Amanda Wyss

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Amanda Wyss
Amanda Wyss 2015.jpg
Wyss in 2015
Born (1960-11-24) November 24, 1960 (age 59)
Years active1980–present

Amanda Louise Wyss (born November 24, 1960) is an American film and television actress. She began her career in the early 1980s and first gained notice for her role as Lisa in the comedy film Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982). She then rose to international prominence after playing Tina Gray in the horror film A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). She subsequently starred in Silverado (1985), Better Off Dead (1985), Powwow Highway (1989), Shakma (1990), and The Id (2016).[1] Outside of film, Wyss has guest-starred on a variety of television series including Cheers (1985-1986), Charmed (1999), Dexter (2006), and a supporting role as investigative reporter Randi McFarland in the television series Highlander: The Series (1992-1993).

Life and career[edit]

1960-1981: Early life and career beginnings[edit]

Wyss was born in Manhattan Beach, California. She was discovered by an agent who saw her portray Flora in The Innocents, and Rhoda in The Bad Seed at local LA theatres. After appearing in commercials, Wyss landed her first television role, recurring on Universal's When the Whistle Blows (1980) as Dolph Sweet's daughter. The same year, she guest-starred on the television series The Righteous Apples. In 1981, Wyss starred in the films This House Possessed and Force: Five, and guest-starred on episodes of the several television series including Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, ABC Afterschool Specials, Jessica Novak, and Teachers Only.

1982-1984: Fast Times at Ridgemont High and A Nightmare on Elm Street[edit]

In 1982, Wyss had a supporting role as high school student Lisa in Amy Heckerling's teen comedy classic Fast Times at Ridgemont High, written by Cameron Crowe and featuring then-unknown actors Sean Penn, Phoebe Cates, Forest Whitaker, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Nicolas Cage. Wyss was called in specifically to audition for the character of Lisa and had to improvise with Judge Reinhold.

The same year, she guest starred on two episodes of the television series Star of the Family. In 1983, Wyss appeared in the television films Lone Star, The Tom Swift and Linda Craig Mystery Hour, and A Killer in the Family.

The following year, Wyss starred in the television film My Mother's Secret Life before starring in Wes Craven's horror film A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) as Tina Gray (the first person murdered onscreen by Freddy Krueger), along with Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon, and Johnny Depp.[2] Like all of the other actresses auditioning for the film, she originally read for the part of Nancy Thompson. After receiving a call back, she was paired with Langenkamp and auditioned for the supporting role of Tina which ultimately went to her.

1985-1989: Silverado, Better Off Dead, and Powwow Highway[edit]

The following year, Wyss guest-starred in the television series Otherworld before starring in the films Silverado as Phoebe and Better Off Dead as Beth, who sunk the main character into his depression by breaking up with him. From 1985 to 1986, Wyss guest-starred on St. Elsewhere as Pru Dowler and Cheers as Beth Curtis. In 1986, Wyss starred in the television films Firefighter and Something in Common. The same year, she starred in Flag. In 1987, Wyss was cast in the television film Independence and the television series The New Adventures of Beans Baxter, My Two Dads, and Cagney & Lacey. In 1989, Wyss starred in the horror film To Die For as Celia Kett. The same year, she portrayed Rabbit Layton in Powwow Highway.

1990-2009: Shakma and return to television[edit]

In 1990, Wyss appeared in the cult horror film, Shakma (1990). In 1991, Wyss reprised her role as Celia in Son of Darkness: To Die For II and starred alongside Mark Hamill in Black Magic Woman. The following year, Wyss starred in Season 1 of the fantasy television series Highlander: The Series (1992) as a reporter named Randi McFarland.[3] In 1997, Wyss was cast as Michelle Harding in Strategic Command. In 1999, Wyss guest-starred as Stevie on the television series Charmed. The following year, Wyss was cast in the short film Bella! Bella! Bella! as Charlotte Breceda. In 2001, Wyss guest-starred on the crime series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. In 2002, she appeared in an episode of Judging Amy and Drew Carey Show. In 2004, Wyss portrayed Sonya Witkowski in 2 episodes of the television series Cold Case. In 2006, Wyss guest-starred as a social worker in the television series Dexter.

2010-present: Television appearances and return to film[edit]

She was a special guest of the Crypticon 2010.[4] The same year, Wyss appeared in The Graves (2010).[5] In 2014, Wyss portrayed Joanna Cass in an episode of Major Crimes. In 2016, Amanda starred in the horror film The Id. The same year, Wyss had a recurring role as Kat Cooper in 3 episodes of the television series Murder in the First.



Year Title Role Notes
1981 First Step Cindy Stott
1981 Force: Five Cindy Lester
1981 This House Possessed Holly
1982 Fast Times at Ridgemont High Lisa
1984 My Mother's Secret Life Tobi Jensen
1984 A Nightmare on Elm Street Tina Gray
1985 Silverado Phoebe
1985 Better Off Dead Beth Truss
1989 Powwow Highway Rabbit Layton
1989 To Die For Celia Kett
1990 Shakma Tracy
1991 Son of Darkness: To Die For II Celia
1991 Black Magic Woman Diane
1992 Bloodfist IV: Die Trying Shannon
1994 Wes Craven's New Nightmare Tina Gray Archive footage, uncredited
1994 Desert Steel Jerri
1995 Digital Man Lt. Fredericks
1997 Strategic Command Michelle Harding
1997 Tupperware Party Maddie Short
1998 Marry Me or Die Nora Dawkins
2000 Bella! Bella! Bella! Charlotte Breceda Short
2003 Freddy vs. Jason Tina Gray Archive footage, special thanks
2005 Monster-in-Law Tina Gray Archive footage, uncredited
2010 Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy Herself Documentary
2010 The Graves Darlene
2011 These Amazing Shadows Lisa Scenes from Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), uncredited
2016 The Id Meridith Lane
2017 It Happened Again Last Night Eileen Short, cameo
2017 The Watcher of Park Ave Lt. Samantha Warren Short
2017 Big Legend Dr. Wheeler
2019 Triggered Gloria Fielding
2019 Badland Alice Hollenbeck


Year Title Role Notes
1981 Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Laura Episode: "The Crystals"
1985-1986 Cheers Beth Curtis 2 episodes
1987 My Two Dads Dana Episode: "Friends and Lovers"
1992-93 Highlander: The Series Randi McFarland 7 episodes
1999 Charmed Stevie Episode: "Witch Trial"
2001-2011 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Donna Marks/Tina Vincent 4 episodes
2001 Diagnosis: Murder Maureen Episode: "Bachelor Fathers"
2002 Judging Amy Denise Wharton Episode: "Come Back Soon"
2002 The Drew Carey Show Tina Episode: "Return of the Doormat"
2004 Cold Case Sonya Witkowski 1 episode
2006 Dexter Social Worker Episode: "Popping Cherry"
2014 Major Crimes Joanna Cass Episode: "Jane Doe #38"
2016 Murder in the First Kat Cooper 3 episodes
2019 All Rise Caroline Halliwell Episode: "Fool for Liv"


  1. ^ Barton, Steve. "The Id Takes Over In First Look". Dread Central. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  2. ^ Andre Dellamorte (25 April 2010). "A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET Blu-ray Review". Retrieved 23 January 2017.
  3. ^ "Amanda Wyss Interview". Legion of Leia. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  4. ^ "Another Slender Game Headed Your Way - Dread Central". 24 September 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
  5. ^ Miska, Brad. "Second Teaser One Sheet For The Graves". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved April 13, 2016.

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