Veronica Cartwright

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Veronica Cartwright
Veronica Cartwright in 2022
Born (1949-04-20) April 20, 1949 (age 74)
Bristol, England
Years active1958–present
Richard Gates
(m. 1968; div. 1972)
Stanley Goldstein
(m. 1976; div. 1980)
(m. 1982; died 2007)
RelativesAngela Cartwright (sister)

Veronica Cartwright (born April 20, 1949)[1] is a British-born American actress. She is known for appearing in science fiction and horror films, and has earned numerous accolades, including three Primetime Emmy Award nominations. Her younger sister is actress Angela Cartwright.

As a child actress, Cartwright appeared in supporting roles in The Children's Hour and The Birds, the latter of which was her first commercial success. She made her transition into mainstream, mature roles with 1978's Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The following year, she played Lambert in the science-fiction horror film Alien, which earned her recognition and a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress. She additionally appeared in the films The Right Stuff and The Witches of Eastwick which earned her praise, and in the 1990s, received three nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series, one of which was for her role on ER and two of which were for her role in The X-Files.

Early life[edit]

Cartwright was born in Bristol, England, and grew up in Los Angeles, having emigrated to the US shortly after the birth of her younger sister, actress Angela Cartwright.


In 1958, her career as a child actress began with a role in In Love and War. Among her early appearances were repeated roles in the television series Leave It to Beaver (as Beaver's classmates Violet Rutherford and, later, Peggy MacIntosh) and episodes of One Step Beyond "The Haunting" (1960) and The Twilight Zone "I Sing the Body Electric" (1962).[2] In 1963, she guest starred twice in NBC's medical drama about psychiatry, The Eleventh Hour, in the episodes "The Silence of Good Men" and "My Name is Judith, I'm Lost, You See".

Cartwright (second from left) with the cast of The Birds (1963) reenacting the film at a charity event in 2006.
Tippi Hedren is fourth from left.

Cartwright appeared in the films The Children's Hour (1961) and Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds (1963),[3] which were both highly successful. In The Birds, she was cast along with her television father from Leave It to Beaver, Richard Deacon, although the two were not on screen together. She appeared in Spencer's Mountain (1963) with Henry Fonda and Kym Karath. She played daughter Jemima Boone in the first two seasons of NBC's Daniel Boone from 1964 until 1966, with co-stars Fess Parker, Patricia Blair, Darby Hinton, Ed Ames and Dallas McKennon. She won a regional Emmy Award for the television movie Tell Me Not in Mournful Numbers (1964).[3][4] She achieved adult success with film roles in Inserts (1974), Goin' South (1978), and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978).

Cartwright's breakout feature was the science-fiction horror film Alien (1979), for which she was originally cast as Alien's heroine Ellen Ripley, but director Ridley Scott instead set her to play Lambert prior to shooting. The infamous chestburster scene in the film featured a genuine reaction from Cartwright, who had not been informed beforehand that blood would be involved;[5][6] co-star Tom Skerritt confirmed this by saying "What you saw on camera was the real response. She had no idea what the hell happened. All of a sudden this thing just came up." She won the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance.[7]

Her subsequent film roles include The Right Stuff (1983), Flight of the Navigator (1986), The Witches of Eastwick (1987), Money Talks (1997), Scary Movie 2 (2001), Kinsey (2004) and Straight-Jacket (2004). She was nominated again for the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress for The Witches of Eastwick.

A frequent performer in television, she has played guest roles in such series as Route 66, Leave it to Beaver, The Mod Squad, Miami Vice, Baywatch, L.A. Law, ER, The X-Files, Chicago Hope, Will & Grace, Touched by an Angel, Judging Amy, Six Feet Under, The Closer, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.[8] Cartwright has received three Emmy Award nominations,[9] one for her work in ER in 1997, and two for her work on The X-Files in 1998 and 1999. Cartwright also starred as Mrs. Olive Osmond in the made-for-TV film Inside the Osmonds.

She co-starred in the fourth version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Invasion (2007). She appears on the cover art for the Scissor Sisters' 2006 single "I Don't Feel Like Dancin'" and on their second album Ta-Dah. In 2014, Cartwright reprised her role as Joan Lambert for DLC episodes in Alien: Isolation based on the original film, and appeared in the remake of The Town That Dreaded Sundown.[10][11] She played the role of Sibley Gamble, a psychic on General Hospital, between July 8, 2019, and July 16, 2019.[12]

Cartwright's many theatre credits include Electra, Talley's Folly, The Bat[13] and The Master Builder,[14] for which she received brilliant reviews. Her performances in The Hands of its Enemy,[15] The Triplet Collection and Homesteaders brought her Drama-Logue Awards for Best Actress.[16]

Personal life[edit]

Cartwright's first marriage to Richard Gates lasted from 1968 to 1972. Her second husband was Stanley Goldstein, whom she married in 1976 and divorced in 1980. Her third and final marriage was to television director Richard Compton. They remained married until Compton's death in 2007.

