Barkin graduated from Hunter College, the largest college of the City University of New York (CUNY) where she double majored in political science and Spanish. She learned her craft at the Actors Studio, but did not go out on her first professional audition until she was 25 years old.
It was her first role where she was cast as "an object of desire." Barkin displays a touching vulnerability both on screen and off. At Manhattan's High School for the Performing Arts, her parents were called in and told that she had "very little talent and absolutely no spark," and would she please voluntarily withdraw from the school. (Boy, could I relate to her turn in a wheelchair having been in one myself earlier this year recovering from a trimalleolar leg/ankle fracture.) Let's not forget her Emmy win in 1997 for after her 1999 film of the same name where she plays the dueling mother of a beauty queen?
Yet she grew up a fighter and ran with a girl gang. So it came as a big surprise to her audience when she revealed through Lahr's masterful questioning that her agent once told her when pressed for reasons why she lost roles that the feedback he had been getting was she wasn't pretty enough.
She made her debut from the movie “Up in Smoke.” She did not get a chance to prove herself for one decade.
She played small roles in the TV movies as well as films.
Ellen Barkin later appeared in several successful films, including the thrillers Sea of Love, opposite Al Pacino (1989), and The Big Easy (1987), opposite Dennis Quaid.
Barry Levinson directed Ellen Barkin in her breakout role, 'Diner,' nearly thirty years ago, but for the past couple of years she's had a drastically different connection with the famed filmmaker: she's dating his young son.
It gives others encouragement who are trying to make it and also illustrates how times change. Both exhibit not only beauty but brains and a certain gutsy realism that is refreshing.
Perhaps a film together playing mother/daughter now that Barkin has her own production company?
Born on April 16, 1954, in The Bronx, New York, Ellen Barkin has already proved herself as capable and, successful actress in the Hollywood industry.
She has worked in many movies and TV show which have given her the height of success.
Her chemistry with Al Pacino throughout is among the best in celluloid history.