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Wendy Phillips

Adjunct Associate Professor

Affiliated Divisions:

John Wells Division of Writing for Screen & Television

Wendy Phillips was born in Brooklyn, New York. She arrived in Los Angeles in 1974, starring in the award-winning NBC Movie of the Week, Death Be Not Proud. During the subsequent thirty-seven years she has worked in television drama, sitcom, feature film and independent cinema. She starred in the indie film Heroine of Hell with Catherine Keener, and later appeared with Keener again in Friends With Money directed by Nicole (Lovely & Amazing) Holofcener. In seven network television series Wendy played the lead female, including the Emmy Awayd winning NBC series, A Year in the Life. With Richard Kiley, Adam Arkin, and Sarah Jessica Parker. In a groundbreaking ABC sitcom Wendy starred in The Robert Guillaume Show, the first primetime television series build around an interracial couple. Wendy played principal roles in hit feature films, Midnight Run (as Robert DeNiro’s ex-wife), Bugsy (as Warren Beatty’s wife, Esta), I Am Sam, and in off-beat classics such as Airplane II and Fraternity Row. She starred in the primetime soap opera Falcon Crest, the acclaimed post-WWII drama Homefront starring Kyle Chandler, and the CBS family drama Promised Land with Gerald McRaney.

In her career Wendy has worked with Academy Award winners Robert DiNiro, Warren Beatty, Frances McDormand, Eva Marie Saint, Ben Kingsley, Celeste Holm, Cloris Leachman, Sean Penn, Jane Wyman, and director Barry Levinson. On stage she starred in the Critics Circle Award winning play The Visible Horse and she played Linda opposite Stuart Margolin in Death of a Salesman at Shakespeare of the South at Auburn University. She has appeared in Horton Foote’s The Roads to Home and Harrison, Texas and Laura Richardson’s acclaimed comedy Come Back, Little Horny at the Second Story Theater. She has been teaching Scene Study and Acting for the Camera privately since 2001, and for the last two years she has been an Adjunct Professor at the USC Graduate School of Film. Wendy’s complete filmography is available at