|Also known as:||Gina|
|Born:||September 11, 1961|
Chicago, Illinois, USA
|Height:||5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)|
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.
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. Madsen's mother left a career in corporate business to pursue a writing career. Madsen's mother left a career in corporate business to pursue a writing career. Madsen's brother is actor Michael Madsen. Her paternal grandparents were Danish and her mother has Irish and Native American ancestry. Madsen is a graduate of New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois.
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."
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 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", while reviewer James Berardinelli noted that "the supporting cast is solid, with turns from... Virginia Madsen as a witness for the plaintiff". 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. 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: Star Trek: Voyager, CSI: Miami, 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.
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
Screen Actors Guild Awards
- Best Cast - Motion Picture : 2004 Sideways
- 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.
- Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Cast : 2004 Sideways
- Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress : 2004 Sideways
- Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast : 2004 Sideways
- Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress : 2004 Sideways
- Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress : 2004 Sideways
- Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female : 2004 Sideways
- Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress : 2004 Sideways
- New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress : 2004 Sideways
- Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast : 2004 Sideways
- Saturn Award for Best Actress : 1992 Candyman
- Seattle Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress : 2004 Sideways
- Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress : 2004 Sideways
- Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress : 2004 Sideways
- 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)
- Highlander II: The Quickening (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)
- Stuart Little 3: Call of the Wild (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)
- The Haunting in Connecticut (2008)
- Amelia (2009)
- Wonder Woman (2009)
- Bell, Mark. "METHOD FEST TO PRESENT THE 2007 MAVERICK AWARD TO MICHAEL MADSEN", Film Threat, 2007-02-23. Retrieved on 2007-05-31.
- Kennedy, Lisa. "A strong role, an equal partner", The Denver Post, 2007-02-21. Retrieved on 2007-05-31.
- Bray, Tony. "Virginia Madsen", TV Now, April, 2004. Retrieved on 2007-05-31.
- "Virginia Madsen and Suzanne Adams", TeachersCount, 2006. Retrieved on 2007-05-31.
- Habermehl, Kris (2007-01-25). Fire Breaks Out At Prestigious High School. Retrieved on 2008-06-28.
- Madsen, Virginia (2007). Virginia Madsen Biography - Bio - Life History. Virginia Madsen Official Site. Retrieved on 2007-05-31.
- 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)."
- Ebert, Roger. "The Rainmaker", RogerEbert.com, 1997-11-21. Retrieved on 2007-05-31.
- Berardinelli, James. "The Rainmaker", ReelViews, 1997. Retrieved on 2007-05-31.
- Tarshis, Joan. "Virginia Madsen’s Vintage Year", Smoke Magazine Online, September, 2005. Retrieved on 2007-05-31.
- Virginia Madsen interview regarding The Astronaut Farmer-The Number 23
- article at Memory Alpha, a Star Trek wiki
- Virginia Madsen links at FreeOnes