Heather Langenkamp at a celebrity autograph collector's convention in Burbank, California, in 2008
|Born||Heather Elizabeth Langenkamp
July 17, 1964
Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States
|Other names||Heather Langenkamp-Anderson|
|Spouse(s)||Alan Pasqua (1984–1987)
David LeRoy Anderson (1989–present)
Heather Elizabeth Langenkamp (born July 17, 1964) is an American actress, singer, producer and director. She is best known for her role as Nancy Thompson from the A Nightmare on Elm Street films and she served as executive producer and narrator to the documentary Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy. She is also known for her role as Marie Lubbock on the sitcom Just the Ten of Us and has had numerous television guest appearances. In 2011, she released the autobiography I Am Nancy which focuses on her iconic role as Nancy Thompson.
Life and career
1964–83: Early life and career beginnings
Langenkamp was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her mother, Mary Alice (née Myers), is an artist, and her father, Robert Dobie Langenkamp, is a petroleum attorney who served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy in both the Carter Administration (where he was largely responsible for realizing the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) and the Clinton Administration (where he was largely responsible for privatizing Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1), and as Director of the National Energy & Environmental Law & Policy Institute of the University of Tulsa College of Law. She is of German, Scottish, and English ancestry. Langenkamp attended Holland Hall School in Tulsa. She graduated from The National Cathedral School for Girls in Washington, D.C. Langenkamp's first acting venture was in her late teens: a small part in Francis Ford Coppola's The Outsiders (1983), filmed to a large extent in her hometown of Tulsa and in Rumble Fish. She managed to be an extra in both films but her scenes were cut out of both of the final films.
1984–88: A Nightmare on Elm Street and early success
Langenkamp later starred in Nickel Mountain (1984) which gained mostly positive reviews. While she was studying at Stanford University, Langenkamp rose to prominence when Wes Craven cast her as teen heroine Nancy Thompson in his hugely successful film A Nightmare on Elm Street, the first film in what became a series. Craven wanted someone very 'non-Hollywood' to play Nancy, and he believed Langenkamp met this quality. She beat out more than 200 actresses auditioning for the part. This slasher film follows the story of a group of teenagers who are killed in their dreams by a supernatural serial killer, one by one. This film is credited with launching her career.
The film introduced the iconic villain Freddy Krueger, played by Robert Englund. Langenkamp was cast along with Johnny Depp in his feature film debut as Nancy Thompson's boyfriend, Glen Lantz. Veteran film actor John Saxon played Nancy's father, police lieutenant Donald Thompson. The film was both a critical and commercial success, earning a total of $25 million at the American box office. In 1985, Langencamp received the Best Actress Award at the Avoriaz Film Festival for this role. She also became one of the original scream queens. Many critics praised the role of Nancy due to the smart and independent nature of the character that made her different from most heroines in horror films released at the time. Langenkamp reprised her role as Nancy in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987), in which she co-starred alongside Patricia Arquette and Laurence Fishburne. The film gained generally positive reviews and was a commercial success. John Saxon and Robert Englund also returned with Langenkamp in Dream Warriors. The film focused on the survivors of Freddy Krueger's previous attempts and was Patricia Arquette's debut film.
In between starring roles, she played Marie Lubbock on the television series Just the Ten of Us, which received critical acclaim and has gained a cult following. It was a spin-off of the popular situation comedy Growing Pains (on which Langenkamp guest-starred), from 1988 to 1990. That same year, she and her castmates were nominated for the Young Artist Award for Best Young Actor/Actress Ensemble in a Television Comedy, Drama Series or Special. She has also made numerous other guest appearances on television. In 1989, she had a cameo role as a victim in Wes Craven's Shocker. The film was a moderate commercial success despite negative reviews. Craven intended for Shocker to launch a new franchise but due to negative reviews and a middling box office performance, plans for a sequel were quickly dismissed.
1989–present: New Nightmare and continued success
In 1994, Langenkamp returned to the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise when she starred as herself in the critically and commercially successful film Wes Craven's New Nightmare alongside Robert Englund. Although New Nightmare is the seventh film in the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, it is not part of the series continuity, instead portraying Freddy Krueger as a fictional movie villain who invades the real world and haunts the cast and crew responsible for his films. While the canon Nightmare on Elm Street films are about dreams overlapping reality, this film is about films overlapping reality. In this film, Freddy is depicted as closer to what Craven originally intended, being more menacing and less comical, with an updated attire and appearance. Over the years, New Nightmare has often been referred to as the prelude to Scream, which went on to become a huge success.
