Priscilla Pointer

Priscilla Pointer

Priscilla Pointer and Michael Dunn (c. 1968)
Born Priscilla Marie Pointer
(1924-05-18) May 18, 1924
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1954-2010
Spouse(s) Jules Irving (m. 1947; d. 1979)
Robert Symonds (m. 1980; d. 2007)
Children 3, including Amy Irving

Priscilla Marie Pointer[1] (born May 18, 1924) is an American stage, film and television character actress. She began her career in the theater, including productions on Broadway. Later, Pointer moved to Hollywood to act in films and on television. She is the mother of Academy Award nominee Amy Irving, therefore making her the former mother-in-law of filmmakers Steven Spielberg and Bruno Barreto and the mother-in-law of documentary filmmaker Kenneth Bowser, Jr.

Personal life

Pointer was born in New York City. Her mother, Augusta Leonora (née Davis), was an artist and an illustrator, and her father, Kenneth Keith Pointer, was an artist.[1][2] One of her maternal great-grandfathers, Jacob Barrett Cohen, was from a Jewish family that had lived in the U.S. since the 1700s.[1][3][4] Pointer is the mother of director David Irving and actress Amy Irving.

Pointer was married to film and stage director Jules Irving, former artistic director of the Lincoln Center, from 1947 until his death in 1979. In 1980, she married actor/director/producer Robert Symonds, who had been Jules Irving's producing partner at the Lincoln Center. She appeared several times in stage productions alongside Symonds and they remained married until the latter's death in 2007. She had cataract surgery.[5]


Pointer has appeared in many films, including Carrie (1976), in which she played the onscreen mother of her real-life daughter Amy Irving, The Onion Field (1979), Mommie Dearest (1981), Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983), A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987), David Lynch's Blue Velvet and Coyote Moon (1999). In addition to Carrie, she has played onscreen mother to real-life daughter Amy twice again: in Honeysuckle Rose (1980) and Carried Away (1996). They both were in the film "Micki & Muade" in 1984 also.

Pointer appeared in three films that her son, David Irving, directed: Rumpelstiltskin (a 1987 musical version, which starred her daughter), Good-Bye Cruel World and C.H.U.D. II: Bud the C.H.U.D.

Pointer's first starring television role was on Where the Heart Is as "Adrienne Harris Rainey" (1972–73). She has made many guest appearances on television, including such series as Adam-12, L.A. Law, The A-Team, Judging Amy, The Rockford Files and Cold Case.

During the 1980s, Pointer had a recurring role on the soap opera Dallas, as Rebecca Barnes Wentworth, the mother of Cliff Barnes (Ken Kercheval), Pamela Barnes Ewing (Victoria Principal), and Katherine Wentworth (Morgan Brittany).



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