Yancy Butler

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Yancy Butler

Yancy Butler in 2010
BornYancy Victoria Butler
(1970-07-02) July 2, 1970 (age 42)
Greenwich Village, New York, U.S.
Years active1992–present
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Yancy Butler

Yancy Butler in 2010
BornYancy Victoria Butler
(1970-07-02) July 2, 1970 (age 42)
Greenwich Village, New York, U.S.
Years active1992–present

Yancy Victoria Butler (born July 2, 1970) is an American television and movie actress known for her roles as Natasha Binder in the 1993 John Woo film Hard Target and as Detective Sara Pezzini on the TNT supernatural drama Witchblade.


Early life

Butler was born in Greenwich Village, New York City. She is the daughter of Leslie (née Vega), a theatre company manager, and Joe Butler, drummer for the 1960s rock group The Lovin' Spoonful.[1][2]


Butler's first major role was in the television series Mann & Machine in 1992, in which she played an android police officer partnered with a human detective. The series was set in Los Angeles in the near future. The series was co-created by Dick Wolf, of Law & Order fame. A year later, she starred in her second series, South Beach also for Dick Wolf, in which she played a con artist and thief who made a deal with the federal government: in exchange for their wiping of her criminal record, she performs certain tasks for them.

While Butler's first appearance was a small role as a small girl in a 1979 slasher film Savage Weekend, her next film appearance was the starring role in John Woo's 1993 film, Hard Target, featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme. She then starred in the 1994 film Drop Zone, featuring Wesley Snipes. In 1995, she starred as Corinne the dancer in the film Let It Be Me. Butler was cast as a series regular in the television series Brooklyn South playing Anne-Marie Kersey, a Brooklyn policewoman, which ran for a full season in 1997–1998.

Butler starred in the made-for-television film Witchblade (2000) and the subsequent television series, based on an adaptation from the comic book (also titled Witchblade), which ran for two seasons on the Turner Network Television network (TNT) for a total of 23 episodes. The series has a "cult television" following, and was ranked seventh in the Top 10 Basic Cable Dramas for 2002 (Multichannel News, February 24, 2003). The show's cancellation was announced after the second season in September 2002.[3]

In 2005, Yancy starred in the film Bloodlines, alongside Lou Diamond Phillips.[4]

In 2006, Butler starred in the American movie Striking Range. and in 2007, she appeared in thirteen episodes of the television soap opera As The World Turns, as character "Ava Jenkins."[5]

Yancy has been confirmed to appear in Tales of the Ancient Empire,[6] the follow-up to The Sword and the Sorcerer.[7] On January 24, 2012, Tales of an Ancient Empire was officially released on DVD. Butler, however, did not appear in the film. [8] Butler appeared in a small role in another comic book adaptation, the film version of Kick-Ass, based on the Marvel/Icon Comics series by Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr.[9]

Personal life

Substance abuse and legal issues

On January 2, 2003, Butler was arrested after getting into a fight with her father, Joe Butler, at her uncle's Long Island home. She was charged with criminal contempt for violating an order of protection and two counts of harassment.[10] She subsequently completed a stint in rehab and attended counseling sessions.

Fourteen months after the cancellation of the Witchblade series, in November 2003, Butler was taken into custody in Delray, Florida, for disorderly intoxication and sentenced to a substance-abuse treatment program after police there found her stumbling in and out of traffic. Butler told police that she was an alcoholic who was on medication, according to a Delray Beach Police report. At first, she said she'd been kicked out of a halfway house, but later said she was still in one, the report said.[11]

On March 13, 2007, Butler was charged with driving under the influence and failure to drive in the established lane after she crashed her Saab 900 into a wire guard rail in Sharon, Connecticut.[12] The actress was released on a $500 bail and ordered to appear in Bantam Superior Court on March 26, 2007.[13][14][15]

On March 28, Bantam Superior Court Judge Richard Marano issued a re-arrest order for Butler because she had twice not appeared at scheduled court dates. The judge directed that the warrant not be served until April 2 to give Butler a chance to explain why she was not in court.[16]

Two days prior to the DWI offense, Butler allegedly phoned 911 after a fight with her boyfriend, 53-year-old Earl Ward Jr. Responding officers reported witnessing a drunk Butler complaining about Ward, who refused to hand over her car keys. The argument resulted in her throwing several items at him. Ward later told police that Butler had been smoking crack cocaine and drinking liquor over the course of the weekend.[17]

Stalking complaint

On February 2, 2007, Butler's former boyfriend was arraigned in Litchfield, CT on charges stemming from a stalking complaint filed by the actress.[18][19] On September 27, 2007, the former boyfriend pleaded no contest in Bantam Superior Court to one count of creating a public disturbance and was ordered to pay a $50 fine.[20]


On June 10, 2002, Butler won a Saturn Award for Best Actress in a Television Series, at the 29th Annual Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films Awards ceremony, for her performances in Witchblade.[21]


TV series

1992Mann & MachineSgt. Eve Edison
1993South BeachKate Patrick
1997–1998Brooklyn SouthOfficer Anne-Marie Kersey
2001–2002WitchbladeDetective Sara Pezzini
2007As the World TurnsAva Jenkins
2010The MentalistAunt Jodie
2011Rage of the YetiVillers


