Ellen Rona Barkin (born April 16, 1954) is an American actress, known for her roles in the films The Big Easy, Sea of Love and Switch. As of 2012 she stars as Jane Forrest (Nana) in the NBC sitcom The New Normal.
Barkin was born in Bronx, the daughter of Evelyn (née Rozin), a hospital administrator who worked at Jamaica Hospital, and Sol Barkin, a chemical salesman. Barkin was raised in a lower-middle-class Jewish family, a descendant of immigrants from Siberia and the Russia-Poland border.
Barkin received her high school diploma at Manhattan’s High School of Performing Arts. She then attended Hunter College and double majored in history and drama. At one point, Barkin wanted to teach ancient history. She continued her acting education at New York City’s Actors Studio. According to Time, she studied acting for ten years before landing her first audition.
Barkin has a brother, George, who was formerly the editor-in-chief of National Lampoon and High Times. Barkin is the mother of two children, Jack Daniel (born 1989) and Romy Marion (born 1992), from her first marriage, to actor Gabriel Byrne. The two separated in 1993 and divorced in 1999, but are still close.
The grand finale of Bronx Week 2013 on May 19, 2013 will include the induction of Berking, one of this year’s honorees, in the Bronx Walk of Fame.