A versatile character actress, Rusty Schwimmer has appeared in both serious dramas and silly comedies, her heavyset shape and fiery red hair easily setting her apart from her peers. After starting out on the Chicago stage, she ventured to Hollywood, where she landed roles in various television series during the early '90s. Interestingly, along with appearing on such programs as the comedy "Parker Lewis" and the drama "Life Goes On," one of her earliest roles was a character named Candy Kane in a 30-minute short film entitled "The Dirk Diggler Story," directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. This short, which was shot in 1988, would later be expanded into Anderson's 1997 feature "Boogie Nights." Schwimmer's television work led to more movie roles throughout the '90s and '00s: She played Amelia Minchin in the 1995 adaptation of "A Little Princess," as well as a number of likeable, sympathetic, and/or working-class women; examples include Irene "Big Red" Johnson, a fisherwoman in "The Perfect Storm," and a miner named Big Betty who puts up with sexual harassment in the drama "North Country." During the '00s, she was also a regular guest star on the crime series "The Guardian," playing Barbara Ludzinski. In 2009, Schwimmer landed a recurring role on the daytime soap "Days of Our Lives" and a starring role in the comedic drama "The Informant!."
Cast (Feature Film)
Music (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
First feature film appearance in "Memories of Me" starring Billy Crystal and Alan King
Cast in a small role opposite best friend Virginia Madsen in Clive Barker's "Candyman"
Guest-starred on "Picket Fences" (CBS) and "In the Heat of the Night" (NBC)
Co-starred in Alfonso Cuarón's "A Little Princess"
Had a pivotal role in "Twister" directed by Jan de Bont
Portrayed a stolid churchgoer in the segment '1996' of "If These Walls Could Talk"
Cast in Steven Spielberg's fact-based story, "Amistad," of the 1839 revolt by Africans on the slaveship Amistad
First pairing with actor John Hawkes in Wolfgang Petersen's "The Perfect Storm"
Gained critical notice starring in "John John In the Sky"
Had a recurring role as Barbara Ludzinski on the CBS drama "The Guardian"
Cast as a biker's old lady on the first season of "Six Feet Under" (HBO)
Reunited with actor John Hawkes in the comedy "Buttleman "
Appeared opposite Charlize Theron in "North Country," a drama about women employees getting sexually harassed at a Minnesota mine