A Catholic, Cartwright and her sister Angela have attended Mass at St. Charles Borromeo.[17]



Year Title Role Notes
1958 In Love and War Allie O'Neill Uncredited
1961 The Children's Hour Rosalie Wells
1963 The Birds Cathy Brenner
Spencer's Mountain Becky Spencer Uncredited
1964 One Man's Way Mary
1975 Inserts Harlene
1978 Goin' South Hermine
Invasion of the Body Snatchers Nancy Bellicec
The Kid from Not-So-Big Corinne
1979 Alien Joan Lambert
1983 Nightmares Claire Houston Segment: "Night of the Rat"
The Right Stuff Betty Grissom
1984 Terror in the Aisles Nancy Bellicec Archive footage
1985 My Man Adam Elaine Swit
1986 Flight of the Navigator Helen Freeman
1987 Wisdom Samantha Wisdom
The Witches of Eastwick Felicia Alden
1989 Valentino Returns Patricia "Pat" Gibbs
1990 False Identity Vera Errickson
1991 Walking the Dog Unknown Short film
1992 Man Trouble Helen Dextra
1994 Mirror, Mirror 2: Raven Dance Sister Aja
Speed Bag Lady Uncredited
On Hope Woman In Grocery Short film
Two Over Easy Molly Short film
1995 Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh Octavia Tarrant
1996 Shoot the Moon Mrs. Thomas
1997 Money Talks Connie Cipriani
Sparkler Dottie Delgato
1998 My Engagement Party Sarah Salsburg
1999 A Slipping-Down Life Mrs. Casey
Trash Principal Evans
2001 In the Bedroom Minister On Television
Critic's Choice Watkins Short film
Scary Movie 2 Mother
2002 Mackenheim Eleanor Short film
2003 Just Married Mrs. "Pussy" McNerney Uncredited
2004 Twisted Landlady Uncredited
Straight-Jacket Jerry Albrecht
Kinsey Sara Kinsey
2005 Barry Dingle Eleanor Dingle
2007 Mommy's House Mommy Short film
The Invasion Wendy Lenk
2009 Call of the Wild Sheriff Taylor
2010 Neowolf Mrs. Belakov
2011 InSight Patricia
Montana Amazon Margaret
2012 The Yellow Wallpaper Catherine Sayer
2013 The Odd Way Home Francine
2014 The Town That Dreaded Sundown Grandma Lillian
2015 The Dark Below Tess
2019 Limbo Louise
2019 The Field Edith
2020 Breaking Fast Judy
2022 The Phantoms Miss Sayer


