logo
Debra Winger | Source: Getty Images
Debra Winger | Source: Getty Images

Debra Winger, Who Had Brain Hemorrhage & Was Paralyzed on One Side, Looks Unrecognizable – Her Transformation

Gaone Pule
Jun 27, 2024
09:28 A.M.
  • Debra Winger experienced a life-altering accident as a teenager.
  • It took her nearly 12 months to recover.
  • She was spotted in public last month, looking unrecognizable.
Advertisement

Debra Winger had a near-death experience that left her with an injury. It took almost a year for her to recover. Over the years, she has transformed significantly. Let's take a look at how her appearance has changed.

Advertisement
Debra Winger pictured on January 1, 1980 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Debra Winger pictured on January 1, 1980 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

When she was 17, veteran star Debra Winger got severely injured while playing a troll in a Christmas amusement park show in California. She was warned about being responsible for the expensive costume, but unfortunately, she encountered a mishap. She recounted the incident in her book.

Debra Winger during "Cannery Row" wrap party at MGM Studios on March 21, 1981 in Culver City, California. | Source: Getty Images

Debra Winger during "Cannery Row" wrap party at MGM Studios on March 21, 1981 in Culver City, California. | Source: Getty Images

Advertisement

Winger reportedly wrote, "When I saw it slipping off the back of the small truck, I reached for it. At the moment I stood, the driver swerved." As a result, she was thrown off the vehicle and hit the asphalt.

Debra Winger during the 54th Academy Awards on March 29, 1982 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

Debra Winger during the 54th Academy Awards on March 29, 1982 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

The next moment, she woke up in the hospital after suffering a brain hemorrhage. She was left completely blind and paralyzed on one side. Winger said, "I have no separation, timewise, from that experience. It doesn't get softer. It doesn't fade."

Debra Winger and John Travolta on the set of "Urban Cowboy," in 1980. | Source: Getty Images

Debra Winger and John Travolta on the set of "Urban Cowboy," in 1980. | Source: Getty Images

Advertisement

It took Winger nearly a year to recover and afterward, she pursued acting. She had a brief stint in "Wonder Woman" and later landed her first big role in "Urban Cowboy" alongside John Travolta. She replaced Sissy Spacek in the film.

Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger and Jack Nicholson on the set of "Terms of Endearment," in 1983. | Source: Getty Images

Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger and Jack Nicholson on the set of "Terms of Endearment," in 1983. | Source: Getty Images

Winger also starred in "Cannery Row," in 1982 and "Terms of Endearment" in 1983. But it was her 1980 role in "Urban Cowboy" that brought her recognition from audiences and critics alike.

Debra Winger on the set of "Terms of Endearment," in 1983 | Source: Getty Images

Debra Winger on the set of "Terms of Endearment," in 1983 | Source: Getty Images

Advertisement

Two years later, Winger appeared in "An Officer and a Gentleman." Film critic Pauline Kael praised her performance in The New Yorker, writing, "Debra Winger has (and she has it right to her fingertips) . . . the vividness of those we call 'born' performers." The role earned Winger an Academy Award nomination.

Debra Winger attends the National Association of Theater Owners Annual Convention at Sheraton Hotel on November 3, 1984, in Washington, District of Columbia. | Source: Getty Images

Debra Winger attends the National Association of Theater Owners Annual Convention at Sheraton Hotel on November 3, 1984, in Washington, District of Columbia. | Source: Getty Images

Winger had no acting training when she burst onto the scene. However, she made up for that by completely immersing herself in her roles. "I wanted only to be a documentation of the character. No acting techniques needed — I would simply exist inside her reality, and they would film it," Winger explained.

Debra Winger at the inaugural Farm Aid benefit concert at Veteran's Stadium on September 22, 1985, in Champaign, Illinois. | Source: Getty Images

Debra Winger at the inaugural Farm Aid benefit concert at Veteran's Stadium on September 22, 1985, in Champaign, Illinois. | Source: Getty Images

Advertisement

Early in her career, Winger butted heads with her co-workers and was labeled difficult to work with by directors. She stood up for herself regardless.

Debra Winger during an appearance at a Tim Wirth fund raiser at the Piranha Room on September 27, 1986 | Source: Getty Images

Debra Winger during an appearance at a Tim Wirth fund raiser at the Piranha Room on September 27, 1986 | Source: Getty Images

Looking back at those experiences in an August 2021 interview, Winger said, "I felt like I was in very abusive situations, but it was my responsibility to buck up and get strong."

Debra Winger and Timothy Hutton during 1987 Student Film Awards on June 6, 1987, in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

Debra Winger and Timothy Hutton during 1987 Student Film Awards on June 6, 1987, in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

Advertisement

On the set of "An Officer and a Gentleman," someone offered Winger water retention pills to lose weight. Because she was young, she did not know what they were but managed to refuse to take them.

