Sep. 11th, 1961
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Virginia Madsen's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Virginia G. Madsen (born September 11, 1961) is an American actress and documentary film producer. She came to fame during the 1980s, having appeared in several films aimed at a teenage audience. Two decades later, she had an Academy Award and Golden Globe–nominated role in the 2004 film Sideways.
Madsen was born in Chicago, Illinois, the daughter of Elaine (née Melson), an Emmy-winning poet, producer and playwright who often works for PBS, and Calvin Madsen, a fireman. 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 English, Irish, Scottish, German, and distant Native American, ancestry. Madsen is a graduate of New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois.
Virginia is one of Hollywood's most talented actresses. Voted as one of the most beautiful actresses in 1986, Virginia has had several excellent performances in her career thus far. Audiences first caught a glimpse of her as Princess Irulan in the 1984 science fiction epic Dune (1984). She followed that up with Electric Dreams (1984).
It was in 1986 that Virginia captured the hearts of the audience with an intense portrayal of a Catholic school girl who fell in love with a boy from a prison camp in 'Duncan Gibbins' Fire with Fire (1986). Virginia played the role of "Lisa" and her co-star was 'Craig Sheffer' , who played Lisa's love interest, "Joe Fisk". 'Kari Wuhrer' also made an appearance as Virginia's best friend, "Gloria". Fire with Fire was a low-budget production, starring a bunch of fresh faces who were till then-unknown to Hollywood. However, the movie was a success and elevated its three young stars overnight. Virginia has never looked back since.
With 35 releases since Fire with Fire (1986) thus far, Virginia is a busy actress and has played a variety of roles which further enhance her reputation as a fantastic actress who can adapt to any kind of role. She is still one of the Hollywood's most beautiful and captivating actresses today.Madsen has made numerous television appearances including Star Trek: Voyager, CSI: Miami, Dawson's Creek, The Practice, Frasier, and other series. She was also co-host of the long-running TV series Unsolved Mysteries in 1999, during the show's second (and final) season on CBS. She starred opposite Ray Liotta in CBS's short-lived crime drama series Smith. She also had a recurring role in the final season of the USA series Monk.
She appeared with 'Kenny Loggins' in the music video "I'm Free", from the Footloose soundtrack (1984).
In 2008, she formed her own film production company called Title IX Prods. Her first project was a film made with her mother called I Know a Woman Like That. The film is a documentary about the lives of older women. On the creation of the film, she said her mother's active lifestyle was an inspiration to start filming.
"My mother’s level of activity, of productivity, was exactly why I thought a project like this would work. Originally, when we put the idea together, she had said, “I’m far too busy. I’m going to Holland, and then I’m going here and there and I’m writing my book.” But that’s really what it’s about".
Her second project is called Fighting Gravity and is about the inability of female ski jumpers to obtain recognition in Olympic competition.
In 2010, she landed the starring role of Cheryl West in the ABC crime series Scoundrels. In December 2010, it was announced that she will be joining the cast of NBC's science fiction action series The Event. In 2012, she joined the cast of the AMC television show Hell on Wheels as Mrs. Durant, first appearing in episode eight of season 2, "The Lord's Day."
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 Sabàto, Jr.', with whom she had a son, Jack Antonio (born August 6, 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.
She was a member of the U.S. Dramatic Jury at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.
- Sister, 'Cheryl Madsen' (qv), was an actress.
- Daughter of Cal Madsen (a firefighter) and 'Elaine Madsen' (qv) (a poet). They got divorced in 1968.
- Studied at 'Ted Liss' (qv) Acting Studio in Chicago and at Harand Camp Adult Theater Seminar in Wisconsin.
- Her father is Danish-American; her mother is Irish-American and Aboriginal American.
- Was once engaged to actor 'Bill Campbell (I)' (qv). They went to Hollywood together to pursue acting careers and lived in Pacific Palisades. Graduated from New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois, with her best friend, actress 'Rusty Schwimmer' (qv). Other New Trier graduates include 'Ralph Bellamy' (qv), 'Charlton Heston' (qv), 'Rock Hudson' (qv), 'Hugh O'Brien (I)' (qv), 'Ann-Margret' (qv), 'Bruce Dern' (qv), 'Penelope Milford' (qv), 'Liz Phair' (qv). Attended the 'Ted Liss' (qv) Acting Studio in Chicago and Harand Camp Adult Theater Seminar in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
- Is allergic to bees.
- Her father's parents (Soren and Anna Marie Madsen) came to America from Denmark in the early 1900s. Virginia Madsen is half-Danish.
- Her relationship with 'Bill Campbell (I)' (qv) lasted from 1981 up until she met ex-husband 'Danny Huston' (qv).