Virginia Madsen

Virginia Madsen

Infobox actor
name = Virginia Madsen

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birthdate = birth date and age|1961|9|11
birthplace = Chicago, Illinois
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yearsactive = 1983-Present
spouse = Danny Huston (1989-1992)
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sagawards = Best Cast - Motion Picture
2004 "Sideways"
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Virginia Madsen (born September 11, 1961) is an American actress. She came to fame during the 1980s, having appeared in several films aimed at a teenage audience. During the 2000s, she once again became known after an Academy Award- and Golden Globe-nominated role in the film "Sideways".


Early life

Madsen was born in Chicago, Illinois, the daughter of Elaine (née Melson), an Emmy-winning poet, producer and playwright who often works for PBS, and Calvin Madsen, a fireman.cite news|last=Bell|first=Mark|coauthors=|title=METHOD FEST TO PRESENT THE 2007 MAVERICK AWARD TO MICHAEL MADSEN|pages=|publisher=Film Threat|date=2007-02-23|url=|accessdate=2007-05-31] Madsen's mother left a career in corporate business to pursue a writing career.cite news|last=Kennedy|first=Lisa|coauthors=|title=A strong role, an equal partner|pages=|publisher=The Denver Post|date=2007-02-21|url=|accessdate=2007-05-31] Madsen's brother is actor Michael Madsen. Her paternal grandparents were Danish and her mother has Irish and Native American ancestry.cite news|last=Bray|first=Tony|coauthors=|title=Virginia Madsen|pages=|publisher=TV Now|date=April, 2004|url=|accessdate=2007-05-31] Madsen is a graduate of New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois.cite news|last=|first=|coauthors=|title=Virginia Madsen and Suzanne Adams|pages=|publisher=TeachersCount|date=2006|url=|accessdate=2007-05-31] [cite web
last = Habermehl
first = Kris
date = 2007-01-25
title = Fire Breaks Out At Prestigious High School
url =
accessdate = 2008-06-28

Her first stab as a thespian was as her brother’s assistant in magic shows the two would concoct for their family. She later attended the Ted Liss Acting Studio in Chicago and Harand Camp Adult Theater Seminar in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Of her experience with Liss she said:

"I had wanted to join his class since I was 12. It was well worth the wait because I don't think I could have got that sort of training anywhere else especially in the United States...I always wanted to make a real career out of acting."cite web|last=Madsen|first=Virginia|authorlink=|coauthors=|title=Virginia Madsen Biography - Bio - Life History|publisher=Virginia Madsen Official Site|date=2007|url=|format=|accessdate=2007-05-31]


Audiences first caught a glimpse of Madsen in a bit part she landed as Lisa in the teen sex comedy "Class". She was cast as Princess Irulan -- a key role in one version, greatly diminished in another -- in David Lynch's science fiction epic "Dune" (1984). [Madsen's opening monologue from "Dune" ("In this time, the most precious substance in the universe is the spice melange. The spice extends life. The spice expands consciousness.") was later sampled by Israel-based group Astral Projection in their tracks "Dancing Galaxy" and "Ambient Galaxy" on their album "Dancing Galaxy", and by drum'n'bass artist Aphrodite in his song "Spice (Even Spicier)."]

Madsen first became popular with audiences in 1986 with her portrayal of a Catholic schoolgirl who fell in love with a boy from a prison camp in Duncan Gibbons's "Fire with Fire". As beauty queen Dixie Lee Boxx, she was the sexy romantic interest of minor-league baseball manager Cecil "Stud" Cantrell (William Petersen) in the made-for-cable Long Gone (1987). She also appeared as Maddie Hayes' cousin in the final season of "Moonlighting". She also starred in the 1992 slasher film "Candyman".

A couple of provocative film appearances followed: 1990's "The Hot Spot" with Don Johnson, directed by Dennis Hopper, and the equally steamy "Third Degree Burn" with Treat Williams.

She was also co-host of the TV series "Unsolved Mysteries" in 1999, the show's final season on CBS.

