Alicia Witt

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Alicia Witt
Alicia Witt 2012.jpg
Alicia Witt, 2012
Born Alicia Roanne Witt
(1975-08-21) August 21, 1975 (age 39)
Worcester, Massachusetts, USA
Occupation Actress, singer-songwriter, model
Years active 1984–present
Website
www.aliciawittmusic.com

Alicia Roanne Witt (born August 21, 1975) is an American actress, singer-songwriter, and pianist. Witt first came to fame as a child actress after being discovered by David Lynch, who cast her as Alia Atreides in his film Dune (1984); she also appeared in a guest role in Lynch's subsequent television series Twin Peaks (1990).

Witt later had roles as a disturbed teenager in Fun (1994), as a music student in Mr. Holland's Opus (1995), and as a college coed in the horror film Urban Legend (1998). She later appeared in Cameron Crowe's Vanilla Sky (2001), Last Holiday (2006), and the thriller 88 Minutes (2007). Witt co-starred in the sitcom Cybill, and has also made television appearances in Friday Night Lights, Justified, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. In addition to acting, Witt is also a musical prodigy and accomplished pianist.[1] In 2009, she released her self-titled debut EP.

Early life[edit]

Alicia Roanne Witt was born on August 21, 1975 in Worcester, Massachusetts.[2] Her mother, Diane (née Pietro), is a junior high school reading teacher, and her father, Robert Witt, is a science teacher and photographer.[3][4][5] She has a brother, Ian. At two years old, she was a child prodigy reading college textbooks.[6]

Witt was discovered by David Lynch in 1980 when she recited Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet on the television show That's Incredible!. He cast her in the movie Dune (1984) as Paul Atreides's sister Alia. She turned eight during filming. She worked with Lynch again when she appeared in an episode of Twin Peaks, playing the younger sister of Lara Flynn Boyle's character Donna.

At age 14, Witt earned her high school diploma. Shortly thereafter, she moved to Hollywood with her mother to pursue acting. In September 1990, she competed on Wheel of Fortune.[7]

Career[edit]

Witt at Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Massachusetts, 2012

During this time, Witt supported herself by playing piano at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel. She had small parts in Mike Figgis's Liebestraum (in which her brother Ian also appears), the Gen-X drama Bodies, Rest & Motion and the TV movie The Disappearance of Vonnie. In 1994, Witt landed her first lead role in a film, playing a disturbed teenager in Fun. She received the Special Jury Recognition Award at the Sundance Festival and was nominated for Best Actress at the Independent Spirit Awards. This performance inspired Madonna to recommend Witt be cast as her lover in the first segment of Four Rooms ("The Missing Ingredient").

Witt was introduced to a larger audience in the role of Zoey Woodbine, daughter of actress Cybill Shepherd's character in the sitcom Cybill. While playing that part from 1995 to 1998, she had film roles in Mr. Holland's Opus, Alexander Payne's abortion comedy Citizen Ruth, Passion's Way and Bongwater. After Cybill was cancelled, Witt had leading roles in the horror film Urban Legend and the animated feature Gen¹³, which was never released because the studio withdrew funding before its completion.

In 2000, Witt had starring roles on the television shows Ally McBeal and The Sopranos; the lead role in the comedy Playing Mona Lisa; a supporting part in John Waters's Cecil B. Demented; and her stage debut at Los Angeles's now-closed Tiffany Theater in Robbie Fox's musical The Gift, in which she played a high-priced stripper with a disease.

She had a small part in Cameron Crowe's Vanilla Sky intended as a reference to her roles in Dune and Liebestraum; played a college graduate who discusses losing her virginity in Ten Tiny Love Stories; and was the trailer-trash Barbie in American Girl, which was released to video in 2005.

Witt appeared in the 2002 romantic comedy Two Weeks Notice starring Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock. In 2003-04, she lived primarily in the United Kingdom, filming The Upside of Anger opposite Kevin Costner and starring as Evelyn in a stage production of Neil LaBute's The Shape of Things. Between these two projects, she went to South Africa to shoot the German TV movie Kingdom in Twilight, which also goes by the names The Sword of Xanten, The Ring of the Nibelungs and, in the United States, Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King. Witt played Kriemhild in this film interpretation of the epic poem Das Nibelungenlied.

