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Joanna Cassidy

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Joanna Cassidy
Joanna Cassidy in 2007.
Joanna Virginia Caskey

(1944-08-02) August 2, 1944 (age 79)[1]
Alma materSyracuse University
Years active1968–present
Kennard C. Kobrin
(m. 1964; div. 1974)

Joanna Cassidy (born Joanna Virginia Caskey; August 2, 1944[1]) is an American actress and former model. She began working as a model in the 1960s and made her professional acting debut in 1973, appearing in the thriller films The Laughing Policeman and The Outfit. She later starred in films Bank Shot (1974), The Late Show (1977) and went to star in the short-lived television series The Roller Girls (1978) and 240-Robert (1979). In 1982, she played replicant Zhora Salome in science fiction film Blade Runner.

Cassidy starred in the political thriller film Under Fire (1983), winning a Sant Jordi Award for Best Actress in a Foreign Language Film, as well as receiving a nomination for the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress. From 1983 to 1984, she starred opposite Dabney Coleman in the NBC comedy series Buffalo Bill, for which she received a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.[2] She later starred in films The Fourth Protocol (1987), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) for which she received a Saturn Award nomination, The Package (1989), Where the Heart Is (1990), Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead (1991), Vampire in Brooklyn (1995), and Ghosts of Mars (2001).

Cassidy also starred in a number of made-for-television movies and miniseries, include Hollywood Wives (1983), Invitation to Hell (1984), Barbarians at the Gate (1993) and The Tommyknockers (1993). From 2001 to 2005, she played Margaret Chenowith on the HBO drama series Six Feet Under for which she received both Primetime Emmy Award and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for her supporting turn. From 2011 to 2013, she played Joan Hunt on the ABC series Body of Proof, and from 2010 to 2013 starred in the HBO Canada comedy series Call Me Fitz for which she won two Canadian Screen Awards.

Early life and education[edit]

Cassidy was born Joanna Virginia Caskey in Camden, New Jersey, near Philadelphia,[1][3][4][5][6] the daughter of Virginia and Joe Caskey.[7] She was raised in Haddonfield, and attended Haddonfield Memorial High School, and has described herself as being "a rowdy kid" there. She is known for her infectious, howling laugh which can be heard in the film The Laughing Policeman and on her appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.[8]

Cassidy majored in art at Syracuse University.[9] During her time there, she married Kennard C. Kobrin in 1964, a doctor in residency, and found work as a fashion model. They moved to San Francisco, where her husband set up a psychiatric practice while Cassidy continued modeling. They had a son and a daughter together.[citation needed] In 1968, she landed a bit part in the thriller film Bullitt.[2]


Joanna Cassidy in 1974

Cassidy's first major film appearance was in the 1973 thriller The Outfit.[2] She appeared in a 1973 Smokey Bear public service announcement (PSA),[10] and on such television series as Mission: Impossible, Starsky & Hutch and Taxi. She had a secondary role in the drama film Stay Hungry (1976), a film about bodybuilding that featured a young Arnold Schwarzenegger. Cassidy was considered for the role of Wonder Woman for a television series, but lost it to Lynda Carter. She co-starred in the film Our Winning Season (1978). Her first regular role was as sheriff's pilot Morgan Wainwright in the action-adventure series 240-Robert (1979), although the series only lasted for two abbreviated seasons. Afterwards, Cassidy continued to appear in guest roles in series such as Dallas and Falcon Crest, as well as a regular role on the short-lived sitcom Buffalo Bill (1983) (for which she earned a Golden Globe Award).[2] She starred as a lead character, CIA operative Liz "Foxfire" Towne, in the short-lived NBC action television series Code Name: Foxfire (1985).[9]

In 1982, Cassidy had her breakthrough film role as the replicant snake performer Zhora Salome in Ridley Scott's science fiction film Blade Runner.[11] The following year, she co-starred in Under Fire with Gene Hackman and Nick Nolte. She continued to appear in both films and television; she co-starred in the television miniseries Hollywood Wives (1985), and appeared in The Fourth Protocol (1987), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), 1969 (1988), The Package (1989), Where the Heart Is (1990) and Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead (1991). In 1993, she co-starred with Dudley Moore on the sitcom Dudley, but the series only lasted for six episodes. She played the ex-wife of James Garner's lead character in the television movie, The Rockford Files: I Still Love L.A. (1994).