Year Title Role Notes
1959 Zane Grey Theater Sarah Butler Episode: "The Lone Woman"
Make Room for Daddy Girl In Play Episode: "Bob Hope and Danny Become Directors"
1959–1961 Leave It to Beaver Violet Rutherford Episode: "The Tooth"
Episode: "Beaver and Violet"
Episode: "Beaver's Rat"
1960 Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond Gillian Episode: "The Haunting"
The Betty Hutton Show Fake Foster Child Uncredited, Episode: "Gullible Goldie"
1960 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Viola Wellington Season 5 Episode 35: "The Schwartz-Metterklume Method" (uncredited)
1961 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Judy Davidson / Lettie / Lauretta Bishop Season 6 Episode 15: "Summer Shade"
1961 Make Room for Daddy Veronica Episode: "Teacher for a Day"
1962 Route 66 Miriam - age 9 Episode: "Love Is a Skinny Kid"
The Twilight Zone Anne Rogers - age 11 Episode: "I Sing the Body Electric" S3 E35
1963 The Dick Powell Theatre Unknown Episode: "The Third Side of a Coin"
Leave It to Beaver Peggy MacIntosh Episode: "Don Juan Beaver"
The Eleventh Hour Judith Cameron / Jan Ellendale Episode: "My Name Is Judith, I'm Lost, You See"
Episode: "The Silence of Good Men"
1964 Tell Me Not in Mournful Numbers Unknown Television film
1964–1966 Daniel Boone Jemima Boone 37 episodes
1965 Dr. Kildare Nancy Hiller Episode: "Take Care of My Little Girl"
Who Has Seen the Wind? Kiri Radek Television film
1968 Mannix Mrs. Goldberg Uncredited, Episode: "Edge of the Knife"
The Name of the Game Nancy Robins Episode: "High on a Rainbow"
1969 Family Affair Jo-Ann Episode: "Flower Power"
Dragnet 1970 Melissa Stevens Episode: "Personnel: The Shooting"
Mod Squad Gail Whitney Episode: "The Girl in Chair Nine"
1970 Death Valley Days Unknown Episode: "Simple Question of Justice"
The Bold Ones: The Lawyers Mary Episode: "Point of Honor"
Then Came Bronson Petey Traine Episode: "Still Waters"
My Three Sons Ruth Fletcher Episode: "The Honeymoon"
1973 Here We Go Again Nancy Episode: "Sunday, Soggy Sunday"
1976 Bernice Bobs Her Hair Marjorie Television film
Serpico Lucy Episode: "Dawn of the Furies"
1980 Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones Marceline "Marcy" Jones Miniseries
1981 The Big Black Pill Sister Theresa Television film
1982 Prime Suspect Janice Staplin Television film
1985 The New Leave It to Beaver Violet Rutherford Episode: "Violet Rutherford Returns"
Robert Kennedy & His Times Ethel Skakel Kennedy Miniseries
1986 Intimate Encounters Emily Television film
1987 Miami Vice Society Dame Episode: "By Hooker by Crook"
1988 Tanner '88 Molly Hark Contract role
1989 Desperate for Love Betty Petrie Television film
Baywatch Mrs. Harris Uncredited, Episode: "Panic at Malibu Pier"
1989–1992 L.A. Law Assistant District Attorney Margaret Flanagan Recurring role
1990 A Son's Promise Dorothy Donaldson Television film
Hitler's Daughter Patricia Benedict Television film
1991 CBS Schoolbreak Special Caroline Morris Episode: "Abby, My Love"
Dead in the Water Victoria Haines Television film
1992 Lincoln & Seward Unknown Television film
Lincoln and the War Within Unknown Television film
1993 It's Nothing Personal Barbara Television film
Triumph Over Disaster: The Hurricane Andrew Story Carla Hulin Television film
1994 Dead Air The Caller Television film
1995 My Brother's Keeper Pat Television film
1996 American Gothic Angela Episode: "Dr. Death Takes a Holiday"
The Lottery Maggie Dunbar Television film
Sliders The Flame Voice, Episode: "The Fire Within"
1997 ER Norma Houston Episode: "Whose Appy Now?"
Episode: "Faith"
Boston Common Betty Episode: "Here's to You, Mrs. Byrnes"
Quicksilver Highway Myra Television film
1997–1998 George & Leo Anna Episode: "The Wedding"
Episode: "The Nine Wives of Leo Wagonman"
1998 The Rat Pack Rocky Cooper Television film
1998–2018 The X-Files Cassandra Spender Recurring role; 4 episodes
1999 The Last Man on Planet Earth Director Elizabeth Riggs Television film
Chicago Hope Karen Flanders Episode: "Team Play"
Will & Grace Judith McFarland Episode: "Homo for the Holidays"
2001 Inside the Osmonds Olive Osmond Television film
Touched by an Angel Shirlee Gibbons Episode: "Famous Last Words"
2002 Family Law Norma Benson Episode: "Arlene's Choice"
Judging Amy Dorothea Mitchell Episode: "A Pretty Good Day"
2003 Without a Trace Mrs. Beckworth Episode: "There Goes the Bride"
2004 Dr. Vegas Evelyn Episode: "All In"
2004–2005 Six Feet Under Peg Kimmel Recurring role
2005 The Closer Vera Mathers Episode: "Good Housekeeping"
Without a Trace Susan Episode: "John Michaels"
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Virginia Kennison Episode: "Starved"
Nip/Tuck Mother Mary Claire Episode: "Quentin Costa"
2005–2006 Invasion Valerie Shenkman Recurring role
2006 Boston Legal Judge Peggy Zeder Episode: "Helping Hands"
Cold Case Mary Ryan Episode: "Dog Day Afternoons"
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Diane Chase Episode: "Rashomama"
7th Heaven Ms. Fitzhenry Episode: "A Pain in the Neck"
2006–2007 The Nine Barbara Dalton Episode: "Brother's Keeper"
Episode: "Confessions"
Episode: "The Inside Man"
2007 October Road Lynn Farmer Episode: "Deck the Howls"
2008 The Mr. Men Show Little Miss Elderly / Little Miss Jotünheim / Little Miss Scarlett Voice
2009 Eastwick Bun Waverly Contract role
2010 Drop Dead Diva Marian Porter Episode: "Back from the Dead"
Memphis Beat Miranda Episode: "I Shall Not Be Moved"
2010–2012 Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil Ms. Dominic Voice, recurring role
2012 Revenge Judge Elizabeth Blackwell Episode: "Scandal"
Episode: "Justice"
2013 Non-Stop Rose Television film
2014 Resurrection Helen Edgerton Recurring role
2015 Bosch Irène Saxon, Raynard Waits’ mother Season 1
2016 The Loud House Sue Voice, episode: "The Old and the Restless"
Criminal Minds Flora Martin Episode: "The Bond"
2017 Mommy, I Didn't Do It Judge Tannin Television film
2018 Supernatural Lily Sunder Episode: "Byzantium"
2019 Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Mrs. McGarvey Episode: "Doctor Cerberus’s House of Horror"
General Hospital Sibley Gamble Guest role
2021 The Good Doctor Maxine Stanley Episode: "Dr. Ted"
2021 The Resident Celeste Crisforth Episode: "Old Dogs, New Tricks"
2023 Gotham Knights Eunice Harmon 2 episodes

