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Virginia Madsen

Virginia Madsen

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Sideways DVD In this intoxicating, intelligent comedy, director Alexander Payne (Election,... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

The Astronaut Farmer DVD Find inspiration and adventure in a movie about a man who never stopped reaching... more info $12.98was $12.98 Buy Now

The Haunting in Connecticut... Virginia Madsen and Martin Donovan star in this frightening homage to classic... more info $9.98was $9.98 Buy Now

Ripple Effect DVD Philippe Caland directs and stars in this karmic drama about a hip, new age... more info $24.95was $24.95 Buy Now

Firewall DVD Descend into a world of high tech trickery and deception in the cyber thriller... more info $5.98was $5.98 Buy Now

Crossfire Trail DVD Actors: Wilford Brimley, Barry Corbin, Mark Harmon, Virginia Madsen, Tom Selleck... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: Died:
Born: September 11, 1961 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Chicago, Illinois, USA Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Though she spent the first two decades of her career languishing in small, thankless parts or leading roles in erotic thrillers, actor Virginia Madsen finally had the role of a lifetime with her subtle, touching portrayal of a waitress and wine connoisseur in Alexander Payne's critically acclaimed "Sideways" (2004). Nominated for her first Academy Award, Madsen earned a large degree of respectability that had previously been lacking despite a long and varied career in film and on television. Prior to "Sideways," she went back and forth between rather forgettable movies like "Zombie High" (1987) and "Hot to Trot" (1988) to more interesting small screen fare like "Third Degree Burn" (HBO, 1989) and "Blue Tiger" (HBO, 1994). A turn to series television in the late 1990s, including a co-hosting job on "Unsolved Mysteries" (CBS/NBC, 1988-1999), as well as recurring stints on "Frasier" (NBC, 1993-2004) and "The Practice" (ABC, 1997-2004), helped Madsen branch out and put her talents on full display. But after "Sideways," she found herself at the top of her game, starring opposing top leading men like Harrison Ford and Jim Carrey, and finally enjoying the successful career many felt the actress had long...

Though she spent the first two decades of her career languishing in small, thankless parts or leading roles in erotic thrillers, actor Virginia Madsen finally had the role of a lifetime with her subtle, touching portrayal of a waitress and wine connoisseur in Alexander Payne's critically acclaimed "Sideways" (2004). Nominated for her first Academy Award, Madsen earned a large degree of respectability that had previously been lacking despite a long and varied career in film and on television. Prior to "Sideways," she went back and forth between rather forgettable movies like "Zombie High" (1987) and "Hot to Trot" (1988) to more interesting small screen fare like "Third Degree Burn" (HBO, 1989) and "Blue Tiger" (HBO, 1994). A turn to series television in the late 1990s, including a co-hosting job on "Unsolved Mysteries" (CBS/NBC, 1988-1999), as well as recurring stints on "Frasier" (NBC, 1993-2004) and "The Practice" (ABC, 1997-2004), helped Madsen branch out and put her talents on full display. But after "Sideways," she found herself at the top of her game, starring opposing top leading men like Harrison Ford and Jim Carrey, and finally enjoying the successful career many felt the actress had long deserved.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Burning Bodhi (2015)
2.
 Long Time Gone (2013)
3.
 Walter (2013)
4.
 Anna Nicole (2013)
5.
 Hot Flashes, The (2013)
9.
 Hornet's Nest (2012)
10.
 Red Riding Hood (2011)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Studied dancing and acting throughout her childhood
1983:
First feature film, "Class"
1984:
First lead role in a feature, "Electric Dreams"
1984:
TV-movie debut, "A Matter of Principle" for PBS series "American Playhouse"
1985:
First TV miniseries, "Mussolini: The Untold Story" (NBC)
1989:
Played Maddie's (Cybill Shepherd) sister on two episodes of ABC's "Moonlighting"
1990:
Offered a fine turn as a femme fatale in "The Hot Spot"
1992:
Starred in the horror thriller "Candyman"
:
Took time off acting to concentrate on raising her son
1998:
Turned in an effective supporting turn in "John Grisham's 'The Rainmaker'"
1998:
Joined Robert Stack as co-host of "Unsolved Mysteries" (CBS)
2001:
Starred in the fact-based Lifetime TV-movie "Just Ask My Children"
2002:
Cast for one season as Rebecca Sandstrom on the NBC drama "American Dreams"
2004:
Co-starred with Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church and Sandra Oh in Alexander Payne's "Sideways"; received Golden Globe, SAG and Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actress
2006:
Played Harrison Ford's wife in the thriller "Firewall"
2006:
Cast in Robert Altman's ensemble feature "A Prairie Home Companion," based on Garrison Keilor's radio program
2006:
Cast as Ray Liotta's unsuspecting wife on the short-lived CBS series "Smith"
2007:
Co-starred in the films "The Number 23" with Jim Carrey and "The Astronaut Farmer" with Billy Bob Thornton
2007:
Executive producing debut, "Ripple Effect"; also acted opposite Forest Whitaker
2008:
Featured opposite Matthew Broderick in "Diminished Capacity"
2009:
Starred in the horror drama "The Haunting in Connecticut"
2010:
Co-starred with David James Elliott on ABC's "Scoundrels," about a crime family who tries to go straight when the patriarch goes to prison
2011:
Appeared in Catherine Hardwicke's horror fantasy "Red Riding Hood"
2011:
Cast as a Senator on NBC mystery drama "The Event"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

New Trier High School: Winnetka , Illinois -
Northwestern University: Evanston , Illinois -

Notes

"This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You work your entire life as an actor to have a single moment of creative freedom like that. It's like I just closed my eyes and drove off the cliff."---Virginia Madsen on her role in "Sideways" to Venice, December 2004/January 2005.

"There was no research for me to do with Maya," says Madsen. "I understand about having a divorce and what it takes to crawl out from underneath [and] come out the other side."---Virginia Madsen on the character she portrayed in "Sideways to Entertainment Weekly, December 31, 2004.

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Danny Huston. Director. Son of the late John Huston; married secretly in October 1989 in Las Vegas, Nevada; had second ceremony over weekend of December 9-10, 1989, Chicago, Illinois divorced.
companion:
Antonio Sabato Jr. Actor. Born on February 29, 1972; father of Jack Antonio Sabato; together 1993-95; renewed relationship c. 1997.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Cal Madsen. Fireman. Divorced from Madsen's mother.
mother:
Elaine Madsen. Screenwriter, filmmaker. Emmy-award winner.
brother:
Michael Madsen. Actor. Older.
son:
Jack Antonio Sabato. Born August 5, 1994; father Antonio Sabato Jr.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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