The native New Yorker was born Bonnie Bedelia Culkin on March 25, 1948,the daughter of Phillip Harley Culkin, a journalist, and Marian EthelWagner Culkin, a writer and editor. Trained in ballet, her parentsguided all of the children at one time or another into acting (whichincluded Christopher (Kit), Terry and 'Candace Culkin' ). Bonnieherself attended Quintano School for Young Professionals in New York atone point and Bonnie and Kit went on to appear on the local stage andTV. Brother Kit would later be known more for siring a handful oftalented child actors and/or stars ('Macaulay Culkin' ,'Kieran Culkin' , and the rest).
It was Bonnie who was first spotted among the other acting siblings by atalent scout who happened to catch her in a school production of "TomSawyer", and encouraged her. She made her professional debut at age 9in a 1957 North Jersey Playhouse production of "Dr. Praetorius" andthen was handed a full scholarship to study at'George Balanchine' 's New York City Ballet. But the acting bug hadbitten and after dancing in only four productions (including playingthe role of Clara in "The Nutcracker"), she decided to hang up herballet slippers. She proceeded to study at both the HB Studio andActors Studio in New York.
Bonnie nabbed a five-year role as young teen "Sandy Porter" in the NewYork-based daytime soap "Love of Life" (1951) starting in 1961. During that time, she took her first Broadway bow in "Isle ofChildren", a show that lasted but a week in March of 1962. She was alsoa replacement in the established hit comedy "Enter Laughing", a yearlater. After appearing in the stage play "The Playroom" in 1965, sheearned strong reviews for her touching performance in "My SweetCharlie", for which she won the 1967 Theatre World Award for "promisingnew artist". In it, she played a pregnant young Southern girl on thelam with a black lawyer.
'Patty Duke' recreated the role a fewyears later on TV and captured an Emmy. Films beckoned at this point and Bonnie made her debut lending topnotchsupport in The Gypsy Moths (1969) which reunited From Here to Eternity (1953) stars 'Burt Lancaster' and'Deborah Kerr' . She earned even better marks in her next twofilms, one performance simply haunting and the other one hilarious. Once again playing pregnant and once again delivering a touchingpathos, she played the dirt-poor marathon dancer who pitches songs forpennies and the almost-mother of 'Bruce Dern (I)' 's child in thesuperb, award-winning, Depression-era drama They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969) . On the other end of theacting spectrum, she played the lovable bride-to-be in theside-splitting comedy classic Lovers and Other Strangers (1970) .
By this time, Bonnie had started concentrating on family values. Shemarried scriptwriter 'Ken Luber' on April 24, 1969, and bore him ason, Yuri, the following year. The time off to focus on motherhood (shehad second son, 'Jonah Luber' , in 1976) proved detrimental to herrising star. The remaining decade was uneventful at best, despite somefine showings in a splattering of TV-movies. Her big comeback cameagain on the movie trail in the early 1980s when she absolutely nailedthe role of race car driver 'Shirley Muldowney' in Heart Like a Wheel (1983) .
She was surprisingly overlooked atOscar time, however, despite the praise she received. Despite respectedwork in subsequent movies such as Violets Are Blue. . . (1986) , The Prince of Pennsylvania (1988) , Presumed Innocent (1990) and a running role as'Bruce Willis' 's put-upon wife in Die Hard (1988) and itssequel, she found better and more frequent parts on TV.
She found herniche in TV-movies with social themes and tugged at more hearts in Switched at Birth (1991) (TV) , A Mother's Right: The Elizabeth Morgan Story (1992) (TV) , Any Mother's Son (1997) (TV) and To Live Again (1998) (TV) . In a change of pace, Bonnie joined the ensemble cast of the low-budgetcult comedy Sordid Lives (2000) , as "Latrelle", a homophobicwoman dealing with her mother's death, the imprisonment of her gaybrother and her own son's "coming out". The movie has recently evolvedinto a TV series, which is scheduled for some time in 2008 and reunitesher with original cast members 'Leslie Jordan' and'Olivia Newton-John' . Divorced from the father of her two children, she is presently marriedto third husband (or fourth, depending on your source of reference)actor 'Michael MacRae (I)' , whom she married in 1995. .
|1||A Season in Purgatory||1996||as Valerie Sabbath|
|2||Alex: The Life of a Child||1986||as Carole Deford|
|3||Heart Like a Wheel||1983||as Shirley Muldowney|
|4||Message to My Daughter||1973||as Janet Thatcher|
|5||Million Dollar Infield||1982||as Marcia Miller|
|6||The Lady from Yesterday||1985||as Janet Weston|
|7||The Scent of Rain & Lightning||2016||as Annabelle|
|8||Love of Life||1951||as Sandy Porter (1961-1967)|
|9||The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson||1962||as Herself - Guest|
|10||2015 TV Land Awards||2015||as Herself|
|11||A Mothers Right: The Elizabeth Morgan Story||1992||as Dr. Elizabeth Morgan|
|12||A Question of Love||1978||as Joan Saltzman|
|13||A Time for Love||1973||as Kitty|
|14||Any Mothers Son||1997||as Dorothy Hajdys|
|15||Anywhere But Here||1999||as Carol|
|16||At Lionhead||2007||as Herself|
|17||Bad Manners||1997||as Nancy Westlund|
|19||Between Friends||1973||as Ellie|
|20||Broken Links||2016||as Melanie|
|21||Death of an Angel||1986||as Grace|
|22||Die Hard||1988||as Holly Gennaro McClane|
|23||Die Hard 2||1990||as Holly McClane|
|24||Die Harder: The Making of Die Hard 2||1990||as Herself|
|25||Fat Man and Little Boy||1989||as Kitty Oppenheimer|
|26||Fighting Back: The Story of Rocky Bleier||1980||as Aleta|
|27||Flowers for Algernon||2000||as Rose|
|29||Heatwave!||1974||as Laura Taylor|
|30||Her Costly Affair||1996||as Dr. Diane Weston|
|31||Homecoming||1996||as Eunice Logan|
|32||Judicial Consent||1994||as Gwen Warwick|
|33||Legacy of Sin: The William Coit Story||1995||as Jill Coit|
|34||Like Father Like Son||1987||as Lady with Gum in Hair|
|35||Locked in Silence||1999||as Lydia|
|36||Lovers and Other Strangers||1970||as Susan Henderson|
|38||Memorial Day||1983||as Cass|
|40||Needful Things||1993||as Polly Chalmers|