Virginia Madsen

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Virginia Madsen
Virginia Madsen Oscars 2009.jpg
Madsen at the 81st Academy Awards.
BornVirginia G. Madsen[1]
(1961-09-11) September 11, 1961 (age 52)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
OccupationActress
Years active1983–present
Website
virginia-madsen.org
 
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Virginia Madsen
Virginia Madsen Oscars 2009.jpg
Madsen at the 81st Academy Awards.
BornVirginia G. Madsen[1]
(1961-09-11) September 11, 1961 (age 52)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
OccupationActress
Years active1983–present
Website
virginia-madsen.org

Virginia G. Madsen (born September 11, 1961) is an American actress and documentary film producer. She came to fame during the 1980s, having appeared in several films aimed at a teenage audience. Two decades later, she had an Academy Award and Golden Globe–nominated role in the 2004 film Sideways. Other films she appeared in include Candyman (1992), The Prophecy (1995), Ghosts of Mississippi (1996), The Rainmaker (1997), The Haunting (1999), The Number 23 (2007), The Haunting in Connecticut (2009) and The Magic of Belle Isle (2012).

Early life[edit]

Madsen was born in Chicago, Illinois, the daughter of Elaine (née Melson), an Emmy-winning poet, producer and playwright who often works for PBS, and Calvin Madsen, a fireman.[2] Madsen's mother left a career in corporate business to pursue a writing career.[3] Madsen's brother is actor Michael Madsen. Her paternal grandparents were Danish, and her mother has English, Irish, Scottish, German, and distant Native American, ancestry.[4][5] Madsen is a graduate of New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois.[6][7]

Her first effort as an actress was as her brother’s assistant in magic shows the two would concoct for their family. She later attended the Ted Liss Acting Studio in Chicago and Harand Camp Adult Theater Seminar in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Of her experience with Liss, she said: "I had wanted to join his class since I was 12. It was well worth the wait because I don't think I could have got that sort of training anywhere else especially in the United States...I always wanted to make a real career out of acting."[8]

Career[edit]

Film[edit]

Audiences first caught a glimpse of Madsen on film in a bit part she landed as Lisa in the teen sex comedy Class, along with an appearance in Kenny Loggins' music video "I'm Free (Heaven Helps the Man)" from the Footloose soundtrack. She portrayed a cellist named Madeline in Electric Dreams (1984), which was the first film release by Virgin Films Production Company.[citation needed] She was cast as Princess Irulan in David Lynch's science fiction epic Dune (1984).[9]

Madsen first became popular with audiences in 1986 with her portrayal of a Catholic schoolgirl who fell in love with a boy from a prison camp in Duncan Gibbons's Fire with Fire. As beauty queen Dixie Lee Boxx, she was the sexy love interest of minor-league baseball manager Cecil "Stud" Cantrell (William Petersen) in the made-for-cable Long Gone (1987). She played a secretary in the 1988 comedy Hot to Trot and appeared as Maddie Hayes' cousin in the final season of Moonlighting. She also starred in the 1992 horror film Candyman.

Madsen appeared in a small but key role in the Francis Ford Coppola drama The Rainmaker (1997) starring Matt Damon. Film critic Roger Ebert said that Madsen had a "strong scene,"[10] while reviewer James Berardinelli noted that "the supporting cast is solid, with turns from... Virginia Madsen as a witness for the plaintiff".[11] Madsen had spent more than twenty years in minor films before her breakout critically acclaimed performance in Sideways (2004). The role catapulted her onto the Hollywood A-list.[12] Her first major role after Sideways was opposite Harrison Ford in Firewall. She later appeared in Robert Altman's A Prairie Home Companion, in a key role as the angel. She co-starred with Jim Carrey in The Number 23 and Billy Bob Thornton in The Astronaut Farmer; both films opened in North America on February 23, 2007.

She voiced Queen Hippolyte, mother of Wonder Woman, in the 2009 animated Wonder Woman film.

