- Alison Doody
- Dublin Ireland
The youngest of three children, she was born to a well-off family in Dublin, Ireland. Her mother, Joan, was a beauty therapist, and her father, Patrick, worked in the property business and farmed. Doody attended Mount Anville Secondary School. She studied at the National College of Fine Arts, but left after a year.
Approached by a photographer, she took up modeling, which turned into a career in commercial modeling as she stringently avoided glamour and nude work -- a clause which she extended to her acting career. She came to the attention of the casting director of a new James Bond film and accepted a part as Jenny Flex in 1985's A View to a Kill. She was listed as one of 12 "Promising New Actors of 1986" in John Willis' Screen World, Vol. 38. .
Taking up acting professionally, she appeared in various television dramas in London and Dublin, before taking her most memorable role as Austrian Nazi-sympathiser and archaeologist Dr. Elsa Schneider in 1989's Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Her on-screen look was styled to that of Grace Kelly, in line with the wishes of director Steven Spielberg and producer George Lucas.
The film brought her to the attention of Hollywood, where she subsequently relocated. Chosen to replace Cybill Shepard as spokeswoman for L'Oréal, her film career resulted in a few B-movies, including 1988's Taffin opposite Pierce Brosnan, and in Jim Henson's 1989 series The Storyteller, appearing as Sapsorrow. She was chosen as one of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People In the World in 1992. She turned down the Sharon Stone role in Basic Instinct (1992) because the film had "too much nudity and sexual content". Doody wanted to play the role of Ginger in Casino (1995), but the role was given to Stone.
Director Peter Jackson offered her the role of "Éowyn" in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), but she declined due to her impending pregnancy with the 18-month on-location production these movies required. The role eventually went to Miranda Otto.
Doody returned to acting with a small role in the British comedy movie The Actors with Michael Caine, in which she played herself in an award ceremony scene; the part apparently made her realise how much she missed the business. She played alongside Patrick Swayze in a television movie adaptation of King Solomon's Mines and also starred in a short called Benjamin's Struggle (2005), a pamphlet about the Holocaust and in the British TV series Waking the Dead (in a two-part episode called "The Fall") in 2007.