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Heart Like a Wheel Details


Heart Like a Wheel stars Bonnie Bedelia as real-life racing champion Shirley "Cha Cha" Muldowney. Overcoming sexist hurdles, Shirley works hard to qualify for the major auto race competitions of America. Firmly in her cheering section is her dad (Hoyt Axton), and--at least at first--her husband, mechanic Jack Muldowney (Leo Rossi). When Jack, jealous of Shirley's success, leaves her, she casts her lot with troublesome banned racer Connie Kalita (Beau Bridges). The film comes to a head at the 1966 National Hot Rod Association World Championship, which Shirley eventually wins three times. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:September 15, 1983


Awarded by
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences William Theiss Best Costume Design 1983 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Bonnie Bedelia Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama 1983 Nominee


Bonnie Bedelia
as Shirley Muldowney
Beau Bridges
as Connie Kalitta
Leo Rossi
as Jack Muldowney
Hoyt Axton
as Tex Rogue
Bill McKinney
as "Big Daddy" Don Garlits
Anthony Edwards
as John Muldowney, Age 15-23
Paul Bartel
as Chef Paul
Missy Basile
as Angela
Michael Cavanaugh
as NHRA Boss
Ellen Geer
as Mrs. Marianne Kalitta
Nora Heflin
as Nurse North
Tiny Wells
as Tiny
Jill Carroll
as John's Girl Friend
Terence Knox
as Jack's Friend
Diane Delano
as Shirley's Sister
Paul Linke
as Reporter
Leonard Termo
as Good Joe
Paul Bryar
as Matt, Card Player
Harry Northrup
as Trooper
Michael Talbott
as Englishtown Announcer
Sam Laws
as Piano Player
Creed Bratton
as Photographer
Tim Kimber
as Buddy
Mitzi Hoag
as Shirley's Mother
Dick Miller
as Mickey White
Bob Minor
as Ralph, NHRA Official
Jesse Aragon
as Carlos
Catherine Paolone
as Mrs. Good Joe
Robert Ridgely
as Bob Morton, "Sportsline"
Sally Dennison
Sam Posey
as Himself
Martin Casella
as Repoter #1
Byron Thames
as John, age 10-13
Bruce Barlow
as Bass Player, Tex's Band


Jonathan Kaplan
Charles Roven
Martin F. Katz
Ken Friedman
Tak Fujimoto
Laurence Rosenthal
Composer (Music Score)
James Newport
Production Designer
Arne Schmidt
Associate Producer
James L. Stewart
Executive Producer
Rich Irvine
Executive Producer
Peg Cummings
Set Designer
William Theiss
Costume Designer
Robert Gravenor
Sound/Sound Designer
Shirley Muldowney
Conrad Palmisano
Debby Porter
Conrad Palmisano
Second Unit Director