Television[edit]

Madsen has made numerous television appearances including Star Trek: Voyager, CSI: Miami, Dawson's Creek, The Practice, Frasier, and other series. She was also co-host of the long-running TV series Unsolved Mysteries in 1999, during the show's second (and final) season on CBS. She starred opposite Ray Liotta in CBS's short-lived crime drama series Smith. She also had a recurring role in the final season of the USA series Monk.

She appeared with Kenny Loggins in the music video "I'm Free", from the Footloose soundtrack (1984).

In 2010, she landed the starring role of Cheryl West in the ABC crime series Scoundrels. In December 2010, it was announced that she will be joining the cast of NBC's science fiction action series The Event.[13] In 2012, she joined the cast of the AMC television show Hell on Wheels as Mrs. Durant, first appearing in episode eight of season 2, "The Lord's Day."

Producer[edit]

In 2008, she formed her own film production company called Title IX Prods.[14] Her first project was a film made with her mother called I Know a Woman Like That. The film is a documentary about the lives of older women. On the creation of the film, she said her mother's active lifestyle was an inspiration to start filming.

"My mother's level of activity, of productivity, was exactly why I thought a project like this would work. Originally, when we put the idea together, she had said, 'I'm far too busy. I'm going to Holland, and then I'm going here and there and I'm writing my book.' But that's really what it's about."[15]

Her second project is called Fighting Gravity and is about the inability of female ski jumpers to obtain recognition in Olympic competition.[16]

Awards[edit]

Nominations: Academy Awards

Nominations: Golden Globes

Other awards[edit]

Wins:

Filmography[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1983ClassLisa
1984Electric DreamsMadeline Robistat
DunePrincess Irulan
1985CreatorBarbara Spencer
1986Fire with FireLisa Taylor
Modern GirlsKelly
1987Slam DanceYolanda Caldwell
Zombie HighAndrea
Long GoneDixie Lee Boxx
1988GothamRachel CarlyleNominated - CableACE Award Award for Best Actress in a Movie or Miniseries
Mr. NorthSally Boffin
Hot to TrotAllison Rowe
1989Third Degree BurnAnne Scholes
Heart of DixieDelia June Curry
MoonlightingLorraine Anne Charnock
1990The Hot SpotDolly Harshaw
1991Victim of LoveCarla Simons
Becoming ColettePolaire
Highlander II: The QuickeningLouise Marcus
IroncladsBetty Stuart
1992A Murderous Affair: Carolyn Warmus The StoryCarolyn Warmus
CandymanHelen LyleAvoriaz Fantastic Film Festival Award for Best Actress
Saturn Award for Best Actress
1994Caroline at MidnightSusan Prince
Blue TigerGina Hayes
1995The ProphecyKatherine
1996Just Your LuckKim
Ghosts of MississippiDixie DeLaughter
1997The RainmakerJackie Lemanczyk
1998Star Trek: VoyagerKellin(1 episode)
FrasierCassandra(4 episodes)
Ballad of the Nightingale
AmbushedLucy Monroe
1999The FlorentineMolly
The HauntingJane
2000Lying in WaitVera Miller
Children of FortuneIngrid Bast
After SexTraci
2001Crossfire TrailAnne RodneyBronze Wrangler Award for Best Television Feature Film
Full DisclosureBrenda Hopkins
Almost SalinasClare
Just Ask My ChildrenBrenda Kniffen
2002Justice LeagueDr. Sarah Corwin(4 episodes, 2002–06)
American GunPenny Tillman
2003ArtworksEmma BeckerCalifornia Independent Film Festival Slate Award for Best Actress
Nobody Knows Anything!Prison Lawyer
CSI: MiamiKrista Walker(1 episode)
TemptedEmma Burke
2004SidewaysMayaBoston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Cast
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Chlotrudis Award for Best Supporting Actress
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Seattle Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Toronto Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated - Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated - Central Ohio Film Critics Association Award for Best Ensemble (2nd place)
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Nominated - Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated - Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Nominated - Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Brave New GirlWanda Lovell
2005Scooby-Doo! in Where's My Mummy?Cleopatra
2006SmithHope Stevens(7 episodes, 2006–07)
FirewallBeth Stanfield
A Prairie Home CompanionDangerous WomanNominated - Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
Nominated - Gotham Award for best Ensemble Cast
2007The Astronaut FarmerAudrey 'Audie' Farmer
Ripple EffectSherry
The Number 23Agatha Sparrow / Fabrizia
CutlassRobin
Being Michael Madsen
2008Diminished CapacityCharlotte
2009The Haunting in ConnecticutSara CampbellNominated - Fangoria Chainsaw Award for Best Leading Actress
Wonder WomanQueen Hippolyta
MonkT.K. Jensen(3 episodes)[17]
AmeliaDorothy Binney(her scenes were cut)
2010Father of InventionLorraine
ScoundrelsCheryl West
2011Red Riding HoodSuzette
2012Long Time GoneAugusta
The Magic of Belle IsleCharlotte O'Neil
Hell on WheelsMrs. Durant
JanMelWIGS
2013Hatfields & McCoys (TV pilot)Eloise McCoyshow not picked up
The Last KeepersAbigail Carver
The Hot FlashesClementine Winks
Crazy Kind of LoveAugusta Iris
Witches of East EndPenelope GardinerRecurring role