Her other screen credits from this era include Barbarians at the Gate (1993), the miniseries adaptation of Stephen King's The Tommyknockers (1993), and Wes Craven's Vampire in Brooklyn (1995).[2] Cassidy also provided the voice of Inspector Maggie Sawyer on The WB series Superman: The Animated Series, and had recurring guest roles on television series such as L.A. Law, Melrose Place, Diagnosis: Murder, and The District.[9]

Since 2000, Cassidy has appeared in the film Ghosts of Mars (2001) directed by John Carpenter, and had a recurring role as Margaret Chenowith on the HBO drama series Six Feet Under, for which she received Emmy Award and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations. In 2004, she guest-starred in three episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise as T'Les (the Vulcan mother of Enterprise crewmember T'Pol), and she had a recurring role as Beverly Bridge on the series Boston Legal in 2006. She voiced the villainess Hecubah in the computer game Nox (2000) and once again voiced Maggie Sawyer in the 2002 video game Superman: Shadow of Apokolips.

In the spring of 2007, Cassidy donned Zhora's costume once more, 25 years after the release of Blade Runner, to recreate a climactic scene from the film for the fall 2007 Final Cut release of the film.[12] In the original 1982 release, a stunt performer played out Zhora's death scene, with the physical differences between the performer and Cassidy very evident (including the stuntwoman wearing a different wig). For the Final Cut, Cassidy's head was digitally transposed onto footage of the stunt performer, making the death scene fit continuity. According to the DVD featurette, All Our Variant Futures, it was Cassidy herself who suggested this be done; she is captured on video making the suggestion during filming of a retrospective interview related to Blade Runner.[13]

Joanna Cassidy in 1976

In the second season of the NBC series Heroes, she is seen in a photo of the 12 senior members of the show's mysterious company. Beyond appearances in photographs, the actress first appeared as Victoria Pratt in the 10th episode of season two, "Truth & Consequences", during which her character was killed.

In 2008–2009, Cassidy appeared in episodes of Ghost Whisperer, Desperate Housewives, Law & Order: UK, and was also seen in the recurring guest role of Amanda Hawthorne, the mother-in-law of Jada Pinkett Smith's eponymous character on the medical drama Hawthorne.

In 2011, Cassidy began to appear in a recurring role on the ABC series Body of Proof as Judge Joan Hunt, the mother of Megan Hunt, Dana Delany's character on the series. The series was canceled by ABC after three seasons in May 2013. In 2015, Cassidy was cast as a main character in the Bravo scripted series Odd Mom Out. She plays the role of Candace Von Weber, a snobbish Upper East Side socialite and mother-in-law to the show's protagonist Jill Weber (Jill Kargman).[14] The series was canceled in 2017. In 2019, she co-starred in the Amazon Prime miniseries Too Old to Die Young and later had a recurring role on NCIS: New Orleans.

In 2015, Cassidy received an honorary award at the Oldenburg International Film Festival.[15]

Cassidy in 2017



Year Title Role Notes
1968 Bullitt Party Guest uncredited
1970 Fools Minor role uncredited
1973 The Outfit Rita Mailer
1973 The Laughing Policeman Monica
1974 Bank Shot Eleonora
1975 The Cursed Medallion Joanna Morgan
1976 Stay Hungry Zoe Miller
1977 American Raspberry Lisa Allen
1977 The Late Show Laura Birdwell
1977 Stunts Patti Johnson
1978 Our Winning Season Sheila
1979 The Glove Sheila Michaels
1980 Night Games Julie Miller
1982 Blade Runner Zhora Salome
1983 Under Fire Claire Sant Jordi Award for Best Foreign Actress
Nominated—National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress
1984 Invitation to Hell Patricia "Pat" Winslow
1986 Club Paradise Terry Hamlin
1987 The Fourth Protocol Irina Vassilievna
1988 Who Framed Roger Rabbit Dolores Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
1988 1969 Ev Karr
1989 The Package Eileen Gallagher
1990 Where the Heart Is Jean McBain
1991 Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead Rose Lindsey
1991 Lonely Hearts Erin Randall
1991 All-American Murder Erica Darby Video
1992 Landslide Lucy Matterson
1995 Vampire in Brooklyn Captain Dewey
1996 Chain Reaction Maggie McDermott
1997 Loved Elenore Amerson
1997 Executive Power Elaine Fields - First Lady
1998 Dangerous Beauty Laura Venier
2000 Moonglow Ginny
2000 The Right Temptation Maryanne
2001 Ghosts of Mars Whitlock
2001 Anthrax Jackie Potter
2004 Intermission Love Short film
2005 Witches of the Caribbean Professor Avebury Video
2006 The Virgin of Juarez Eve
2006 Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector Lily Micelli
2006 The Grudge 2 Mrs. Davis
2007 Kiss the Bride Evelyn Golski
2008 The American Standards Ann Jennings
2008 The Human Contract Rose
2009 Stolen Lea Adkins
2009 For Sale by Owner Linda Flannery
2010 Flying Lessons Totty Kuspert
2010 Anderson's Cross Mrs. McCarthy
2011 Carjacked Betty
2012 What Might Have Been: Snake Dance Zhora Salome Short film
2013 Zugzwang Nancy Williams
2013 Heaven's Door Ruth Christensen
2014 Night Vet Kelly Short film
2015 Too Late Eleanor Mahler
2015 Visions Helena
2020 My True Fairytale Sylvia Goodwin
2021 Simone (AKA Art of Love) Rose the book store owner
2024 Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead Joan [16]
TBA Uppercut Rita Stooth
TBA Yesteryear