Debra Winger during 1987 Student Film Awards on June 6, 1987 in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

Debra Winger during 1987 Student Film Awards on June 6, 1987 in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

Asked how she garnered the confidence to say no, Winger shared that her mother did not teach her that. "I didn’t have great men around me growing up. I just felt strong enough to say no," she divulged.

Debra Winger attends the premiere of "Un Tea in the Sahara," 1990 | Source: Getty Images

Debra Winger attends the premiere of "Un Tea in the Sahara," 1990 | Source: Getty Images

Advertisement

Amid her rise to fame, Winger married her first husband, actor and filmmaker Timothy Hutton, in 1986. The couple attended the Student Film Awards in 1987 in California. That same year, they welcomed their son, Noah Hutton. Following five years of marriage, the duo divorced in 1990.

Debra Winger on the set of "A Dangerous Woman," 1993 | Source: Getty Images

Debra Winger on the set of "A Dangerous Woman," 1993 | Source: Getty Images

Three years later, after earning her third Oscar nomination in 1993 for her role in "Shadowlands," Winger decided Hollywood was no longer a place for her. In 1995, she officially left show business when she was 40 years old.

Debra Winger during American Museum of the Moving Image Tribute to Al Pacino at Waldorf Astoria Hotel on February 20, 1993 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Debra Winger during American Museum of the Moving Image Tribute to Al Pacino at Waldorf Astoria Hotel on February 20, 1993 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Advertisement

At the time, the Ohio native was in the first tier of American film actresses. It was not an easy choice for Winger, who had been telling herself to stop acting and even nearly dared herself to do it for several years.

Arliss Howard and Debra Winger attend the Westwood premiere of "Shadowlands," 1993 | Source: Getty Images

Arliss Howard and Debra Winger attend the Westwood premiere of "Shadowlands," 1993 | Source: Getty Images

She admitted that she did not have a plan after disappearing from the limelight. Although she was not acting at that point, Winger said she did "a lot of interesting stuff."

Advertisement

She visited developing countries and traveled to remote location shoots. A year after leaving Hollywood, Winger acted onstage with the American Repertory Theater.

The couple welcomed their son, Gideon Babe Ruth Howard, in 1997. Winger paid a birthday tribute to her son in June 2018. Alongside pictures of the family of four on Instagram, she wrote, "Happy Natal Day Babe... it is the hour of your birth + 21 years ... LOVE is the key. Many Happy Returns - thanks for all you’ve taught and will teach me."

Debra Winger pictured at the Royal Festival Hall on January 1, 1994 in London. | Source: Getty Images

Debra Winger pictured at the Royal Festival Hall on January 1, 1994 in London. | Source: Getty Images

The mother of two shared about her life working on the farm. She said on Sundays, she spends much of her time working in her garden, watering and planting. Winger expressed she loves doing all of these, including spending time with her beloved longtime husband and her two sons.

Advertisement
Debra Winger during New World Symphony Benefit on April 20, 1995 in Miami Beach, California. | Source: Getty Images

Debra Winger during New World Symphony Benefit on April 20, 1995 in Miami Beach, California. | Source: Getty Images

Six years into her hiatus, the "Legal Eagles" star participated in a documentary titled "State of the Art," based on how the entertainment industry treats women. The documentary was later retitled "Searching for Debra Winger," which stunned the actress.

Debra Winger at the premiere of "Forget Paris," 1995 | Source: Getty Images

Debra Winger at the premiere of "Forget Paris," 1995 | Source: Getty Images

Advertisement

Winger eventually returned to acting and said it was not a difficult decision to make. However, she initially did not believe she would start working, and once she did, it was challenging.

Debra Winger at the New York City premiere of "In My Country," 2005 | Source: Getty Images

Debra Winger at the New York City premiere of "In My Country," 2005 | Source: Getty Images

"I don’t know that I would advise anyone to step back the way I did," the renowned actress stated. She stopped reading scripts and did not want to do it anymore.

Debra Winger at the "Rachel Getting Married" press conference at the Four Seasons Hotel on September 8, 2008 in Toronto, Canada. | Source: Getty Images

Debra Winger at the "Rachel Getting Married" press conference at the Four Seasons Hotel on September 8, 2008 in Toronto, Canada. | Source: Getty Images

Advertisement

Winger had her second child and became a lecturer at Harvard University. She became happier than she had been in Hollywood. Yet her decision to leave showbiz was reportedly organic, and she did not plan an exit.

Debra Winger attends the screening of "Rachel Getting Married" at Landmark Sunshine Theater on September 25, 2008 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Debra Winger attends the screening of "Rachel Getting Married" at Landmark Sunshine Theater on September 25, 2008 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Winger later remarried in 1996 to another actor and screenwriter Arliss Howard, and they have been married for 27 years. She gushed about their marriage in a 2008 interview, saying, "A good marriage is different from a happy marriage. Happy is a tough word. But I did marry...well!"

