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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:||Cast ... actress|
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.
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