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Helen Slater

Helen Slater
Slater at the Big Apple Convention in Manhattan, October 17, 2009
Born Helen Rachel Slater
(1963-12-15) December 15, 1963
Bethpage, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actress, singer-songwriter
Years active 1982–present
Spouse(s) Robert Watzke (m. 1989)
Children Hannah Nika (b. 1995)
Website .com.helenslaterwww

Helen Slater (born December 15, 1963) is an American actress and singer-songwriter. She appeared as the Kryptonian superheroine in TriStar's 1984 film Supergirl.[1] In the following years, she starred in several successful comedy-drama films such as Ruthless People (1986), The Secret of My Success (1987), and City Slickers (1991). She additionally found work as an actress in television, and stage projects, including three guest appearances on the series Smallville (2007–2010).[2] She was a series regular for the two-season run (2011–2013) on the ABC Family series The Lying Game.

In the 2000s, Slater recorded five albums, singing her own compositions and playing the piano.


  • Early life 1
  • Film and television work 2
    • Stage work 2.1
    • Musical career 2.2
    • Awards 2.3
    • Writing 2.4
  • Personal life 3
  • Filmography 4
  • Discography 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life

Slater was born in Bethpage, New York, the daughter of Alice Joan (née Citrin), a lawyer and nuclear disarmament peace activist based in New York City, and Gerald Slater, a television executive;[3] they divorced in 1974.[4] She has a brother, David, who is a lawyer in New York City. Her family is Jewish.[5] Slater attended Great Neck South High School and then transferred to the High School of Performing Arts from which she was graduated in 1982. She is not related to actor Christian Slater.

Film and television work

Slater made her acting debut in the ABC Afterschool Special "Amy & the Angel", aired in 1982, alongside James Earl Jones, Meg Ryan, and Matthew Modine. This was also the only film she appeared in exclusively as a brunette . In 1984, she played the title character, versus Faye Dunaway as Selena, in the film Supergirl. The film, directed by Jeannot Szwarc and including other big names like Mia Farrow and Peter O'Toole, received mixed reviews, and was not a box-office success. The film was cited as a reason for publisher DC killing off the original comics character (Supergirl (Kara Zor-El)) in 1985, though a new "Supergirl" soon appeared. Slater's performance was not generally blamed. The film eventually gained a cult following.

In her next film, Slater was cast alongside Christian Slater (no relation) and Yeardley Smith as Billie Jean Davy, a folk hero that styles herself as a modern day Joan of Arc, in the film The Legend of Billie Jean (1985). Next she appeared in two high-profile comedies, Ruthless People (1986) and The Secret of My Success (1987). More high-profile roles followed when she appeared in the cult classic independent comedy Sticky Fingers (1988) with longtime friend Melanie Mayron, City Slickers (1991) with Billy Crystal, the steamy A House in the Hills (1993) with Michael Madsen, and the action-crime drama No Way Back opposite Russell Crowe (1996). Other noteworthy performances were seen in films including 12:01 (1993), Betrayal of the Dove, and opposite Andy Richter in Seeing Other People (2004).

Slater has appeared on episodes of various television series, including The New Adventures of Old Christine, Supernatural, four episodes as the voice of Talia in Batman: The Animated Series, and others. She was a series regular on the half-season run of the 1990 ABC newsroom drama Capital News and the 2011–2013 two season run of the ABC Family series The Lying Game.

During her career, Slater has revisited her 1984 role of Supergirl. She made a brief guest appearance on Seinfeld as a love interest of Jerry Seinfeld, who in reality is a huge fan of Superman. Slater was seen in a recurring role as Clark Kent's biological mother, Lara, on the TV series Smallville. It was announced in 2015 that she would be playing Supergirl's foster mother in the TV show Supergirl.

Slater was a spokeswoman for Preference by L'Oréal in both television and print ads.

Stage work

Slater co-founded the New York theater group, The Naked Angels, with Gina Gershon. Her stage credits include appearances in Grease and Shakespeare and Friends. Off-Broadway, she starred in Responsible Parties and Almost Romance. She also attended classes at both N.Y.U. and U.C.L.A., to broaden her acting abilities.

Musical career

Slater has stated that she pursued musical efforts even before doing movies. In the 1989 Patrick Dempsey romcom Happy Together, she sang a medley of Broadway songs as well other songs. In the 1994 movie Lassie, she also sang. For the soundtrack of the film Nowhere In Sight (2000), she contributed the song "The Detour".

In 2003, she released a CD, One of These Days, consisting of her original songs. Notably, the tracks were real-time recordings with Slater singing and playing piano, plus six other musicians total; no multitracking, editing, or dubbing were employed. In 2005, she released a second CD, Crossword, using the same recording approach as the first CD. Both albums were produced by Phil Swann. In 2008 Cortes Alexander recorded Slater's "Any Day Now" and "Love'll Come & Do Just That" on his album Swell.[6] Her third album, Shine, was released in late 2010.


