021, he received the Indie Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay for "Lapsis."


The actress was proud to show off her son's achievements on her Instagram page as she showed behind-the-scenes photos from the sci-fi feature.

In 2020, Noah completed his ten-year documentary "In Silico." The documentary supported by Sandbox Films and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation followed a neuroscientist's mission to build a computer simulation of a brain.


When her son Babe graduated in 2019, Winger took to Instagram to celebrate him. She praised his resilience as he silenced her with his depth and kindness.

While she celebrates her children, they also take to their Instagram pages to honor their parents as often as they can. Babe once posted a picture of Winger where he quoted asking her to eat something balanced.


When Howard celebrated his birthday a few years ago, Babe also took to Instagram to wish him a happy birthday as he posted a picture of both of them wearing suits.

On Babe's 21st birthday, Winger posted a collage of images that showed when she was pregnant with him. In the picture, she has Howard standing beside her.

In the following three images, she showed off his growth from when he was a child donned in a pirate's hat to when they took a shot together on the red carpet and when he went camping with his brothers.

In another snapshot on her Instagram, Winger showed off the whole family as they posed for a picture at the Pont Neuf in Paris.