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Virginia Madsen Introduction
Virginia Madsen is an American actress. She came to fame during the 1980s, having appeared in several films aimed at a teenage audience. During the 2000s, she once again became known after an Academy Award and Golden Globe-nominated role in the film Sideways.
Virginia Madsen Life Story
Madsen was born in Chicago, Illinois to Cal Madsen, a fireman, and Elaine (née Melson), an Emmy-winning poet, producer and playwright who often works for PBS; Madsen's mother left a career in corporate business to pursue a writing career. Madsen's brother is actor Michael Madsen. Her paternal grandparents were Danish and her mother has Irish and Native American ancestry. Madsen is a graduate of New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois. Which is a suburb of Chicago. Excellent.
Her first stab as a thespian was as her brother’s assistant in magic shows the two would concoct for their family. She later attended the Ted Liss Acting Studio in Chicago and Harand Camp Adult Theater Seminar in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Of her experience with Liss she said: "I had wanted to join his class since I was 12. It was well worth the wait because I don't think I could have got that sort of training anywhere else especially in the United States...I always wanted to make a real career out of acting." That's the same thing people in Waco said about David Koresh, except without the acting lessons part.
Audiences first caught a glimpse of Madsen in a bit part she landed as Lisa in the teen sex comedy Class. Actually, they caught several bits of her. She was cast as Princess Irulan in David Lynch's science fiction epic Dune (1984). Madsen first became popular with audiences in 1986 with her portrayal of a Catholic schoolgirl who fell in love with a boy from a prison camp in Duncan Gibbons's Fire with Fire. Other noted film appearances include 1990s The Hot Spot with Don Johnson, and the steamy Third Degree Burn with Treat Williams. Man, what women in 1986 would have given to be a Don Johnson-Treat Williams Sandwich. That's something that only someone like Rae Dawn Chong could have ever dreamt of making a reality. Madsen was also co-host of the TV series Unsolved Mysteries in 1999, during the show's final season at CBS, after Robert Stack became, "Too Mysterious" for CBS to continue working with him.
She also turned in a solid performance in Francis Ford Coppola's The Rainmaker (1997), the story of a man obsessed with throwing cash up in the air while receiving lap dances. Film critic Roger Ebert said that Madsen had a "strong scene", while reviewer James Berardinelli noted that "the supporting cast is solid, with turns from... Virginia Madsen as a witness for the plaintiff". Wow, those are two reviews that make me want to get up and rent the Rainmaker. Madsen had spent more than twenty years in minor films before her breakout critically acclaimed performance in Sideways (2004). The role catapulted her onto the fabled Hollywood A-list. Her first major role after Sideways was opposite Harrison Ford in Firewall. She later appeared in Robert Altman's A Prairie Home Companion, in a key role as the angel. Most recently, she co-starred with Jim Carrey in The Number 23 and Billy Bob Thornton in The Astronaut Farmer; both films opened in North America on February 23, 2007, which made many Americans question, "Which Virginia Madsen film should I see this weekend? Or should I just stay in and rent The Rainmaker again. That one scene is fantastic."
Madsen has made numerous television appearances including: "Star Trek: Voyager", "CSI: Miami", "Dawson's Creek", "The Practice", "Frasier", "Moonlighting", and other series. She starred opposite Ray Liotta in CBS's short-lived crime drama "Smith".
When Madsen arrived in Hollywood, she was engaged to actor Billy Campbell. She married actor Danny Huston in 1989 and they divorced in 1992. Madsen also had a relationship with actor Antonio Sabato Jr., with whom she had a son, Jack, in 1994. Madsen has Heterochromia, a genetic trait resulting in different pigmentation of the eyes. Madsen has one green eye, and one half-green, half-brown eye. To learn more about this horrible plight, consult your physician.