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2014 Alien: Isolation Joan Lambert Voice; Nostromo Edition
2015 Fallout 4 Trashcan Carla, Doc Anderson, Jackie Hudson, Bartender, Settlers, Vault 81 Residents

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
1980 Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actress Alien Won
1984 Drama-Logue Awards Outstanding Performance The Hands of its Enemy Won
1988 Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actress The Witches of Eastwick Nominated
1997 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series ER Nominated
1998 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series The X-Files Nominated
1999 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series The X-Files Nominated
2003 DVD Exclusive Awards Best Audio Commentary Alien Won
2005 Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival Best Supporting Actress Barry Dingle Won
2005 Glitter Awards Best Supporting Actress Straight-Jacket Won
2005 Online Film & Television Association Best Ensemble in a Motion Picture or Limited Series Kinsey Nominated


  1. ^ Rubin, Steven Jay (2017). The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia. Chicago Review Press. ISBN 9781613738887.
  2. ^ Chiotakis, Steve (31 October 2019). "The 60-year legacy of The Twilight Zone". KCRW.
  3. ^ a b Nolasco, Stephanie (15 July 2021). "'The Birds' star Veronica Cartwright recalls giving Beaver Cleaver his first kiss, meeting Alfred Hitchcock". Fox News. Retrieved 27 January 2024.
  4. ^ Rick29. "Veronica Cartwright Talks with the Café about Hitchcock, Alien, and the Beaver". Classic Film and TV Cafe. Retrieved 27 January 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ Scott, Ridley (13 October 2009). "The making of Alien's chestburster scene". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 April 2022.
  6. ^ "Alien named as top 18-rated scene". BBC News. 26 April 2007. Retrieved 21 April 2022.
  7. ^ "Past Saturn Awards". Saturn Awards. 14 September 2008. Archived from the original on 14 September 2008. Retrieved 21 April 2022.
  8. ^ Maden, Ben L (6 August 2017). "EXCLUSIVE: At #LFCC Alien star Veronica Cartwright told me she is returning as Cassandra Spender in #TheXFiles season 11!". Twitter. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  9. ^ "Emmys Bio: Veronica Cartwright | Awards and Nominations". Emmys.
  10. ^ Danny! (2 March 2015). "Double Murder Ep 55: The Town That Dreaded Sundown (Original vs. Remake/Sequel)". Bloody Disgusting!. Retrieved 27 January 2024.
  11. ^ Kit, Borys (7 May 2013). "'Town That Dreaded Sundown' Casts Trio (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 27 January 2024.
  12. ^ Rice, Lynette (11 June 2019). "General Hospital casts Alien actress Veronica Cartwright in secret role". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 11 June 2019. Retrieved 27 January 2024.
  13. ^ Brandes, Philip (2 August 2012). "Theater review: 'The Bat' at Theatre 40". The Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 20 January 2022.
  14. ^ Richards, David (20 January 1991). "Sunday View: Is It Ibsen? Or Is It Stephen King?". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2 December 2010. Retrieved 27 January 2024.
  15. ^ Foster, Catherine (10 January 1985). "Deft handling of difficult story in new Mark Medoff play". The Christian Science Monitor.
  16. ^ "Mark Taper Forum Awards". StudyLib. December 2007. Retrieved 27 January 2024.
  17. ^ Stagnaro, Angelo (26 February 2017). "Where the Stars Go to Pray: The Churches of Hollywood". National Catholic Register. Retrieved 27 January 2024.

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