Deborah Van Valkenburgh is an American actress best known for playing Ted Knight's daughter Jackie Rush in the sitcom ‘Too Close for Comfort’ on the ABC television. She is also famous for her role in the 1979 cult film ‘The Warriors’ directed by Walter Hill. Before becoming successful in Hollywood she was cast in several off-Broadway plays including ‘The Tempest’ and ‘Minutemen’. She has been cast in numerous movies and sitcoms including ‘Castle’, ‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’ and ‘Criminal minds’. She has also acted in many touring company productions. Apart from acting, she is also skilled at modern dance, ballet, improvisation and puppet production. She won the Supporting Actress in a Fantasy Film at the PollyGrind Film Festival for her performance in the movie ‘Road To Hell’. Deborah has studied acting with William Esper and John Shea, voice with Kirk Nurockand Richard Green, ballet with Ballet Arts Carnegie Hall, puppet production with Jim Henson of "The Muppets" fame, modern dance with James Cunningham, and improvisation with Dan Richter.
Deborah Van Valkenburgh started off her acting career on Broadway appearing in the play ‘Hair’. She then got parts in off-Broadway plays ‘Honeybee’, ‘The Tempest’, ‘Six Characters in Search of an Author’, ‘Hay Fever’, ‘When Did You last See Your Mother?’, ‘Iolanthe’, ‘It Ain't Aardvark’ and ‘Minutemen’. Besides acting in New York shows she has also acted in regional and touring company productions of ‘A View from the Bridge’, ‘Mooney's Kid Don't Cry’ and ‘The Children's Hour’.
In 1979, she was seen in the action film ‘The Warriors’. The movie was a film adaptation based on Sol Yurick's 1965 graphic novel of the same name. ‘The Warriors quickly attracted controversy for the violence in the movie. However, it also became a cult movie.
Deborah Van Valkenburgh’s big break came when she landed the role of Jackie Rush in the hit ABC sitcom ‘Too Close for Comfort’ in 1980, which was later renamed as The Ted Knight’s show. The sitcom was about a cartoonist who tried to meddle in the affairs of family and friends. She worked in ‘Too Close for Comfort’ till 1985.
She did a bunch of other movies during her career including ‘King of the Mountain’ (1981), ‘A Bunny's Tale’ (1985), ‘Phantom of the Ritz’ (1992), ‘Mean Guns’ (1997), ‘Criminal’ (2004) and many more. She also acted in a long list of sitcoms including ‘ER’ (2004), ‘The Unit’ (2009), ‘Ghost Whisperer’ (2010) and ‘Castle’ (2011). Her most notable screen credits are Marlena in the indie feature ‘Free Enterprise’ opposite William Shatner and as Mary Conant in the sci-fi miniseries ‘Firestarter 2: Rekindled’ .
She works regularly on stage and was recently spotted in the ‘The Beauty of Leenane’ with Priscilla Allen for which she was awarded the Patte Award for Best Assemble along with her fellow cast members.
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Family & Personal Life
Deborah Van Valkenburgh was born on August 29, 1952. Not much is known about her childhood. She studied at Shaker High School in Latham, New York. She graduated from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, with a BFA in Painting & Drawing. She is currently single and lives in L.A. She had a relationship with American musician Peter Halsten but later on they separated.