Madsen turned in a solid performance in a small but key role in the Francis Ford Coppola drama "The Rainmaker" (1997) starring Matt Damon. Film critic Roger Ebert said that Madsen had a "strong scene",cite news|last=Ebert|first=Roger|coauthors=|title=The Rainmaker|pages=||date=1997-11-21|url=|accessdate=2007-05-31] while reviewer James Berardinelli noted that "the supporting cast is solid, with turns from... Virginia Madsen as a witness for the plaintiff".cite news|last=Berardinelli|first=James|coauthors=|title=The Rainmaker|pages=|publisher=ReelViews|date=1997|url=|accessdate=2007-05-31] Madsen had spent more than twenty years in minor films before her breakout critically acclaimed performance in "Sideways" (2004). The role catapulted her onto the fabled Hollywood A-list.cite news|last=Tarshis|first=Joan|coauthors=|title=Virginia Madsen’s Vintage Year|pages=|publisher=Smoke Magazine Online|date=September, 2005|url=|accessdate=2007-05-31] Her first major role after "Sideways" was opposite Harrison Ford in "Firewall". She later appeared in Robert Altman's "A Prairie Home Companion," in a key role as the angel. She co-starred with Jim Carrey in "The Number 23" and Billy Bob Thornton in "The Astronaut Farmer"; both films opened in North America on February 23, 2007.

Madsen has made numerous television appearances including: "," "," "Dawson's Creek," "The Practice," "Frasier," and other series. She starred opposite Ray Liotta in CBS's short-lived crime drama "Smith."

She will voice Queen Hippolyte, mother of Wonder Woman, in the upcoming animated "Wonder Woman" film.

Personal life

When Madsen arrived in Hollywood, she was engaged to actor Billy Campbell. She married actor Danny Huston in 1989 and they divorced in 1992. Madsen also had a relationship with actor Antonio Sabato Jr., with whom she had a son, Jack, in 1994.

Madsen has heterochromia, a genetic trait resulting in different pigmentation of the eyes. Madsen has one green eye, and one half-green, half-brown eye.

Her brother is actor Michael Madsen, who is not heterochromic.


Nominations: Academy Awards
* "Sideways" (2004) - Best Supporting Actress

Nominations: Golden Globes
* "Sideways" (2004) - Best Supporting Actress

Other awards

* "Candyman" (1992) - Best Actress: Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films.
* "Sideways" (2004) - Best Supporting Actress: Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards; Chicago Film Critics Association Awards; Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards; Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards; New York Film Critics Circle Awards; and others.


*"Class" (1983)
*"Electric Dreams" (1984)
*"Dune" (1984)
*"Creator" (1985)
*"Fire with Fire" (1986)
*"Modern Girls" (1986)
*"Slam Dance" (1987)
*"Zombie High" (1987)
*"Long Gone" (1987)
*"Gotham" (1988)
*"Mr. North" (1988)
*"Hot to Trot" (1988)
*"Heart of Dixie" (1989)
*"The Hot Spot" (1990)
*"" (1991)
*"Becoming Colette" (1991)
*"A Murderous Affair: The Carolyn Warmus Story" (1992)
*"Candyman" (1992)
*"Caroline at Midnight" (1994)
*"Blue Tiger" (1994)
*"The Prophecy" (1995)
*"Just Your Luck" (1996)
*"Ghosts of Mississippi" ( [1996)
*"The Rainmaker" (1997)
*"Ballad of the Nightingale" (1998)
*"Ambushed" (1998)
*"The Florentine" (1999)
*"The Haunting" (1999)
*"Lying in Wait" (2000)
*"Children of Fortune" (2000)
*"After Sex" (2000)
*"Crossfire Trail" (2001)
*"Full Disclosure" (2001)
*"Almost Salinas" (2001)
*"Just Ask my Children" (2001)
*"American Gun" (2002)
*"Artworks" (2003)
*"Nobody Knows Anything!" (2003)
*"Sideways" (2004)
*"" (2005) (voice) (direct-to-video)
*"Firewall" (2006)
*"A Prairie Home Companion" (2006)
*"The Astronaut Farmer" (2007)
*"Ripple Effect" (2007)
*"The Number 23" (2007)
*"Being Michael Madsen" (2007)
*"Diminished Capacity" (2008)Upcoming:
*"The Haunting in Connecticut" (2008)
*"Amelia" (2009)
*"Wonder Woman (film)" (2009)


External links

*imdb name|id=0000515|name=Virginia Madsen.
* [ Virginia Madsen interview regarding The Astronaut Farmer-The Number 23]

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