Priscilla Marie Pointer (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.
Priscilla Pointer and Michael Dunn (c. 1968)
Priscilla Marie Pointer
May 18, 1924
(m. 1947; died 1979)
(m. 1980; died 2007)
|Children||3, including Amy Irving|
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. One of her maternal great-grandfathers, Jacob Barrett Cohen, was from a Jewish family that had lived in the U.S. since the 1700s.
Pointer was married to film and stage director Jules Irving, former artistic director of Lincoln Center, from 1947 until his death in 1979-they are the parents of Katie Irving, director David Irving and actress Amy Irving. In 1980, she married actor/director/producer Robert Symonds, who had been Jules Irving's producing partner at Lincoln Center. She appeared several times in stage productions alongside Symonds and they remained married until the latter's death in 2007.
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 were both in the films The Competition in 1980, and Micki & Maude in 1984.
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.
From 1981 to 1983, 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).
- The High Chaparral (1970, TV Series) - Mrs. Colton
- The Failing of Raymond (1971, TV Movie) - History Teacher
- The Great Texas Dynamite Chase (1976) - Miss Harris
- Carrie (1976) - Mrs. Snell
- Nickelodeon (1976) - Mabel
- Mary Jane Harper Cried Last Night (1977, TV Movie) - Laura Atherton
- Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977) - Mrs. Dunn
- Dallas (1981–1983, TV Series) - Rebecca Barnes Wentworth
- The Onion Field (1979) - Chrissie Campbell
- Honeysuckle Rose (1980) - Rosella Ramsey
- The Competition (1980) - Mrs. Donellan
- Mommie Dearest (1981) - Mrs. Chadwick
- Good-bye, Cruel World (1983) - Myra
- Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983) - Miss Cox (segment "Kick the Can")
- Micki & Maude (1984) - Diana Hutchison
- The Falcon and the Snowman (1985) - Mrs. Lee
- Blue Velvet (1986) - Mrs. Beaumont
- Newhart (1987) - Mrs. Martha Williams
- A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987) - Dr. Elizabeth Simms
- From the Hip (1987) - Queen Grizelda
- C.H.U.D. II: Bud the C.H.U.D. (1989) - Doctor Berlin
- A Show of Force (1990) - Alice Ryan
- Disturbed (1990) - Nurse Francine
- The Flash (1990, TV Series) - Nora Allen
- Unbecoming Age (1992) - Grandma
- Painted Desert (1993) - Barbara
- ER (1994, TV Series) - Mrs. Abernathy
- Carried Away (1996) - Lily Henson
- Alone (1997, TV Movie) - Susan Hight
- Inferno (1999) - Mrs. Henry Howard
- "Priscilla Pointer Biography (1924-)". www.filmreference.com.
- Archives, American Jewish. "First American Jewish Families - American Jewish Archives". americanjewisharchives.org.
- Elzas, Barnett A. (Barnett Abraham) (25 April 2019). "Jewish marriage notices from the newspaper press of Charleston, S.C., 1775-1906". New York : Bloch Pub. Co. – via Internet Archive.
- Fisher, James (2011). Historical Dictionary of Contemporary American Theater: 1930-2010. Scarecrow Press. p. 393. ISBN 9780810879508. Retrieved 23 June 2019.