"I like to play any character that allows me the freedom to explore it and teach the audience something they didn't know, and show them a journey they identify with...or be inspired, or moved. Anything that touches someone's heart is important for me." Alicia Witt
American actress Alicia Witt became famous while playing the rebellious and disagreeable daughter of actress Cybill Shepherd's character in the CBS sitcom "Cybill" (1995-1998). Formerly, she received recognition for her portrayal as disturbed teenager Bonnie in the acclaimed independent movie Fun (1994). Due to her significant performance, she was honored with the Special Jury Recognition at the Sundance Festival in 1994, Gijón International Film Festival Award in 1995, as well as received an Independent Spirit Award nomination. In 2000, Witt again gained notice after being cast as pianist-turned-party-girl Claire Goldstein in the comedy Playing Mona Lisa (2000), where she took home a Film Discovery Jury Award at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival.
Witt went on to take on roles in such popular films as the cult hit Urban Legend (1998, opposite Rebecca Gayheart, Jared Leto, Joshua Jackson, Tara Reid and John Neville), Cameron Crowe's Vanilla Sky (2001, alongside Penelope Cruz and superstar Tom Cruise) and the box office hit Two Weeks Notice (2002, starring Sandra Bullock and Huge Grant). She also adds to her resume such recent and forth coming films as The Upside of Anger (2005, opposite Joan Allen, Kevin Costner, Keri Russell, Erika Christenson and Evan Rachel Wood) and Last Holiday (2005).
As for her private life, Witt was romantically involved with actor Peter Krause (dated in 1998). She is currently dating screenwriter Nathan Foulger, with whom she lives with in her apartment in Los Angeles.
Childhood and Family:
Daughter of Robert and Diane Witt, Alicia Roanne Witt was born on August 21, 1975, in Worcester, Massachusetts. Alicia's mom is featured in the Guinness World Record for having the longest hair.
Alicia was a genius as a child. Already learning to read at age six months old, two-year-old Alicia appeared in Good Housekeeping magazine for being their youngest reader. At five, she was featured in the first episode of That's Incredible (1980), reciting Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. She was also trained as a classic pianist at an early age, and won several national and international piano competitions, including one of the Bartok-Kabalevsky International Piano Competitions.
Due to her extraordinary intelligence, her mother homeschooled Alicia and her brother Ian, and Alicia received her high school diploma when she was only fourteen. Upon graduation, she moved permanently to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. During her early days in L.A, Alicia played piano at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
5' 8.5" tall Alicia now resides in Los Angeles with her boyfriend Nathan Foulger (screenwriter) and her cat Jessie. During her off time, she enjoys listening to big band music and is a passionate reader.
Alicia Witt made her first television appearance at the young age of 5, reciting Shakespeare on ABC's "That's Incredible" (1980).
Impressed by her performance in the show, director David Lynch landed her a role in the sci-fi movie Dune (1984), playing Muad'Dib's young sister Alia of the Knife. She then vanished from the scene for years to focus on her studies and music.
In 1990, Witt returned to the entertainment industry by making her television-acting debut as Gersten Hayward in an episode of ABC's "Twin Peaks" (1990, also directed by David Lynch), and played a bit part in Mike Figgis' Liebestraum (1991). Her first adult role arrived when she was cast as Elizabeth in the Gen-X drama Bodies, Rest & Motion (1993). She worked again with Lynch in his 1936-set segment anthology film "Hotel Room" (1993).
Her breakout role came in 1994 when she starred in the acclaimed independent movie Fun (1994), portraying troubled teenager Bonnie.
Witt's bright performance in the film handed her the Special Jury Recognition Award at the 1994 Sundance Festival and the 1995 Gijón International Film Festival Award for Best Actress, as well as a nomination for Best Actress at the Independent Spirit Awards.
After having a small part in the made-for-television film The Disappearance of Vonnie (1994), Witt played the lead of Gertrude Lang, the desperate clarinet player, in Mr. Holland's Opus (1995), and was featured as Madonna's witch-lover Kiva in the first segment of "The Missing Ingredient" in Four Rooms (1995).
Being cast as series regular Zoey Woodbine in the CBS sitcom "Cybill" (1995-1998), proved to be Witt's big breakthrough. Her turn as Cybill's disobedient and nasty younger daughter helped launch her career. Additionally, she was also introduced to a wider audience.
While working in the show, Witt also kept busy working on wide screen projects like Alexander Payne's spoof Citizen Ruth (1996, starring Burt Reynolds and Kelly Preston), portrayed Serena in the independent film Bongwater (1997, screened at the Los Angeles Film Independent Film Festival) and provided her voice for the animated film Gen 13 (1998). She joined the ensemble cast of the teen horror thriller Urban Legend (1998), which included Rebecca Gayheart, Jared Leto, Joshua Jackson, Tara Reid and John Neville. Urban Legend became a hit and Witt cemented her position as an actress. At the end of decade, she played a starring role, opposite Timothy Dalton and Sela Ward, in the 1990's-set love triangle-themed The Reef (1999).
Starring as Claire Goldstein, a pianist who turns party girl, in the comedy Playing Mona Lisa (2000), Witt made a name for herself for her brilliant performance. She won a Film Discovery Jury Award for Best Actor at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival for her work in the film.
The actress followed her success with a starring role as Stephen Dorff's porn-actress girlfriend Cherish in the John Waters comedy Cecil B. Demented (2000), portrayed a university graduate in the experimental Ten Tiny Love Stories (2001) and found herself acting with Penelope Cruz and superstar Tom Cruise in Cameron Crowe's Vanilla Sky (2001). On the small screen, Witt had a guest-starring role as film-industry d-girl Amy Safir in HBO's acclaimed drama "The Sopranos" (2000) and played a recurring role as Hope Marcy in the Fox's drama "Ally McBeal" (2000). She also had her musical stage debut in Robbie Fox's The Gift (2000).
In the year 2002, Witt was seen starring in two big screen movies. First, she played trailer junk girl Barbie in American Girl (2000), then was seen as Huge Grant's sweetheart June Carter in the box office hit romantic comedy Two Weeks Notice (2002, also starring Sandra Bullock).
Disappearing from the screen for a year, Witt returned in 2004 to play a role in Girls' Lunch (2004) and portrayed Kriemhild in Ring of the Nibelungs (2004, TV). She recently costarred with Joan Allen, Kevin Costner, Keri Russell, Erika Christenson and Evan Rachel Wood in The Upside of Anger (2005). She will also be seen in the upcoming Last Holiday (2005).
- U.S. Comedy Arts Festival: Film Discovery Jury Award - Best Actor, Playing Mona Lisa, 2000
- Gijón International Film Festival: Best Actress, Fun, 1995
- Sundance Film Festival: Special Jury Recognition, Fun, 1994