Debra Winger visits Build Studio on May 4, 2017 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Debra Winger visits Build Studio on May 4, 2017 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Advertisement

The couple welcomed their son, Gideon Babe Ruth Howard, in 1997. Winger paid a birthday tribute to her youngest son in June 2018. Alongside pictures of the family of four on Instagram, she wrote, "Happy Natal Day Babe... it is the hour of your birth + 21 years ... LOVE is the key. Many Happy Returns - thanks for all you’ve taught and will teach me."

In addition to being a family woman, Winger juggles her Hollywood career with life on a farm in Sullivan County, New York. "There’s a lot of living that needs to be done," Winger expressed in a 2017 interview.

Debra Winger visits Build Studio on May 4, 2017 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Debra Winger visits Build Studio on May 4, 2017 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

It has been 44 years since Winger starred in the hit film "Urban Cowboy," and she reportedly looks unrecognizable. In April 2024, she stepped out for the "Drive-Away Dolls" premiere in New York.

Advertisement

At the event, the Golden Globe nominee wore her curly silver hair down. As for her outfit, she opted for a black blazer paired with a blue blouse, loose-fitting dark trousers, and black boots.

Debra Winger and Gideon Babe Ruth Howard attend the premiere of "Drive-Away Dolls," 2024 | Source: Getty Images

Debra Winger and Gideon Babe Ruth Howard attend the premiere of "Drive-Away Dolls," 2024 | Source: Getty Images

Winger accessorized with a multi-colored check scarf and dark-rimmed glasses. She was accompanied by her youngest son, who posed with her on the red carpet.

Although Winger, who turns 69 next year, appeared barely recognizable since her heyday, she still opts for a similar fashion choice as she did back in the day. This includes her thick, once-brunette curls and minimal makeup.

Debra Winger during an appearance on "Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen" on October 30, 2018 | Source: Getty Images

Debra Winger during an appearance on "Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen" on October 30, 2018 | Source: Getty Images

Advertisement

Debra Winger's transformation over the years shows her resilience and adaptability. Despite the life-altering accident and the challenges she faced in Hollywood, she has continued to evolve, both personally and professionally.

Her journey from a young actress dealing with severe injuries to a veteran star who took a break from Hollywood to find herself and then returned stronger is inspiring.

Advertisement
Advertisement
info

The information in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, and images contained on news.AmoMama.com, or available through news.AmoMama.com is for general information purposes only. news.AmoMama.com does not take responsibility for any action taken as a result of reading this article. Before undertaking any course of treatment please consult with your healthcare provider.

info

news.AmoMama.com does not support or promote any kind of violence, self-harm, or abusive behavior. We raise awareness about these issues to help potential victims seek professional counseling and prevent anyone from getting hurt. news.AmoMama.com speaks out against the above mentioned and news.AmoMama.com advocates for a healthy discussion about the instances of violence, abuse, sexual misconduct, animal cruelty, abuse etc. that benefits the victims. We also encourage everyone to report any crime incident they witness as soon as possible.

Related posts

Shelley Duvall Dies a Few Days after Her 75th Birthday – Details & Her Last Interview

July 11, 2024

Woman Demands Husband to Get His Stuff Out after Supporting Him for 23 Years — Story of the Day

March 26, 2024

What Happened to 80s Star Cybill Shepherd after Her Romance Ruined Her Reputation?

July 17, 2024

This Famous Actress Reveals Secret of Decade-Long Relationship with Woman Who Is 31 Years Older – Their Story

May 20, 2024

Meg Ryan's High-Profile Return to Hollywood after 9 Years – Fans Are Taken Aback by the Change in Her Appearance

June 26, 2024

5 Celebrities Who Don't Look the Same as in the 80s – Photos of Radical Transformations

May 04, 2024

7 Beauties of the Past: How Famous Actresses Have Changed over Decades

April 16, 2024

Tippi Hedren - The Director's Obsession That Stopped Her Career & the Role That Led to Health Problems

July 08, 2024

‘Matilda’ Star Mara Wilson, 36, Stuns in Red Dress That Looks Like a ‘Hair Bow’ at Rare Public Appearance

March 26, 2024

What Happened to Morgan Freeman's Granddaughter, Who Suddenly Died at 33?

May 29, 2024

Adrienne Barbeau Is Amazing as Ever at 79: Her Transformation in Photos

June 11, 2024

'Little House on the Prairie' Turns 50 This Year – How the Cast Has Changed over the Decades

May 15, 2024

Little Son Goes to Widowed Mom’s Boss to Ask for a Day Off, Next Day Boss Meets Her with Bouquet – Story of the Day

May 08, 2024

This Woman Was Not Allowed to Visit Sick Star Dad & Was Banned from His Funeral by Stepmom

June 05, 2024