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Kitty Winn

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Occupation  Actress
Spouse  Morton Winston (m. 1978)
Years active  1969–1984, 2011
TV shows  Beacon Hill
Name  Kitty Winn
Awards  Cannes Best Actress Award
Role  Actress

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Born  February 21, 1943 (age 78) (1943-02-21) Washington, D.C., U.S.
Parents  James J. Winn, Molly Brown
Movies  The Exorcist, The Panic in Needle Park, Exorcist II: The Heretic, Peeper, They Might Be Giants
Similar People  Jason Miller, Jack MacGowran, Jerry Schatzberg, Linda Blair, Ellen Burstyn

Panique a needle park teaser kitty winn

Katherine Tupper "Kitty" Winn (born February 21, 1944) is an American theatre and film actress. She is best known for her roles as the heroin addict Helen in the romantic drama The Panic in Needle Park and her recurring role of Sharon Spencer in the horror film franchise The Exorcist.


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The Panic in Needle Park (1971) Trailer

Early life and career

Kitty Winn Zebradelic Kitty Winn 1971 press coverage

Kitty Winn was born in Washington, D.C., the daughter of an army officer James J. Winn and Molly Brown Winn. Winn traveled widely during much of her childhood, including, time spent in United States, England, Germany, China, India and Japan. Her mother is the step-daughter of U.S. Army General George Marshall.

Her career has spanned a wide range of drama productions on stage, in motion pictures and on television. She studied acting at Centenary Junior College and Boston University, graduating from the latter in 1966. During her college years Winn acted in student productions at Centenary Junior College, Boston University, and Harvard College and summer stock for two summers at The Priscilla Beach Theatre south of Boston. Shortly after college she joined the company at American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco where she remained for four years under the artistic direction of William Ball.

In the fall of 1970 Winn left American Conservatory Theater to star opposite Al Pacino in the film Panic in Needle Park, for which she won the Best Actress award at the 1971 Cannes Film Festival. Although she went on to do several more films, such as The Exorcist, she spent most of her career in theater.

She retired from acting in 1978, but returned to play Cordelia in The Tragedy of King Lear for KCET in 1983. She did not return to the stage again until 2011, when she played the lead in The Last Romance at the San Jose Repertory Theatre. For this performance, she was nominated for a best actress award by the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle.


  • Listed as one of twelve "Promising New Actors of 1971" in John Willis' Screen World, Vol. 33.
  • Her performance as Helen in The Panic in Needle Park (1971) is ranked #76 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Film Performances of All Time (2006).
  • The cast for Joe Papp's New York Shakesphere in the Park production of Hamlet included Stacy Keach (Hamlet), James Earl Jones (Claudius), Colleen Dewhurst (Gertrude), and Kitty Winn (Ophelia).
  • After a stage absence of 29 years, Winn was nominated for a best actress award by the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle for her performance at San Jose Repertory Theatre in 2011.
  • Step-granddaughter of General of the Army and Secretary of State George C. Marshall.
  • References

    Kitty Winn Wikipedia