Witt at the 18th Annual PRISM Awards, 2014

On June 14, 2004, Witt modeled what is believed to be the most expensive hat ever made for Christie's auction house in London. The Chapeau d'Amour, designed by Louis Mariette, is valued at $2.7 million (US) and is encrusted in diamonds.[8] In September 2006 she returned to the London stage at the Royal Court Theatre in Piano/Forte, portraying the piano-playing Abigail, a role in which she demonstrated herself to be an "outstanding pianist" of "formidable skill".[9][10]

Witt joined the cast of Law & Order: Criminal Intent for the 2007-08 season as Detective Nola Falacci, a character who was a temporary replacement for Megan Wheeler (played by Julianne Nicholson, who was away on maternity leave).[11] She was a recurring character in Friday Night Lights for the 2009-10 season. In March 2012, Witt retweeted a link on her official Twitter page in hopes of getting Law & Order: Criminal Intent back for an 11th season on NBC.[12]

In 2013, Witt co-starred in the independent film Cold Turkey, opposite Peter Bogdanovich and Cheryl Hines. She co-wrote and performed the end credits song with Ben Folds. Her performance in this film was critically acclaimed,[13][14] with New York Magazine's David Edelstein proclaiming her turn one of the top performances of 2013.[15] Witt also appeared in three Christmas films in 2013: the feature film Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas; A Snow Globe Christmas for Lifetime Channel; and A Very Merry Mix-Up for Hallmark Channel. Following the success of the latter, which is Hallmark's highest rated holiday film in history, Witt will return to Hallmark in Christmas 2014 with the new film Christmas at Cartwright's.

Witt joined the cast of Justified FX for Season 5 in 2013.[16] In July 2014, Witt began rehearsals for the Neil LaBute play, Reasons To Be Pretty at the Geffen Playhouse. The play runs through August 2014.[17] She filmed a major guest starring role on the DirecTv series Kingdom,[18] which airs in October 2014.

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1984 Dune Alia Atreides credited as Alicia Roanne Witt
1990 Twin Peaks Gersten Hayward Episode: "2.1"
1991 Liebestraum Girl in Dream
1993 Hotel Room Diane Episode: "Blackout"
1993 Bodies, Rest & Motion Elizabeth
1994 Fun Bonnie Gijón International Film Festival Award for Best Actress (shared with Renee Humphrey)
Sundance Film Festival - Special Jury Recognition
Nominated — Independent Spirit Award for Best Debut Performance
1994 Disappearance of Vonnie, TheThe Disappearance of Vonnie Janine TV movie
1995 Four Rooms Kiva Segment: "The Missing Ingredient"
1995 Mr. Holland's Opus Gertrude Lang
1995–98 Cybill Zoey Woodbine Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
1996 Citizen Ruth Cheryl Stoney
1997 Bongwater Serena
1998 Urban Legend Natalie Simon Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor
1999 Reef, TheThe Reef Sophy Viner
2000 Sopranos, TheThe Sopranos Amy Safir Episode: "D-Girl"
2000 Playing Mona Lisa Claire Goldstein U.S. Comedy Arts Festival - Film Discovery Jury Award for Best Actor
2000 Cecil B. Demented Cherish
2000 Ally McBeal Hope Mercey Episode: "Hope and Glory"
Episode: "Ally McBeal: The Musical, Almost"
2000 Gen¹³ Caitlin Fairchild (voice) Video
2001 Vanilla Sky Libby
2001 Ten Tiny Love Stories Two
2002 American Girl Barbie
2002 Two Weeks Notice June Carver
2003 Twilight Zone, TheThe Twilight Zone Liz Episode: "The Executions of Grady Finch"
2004 Girls' Lunch Short film
2004 Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King Kriemhild TV movie
2005 Upside of Anger, TheThe Upside of Anger Hadley Wolfmeyer
2006 Last Holiday Ms. Burns
2007 Blue Smoke Reena Hale TV movie
2007 88 Minutes Kim Cummings
2007 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Det. Nola Falacci 5 episodes
2008 Wainy Days Laura Episode: "Shelly II"
2008 Puppy Love Claire TV series short
2008 Two and a Half Men Miss Pasternak /
Desiree Bush, lap dancer
Episode: "A Jock Strap in Hell"
2009 Mentalist, TheThe Mentalist Rosalind Harker Episode: "Red John's Footsteps"
Episode: "Little Red Book"
Episode: "Red Is the New Black"
2009–11 Friday Night Lights Cheryl 9 episodes
2010 Edgar Floats Sandra TV movie
2010 Pond, TheThe Pond Shelly Short film
2010 Backyard Wedding Kim Tyler TV movie
2010 Peep World Amy
2011 Flight of the Swan, TheThe Flight of the Swan
2011 CSI: Miami Michelle Baldwin Episode: "Blood Lust"
2011 Joint Body Michelle Page
2012 Cowgirls n' Angels Elaine Clayton
2012 Bending the Rules Roslyn Wohl
2012 I Do Mya Edwards
2012 Person of Interest Connie Wyler Episode: "The High Road"
2013 Weiner Dog Nationals Melanie
2013 A Very Merry Mix-Up Alice Chapman TV movie on the Hallmark Channel
2013 A Madea Christmas Amber
2013 A Snow Globe Christmas Meg
2014 Kingdom Melanie TV series on DirecTV
2014 Justified Wendy Crowe TV series, 10 episodes
2014 , Away From HereAway From Here Lily
2014 , The Librarians (2014 TV series)The Librarians (2014 TV series) Lucinda TV series on TNT
2014 , The Bronx BullThe Bronx Bull Denise
Theatre
Year Title Theatre
2001 Gift, TheThe Gift Tiffany Theatre, Los Angeles
2004 Shape of Things, TheThe Shape of Things New Ambassadors Theatre, London
2006 Piano/Forte Royal Court Theatre, London
2007 Dissonance Williamstown Theatre Festival
2014 Reasons To Be Pretty Geffen Playhouse, Los Angeles

