It feels like Mare Winningham should be in the Brat Pack due to her role in St Elmo’s Fire as Wendy Beamish. This was however her only role in a Brat Pack movie and she never really associated herself with the party scene of the other Brat Packers. Like her character in St Elmo’s, she was possibly the sensible one in real life too! Winningham was never really an 80s teen idol either but she has continued to work steadily in film and TV right up to the present day.
Born on May 6, 1959 in Phoenix, Arizona, Mare Winningham grew up in California. She took a number of acting courses at a young age and by the time she graduated college had already landed an agent and a role in the television movie Young Pioneers in 1976. Various TV roles followed for Winningham including an Emmy Award for her portrayal of Marlene Burkhardt in the movie Amber Waves.
Mare Winningham’s big break came in 1985 she was cast as the introverted Wendy in St. Elmo’s Fire, directed by Joel Schumacher. The film revolved around a group of friends who had just graduated from Georgetown University and it showed the difficulties they had adjusting to adult life. The success of St Elmo’s never really had the knock on effect for Winningham’s career and she quickly went back to TV work.
In 1995 Mare was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in the movie Georgia. In 1998, she was honoured again, winning her second Emmy Award for her role as Lurleen Wallace in the television movie, Wallace. The number of award nominations and wins for Mare Winningham shows just how talented an actress she, even though she is one of the less well known faces from the Brat Pack era.
Mare Winningham Trivia
Went to Chatsworth High School in Los Angeles with Val Kilmer and Kevin Spacey.
Is the only St Elmo’s Fire cast member to ever be nominated for an Academy Award.