Whether she's performing with her desert rock band Smith & Pyle or torturing unlucky innocents in the "Saw" movies, actress Shawnee Smith keeps finding new ways to explore and challenge her creative talents. The South Carolina native began acting in 1982 with a small role as a dancer in the musical "Annie," and guest-starred on the popular series "Silver Spoons" (NBC, 1982-87) before landing the lead role in the 1988 remake of "The Blob." While she flexed her comedic muscles alongside Ted Danson on "Becker" (CBS, 1998-2004), off-screen Smith let her inner wild child out in Fydolla Ho, a punk metal band she formed with former Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo. In 2004 the self-professed "scaredy-cat" faced her fears in the wildly successful indie horror film "Saw" (2004). Her iconic performance, helped along by a well-placed bear trap, propelled the brunette beauty to a central role in the series; she returned to wreak havoc in "Saw II" (2005) and "Saw III" (2006), and made a brief appearance in "Saw VI" (2009). But even as her reputation as film's newest scream queen grew, by 2008 Smith was back in the recording studio with Smith & Pyle, her country rock duo with fellow actress Missi Pyle. With her role as Charlie Sheen's entrepreneurial ex-wife on FX's "Anger Management" (2012-14), Smith returned to the small screen and proved a worthy comic foil for the notoriously wild card actor.
Born in Orangeburg, SC, Smith moved with her family to Van Nuys, CA when she was just a year old. Shortly afterwards, her parents filed for divorce. An engaging child with a knack for performing, Smith began acting in local stage plays and joined the Screen Actors Guild in 1979. Her debut role as an orphan in the much-loved adaptation of "Annie" was quickly followed by appearances on popular series such as "Silver Spoons" and "Cagney & Lacey" (CBS, 1981-88). In 1987 she earned a Young Artist nomination for her role in the TV movie "Crime of Innocence" (CBS, 1985) as Jodi Hayward, a good-hearted suburban teen who makes a minor mistake that costs her dearly. She garnered acclaim for her performance as resourceful high school student Meg Penny in the remake of the classic horror film "The Blob," and appeared in several minor horror films as well as "The Stand" (ABC, 1994), based on Stephen King's epic post-apocalyptic novel.
A year later she landed her biggest role to date as rich but hapless nurse's aide Linda on "Becker," a medical sitcom centered on Ted Danson's easily annoyed, misanthropic NYC doctor. After marrying photographer Jason Reposar and giving birth to daughter Verve, Smith balanced her work and home life with a new creative outlet: music. The accomplished singer, drummer and songwriter formed the punk metal band Fydolla Ho in the early 2000s with former members of Metallica and Suicidal Tendencies. The band released one album, Untied, before breaking up in 2004. Newly free from the band, "Becker" and Reposar (the pair divorced in 2003), Smith shook things up with a minor but memorable role in "Saw" as a young woman forced to commit murder in order to save herself. Her infamous "bear trap" scene became one of the most iconic images of the game-changing horror film, and to her surprise secured her a central part in the franchise. She reprised her role as Amanda Young, now a protégé of the demented serial killer Jigsaw, in "Saw II" and "Saw III," and parlayed her horror-heavy filmography into a gig hosting VH1's "Scream Queens," a 2008-2010 reality show competition.
Ever the overachiever, though, Smith wasn't content to have just one successful project on her hands. After connecting with co-star Missi Pyle on the set of their TV-pilot-turned-movie "Traveling in Packs" (ABC, 2007), the pair bonded over their love of music at the annual Coachella music festival in Indio, CA. Upon returning from the festival, the two began playing together as Smith & Pyle, bringing their blend of country rock and lovelorn lyrics to bars and clubs throughout L.A. Their debut album, 2008's It's Okay to be Happy, featured Alice in Chains' guitarist Jerry Cantrell. While brainstorming ideas for their sophomore album, Smith briefly reprised her role as Amanda in the flashback-heavy "Saw VI," which took in over $60 million worldwide. In 2012 she returned to series television as Charlie Sheen's business-minded ex-wife on FX's "Anger Management."
Cast (Feature Film)
Music (Feature Film)
Costume-Wardrobe (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Made her film debut in "Annie"
Landed first TV role on NBC's "Silver Spoons"
Cast in the lead role in the re-make of "The Blob"
Portrayed a nurse's aide on CBS' "Becker"
Featured in "Saw"
Reprised her role in "Saw II"
Appeared in "Saw VI"
Played Charlie Sheen's ex-wife on FX's "Anger Management"