Year Title Role Notes
1972–1973 Mission: Impossible Model, Stewardess 3 episodes
1976 McCoy Unnamed role Episode: "New Dollar Day"
1978 The Roller Girls Selma "Books" Cassidy 4 episodes
1978 Taxi Beverly Episode: "High School Reunion"
1978 Starsky & Hutch Harry / Monique Episode: "The Avenger"
1979–1982 The Love Boat Joan Horner, Lisa Lessing 2 episodes
1979 Kaz Unnamed role Episode: "A Piece of Cake"
1979–1980 240-Robert Deputy Morgan Wainwright 13 episodes
1980 Hagen Eve Episode: "The Rat Pack"
1980 Insight Lucy Episode: "Resurrection"
1980 Dallas Sally Bullock 2 episodes
1980–1981 Trapper John, M.D. Dr. Carson Whitaker, Maggie Holtz 2 episodes
1980 Reunion Peggy Sager Television film
1981 Charlie's Angels Stacy Episode: "Hula Angels"
1981 Enos Unnamed role Episode: "The Head Hunter"
1981 Hart to Hart Belle Episode: "Slow Boat to Murder"
1981 Flo Billy June Episode: "Footsie"
1982 Strike Force Eve Murphy Episode: "Turnabout"
1982 Lou Grant Barbara Costigan Episode: "Charlie"
1982 Falcon Crest Katherine Demery 5 episodes
1983 The Family Tree Elizabeth Nichols Episode: "1.2"
1983 Fantasy Island Christine Donovan Episode: "Nurses Night Out"
1983–1984 Buffalo Bill Jo Jo White 26 episodes
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
1985 Code Name: Foxfire Elizabeth "Foxfire" Towne 8 episodes
1985 Hollywood Wives Marilee Gray 2 episodes
1986 Pleasures Lillian Benton Television film
1986 The Children of Times Square Sue Roberts Television film
1988 Nightmare at Bittercreek Allison Shapiro Television film
1990 A Girl of the Limberlost Gene Stratton-Porter Television film
1990 Bar Girls Claudia Reese Television film
1990 Wheels of Terror Laura Television film
1990 Les belles Américaines Lorraine Television film
1992 Northern Exposure Solvang Planey Episode: "The Three Amigos"
1992 The Ray Bradbury Theater Lavinia Episode: "The Lonely One"
1992 Live! From Death Row Alana Powers Television film
1992 Taking Back My Life: The Nancy Ziegenmeyer Story Geneva Overholser Television film
1993 Barbarians at the Gate Linda Robinson Television film
1993 The Tommyknockers Sheriff Ruth Merrill Miniseries
1993 Dudley Laraine Bristol 5 episodes
1993 CBS Schoolbreak Special Linda Jurgenson Episode: "Other Mothers"
Nominated—Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in a Children's Special
1993–1994 L.A. Law Judge Carolyn Walker 4 episodes
1994 Burke's Law Liz Charles Episode: "Who Killed the Beauty Queen?"
1994 Murder, She Wrote Willie Greenwood Episode: "Roadkill"
1994 Hotel Malibu Eleanor "Ellie" Mayfield 6 episodes
1995 Eye of the Stalker Judge Martha Knowlton Television film
1997 Melrose Place Kate Reilly 3 episodes
1997 The Second Civil War Helena Newman Television film
1997–1998 Superman: The Animated Series Maggie Sawyer Voice, 8 episodes
1998 Rude Awakening Colleen Woods Episode: "TV Mom"
1998 The Hunger Grace Wallace Episode: "The Other Woman"
1998 Circle of Deceit Elaine Greer Television film
1999 Twice in a Lifetime Christine Esposito Episode: "Quality of Mercy"
1999–2000 Diagnosis: Murder Madison Wesley 8 episodes
2000 Rude Awakening Colleen Woods Episode: "Star 80 Proof"
2001 Philly Marian Marshall Episode: "Pilot"
2001–2002 The District Teddy Reed 5 episodes
2001–2005 Six Feet Under Margaret Chenowith 21 episodes
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
2003 Less than Perfect Norma Episode: "Claude's Got a Secret"
2003 Hidden Hills Carol Episode: "The Visit"
2003 Everwood Evelyn Rowser Episode: "The Price of Fame"
2004 Star Trek: Enterprise T'Les 3 episodes
2005 The Reading Room Diana Weston Television film
2006 Boston Legal Beverly Bridge 5 episodes
2007 Heroes Victoria Pratt Episode: "Truth & Consequences"
2008 In Plain Sight Deandra Bevins Episode: "Never the Bride"
2008 Ghost Whisperer Faith Clancy Episode: "Threshold"
2008 Criminal Minds Mrs. Holden Episode: "52 Pickup"
2009 Desperate Housewives Melina Cominis Episode: "Home Is the Place"
2009 Hawthorne Amanda Hawthorne 4 episodes
2010 Notes from the Underbelly Kay Episode: "The Circle of Life"
2010–2012 Call Me Fitz Elaine Fitzpatrick 18 episodes
Canadian Screen Award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series (2015)
Canadian Screen Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Supporting Role or Guest Role in a Comedic Series (2013)
Nominated—Gemini Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Supporting Role or Guest Role in a Comedic Series (2011)
2011–2013 Body of Proof Joan Hunt 14 episodes
2012 Franklin & Bash Captain Gina Vaughn Episode: "Summer Girls"
2013 Bones Marianne Booth 2 episodes
2013 Living the Dream Claire Television film
2015–2017 Odd Mom Out Candace Von Weber Recurring season 1, main cast seasons 2 & 3
2015 Married Sharon Episode: "The Cruise"
2016 The Odd Couple Judy Episode: "Make Room for Dani"
2016 Lady Dynamite Barbara Episode: "Jack and Diane"
2016 Motive Natalie Rodman 2 episodes
2017 Confess Beverly 4 episodes
2018 Life in Pieces Charlotte Collins Episode: "Parents Ancestry Coupon Chaperone"
2019 The Cool Kids Joanie Episode: "The Cool Kids Plus One"
2019 Tacoma FD Trudy Towers Episode: "Old Flame"
2019 Too Old to Die Young Eloise Miniseries
2019–2021 NCIS: New Orleans Mena Pride Recurring role
2021 Younger Judith Clarke Episode: "The Son Also Rises"
2021 Leverage: Redemption Stella Episode: "The Jackal Job"
2022 The L Word: Generation Q Patty 3 episodes


