Family & Companions
Wendy Phillips broke into TV playing the daughter of a global corporation on the short-lived CBS series "Executive Suite" (1976-77), then was the secretary to an unconventional detective on "The Eddie Capra Mysteries" (NBC, 1978-79). When she returned to series TV in 1986, it was in more high-brow material. Phillips played the eldest daughter of Richard Kiley, an ex-hippie who moved back in with her parents along with her two teen-age children, in the NBC miniseries "A Year in the Life," a role she reprised in the weekly series (1987-88). In 1989, she switched to sitcoms, playing the secretary Robert Guillaume was dating on "The Robert Guillaume Show" (ABC), one of the first interracial romances on TV. When that show failed to find an audience, Phillips moved on to "Falcon Crest" (CBS, 1989-90) as Gregory Harrison's sister. One of her best roles to date was as a widowed Catholic mother raising two children after World War II in the critically praised, but low-rated period drama "Homefront" (ABC, 1991-93). Exhibiting a slightly malevolent streak, she was cast as the murderous Lucille Richards on the primetime soap "Savannah" (The WB, 1996). Trading in machinations for a more wholesome image, Phillips segued to playing Gerald McRaney's wife in "Promised Land" (CBS, 1996-99). Phillips also has worked in TV longforms, beginning in 1975 with "Death Be Not Proud" (ABC) and "One of Our Own" (NBC). In 1994, she was in the ABC miniseries version of "Stephen King's 'The Stand'" and also that year played in two "MacShayne" TV-movies for NBC. Phillips had a pivotal role as the mother of a murder victim in the miniseries "A Season in Purgatory" (CBS, 1996).
On the big screen, Phillips made her debut in the teen movie "Fraternity Row" (1977) playing a sorority sister named Betty Ann Martin. Although she appeared in "Airplane II: The Sequel" (1982), Phillips had her first meaty roles as Robert De Niro's ex-wife in "Midnight Run" (1988) and as Esta Siegel, the long-suffering wife of Warren Beatty's "Bugsy" (1991). Phillips is married to actor-director Scott Paulin.
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
TV-movie debut, "Death Be Not Proud"
TV series debut as daughter on "Executive Suite"
Feature film debut, "Fraternity Row"
Co-starred on "The Eddie Capra Mysteries"
Played Robert De Niro's ex-wife in "Midnight Run"
Co-starred on TV series, "The Robert Guillaume Show"
Co-starred as Esta Siegel in the feature "Bugsy"
Played Lucille Richards on The WB series "Savannah"