Gwen Welles (born Gwen Goldberg, March 4, 1951 – October 13, 1993)[1] was an American actress.

Gwen Welles
Gwen Goldberg

(1951-03-04)March 4, 1951
DiedOctober 13, 1993(1993-10-13) (aged 42)
Years active1969–1993
(m. 1975)

Early yearsEdit

Gwen Welles was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, as Gwen Goldberg.[1] She was the daughter of clothing designer Rebecca Welles[2] and Barton Goldberg; her sisters were Elizabeth (Betsy) Goldberg Welles and Lori Yarom.[1] Gwen graduated from University High School in Los Angeles, California[citation needed] and attended Vassar College.[1] When she was 17, she worked as a dress salesperson.[2]


Welles's film debut was in A Safe Place (1971).[3] In the early 1970s, she acted in two films for Roger Vadim during three years that she spent in France. She may be best remembered for her portrayal of untalented singer Sueleen Gay in Robert Altman's 1975 film Nashville, for which she was nominated for a BAFTA Award, for Best Supporting Actress. Welles also appeared in Altman's California Split (1974), as well as several films directed by Henry Jaglom, including New Year's Day (1989) and Eating (1990).

Personal lifeEdit

Welles was an advocate of yoga, usually meditating 20-30 minutes twice a day.[2]

During her three years in France, she lived with Roger Vadim. She told newspaper columnist Earl Wilson, "I was very naive. I was about 20. I was so in love with him. I would sulk for two hours, I would go to pieces, if he gave me a wrong look."[4] During her time in Paris, she posed for a set of nude photographs for a magazine to earn money to remain there another year. She also was injured in an automobile accident.[4] She married Harris Yulin[1] in 1975.[citation needed]


Welles died from cancer of the bowel in 1993 at age 42. Donna Deitch directed An Angel On My Shoulder, a documentary about Welles' illness in 1992, which appeared at the IFC's Lesbian and Gay film festival in August 1998.[5]


Film and television
Year Title Role Notes
1969 Ironside Pam "Up, Down and Even"
1971 A Safe Place Bari
1972 Hellé Hellé
1973 Hit! Sherry Nielson
1974 California Split Susan Peters
1975 Nashville Sueleen Gay
1977 Between the Lines Laura
1977 Baretta Vicki "Somebody Killed Cock Robin"
1983 Star 80 Leann
1983 Fantasy Island Mitzi 1 episode
1984 An All Consuming Passion Joylee Video
1985 Desert Hearts Gwen
1986 The Men's Club Redhead
1986 Nobody's Fool Shirley
1988 Sticky Fingers Marcie
1989 New Year's Day Annie
1990 Eating Sophie
1991 The Disco Years Melissa Short


  1. ^ a b c d e "Gwen Welles, 42, Dies; Actress in 'Nashville'". The New York Times. October 16, 1993.
  2. ^ a b c Sheppard, Eugenia (September 21, 1974). "Fashion World Is Past for Gwen Welles -- She's Acting". The Times. Louisiana, Shreveport. p. 15. Retrieved November 21, 2020 – via
  3. ^ "Gwen Welles; Actress Played Singer in 'Nashville'". The Los Angeles Times. October 12, 1993. Archived from the original on November 21, 2020. Retrieved November 21, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Wilson, Earl (June 22, 1975). "Gwen Welles Discusses Films". The Indianapolis Star. p. 34. Retrieved November 21, 2020 – via
  5. ^ "The modern way of dying". The Irish Times. August 14, 1998. Archived from the original on November 22, 2020. Retrieved November 22, 2020.

External linksEdit