  1. ^ a b c d Brady, James. "In Step With: Joanna Cassidy", Miami Herald, November 25, 1990. Accessed March 14, 2022, via Newspapers.com. "Born: Aug.2, 1944, in Camden, N.J."
  2. ^ a b c d e "Joanna Cassidy". www.tcm.com.
  3. ^ "Joanna Cassidy". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on March 10, 2022. Retrieved March 10, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  4. ^ "Cassidy, Joanna 1944–". Encyclopedia.com. Archived from the original on March 10, 2022. Retrieved March 10, 2022.{{cite encyclopedia}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  5. ^ "Joanna Cassidy Biography". TV Guide. Archived from the original on March 10, 2022. Retrieved March 10, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  6. ^ Smith, Richard Harland. "Joanna Cassidy Biography". Turner Classic Movies. Archived from the original on March 10, 2022.
  7. ^ "Explore Historical Newspaper Archives Online - NewspaperARCHIVE.com". newspaperarchive.com.
  8. ^ Staff. "Joanna Cassidy at reunion remembers self as a rowdy kid", Lakeland Ledger, November 27, 1983. Accessed July 10, 2011. "Actress Joanna Cassidy, star of the movie Under Fire, remembers being 'a rowdy kid' at Haddonfield Memorial High School two decades ago."
  9. ^ a b c Joanna Cassidy biodata, yahoo.com; accessed November 30, 2014.
  10. ^ "If you knew it was me would you have listened?" US National Archives on YouTube (starting 1971, 4th video in clip-set): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYkv7N7OLSU, start at 1m37s; see also year-dated PSAs and other-media overview at Ad Council's Smokey Bear website: https://smokeybear.com/en/smokeys-history?decade=1970
  11. ^ Christopher, James (September 3, 2007). "Blade Runner: The Final Cut". The Times. London. Retrieved October 1, 2007.
  12. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (2007). "Cutting a new 'Blade': No bloodshed allowed". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on October 15, 2007. Retrieved October 1, 2007.
  13. ^ All Our Variant Futures, a featurette in Blade Runner Five-Disc Complete Collector's Edition DVD set, 2007
  14. ^ "About Odd Mom Out". Bravotv.com. 15 January 2015. Retrieved 2017-07-23.
  15. ^ Grater2015-09-02T11:56:00+01:00, Tom. "Oldenburg to honour Joanna Cassidy". Screen.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  16. ^ Andersson, Eric (April 13, 2024). "Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead Remake: All the Surprise Cameos and Easter Eggs (Exclusive)". People. Retrieved May 31, 2024.

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