She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress twice more: for Terms of Endearment in 1983 (which was awarded to her co-star, Shirley Mac Laine, who played her mother in the film) and for Shadowlands in 1993, for which she also received her second BAFTA nomination.Her performance in A Dangerous Woman earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress.Her first starring role was in Thank God It's Friday, followed by her performance in Urban Cowboy in 1980 with John Travolta, for which she received a BAFTA nomination and a pair of Golden Globe nominations (for Best Performance by an Actress and Best New Star).In 1982 she co-starred with Nick Nolte in Cannery Row and with Richard Gere in An Officer and a Gentleman, for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress.and several other of her films, and has been dismissive of some of her co-stars and directors.
She has shown her support for reconciliation between Arabs and Jews in Israel by visiting the bilingual Hand in Hand schools (Galilee Jewish-Arab School, Gesher al Ha Wadi School) where, in 2008, she stated she would "dedicate the next bit of my life to these schools".
She was cast in the lead role in A League of their Own but dropped out and was replaced by Geena Davis.
It was later reported that the main reason Winger chose to leave the film was her refusal to work with singer/actress Madonna. People said, 'We miss you so much.' But in the last six years, tell me a film that I should have been in.
As 2009 president of the Zurich Film Festival jury, Winger joined other members of the Hollywood film community to speak out against the arrest and prosecution of director Roman Polanski who was convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl in the 1970s, criticizing Switzerland's government for "philistine collusion" in arresting him so many years later, as he was en route to attend the Zurich festival.
In 1996 she married actor/director Arliss Howard, whom she met on the set of the film Wilder Napalm.
In 2012, she made her Broadway debut in the original production of the David Mamet play The Anarchist.