Who is Kathleen Quinlan?

American actress, movie producer and director Kathleen Denise Quinlan Abbott, was born in Pasadena, California USA, on 19 November 1954 under the zodiac sign of Scorpio. She’s appeared in more than 100 movies and TV series, and is perhaps still best known for her portrayal of Marilyn Lovell in the 1995 mystery adventure movie “Apollo 13”, which Ron Howard directed, and which starred Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton and Tom Hanks in the true story of three astronauts who are trying to land their spacecraft Apollo 13 safely on Earth; the film won 30 awards, including two Oscars for Best Film Editing and Best Sound.

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Education and early life

American TV sports director Robert Quinlan and American military supply supervisor Josephine (nee Zachry) raised their daughter Kathleen in Mill Valley, California as an only child.

She became interested in acting while studying at Tamalpais High School; Kathleen was a member of the school’s drama club, and was 17 when she made her debut film appearance in the 1972 drama “One is a Lonely Number”. She gained recognition the following year, when cast to play Peg in the evergreen comedy movie “American Graffiti”, written and directed by George Lucas, and which starred Paul Le Mat, Ron Howard and Richard Dreyfuss. It follows several teenagers who are about to matriculate from a local high school; the movie won nine of its 27 award nominations, the latter including for five Oscar nominations.

Kathleen matriculated in 1973, and then moved to Los Angeles, California in pursuit of an acting career, rather than enrolling at college.

Roles in TV series

Kathleen’s debut TV series appearance was in the 1973 episode “Understanding” of the action adventure comedy “Emergency!”, while she then appeared in an episode or two of the action crime dramas “Police Woman” and “Kojak”, and the sports drama “Lucas Tanner”.

The year 1976 saw her play Selina Linville in the popular romantic family drama “The Waltons”, created by Earl Hamner Jr, and which starred Jon Walmsley, Mary Beth McDonough and Eric Scott. It follows the lives of members of the Virginia’s Walton family in the ‘30s and ‘40s, the series aired from 1972 to 1981, and won 33 of its 86 award nominations, the latter of which included 13 Primetime Emmys.

Kathleen had no TV series roles in the next 10 years, next being in the 1986 episode “The Canary Sedan” of the mystery crime drama “Alfred Hitchcock Presents”. She continued focusing on appearing in movies in the ‘90s, but also appeared in an episode of the drama “Tribeca”, the horror thriller drama “The Hidden Room”, and the romantic drama “Picture Windows”.

Between 1999 and 2002, she starred as Lynn Holt in all the 68 episodes of the romantic comedy drama “Family Law”, which Anne Kenney created, and which co-starred Merrilee McCommas and Christopher McDonald. It follows a law company which specializes in family law, and the series won seven of its 16 award nominations.

Kathleen played Arlene McNeil in the 2006 episode “Meaning” of the hit mystery drama “House”, and was then cast to appear in the 2007 episode “Monster in the Box” of the mystery crime drama “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”, and eight episodes of the critically acclaimed action crime drama “Prison Break” in 2008 and 2009.

Between 2012 and 2014, she portrayed Jessica in seven episodes of the drama “Blue”; it starred Julia Stiles, Uriah Shelton and Brooklyn Lowe, and follows a mother who’ll do whatever it takes to prevent her son from learning about her past.

Kathleen’s since appeared in two more TV series: the episode “Say Goodbye” of the mystery crime drama “How to Get Away with Murder”, and the episode “Lord of Lies” of the action science fiction drama “Runaways”, both in 2019.

Roles in movies

Kathleen attracted a lot of attention with her portrayal of Julie in the 1977 action thriller drama “Airport ‘77”, directed by Jerry Jameson, and which starred Jack Lemmon, Lee Grant and Joseph Cotton. It follows art thieves who’ve hijacked and crashed an airplane into the ocean, while they and the passengers are now trapped over 30 meters under water; the movie was nominated for four awards, including two Oscars for Best Costume Design and Best Art Direction – Set Decoration.

A couple of Kathleen’s following notable performances were in the 1983 science fiction horror “Twilight Zone: The Movie”, the 1985 science fiction thriller drama “Warning Sign” and the 1988 mystery crime thriller “Sunset”.

