|Born||Joan Marie Severance
December 23, 1958
|Occupation||Actress, Fashion model|
|Spouse(s)||Eric Milan (1977–1984)
Robin Leach (1984–present, domestic partnership)
Joan Severance (born December 23, 1958) is an American actress and former fashion model.
Severance was born in Houston, Texas to John and Martha Severance. Her father was an IBM Systems Manager that had to move frequently around the world. According to Severance "by the time I was 11, we'd lived in 12 different places". Severance and her family also lived in Libya, but in 1967 had to flee the country because of the Six-Day War. The family left the Middle East to return to the United States and settled in Houston, Texas.
Severance attended Westbury High School and, at age 15, started modeling to make money for college. Although she hoped to become a veterinarian, she could not afford the cost of tuition. After appearing in the "Miss Houston" beauty contest, she was discovered by Alan Martin, a local photographer in Houston who introduced her to John Casablancas. Casablancas signed her up with the Elite modeling agency and sent on assignment to Paris. During this time, she also met her future husband, model Eric Milan.
During her time in Paris, she posed for Sportswear International, Vogue Paris, and others. Upon her return to the United States, Severance became one of America's top models, filming over 40 commercials, and earning $7,500 per day.
Severance was also on the covers of the January 1990 and November 1992 issues of Playboy magazine, both featuring her in a nude pictorial. More recently, Joan, 52, appeared in a six-page editorial along with an interview in the Spring/Summer 2011 issue of Genlux Magazine.
In 1986, Severance began auditioning for acting bits at the urging of her friend Robin Leach. She made her debut in a small role in the first Lethal Weapon film in 1987. She usually takes the femme fatale roles in lower budget horror and murder-mystery movies, most notably Lake Consequence (1993), Criminal Passion (1994) and Payback (1995). She was featured alongside Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder in the 1989 comedy See No Evil, Hear No Evil, and as Hulk Hogan's love interest, Samantha N. Moore, in the wrestling film No Holds Barred (1989). She had leading roles in Roger Corman's Black Scorpion (1995) (she later starred in and co-produced a sequel, Black Scorpion II: Aftershock (1997)), and The Last Seduction II (1999).
Her most notable role is as a villainess on the TV series Wiseguy, where she played half of a brother/sister crime team (the other half was played by Kevin Spacey) to great acclaim. Their partnership was reprised in See No Evil, Hear No Evil. In the early 1990s, Severance appeared as Samantha "Sam" Dooley, the Martian Belle, in several training videos for Virtual World Entertainment alongside other actors such as Cheech Marin, "Weird Al" Yankovic, R. Lee Ermey, and Judge Reinhold.
- Wiseguy (1987) [TV]
- Lethal Weapon (1987)
- Worth Winning (1989)
- See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989)
- No Holds Barred (1989)
- Bird on a Wire (1990)
- Write to Kill (1990)
- The Runestone (1990)
- Another Pair of Aces: Three of a Kind (1991)
- Almost Pregnant (1992)
- Illicit Behavior (1992)
- Tales From the Crypt (1992) [TV] (1 Episode)
- Lake Consequence (1993) [TV]
- Criminal Passion (1994)
- Payback (1995)
- Black Scorpion (1995) [TV]
- Hard Evidence (1995)
- Frequent Flyer (1996) [TV]
- Black Scorpion II: Aftershock (1996)
- Profile for Murder (1997)
- Matter of Trust (1997)
- In Dark Places (1997)
- The Last Seduction II (1999)
- Cause of Death (2000)
- Sex & Consequences (2006)
Severance married fellow model Eric Milan in 1977. They separated amicably in 1984. According to Severance they "just grew apart".
- The Most Twisted Sister in Prime Time, Wiseguy's Joan Severance Gives a Brand New Meaning to Hedonism on People; Kaufman, Joanne (March 7, 1988)
- "Westbury High Class of 1977". Retrieved 2008-05-05.
- Joan Severance magazine covers on JoanSeverance.com