- Children: Riley Maple (1981-2005), Paddy Maple, Jack Maple (b. 1985), Calla Louise Maple (b. 1987).
- Her TV debut at age 16 was on "The Gong Show" (1976).
- She is also a folk singer-songwriter with a couple of albums.
- Went to Chatsworth High School in Los Angeles with Val Kilmer and Kevin Spacey. During their senior year, Kevin played von Trapp and Mare played Maria in a school production of "The Sound of Music." Upon hearing of their Oscar nominations in 1996, Winningham sent a telegram to Spacey saying: "Captain von Trapp - congratulations on your nomination - Maria."
- When she appeared as a contestant on TV's "The Gong Show" (1976) (c. 1978), she was introduced as Sharon Shamus by host Chuck Barris. She played guitar and sang the Lennon & McCartney song "Here, There and Everywhere." And no. . . she did not get gonged. The panel loved her.
- Learned American Sign Language for her role as Maggie in Love Is Never Silent (1985) (TV).
- Is the only brat packer ever to be nominated for an Academy Award (for Georgia (1995)).
- She played a virgin in the movie St. Elmo's Fire (1985) while she was pregnant.
- She and Vanessa Redgrave are the only actresses nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Supporting Actress category for playing the title role in a movie. Redgrave won the Oscar for the character Julia in Julia (1977), and Winningham was nominated for the character Georgia in Georgia (1995).
- Was one of the nine original members of the 1980s "brat pack", along with Judd Nelson, Andrew McCarthy, Anthony Michael Hall, Demi Moore, Rob Lowe, Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez and Ally Sheedy.
- Daughter Happy Maple born 1986.
- Though born an Irish Catholic, in 2000 Winningham felt her spiritual life was lacking, and, based on a recommendation from a friend, in November 2001 she signed up for a class given by Rabbi Neal Wienberg at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, California. On March 3, 2003 she converted to Judaism, and became a member of two Conservative synagogues, Temple Beth Am in Los Angeles, and Temple Knesset Israel in Hollywood, California.
- Winningham attended Andasol Avenue Elementary School in Northridge, California -her favorite subjects included drama. She also signed up for guitar lessons at a local park, and by the 6th grade was, in her view, "pretty good". It was at this time that she adopted the nickname "Mare". She attended Patrick Henry Junior High School, taking the extended drama option, and on summer vacations she studied drama at CSUN's Teenage Drama Workshop.
- Winningham was raised in Northridge, California with three brothers and one sister. Her father was the Chairman of the Department of Physical Education at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and her mother was an English teacher and college counselor at a local high school. She credits her first interest in acting to seeing an interview with Kym Karath (who played "Gretl" in The Sound of Music) on Art Linkletter's television show House Party when she was five or six years old.
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