The year 1994 saw her play Wanda in the popular crime thriller drama “Trial by Jury”, written and directed by Heywood Gould, and which starred Joanne Whalley, Armand Assante and Gabriel Byrne; it follows juror Valerie who’s being threatened by the mafia. A couple of other popular movies in which Kathleen appeared in the ‘90s were the adventure family comedy “Zeus and Roxanne”, and the horror science fiction thriller “Event Horizon” both in ’97, and the 1998 drama “A Civil Action”.

What marked the 2000s for her was probably her portrayal of Ethel in the 2006 hit horror thriller “The Hills Have Eyes”, directed by Alexandre Aja, and in which she starred alongside Dan Byrd and Ted Levine. It follows a family who’ve been attacked by cannibals in a desert, and the film won two of its 15 award nominations.

Kathleen could then have been seen playing Mary Bernstein in the 2009 comedy “Adult Film: A Hollywood Tale”, Audrey in the 2012 romantic comedy “Life’s an Itch”, and Carol in the 2017 drama “Elizabeth Blue”.

Her most recent film role has been her portrayal of Sheila Amable-Amo in the 2021 comedy “Walking with Herb”, while she’s currently shooting for the upcoming short comedy “The Fixer-Upper”.

Other credits

Kathleen sang the song “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean” in the 2006 movie “The Hills Have Eyes”.

She received special thanks for the 1996 documentary video “Lost Moon: The Triumph of Apollo 13”, and the 2021 documentary movie “Organized Chaos – An Interview with Actress Kathleen Quinlan”.

Kathleen produced the 2010 comedy movie “Eagles in the Chicken Coop”, and directed the 2019 short drama movie “The Diamond Girls”; she’s both the producer and director of the upcoming short film “The Fixer-Upper”.

She’s appeared in an episode of the talk-shows “Hollywood Squares”, “Biography” and “CBS Cares”, amongst others.

Awards and nominations

Kathleen’s won six of her 17 award nominations – she was nominated for a 1978 Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama for “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, for  a 1996 Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, and a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture, both for “Apollo 13”.

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Posted by Theatre World Awards on Friday, November 20, 2020

Love life and husband

Kathleen’s married twice; she exchanged vows with her first husband, American actor Warren Long on 19 December 1987, in a rather small and private ceremony attended by not more than 50 people; Warren’s appeared in only a single movie, the 1988 drama “Clara’s Heart”. Neither has shared the date of their divorce, but it’s believed that it was finalized in 1989; they don’t have children together.

Kathleen married her second husband Bruce Abbott on 12 April 1994, following a five-year relationship; he’s an American actor and movie director, and has appeared in nearly 40 movies and TV series, while he’s probably still best known for his playing of Dan Cain in the 1985 science fiction horror comedy movie “Re-Animator”. Kathleen and Bruce have a son Tyler Quinlan Abbott, born on 17 October 1990.

Kathleen hasn’t mentioned other men whom she’s perhaps dated; she’s married to her second husband Bruce Abbott as of September 2022, and has a son with him.

Interesting facts and hobbies

Kathleen was physically quite active during her teenage years, and was a gymnast while attending Tamalpais High School.

She was nearly cast to play Clarice Starling, one of the lead characters in the evergreen 1991 crime thriller film “The Silence of the Lambs”; Jodie Foster was chosen to play the role instead, and won an Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance.

Kathleen loves being close to the ocean, and enjoyed shooting for the movie “Airport ‘77” because she spent two days shooting underwater in the open ocean, and was able to spend time with dolphins.

She has an Instagram account and has posted close to 100 pictures and videos, but is only followed by nearly 1,500 people.

Kathleen’s favorite actors are Brad Pitt and Clint Eastwood, and some of her favorite movies are “Fight Club”, “Se7en” and “Troy”.

Height, eyes and net worth

Kathleen’s age is 67. Her hair’s gray and eyes are blue, her height’s 5ft 5ins (1.65m) and her weight is 125lbs (57kgs).

Kathleen’s net worth’s been estimated at over $6 million, as of September 2022.

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