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Also Known As: Fairuza A Feldthouse, Fairuza Alejandra Balk Died:
Born: May 21, 1974 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Point Reyes, California, USA Profession: actress

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Blue-eyed, dark-haired Fairuza Balk weathered the storms of Oz, gradually breaking free from her fresh-faced little kid persona to plunge into dark and depressing film scenarios that ultimately reveal an optimism at her core. She worked first on TV in NBC's "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" (1983) before beating out 1,200 girls to fill Dorothy's ruby slippers in Walter Murch's feature debut, "Return to Oz" (1985). Refusing to be traumatized by critics comparing her unfavorably to Judy Garland, Balk rebounded for more kid stuff as the well-meaning klutz Mildred Hubble in "The Worst Witch", a 1986 HBO movie based on the popular children's book.Balk attracted attention in her first somewhat adult role as the virginal Cecile de Volanges promised in marriage to someone 30 years her senior in Milos Forman's "Valmont" (1989). She turned in an outstanding performance as a young rape victim in the TV film "Shame" (Lifetime, 1992) and played the blossoming younger sister of Ione Skye in Allison Anders' indie favorite "Gas Food Lodging" (1992). Balk portrayed the older daughter who inadvertently becomes head of the household when the latest scheme of her father (Harvey Keitel) turns sour in "Imaginary Crimes"...

Blue-eyed, dark-haired Fairuza Balk weathered the storms of Oz, gradually breaking free from her fresh-faced little kid persona to plunge into dark and depressing film scenarios that ultimately reveal an optimism at her core. She worked first on TV in NBC's "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" (1983) before beating out 1,200 girls to fill Dorothy's ruby slippers in Walter Murch's feature debut, "Return to Oz" (1985). Refusing to be traumatized by critics comparing her unfavorably to Judy Garland, Balk rebounded for more kid stuff as the well-meaning klutz Mildred Hubble in "The Worst Witch", a 1986 HBO movie based on the popular children's book.

Balk attracted attention in her first somewhat adult role as the virginal Cecile de Volanges promised in marriage to someone 30 years her senior in Milos Forman's "Valmont" (1989). She turned in an outstanding performance as a young rape victim in the TV film "Shame" (Lifetime, 1992) and played the blossoming younger sister of Ione Skye in Allison Anders' indie favorite "Gas Food Lodging" (1992). Balk portrayed the older daughter who inadvertently becomes head of the household when the latest scheme of her father (Harvey Keitel) turns sour in "Imaginary Crimes" (1994) and was extremely sympathetic as a self-destructive prostitute in the little-seen "Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead" (1995). She continued to work steadily in features of varying quality, including playing a high school student caught up in the dark side of witchcraft in the hit supernatural thriller "The Craft" (1996) and co-starred with Edward Norton and Edward Furlong in Tony Kaye's "American History X" (1998), about a white supremacist who reforms.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Dose of Reality (2013)
3.
 Humboldt County (2008)
4.
5.
 What Is It? (2006)
7.
 Don't Come Knocking (2005) Cast
8.
 Personal Velocity (2002) Paula ("Paula")
9.
 Deuces Wild (2002) Annie
10.
 Red Letters (2000) Gretchen Van Buren
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1983:
Moved to Vancouver with her mother when she was nine years old
1983:
First acting role, "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" (ABC)
:
At eleven years old, moved with her mother to London, where she attended various prestigious ballet and acting schools
1985:
Feature acting debut as Dorothy in "Return to Oz"
1987:
Played Barbara (at age 12) in the NBC TV-movie "Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton Story"
1989:
Portrayed a 14-year-old girl entangled in an arranged marriage to a man 30 years her senior in "Valmont"; co-starred with Jeffrey Jones, Annette Bening and Colin Firth; based on the French novel <i>Les Liaisons Dangereuses</i>
1992:
Received critical acclaim for her performance in the Lifetime movie "Shame"
1992:
Co-starred in Allison Anders' "Gas Food Lodging," as the idealistic younger daughter of a truck-stop waitress (played by Brooke Adams)
1993:
Acted the real-life part of Caril Ann Fugate in the ABC miniseries "Murder in the Heartland"
1994:
Shined as Harvey Keitel's older daughter in "Imaginary Crimes"
1995:
Played a prostitute in "Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead" opposite Andy Garcia and Steve Buscemi
1996:
Experimented with witchcraft in the supernatural thriller "The Craft"
1996:
Portrayed Marlon Brando's daughter in "The Island of Dr. Moreau"; met future romantic interest, David Thewlis
1997:
Co-starred in "American Perfekt" with Robert Forster, Amanda Plummer, Paul Sorvino and Thewlis
1998:
Acted as a neo-Nazi opposite Edward Norton in Tony Kaye's "American History X"
2000:
Had supporting role as a sort of groupie, or 'band-aid' in Cameron Crowe's "Almost Famous"
2002:
Co-starred in the drama feature "Personal Velocity"
2006:
Co-starred in Wim Wenders' neo-Western "Don't Come Knocking" with Sam Shepard
2008:
Cast opposite Frances Conroy in the comedy "Humboldt County" about a community of counterculture pot farmers
2009:
Co-starred with Nicolas Cage in Werner Herzog's "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Vancouver Academy of Music: Vancouver , British Columbia -
The Royal Academy of Dance: -

Notes

Her first name means turquoise in Arabic.

Balk owns an occult store in Los Angeles called Panpipes.

"I was very depressed for a few years. I kind of sat in a basement for a long time. I seriously think I had a death wish. I'd done everything and anything to totally annihilate myself, and then I turned eighteen and it's like, Wow, I'm obviously not gonna die, so I might as well forget the self-destruction . . . People tell me I'm really dark. I'm not. I just don't pretend to be anything I'm not. I could have been totally famous or whatever, but that's not my thing at all. I want to make people feel. Touch people. Not just be another face." --Fairuza Balk to PREMIERE, November 1994

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
David Thewlis. Actor. Met during filming of "Island of Dr. Moreau"; no longer together.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Solomon Feldthouse. Folk musician.
mother:
Cathryn Balk. Dancer. Also taught Mid-Eastern and flamenco dance.

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