Langenkamp and her husband, David Leroy Anderson, own and operate AFX Studio, a Special F/X Make-Up firm that is credited with the special make-up for many successful films such as Dawn of the Dead, The Cabin in the Woods, Cinderella Man, Dogtown and Z-Boys, Frost/Nixon, Bruce Almighty, Evan Almighty, Dragonfly and Angels and Demons. She also starred in, executive produced, and narrated the 2010 documentary Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy, which was directed by Daniel Farrands and Andrew Kasch. In 2010, Langenkamp made her documentary entitled I Am Nancy, which was a critical success. I Am Nancy focused on Langenkamp's role as Nancy from the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. In 2012, Langenkamp was cast in The Butterfly Room. The following year, Langenkamp had a supporting role in the film, Star Trek Into Darkness which was critically and commercially successful. In 2014, Heather had a cameo appearance in season four of the horror anthology series American Horror Story. She is set to star in the upcoming movies, Home (2015) and Getting the Kinks Out (2015). On September 22, 2015 it was revealed that Langenkamp, along with AFX Studio, is behind the special effects for Scream Queens.
Many elements of the plot for Wes Craven's New Nightmare are based on an incident in which Langenkamp received numerous threatening letters from an obsessed fan after the cancellation of Just the Ten of Us.
|1984||Nickel Mountain||Callie Wells|
|1984||Nightmare on Elm Street, AA Nightmare on Elm Street||Nancy Thompson|
|1987||Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, AA Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors||Nancy Thompson|
|1994||Wes Craven's New Nightmare||Heather Langenkamp (Nancy Thompson)|
|1995||Demolitionist, TheThe Demolitionist||Christy Carruthers|
|1999||Fugitive Mind||Suzanne Hicks||Video|
|2007||Bet, TheThe Bet||Heather Langenkamp|
|2012||Butterfly Room, TheThe Butterfly Room||Dorothy|
|2013||Star Trek Into Darkness||Moto|
|2015||Getting the Kinks Out||Esther||Pre-production|
|1985||Suburban Beat||Hope Sherman||TV film|
|1986||CBS Schoolbreak Special||Erica||Episode: "Have You Tried Talking to Patty?"|
|1986||ABC Afterschool Special||Paula Finkle||Episode: "Can a Guy Say No?"|
|1986||Heart of the City||Audrey||Episode: "Of Dogs and Cat Burglars"|
|1987||New Adventures of Beans Baxter, TheThe New Adventures of Beans Baxter||Tracy||Episode: "Beans Goes to Camp"|
|1987||Hotel||Monica||Episode: "Desperate Moves"|
|1988||Growing Pains||Marie||Episodes: "How the West Was Won: Parts 1 & 2"|
|1988–1990||Just the Ten of Us||Marie Lubbock||Main role (47 episodes)|
|1990||Growing Pains||Amy Boutilier||Episodes: "Let's Go Europe: Parts 1, 2 & 3"|
|1994||Tonya & Nancy: The Inside Story||Nancy Kerrigan||TV film|
|1997||Perversions of Science||Lou Ann Solomon||Episode: "Ultimate Weapon"|
|2002||JAG||Janet Thompson||Episode: "Odd Man Out"|
|2014||American Horror Story: Freak Show||Female Toulouse||Episode: "Test of Strength"|
|2004||Dawn of the Dead||Production crew|
|2005||Cinderella Man||Makeup artist|
|2007||Evan Almighty||Makeup artist|
|2010||Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy||Executive producer|
|2011||I Am Nancy||Producer|
|2012||Cabin in the Woods, TheThe Cabin in the Woods||Makeup artist|
|2013||Star Trek Into Darkness||Makeup artist|
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- Boyce, Simone. "The Original Scream Queen Heather Langenkamp". Fox 5 News. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
- "New Nightmare based on factual events". Games.tcm.com. Retrieved 19 October 2014.
- Heather Langenkamp at the Internet Movie Database
- Heather Langenkamp at the TCM Movie Database
- Heather Langenkamp at AllMovie