Virginia Madsen

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Virginia Madsen
VirginiaMadsenSFIFF06 adj.jpg
Born Virginia G. Madsen[1]
(1961-09-11) September 11, 1961 (age 52)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1983–present
Spouse(s) Danny Huston (1989–1992)
Children Jack Antonio (born 1994; son)
Relatives Michael Madsen (brother)
Website
virginia-madsen.org

Virginia G. Madsen (born September 11, 1961) is an American actress and documentary film producer. She rose 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. Her other films include Electric Dreams (1984), Creator (1985), 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] In 1986 she was Boris's (Victor Spano's) romantic interest, Barbara, in Creator which starred Peter O'Toole.

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 at the 81st Academy Awards

Madsen appeared in a small 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 a 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]

Personal life[edit]

Madsen was married to actor and director Danny Huston after meeting on the set of Mr. North. They were married in 1989 but divorced in 1992.[17]

Madsen was in a long term relationship with Antonio Sabàto, Jr. They had a son together, Jack Antonio (born August 6, 1994).[18]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1983 Class Lisa
1984 Electric Dreams Madeline Robistat
1984 Dune Princess Irulan
1985 Creator Barbara Spencer
1985 Mussolini: The Untold Story Claretta Petacci Television miniseries
1986 Fire with Fire Lisa Taylor
1986 Modern Girls Kelly
1987 Slam Dance Yolanda Caldwell
1987 Zombie High Andrea
1987 Long Gone Dixie Lee Boxx Television movie
1988 Gotham Rachel Carlyle Television movie
1988 Mr. North Sally Boffin
1988 Hot to Trot Allison Rowe
1989 Third Degree Burn Anne Scholes Television movie
1989 Heart of Dixie Delia June Curry
1990 The Hot Spot Dolly Harshaw
1991 Victim of Love Carla Simons Television movie
1991 Becoming Colette Polaire
1991 Highlander II: The Quickening Louise Marcus
1991 Ironclads Betty Stuart Television movie
1992 A Murderous Affair: Carolyn Warmus The Story Carolyn Warmus Television movie
1992 Candyman Helen Lyle Saturn Award for Best Actress
1994 Caroline at Midnight Susan Prince
1994 Blue Tiger Gina Hayes
1995 The Prophecy Katherine
1996 Just Your Luck Kim
1996 Ghosts of Mississippi Dixie DeLaughter
1997 The Rainmaker Jackie Lemanczyk
1998 Ballad of the Nightingale Unknown
1998 Ambushed Lucy Monroe
1999 The Florentine Molly
1999 The Haunting Jane
2000 Lying in Wait Vera Miller
2000 Children of Fortune Ingrid Bast Television movie
2000 After Sex Traci
2001 Crossfire Trail Anne Rodney Television movie
2001 Full Disclosure Brenda Hopkins
2001 Almost Salinas Clare
2001 Just Ask My Children Brenda Kniffen Television movie
2002 American Gun Penny Tillman
2003 Artworks Emma Becker
2003 Nobody Knows Anything! Prison Lawyer
2003 Tempted Emma Burke
2004 Sideways Maya Boston 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
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
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
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
Nominated—Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
2004 Brave New Girl Wanda Lovell Television movie
2005 Scooby-Doo! in Where's My Mummy? Cleopatra
2005 Stuart Little 3: Call of the Wild Beast
2006 Firewall Beth Stanfield
2006 A Prairie Home Companion Dangerous Woman Nominated—Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
Nominated—Gotham Award for Best Ensemble Cast
2007 The Astronaut Farmer Audrey 'Audie' Farmer
2007 Ripple Effect Sherry
2007 The Number 23 Agatha Sparrow / Fabrizia
2007 Cutlass Robin
2007 Being Michael Madsen
2008 Diminished Capacity Charlotte
2009 The Haunting in Connecticut Sara Campbell
2009 Wonder Woman Queen Hippolyta
2009 Amelia Dorothy Binney Deleted scenes
2010 Father of Invention Lorraine
2011 Red Riding Hood Suzette
2012 Long Time Gone Augusta
2012 The Magic of Belle Isle Charlotte O'Neil
2013 The Last Keepers Abigail Carver
2013 The Hot Flashes Clementine Winks
2013 Crazy Kind of Love Augusta Iris
2013 The Anna Nicole Story Virgie Arthur television movie

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1984 American Playhouse Lou Ellen Purdy Episode: "A Matter of Principle"
1989 Moonlighting Lorraine Anne Charnock 3 episodes
1998 Star Trek: Voyager Kellin Episode: "Unforgettable"
1998 Frasier Cassandra 4 episodes
2001 The Practice Marsha Ellison 2 episodes
2002–2006 Justice League Dr. Sarah Corwin 4 episodes
2003 Dawson's Creek Maddy Episode: "All Good Things..."
2003 CSI: Miami Krista Walker Episode: "Death Grip"
2003 Spider-Man Silver Sable 2 episodes
2006–2007 Smith Hope Stevens 7 episodes
2009 Monk T.K. Jensen 3 episodes
2010 Scoundrels Cheryl West 8 episodes
2011 The Event Senator Catherine Lewis 4 episodes
2012 Hell on Wheels Mrs. Durant 4 episodes
2012 Jan Mel 9 episodes
2013 Hatfields & McCoys Eloise McCoy Unsold TV pilot
2013 Witches of East End Penelope Gardiner 8 episodes

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Nominated work Award Result
1992 Candyman Saturn Award for Best Actress Won
2004 Sideways Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Cast Won
2004 Sideways Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast Won
2004 Sideways Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress Won
2004 Sideways Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress Won
2004 Sideways Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress Won
2004 Sideways Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female Won
2004 Sideways Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress Won
2004 Sideways National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress Won
2004 Sideways New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress Won
2004 Sideways Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast Won
2004 Sideways San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress Won
2004 Sideways Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Won
2004 Sideways Seattle Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress Won
2004 Sideways Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress Won
2004 Sideways Toronto Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress Won
2004 Sideways Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress Won
2004 Sideways Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress Won
2004 Sideways Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress Nominated
2004 Sideways Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture Nominated
2004 Sideways Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress Nominated
2004 Sideways Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture Nominated
2004 Sideways Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role Nominated
2006 A Prairie Home Companion Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast Nominated

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 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. ^ Fink, Mitchell (13 July 1992). "People Insider". People. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  18. ^ http://celebritybabies.people.com/2010/06/24/virginia-madsen-says-ex-has-taken-parenthood-on/

External links[edit]