Fairuza Balk

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Fairuza Balk
Fairuza Balk.jpg
Fairuza Balk, January 2006
BornFairuza Alejandra Feldthouse
(1974-05-21) May 21, 1974 (age 40)
Point Reyes, California,
United States
Years active1983–present
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Fairuza Balk
Fairuza Balk.jpg
Fairuza Balk, January 2006
BornFairuza Alejandra Feldthouse
(1974-05-21) May 21, 1974 (age 40)
Point Reyes, California,
United States
Years active1983–present

Fairuza Balk (born May 21, 1974) is an American film actress. She made her theatrical film debut as Dorothy Gale in Disney's Return to Oz. Balk also made appearances in Valmont, The Craft, The Island of Dr. Moreau, American History X, The Waterboy, Almost Famous, and Personal Velocity: Three Portraits.

Early life[edit]

Balk was born as Fairuza Alejandra Feldthouse in Point Reyes, California.[1] Her first name is Persian for "turquoise". Until age two, Balk lived in Cloverdale, California with her mother. They then moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, where she began acting at age six. They moved from London to Paris for another role. They remained there for six months before returning to Vancouver. Balk moved to Los Angeles as a young woman upon signing to act in The Craft.

Fairuza's mother, Cathryn Balk, has studied, performed, and taught the ethnic and traditional dance forms of many countries such as Egypt, Turkey, Morocco and Spain.[2] Her father, Solomon Feldthouse, was one of the founding members of the 1960s psychedelic rock group Kaleidoscope, and is also a traveling folk musician.[3] He was born in Pingree, Idaho and moved to Turkey at age 10, where he lived for six years and learned Greek, Turkish and Persian music.[4] Balk has stated that her father is of Romani and Cherokee ancestry, and that her mother is of Irish and French descent.[5][6]


Her debut role was in a television movie titled The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, produced in 1983. While in London, Balk was cast by Walt Disney Productions to star as Dorothy Gale in Return to Oz, the unofficial sequel to MGM's 1939 musical The Wizard of Oz.[7] This role led to other, minor roles, including that of Mildred Hubble in The Worst Witch, and in 1988 she moved to Paris to work on Valmont with Miloš Forman. By 1989 she was back in Vancouver, where she attended high school. However, she soon decided to take correspondence courses instead and went back to Hollywood, where she gained increasing notice as an actress. In 1992 she was awarded an Independent Spirit Award as best actress for her performance in the Allison Anders film Gas Food Lodging.

In 1996, she appeared in a lead role in The Craft, in which her character formed a teenage coven with characters portrayed by Neve Campbell, Rachel True and Robin Tunney.

Since The Craft, Balk has continued to find roles, primarily dark ones. In 1996 she co-starred in The Island of Dr Moreau with Marlon Brando, Val Kilmer and David Thewlis. In 1998 she gave an intense performance as a neo-Nazi goth-punk opposite Edward Norton in his Academy Award-nominated performance in American History X, and was featured in The Waterboy, alongside Adam Sandler. Since 2000, she has appeared in over a dozen movies. She has also done voice work for animated films and video games, including Justice League and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. The 2007 documentary Return To Oz: The Joy That Got Away was dedicated to her.

In 2010, Balk released the single "Stormwinds" under the artist title Armed Love Militia.

In 2011, Balk began to exhibit art in Los Angeles and New York. On August 4, 2012 she participated in the group show 'MiXTAPE' along with other notable artists Mark Ryden, Camille Rose Garcia, Jessicka Addams, & Marion Peck. Artists were asked to pick a song and create art inspired by that song. Fairuza chose the song “Nuages” by Django Reinhardt and created a 16″ x 20″ x 12″, mixed media sculpture. The eclectic mix of songs chosen were featured for digital download on iTunes.[8][9][10]


1985Return to OzDorothy Gale
1986The Worst WitchMildred Hubble
1988Outside Chance of Maximilian Glick, TheThe Outside Chance of Maximilian GlickCelia Brzjinski
1992Gas Food LodgingShade
1994Imaginary CrimesSonya Weiler
1995Things to Do in Denver When You're DeadLucinda
1996Craft, TheThe CraftNancy Downs
1996Island of Dr. Moreau, TheThe Island of Dr. MoreauAissa
1997American PerfektAlice Thomas
1997Maker, TheThe MakerBella Sotto
1998Life in the Fast LaneMona
1998American History XStacey
1998Waterboy, TheThe WaterboyVicki Vallencourt
2000Red LettersGretchen Van Buren
2000Almost FamousSapphire
2002Personal Velocity: Three PortraitsPaula
2002Deuces WildAnnie
2005What is it?Screaming Snail / Insect / Monkey Girl (voice)
2005Don't Come KnockingAmber
2005Year and a Day, AA Year and a DayLola
2006Wild Tigers I Have KnownLogan's Mom
2008Humboldt CountyBogart
2008Grindstone RoadHannah
2009Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, TheThe Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New OrleansHeidi
2010Shit YearMessage Voice
2013Dose of RealityRose
2013Another StatesideRifkapost-production
1983Best Christmas Pageant Ever, TheThe Best Christmas Pageant EverBeth BradleyTV movie
1985DeceptionsPenny RobertsTV movie
1986Worst Witch, TheThe Worst WitchMildred HubbleTV movie
1987Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton StoryBarbara - Age 12TV movie
1991Deadly Intentions... Again?StaceyTV movie
1992ShameLizzie CurtisTV movie
1992Danger of Love: The Carolyn Warmus Story, TheThe Danger of Love: The Carolyn Warmus StoryLisaTV movie
1993Murder in the HeartlandCaril Ann FugateTV movie
1994ZZ Top: BreakawayVampire GirlTV movie
1995Shadow of a DoubtAngel HarwellTV movie
2000Family GuyConnie D'Amico (voice)Episode: "Let's Go to the Hop"
2002Grand Theft Auto: Vice CityMercedes Cortez (voice)Video game
2003Justice LeaguePenny Dee (voice)Episode: "Only a Dream"
2003Lords of EverQuestLady T'Lak (voice)Video game
2006OrpheusKarenTV movie
2006Masters of HorrorStaciaEpisode: "Pick Me Up"


  1. ^ California Birth Index 1905–1995.
  2. ^ "Fairuza Balk Biography (1974-)". FilmReference.com. 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  3. ^ "Fairuza Balk Photos, Gossip, Bio & Reviews". AskMen.com. IGN Entertainment, Inc. 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  4. ^ "The Rise and Fall of the Neoprene Lizards — the Kaleidoscope Story, p. 1". PulsatingDream.com. 2006. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  5. ^ Balk, Fairuza (2010-09-10). "Persecution of the Roma". Fairuza.com. Retrieved 2010-09-20. 
  6. ^ https://twitter.com/fairuza/status/12540672452071424
  7. ^ "The Wizard of Oz Production Timeline". The Walt Disney releases an unofficial sequel to the 1939 film titled Return to Oz and starring Fairuza Balk. The film is not a musical, and is much darker in tone than the 1939 film. 
  8. ^ Miller, Bridgette.Frances Bean Cobain & More Create Art That Rocks for MiXTAPE LA Bust (magazine) Aug 02, 2012
  9. ^ LA MIXTAPE: AS A GESTURE OF LOVE L.A. Record August 3, 2012
  10. ^ Duran, Amy.[1] IN L.A.: LA MIXTAPE @ LEBASSE PROJECTS CHINA TOWN juxtapoz magazine Monday August 20, 2012

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