Wyss in 2015
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). 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
1960-1981: Early life and career beginnings
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
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. 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
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
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. 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
She was a special guest of the Crypticon 2010. The same year, Wyss appeared in The Graves (2010). 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.
|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||Better Off Dead||Beth Truss|
|1989||Powwow Highway||Rabbit Layton|
|1989||To Die For||Celia Kett|
|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|
|1995||Digital Man||Lt. Fredericks|
|1997||Strategic Command||Michelle Harding|
|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|
|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|
|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"|
- Barton, Steve. "The Id Takes Over In First Look". Dread Central. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
- Andre Dellamorte (25 April 2010). "A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET Blu-ray Review". Retrieved 23 January 2017.
- "Amanda Wyss Interview". Legion of Leia. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
- "Another Slender Game Headed Your Way - Dread Central". 24 September 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
- Miska, Brad. "Second Teaser One Sheet For The Graves". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
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