Amy O'Neill

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Amy O'Neill
Born (1971-07-08) July 8, 1971 (age 43)
Pacific Palisades, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress, comedian, performer
Years active 1984–1994, 2005-2008 (actress)
2003–present (performer/comedian)

Amy O'Neill (born July 8, 1971) is an American performer and former actress. After appearing in several sitcoms and starring as Molly Stark on The Young and the Restless in 1986, she was cast in her notable role as Amy Szalinski in the 1989 Disney film, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, for which she was nominated for a Young Artist Award. She also appeared in the 1992 sequel, Honey, I Blew Up the Kid and as Lisa Barnes in Where's Rodney?.

Early life[edit]

O'Neill was born in Pacific Palisades, California, the daughter of Virginia, an art school director, and Thomas O'Neill, a Los Angeles construction company owner.[1] She is the third of five children. Her older siblings include brother Casey and sister Katie. Her younger brothers include Hugh and Barry. Her father is the brother of Hugh O'Neill, Esq, former Deputy Chief Counsel to The Secretary of the Navy, John Lehman.

Career[edit]

O'Neill began auditioning for parts at age ten with her older siblings.[2] After school, the kids would drive out to Hollywood. O'Neill made her first appearance on television at age 13 in an episode of Mama's Family as a younger version of Betty White's character, Ellen Harper. She continued working on television shows such as Matt Houston, Night Court, Highway to Heaven and The Twilight Zone. She also appeared on the American game show, Body Language in the summer of 1985. After an appearance on Family Ties, O'Neill won the role of the pregnant teenager Molly Stark on the daytime soap, The Young and the Restless for thirty episodes in 1986.

She appeared in the 1989 television films, Desperate for Love as Tammy Lauren's best friend, with Christian Slater and as Jodie in I Know My First Name is Steven, before appearing in her most recognized role as Amy Szalinski in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. In the film, she and her brother are shrunk to 1/4 inch high by the father's (Rick Moranis) shrink ray. After the film, she was nominated for a Young Artist Award for Best Young Actress Supporting Role in a Motion Picture.[3]

O'Neill continued work as Annette in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, but most of her scenes were cut out due to time constraints. She can, however, be seen in the background of a crowd scene. She acted as Lisa Barnes in the pilot episode of Where's Rodney? with Honey co-star Jared Rushton and Rodney Dangerfield, but it wasn't picked up in 1990 or 1991. She continued working in television series such as Room for Romance, The Young Riders, and Gabriel's Fire.

She starred as Susan Hartley in an episode of Murder, She Wrote and came back to the Disney screen in the sequel, Honey, I Blew Up the Kid, as Amy Szalinski. Before this was written as a sequel to Honey, it was titled Big Baby and didn't have any characters from the original film. As the plot was changed to include the Szalinski's, there was no room for a female lead, besides Keri Russell's role as the babysitter. O'Neill only appeared in the opening scene as she is leaving for college. Her character is later mentioned in Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves.

She later appeared in the television film, White Wolves: A Cry in the Wild II as Pandra, one of the young adults stuck in the Cascade Mountains, having to fend for themselves. In 1994, she appeared in the National Lampoon film, Attack of the 5 Ft. 2 In. Women as a German Skater.

Personal life[edit]

After her interest in acting had waned, O'Neill quit acting in 1994 after getting scripts that required nudity. She met old childhood friend, Roy Johns, owner of a few circus acts. As she watched his work, she became interested in how active the girls in his performances were. She became involved with his acts and is now part of Johns' crew.[4]

She is now part of the performance art community in Los Angeles. In 2002, she joined the Hollywood, Alabama trio, "Girls On Stilts." She has toured places like Italy, Asia and has brandished her skills at Harrah's Casino, Disneyland, and other places. She doesn't have any children and is not currently married, but hoping to start a family with someone who isn't "intimidated" by her work as a performer.[5]

O'Neill returned to television in 2005 to appear in an MTV documentary with her Honey co-star Thomas Wilson Brown in The 100 Greatest Family Films. In 2008, she appeared as an Officer's wife in an independent film, The Japanese Sandman.

Filmography[edit]

Films[edit]

Year Film Role Notes
1989 Desperate for Love Cindy Supporting Role
I Know My First Name is Steven Jodie Minor Role
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Amy Szalinski Main Role
1992 Honey, I Blew Up the Kid Amy Szalinski Supporting Role
1993 White Wolves: A Cry in the Wild II Pandra Main Role
1994 Attack of the 5 Ft. 2 In. Women German Skater Minor Role

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1984 Mama's Family Young Ellen Harper Episode: Mama's Birthday
1984 Matt Houston Rosie Episode: Vanished
1985 Night Court Jenny Reader Episode: Walk, Don't Wheel
1985 Highway to Heaven Sue Episode: The Secret
1985 The Twilight Zone Blonde Girl Episode: "The Shadow Man"
1986 Family Ties Brenda Episode: The Disciple
1986 The Young and the Restless Molly Stark 30 Episodes
1987 Second Chance Unknown Episode: Plain Jane
1989 Star Trek: The Next Generation Annette Episode: Evolution
1990 Where's Rodney? Lisa Barnes Pilot
1990 Room for Romance Unknown Episode: A Midsummer Night's Reality
1990 The Young Riders Jennifer Tompkins Episode: Pride and Prejudice
1991 Gabriel's Fire Ginny Episode: The Great Waldo
1991 Murder, She Wrote Susan Hartley Episode: A Killing in Vegas

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ting Yu (May 20, 2002). "Going Full Stilt". Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  2. ^ Ting Yu (May 20, 2002). "Going Full Stilt". Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  3. ^ "Awards at IMDb". Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  4. ^ Ting Yu (May 20, 2002). "Going Full Stilt". Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  5. ^ Ting Yu (May 20, 2002). "Going Full Stilt". Retrieved 2009-10-17.