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Kathleen Denise Quinlan (born November 19, 1954) is an Academy Award and Golden Globe-nominated American actress, mostly seen on television and in motion pictures.

Personal life

Quinlan was born in Pasadena, Californiamarker, the daughter of Josephine (née Zachry), a military supply supervisor, and Robert Quinlan, a television sports director. She was raised in Mill Valley, Californiamarker, where she attended Tamalpais High Schoolmarker and began her acting career. She has been married to actor Bruce Abbott since April 12, 1994. They have a son, Tyler (born 1990).


Quinlan made her film debut in George Lucas' 1973 nostalgic look at the early sixties, American Graffiti, at the age of 19 (although she did appear in an uncredited role in 1972's One is a Lonely Number). As a young actress, she guest-starred in several 1970s television series including Police Woman, Ironside and Kojak.

She has appeared in over 50 films, but is perhaps best known for her roles as Deborah, a schizophrenic, in the film version of I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Motion Picture-Drama, and for a Golden Globe and Oscar nominated turn in the Best Supporting Actress category as an astronaut's wife, Marilyn Lovell, in the 1995 true story Apollo 13 opposite Tom Hanks.

Quinlan also made a mark as Jim Morrison's Celtic Pagan lover Patricia Kennealy in Oliver Stone's The Doors, and won a Blockbuster Entertainment Award as Favorite Supporting Actress-Suspense, for Breakdown (1997) with Kurt Russell. Her recent work includes the TV series House, the 2006 remake of the horror classic "The Hills Have Eyes" and as the wife of a government traitor in the 2007 film Breach.

On November 10, 2008, TV Guide reported that Quinlan would join Fox drama Prison Break in a recurring role as a high-ranking player within the Company. Quinlan played Michael and Lincoln's mother, Christina Rose Scofield, who never died but, in fact, has been working for the Company.


Year Film Role Notes
1972 One Is a Lonely Number (uncredited)
1973 American Graffiti Peg (as Kathy Quinlan)
1974 Can Ellen Be Saved? Melissa (TV)
Lucas Tanner Joyce Howell (TV)
Where Have All The People Gone? Deborah Anders (TV)
1974/1976 The Waltons Selina Linville (2 episodes)
1975 The Missing Are Deadly Michelle (TV)
The Abduction of Saint Anne Anne Benedict (TV)
The Turning Point of Jim Malloy Edith Evans (TV)
1976 Lifeguard Wendy
1977 Little Ladies of the Night Karen Brodwick (TV)
Airport '77 Julie
I Never Promised You a Rose Garden Deborah Blake Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
1978 Nightmare in Blood
1979 The Runner Stumbles Sister Rita
The Promise Nancy McAllister/Marie Adamson
1980 Sunday Lovers Laurie (segment "Skippy")
1981 She's in the Army Now Pvt. Cass Donner (TV)
1982 Hanky Panky Janet Dunn
1983 Independence Day Mary Ann Taylor
Twilight Zone: The Movie Helen Foley (School Teacher) (Segment #3)
1984 The Last Winter Joyce
When She Says No Rose Michaels (TV)
1985 Blackout Chris Graham (TV)
MystFest Award for Best Actress
Warning Sign Joanie Morse
Children of the Night Lois Lee (TV)
1986 Man Outside Grace Freemont
1987 Wild Thing Jane
Dreams Lost, Dreams Found Sarah McAllister (TV)
1988 Sunset Nancy Shoemaker
Clara's Heart Leona Hart
1989 Trapped Mary Ann Marshall (TV)
1990 The Operation Ginnie (TV)
1991 The Doors Patricia Kennealy
Strays Lindsey Jarrett (TV)
1992 An American Story Hope Tyler (TV)
1993 Stolen Babies Bekka (TV)
Last Light Kathy Rubicek (TV)
1994 Trial by Jury Wanda
1995 Apollo 13 Marilyn Lovell Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture

Perfect Alibi Melanie Bauers
1996 In the Lake of the Woods Kathy Waylan (TV)
1997 Zeus and Roxanne Mary Beth Dunhill
Breakdown Amy Taylor
Event Horizon Peters, Med Tech
Lawn Dogs Clare Stockard
1998 My Giant Serena Kamin
A Civil Action Anne Anderson
1999-2002 Family Law Lynn Holt (TV Series) (68 episodes)
1999 Too Rich: The Secret Life of Doris Duke Nanaline Duke (TV)
2003 The Battle of Shaker Heights Eve
Blessings Meredith Blessing (TV)
2004 Perfect Romance Tess Kelley (TV)
The Riverman Sande Keppel (TV)
El Padrino Judge Scorsi
The Dead Will Tell Beth Hytner (TV)
2006 The Hills Have Eyes Ethel Carter
House Arlene McNeil Episode "Meaning"
2007 American Fork Agnes Orbison
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Barbara Tallman Episode "Monster in the Box"
Breach Bonnie Hanssen
Harm's Way Bea
2008 Poundcake Carol
Made of Honor Joan
2008-2009 Prison Break Christina Rose Scofield (7 episodes)
2009 Adult Film: A Hollywood Tale Mary Bernstein
Empire State Colleen Cochrane (TV)
The River Why Ma (post-production)


  1. Kathleen Quinlan Biography (1954-)
  2. Prison Breaking News: A Shocking Return, and More!" TV Guide. November 10, 2008. Retrieved on November 12, 2008.

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