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jeffries, Wendy (1980). That's Incredible, Volume 4. Jove Publications. ISBN 978-0515058079. 
  2. ^ Marx, Rebecca Flint. "Alicia Witt". The New York Times. Retrieved December 12, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Alicia Witt Biography". Film Reference. Retrieved December 12, 2014. 
  4. ^ LaVallee, Wendy (September 17, 1980). "Little Girl's Big Intellect ...". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved December 12, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Genius Waits to Grow Up". Record Journal. September 15, 1980. Retrieved December 12, 2014. 
  6. ^ Jeffries, Wendy. That's Incredible, Volume 4. p. 25. ISBN 0-441-17271-7. 
  7. ^ "Tanya Hart Heads for National Job on Coast". Worcester Telegram & Gazette. August 24, 1990. Retrieved August 5, 2011. Alicia Witt, 14, of Worcester will take her chances during Wheel of Fortune's Teen Week beginning Sept 3. 
  8. ^ Brain Fertilizer: Why Is This Girl Smiling?
  9. ^ Bassett, Kate (2006-09-24). "Piano Forte, Royal Court, London". The Independent. Retrieved 2008-10-16. [dead link]
  10. ^ Billington, Michael (2006-09-21). "Piano/Forte". The Guardian. 
  11. ^ Actress Plays Noth's New Partner as Series Moves to USA Network[dead link]
  12. ^ "Twitter / @aliciawitty: RT @CassieStackSVU: ms. wi ...". Alicia Witt/Twitter. Retrieved March 24, 2012. 
  13. ^ http://www.villagevoice.com/2013-11-20/film/cold-turkey/full/
  14. ^ http://www.vulture.com/2013/11/movie-review-cold-turkey.html
  15. ^ http://www.vulture.com/2013/12/david-edelsteins-10-best-movies-of-2013.html
  16. ^ http://www.deadline.com/2013/09/alicia-witt-edi-gathegi-join-fxs-justified/
  17. ^ http://www.deadline.com/2014/06/amber-tamblyn-leads-classy-quartet-in-geffens-reasons-to-be-pretty/
  18. ^ http://www.eonline.com/news/561082/kingdom-stages-friday-night-lights-reunion-plus-jamie-kennedy-to-guest-star

External links[edit]