1979Savage Weekendlittle girl
1993Hard TargetNatasha Binder
The Hit ListJordan HenningTV Movie
1994Drop ZoneJessie Crossman
Annie's GardenLisa Miller
1995Let It Be MeCorinne
1996Fast MoneyFrancesca March
1997RavagerAvedon Hammond
The ExDeidre Kenyon
1998Doomsday ManCaptain Kate Roebuck
1999The Witness FilesSandy Dickinson
2004The Last LetterMs. Toney / Alicia Cromwell
2006Basilisk: The Serpent KingHannah Carmelina Santorini Frankman
Striking RangeEmily Johanson
Double CrossKathy Swanson
2008Vote and Die: Liszt for PresidentAnn Barklely
2010Lake Placid 3Reba Butler
Kick-AssAngie D'Amico
2011Rage of the YetiVillers
2012Lake Placid: The Final ChapterReba Butler
2013Kick-Ass 2Angie D'Amico


  1. ^ Yancy Butler Biography at Film Reference. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
  2. ^ "Interview: Yancy Butler (Witchblade's Sara Pezzini) - Part Two". Sci Fi Dimensions. July, 2002. http://www.scifidimensions.com/Jul02/yancybutler2.htm. Retrieved 2010-09-24.
  3. ^ Josh, Grossberg (2002-09-05). ""Witchblade" Sliced by TNT". E! Online. http://www.eonline.com/news/article/index.jsp?uuid=79462aa7-4e88-49cb-9d58-429008f1b665. Retrieved 2006-12-29.
  4. ^ Bloodlines Movie, from Serendipitous Films
  5. ^ Yancy Butler Overview, from The Internet Movie Database
  6. ^ "Yancy Butler Joins the Family in Tales | Horror Movie, DVD, & Book Reviews, News, Interviews at Dread Central". Dreadcentral.com. 2008-04-17. http://www.dreadcentral.com/story/yancy-butler-joins-family-tales. Retrieved 2010-10-14.
  7. ^ "A Few More Details On That SWORD AND THE SORCERER Follow-Up We've Been Hearing About!! - Ain't It Cool News: The best in movie, TV, DVD, and comic book news". Aintitcool.com. 2008-04-23. http://www.aintitcool.com/node/36509. Retrieved 2010-10-14.
  8. ^ "Tales of an Ancient Empire (2010)". amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/Tales-Ancient-Empire-Melissa-Ordway/dp/B0062KMDPM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1328059235&sr=8-1. Retrieved 2012-01-31.
  9. ^ ""Interview: Yancy Butler (Witchblade, Wolvesbane)" Action Flick Chick; October 26, 2009". Actionflickchick.com. 2009-10-26. http://actionflickchick.com/superaction/interview-yancy-butler/. Retrieved 2010-10-14.
  10. ^ ""Witchblade" Star Ordered to Rehab". E! Online. 2003-11-24. http://www.eonline.com/uberblog/b46332_quotWitchbladequot_Star_Ordered_to_Rehab.html. Retrieved 2010-10-14.
  11. ^ Josh, Grossberg (2003-11-24). ""Witchblade" Star Ordered to Rehab". E! Online. http://www.eonline.com/news/article/index.jsp?uuid=d58f45ce-6162-413d-bf44-a71b7c2127e8. Retrieved 2006-12-29.
  12. ^ Actress Yancy Butler arrested for DUI USA Today 3/15/2007 9:13 AM
  13. ^ "Actress Yancy Butler Arrested for DUI". ABC News Online. 2007-03-15. http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory?id=2952891&CMP=OTC-RSSFeeds0312. Retrieved 2007-03-15.[dead link]
  14. ^ SUNDIE, BRYAN (2007-02-14). "SHARON: Actress charged in domestic violence case". Waterbury Republican American. http://www.rep-am.com/story.php?id=19686. Retrieved 2007-03-15.[dead link]
  15. ^ "A no-show in court, `Witchblade' star facing another arrest". The Associated Press via The Advocate. 2007-03-28. http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/local/state/hc-28012814.apds.m0861.bc-ct--peopmar28,0,4098830.story?track=rss. Retrieved 2007-03-28.[dead link]
  16. ^ "What NOT to do in a SAAB [Archive] - SaabCentral Forums". Saabcentral.com. 2007-03-15. http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-97075.html. Retrieved 2010-10-14.
  17. ^ 'Witchblade' star says ex-boyfriend stalked her 2/1/2007 10:37 AM ET USA Today
  18. ^ 'Witchblade' Actress Arrested At Sharon Home After Incident LITCHFIELD-Turner Network Television's "Witchblade" star Yancy Butler, who last week accused an ex-boyfriend of stalking her, was ordered to attend Alcoholics Anonymous Tuesday in Bantam Superior Court after State Police arrested her last Sunday in Sharon on a disorderly conduct charge. By: Tracy Kennedy 02/15/2007 Litchfield County Times
  19. ^ By (2007-09-25). "Former boyfriend fined $50 in Yancy Butler case - Norwich, CT". Norwich Bulletin. http://www.norwichbulletin.com/entertainment/x1681071517. Retrieved 2010-10-14.
  20. ^ Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, Saturn Award Recipients, 2002, from The Internet Movie Database

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