References[edit]

  1. ^ From the Nevada Marriage Index, 1956-2005
  2. ^ Bell, Mark (2007-02-23). "METHOD FEST TO PRESENT THE 2007 MAVERICK AWARD TO MICHAEL MADSEN". Film Threat. Retrieved 2007-05-31. 
  3. ^ Kennedy, Lisa (2007-02-21). "A strong role, an equal partner". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2007-05-31. 
  4. ^ Bray, Tony (April 2004). "Virginia Madsen". TV Now. Retrieved 2007-05-31. 
  5. ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000515/bio
  6. ^ "Virginia Madsen and Suzanne Adams". TeachersCount. 2006. Retrieved 2007-05-31. 
  7. ^ Habermehl, Kris (2007-01-25). "Fire Breaks Out At Prestigious High School". Retrieved 2008-06-28. [dead link]
  8. ^ Madsen, Virginia (2007). "Virginia Madsen Biography – Bio – Life History". Virginia Madsen Official Site. Retrieved 2007-05-31. 
  9. ^ Madsen's opening monologue from Dune ("In this time, the most precious substance in the universe is the spice melange. The spice extends life. The spice expands consciousness.") was later sampled by Israel-based group [[Astral Projection (group)|]] in their tracks "Dancing Galaxy" and "Ambient Galaxy" on their album Dancing Galaxy, and by drum'n'bass artist Aphrodite in his song "Spice (Even Spicier)."
  10. ^ Ebert, Roger (1997-11-21). "The Rainmaker". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved 2007-05-31. 
  11. ^ Berardinelli, James (1997). "The Rainmaker". ReelViews. Retrieved 2007-05-31. 
  12. ^ Tarshis, Joan (September 2005). "Virginia Madsen’s Vintage Year". Smoke Magazine Online. Retrieved 2007-05-31. 
  13. ^ Ausiello, Michael (13 December 2010). "Virginia Madsen Joins NBC’s ‘The Event’". Deadline.com. Retrieved 14 December 2010. 
  14. ^ Tatiana Siegel, "Virginia Madsen added to 'Amelia'." Variety, April 21, 2008. Retrieved: December 26, 2009
  15. ^ "Ability Magazine: Virginia Madsen and Elaine Madsen Interview" (2010)". Retrieved 2012-04-03. 
  16. ^ IMDB, Title IX Prods
  17. ^ Exclusive: 'Monk' welcomes Virginia Madsen

External links[edit]