In 1985, DC Comics named Slater as one of the honorees in the company's 50th anniversary publication Fifty Who Made DC Great for her work on the Supergirl film.[7]


Slater wrote a day in the life of Supergirl tale entitled "A Hero's Journey" which appeared in the 50th issue of the Supergirl comic book.[8]

Personal life

She married filmmaker Robert Watzke in September 1989. Their daughter, Hannah Nika, was born August 28, 1995.


Year Title Role Notes
1982 ABC Afterschool Special Amy Watson Episode “Amy & the Angel”
1984 Supergirl Kara Zor-El / Linda Lee / Supergirl
1985 The Legend of Billie Jean Billie Jean Davy
1986 Ruthless People Sandy Kessler
1987 The Secret of My Success Christy Wills
1988 Sticky Fingers Hattie
Improv Tonite Herself Guest host
1989 Happy Together Alexandra Page
1990 The Great Air Race Jacqui Cochrane TV movie
Capital News Anne McKenna TV movie
1991 City Slickers Bonnie Rayburn
The Hidden Room Lauren Episode: “Wasting Away”
1992 Seinfeld Becky Gelke Episode: “The Good Samaritan”
Dream On Sarah Episode: "Theory of Relativity"
Betrayal of the Dove Ellie West
1992–1994 The Adventures of Batman & Robin Talia (voice role) 4 episodes
1993 12:01 Lisa Fredericks TV movie
Chantilly Lace Hannah TV movie
A House In The Hills Alex Weaver
1994 Couples Nina TV movie
Lassie Laura Turner
Parallel Lives Elsa Freedman TV movie
1995 The Steal Kim
No Way Back Mary
1997 The Long Way Home Herself Voice role
Caroline in the City Cassandra Thompson Caroline and the Monkeys
Toothless Katherine's Mom TV movie
1997–1998 Michael Hayes Julie Siegel 3 episodes
1998 Best Friends for Life Pammy Cahill TV movie
2000 American Adventure Kathy TV movie
2001 Nowhere in Sight Carly Bauers
Will & Grace Peggy Truman Episode: “Moveable Feast”
2003 Boston Public Mrs. McNeal Episode: "Chapter Seventy-Four"
2004 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Susan Coyle Episode: “Families”
Seeing Other People Penelope
2005 Grey's Anatomy Nadia Shelton Episode: "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer"
2006 Jane Doe: The Harder They Fall Stella Andre TV movie
The New Adventures of Old Christine Liz Episode: “Teach Your Children Well”
2007 Crossing Jordan Elaine Tallridge Episode: “Seven Feet Under”
2007–2010 Smallville Lara-El 3 episodes
2009 Supernatural Susan Carter Episode: “Family Remains”
Eleventh Hour Susan Wynne Episode: “Medea”
Greek Dr. Magda Stephanopoulos Episode: “Guilty Treasures”
2010 Rock the House Diane Petersen TV movie
CSI: NY Elizabeth Harris Episode: “Do Not Pass Go”
2010–2011 Gigantic Jennifer Brooks 10 episodes
2011 Private Practice Erin Episode: “Two Steps Back”
Rock the House Diane Petersen TV movie
Drop Dead Diva Penny Brecker Episode: “Hit and Run”
2011– 2013 The Lying Game Kristin Mercer Series regular
2013 The Good Mother Cheryl Jordan TV movie
2014 The Young and the Restless Dr. Chiverton Daytime drama
2015 Mad Men Sheila Episode: "Person to Person"
2015 Supergirl Sylvia Danvers Upcoming


  • One of These Days (2003)
  • Crossword (2005)
  • Shine (2010)
  • Myths of Ancient Greece (2013)
  • The Ugly Duckling (2015)


  1. ^ Pantozzi, Jill (2009-12-07). """Helen Slater is Still "Super.  
  2. ^ "60 SECONDS: Helen Slater". Metro. Retrieved 2010-10-09. 
  3. ^ Helen Slater Biography (1963–)
  4. ^ Helen Slater Biography – Yahoo! Movies
  5. ^ Helen Slater
  6. ^ Saporito, Joseph R., Cortés Alexander, Thou ‘Swell’,, March 18, 2009
  7. ^ Marx, Barry, Cavalieri, Joey and Hill, Thomas (w), Petruccio, Steven (a), Marx, Barry (ed). "Helen Slater Supergirl Comes to Film" Fifty Who Made DC Great: 51 (1985), DC Comics
  8. ^ #50Supergirl at the Grand Comics Database

External links

  • Official website
  • Helen Slater at the Internet Movie Database
  • "My Dinner with Supergirl", People magazine, December 3, 1984, Vol. 22 No. 23; interview with Helen Slater, on newsstands during Supergirl's U.S. release.
  • Helen Slater Interactive Home Page defunct fan page through Archive [2] most recent archived version
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