Family & Companions
After honing her craft in daytime dramas, Paige Turco made the leap to films plying the resourceful TV newswoman April O'Neil in "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze" in 1991. Since then, she has divided her time between the two media, without landing that elusive star-making part. Nevertheless, Turco has added zest to whatever role she has played.
The attractive, brunette Massachusetts native actually began as a ballet dancer, performing as a soloist with several companies in her home state before an ankle injury curtailed her career. Refocusing her energies, Turco concentrated on drama and musical comedies while earning a degree from the University of Connecticut. Her resume already included work in summer theater when she landed her first soap opera gig in 1987 on CBS' "Guiding Light" playing a troubled teen who is adopted by a wealthy woman. The following year, she segued to ABC and "All My Children" where she earned a large following as the virginal ingenue Melanie 'Lainie' Cortlandt. She departed Pine Valley and was cast as April in the second and third installments of the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" movies but found it difficult to break out of the typecasting. Instead she turned to primetime work playing an failed actress who returns to her hometown with her young son in tow after her marriage fails in the NBC serial "Winnetka Road" (1994). Although she lit up the screen with her performance, nighttime soaps were on the wane and audiences did not embrace the series. She had similar bad luck with her follow-up the supernatural-themed "American Gothic" (CBS, 1995) where she was cast as a determined reporter with strong familial ties to a deceptively placid Southern town. Turco was still playing the "good girl" but with more of an edge than usual.
Turco got stuck in several features unworthy of her talents (i.e., "The November Conspiracy" 1995) or little seen (e.g., "The Pompatus of Love" 1996). She finally began to shed her squeaky-clean image between 1996 and 1998 with a strong turn as an unhappy wife who plots the murder of her husband in the festival-screened "Dark Tides" (1998) and with recurring roles in two TV series. On ABC's "NYPD Blue," the actress was cast as a lesbian policewoman who turns to a colleague (series regular Gordon Clapp) to serve as sperm donor. Simultaneously, Turco impressed audiences as the alcoholic single mother Annie Mott who became romantically involved with Scott Wolf's Bailey Salinger on Fox's "Party of Five."
One might think that such displays of versatility would be translatable, but Hollywood studios did not come knocking. Instead, Turco took the indie film route. Although her Greek accent wavered, she was ultimately effective in the romantic drama "Astoria" (1999) and she made an impression as a hard-nosed Manhattan businesswoman in her all-too-brief scenes in the underappreciated "Urbania" (2000). In the fall of 2001, Turco once again attempted series TV, co-starring as a rookie CIA recruit in the CBS drama "The Agency."
Cast (Feature Film)
Made TV acting debut as Dinah Morgan on the CBS soap "Guiding Light"
Featured on the ABC soap "All My Children" as Melanie Cortlandt
Feature acting debut, "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze"
Reprised the role of April O'Neil for "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III"
Appeared on the short-lived NBC evening soap "Winnetka Road"
Cast as a regular on the CBS supernatural drama series "American Gothic"
Was featured in the ensemble of the romantic comedy "The Pompatus of Love"
Had recurring role on ABC's "NYPD Blue" as Abby Sullivan, a lesbian policewoman
Cast in a recurring role on Fox's "Party of Five" as Annie Mott, a single mother who is also a recovering alcoholic
Gave an effective performance as an unhappily married woman who plots the murder of her husband in "Dark Tides"
Played the lead role in the independent feature "Astoria"
Appeared in "Urbania" as a hard-nosed businesswoman
Returned to primetime series work as co-star of the CBS drama "The Agency"
Appeared in the movie "Invincible," playing Carol Vermeil, the wife of Dick Vermeil
Joined the third season of FX's "Rescue Me" as science teacher Mrs. Nell Turbody
Cast in the short-lived ABC series "Big Shots," portraying Lisbeth, the ex-wife of Dylan McDermott's character
Appeared in the remake of "The Stepfather"
Joined the second season of FX's "Damages" as Christine Purcell, wife of William Hurt's Daniel Purcell