Gas Food Lodging
American actress Fairuza Balk acquired worldwide notice after portraying Ione Skye's insightful younger sister Shade in the box office Indie hit Gas Food Lodging (1992). Fairuza's outstanding performance awarded her with a Best Female Lead at the Independent Spirit Awards. She also gained notice in the made-for-TV movie Shame (1992), playing immature rape victim Lizzie Curtis. The role brought her a nomination for Best Actress at the Cable-ACE Awards. Fairuza received more recognition for acting in such films as The Craft (1996), American History X (1998) and The Waterboy (1998). Recently, she lent her voice to What Is It? (2005) and was seen in Don't Come Knocking (2005).
Off screen, 5'3" inch tall Fairuza was listed as number 88 in
the 102 Sexiest Women In The World by Stuff magazine in 2000. As for her
romantic life, Fairuza once dated Marilyn Manson. She is currently dating
British actor David Thewlis.
Childhood and Family:
Daughter to a Persian musician (Solomon Feldthouse) and a Gypsy belly dancer (Cathryn Balk), Fairuza Alejandra Balk was born on May 21, 1974, in Point Reyes, California. After the divorced of her parents, young Fairuza and her hippie mother moved often. She spent her early years at a dairy farm north of San Francisco before relocating to Vancouver, Canada.
At the age of 11, Fairuza, whose nickname is Ru, attended The Royal Academy of Ballet, The Ramona Beauchamp Agency and The Bush Davies Performing Arts School shortly after moving to England. While staying in London, she worked for the Walt Disney Company. Ru then headed to Paris before returning to high school in Vancouver in 1989. Due to her shyness, Ru decided to take correspondence courses instead of studying in classrooms. She then returned to the US to pursue her acting career.
Fairuza, who has nine tattoos and a nose ring, currently resides
in Venice, California, and also has an apartment in New York City. During her
off time, the owner of five cats: MoMo, Scout, Oscar, Sweetpea Poteet Tennessee,
and Mouse, enjoys writing poetry and stories, playing the guitar and piano, and
singing and dancing. Her favorite authors are William Burroughs, James Joyce,
Isabelle Allende, Michael Bulgakov, Jung, Oscar Wilde, Ernest Hemingway and
Fairuza Balk began acting at an early age. First appearing on television in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (1983), Fairuza flew to London in order to attend various prestigious ballet and acting schools. Shortly after, she worked with the Walt Disney Company and starred as Dorothy in the film Return to Oz (1985). Fairuza then emerged in The Worst Witch (1986,TV), Discovery (1986), Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton Story (1987,TV) and The Outside Chance of Maximilian Glick (1988).
In 1989, Fairuza headed to Paris where she captured attention playing the role of teenager Cécile de Volanges who becomes involved in an arranged marriage in Valmont (1989).
Arriving back in Hollywood, Fairuza's breaking role came when she gained the leading role in Allison Anders' hit Gas Food Lodging (1992). Fairuza's bright portrayal as Ione Skye's insightful younger sister Shade honored her with a Best Female Lead award at the Independent Spirit Awards. That same year, she again received recognition after playing the role of rape victim Lizzie Curtis in the made-for-TV movie Shame (1992). Her spectacular performance in the film brought her a nomination for Best Actress at the Cable-ACE Awards.
Continuing acting on the small screen, Fairuza portrayed Lisa in The Danger of Love: The Carolyn Warmus Story (1992) before playing Caril Ann Fugate in the ABC mini series Murder in the Heartland (1993). She afterward played Doris in Tollbooth (1994) and excelled as Harvey Keitel's older daughter Sonya Weiler in Imaginary Crimes (1994). The following year, Fairuza compassionately and rationally played a never-say-die prostitute in Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead (1995) and portrayed Angel Harwell in Shadow of a Doubt (1995,TV).
In 1996, Fairuza achieved cult status when she was cast as a psychotic teenage witch in the remarkable movie The Craft. The film turned out to be a huge success among girls and Fairuza gained popularity and wealth. In her real life, she then bought Panpipes, a famed Hollywood occult shop (later it was sold).
Fairuza's acting work kept rolling in with The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996), in which she showed off her belly dancing talent), The Maker (1997), American Perfect (1997), and There's No Fish Food In Heaven (1998). She costarred with Edward Norton and Edward Furlong in the box office smash hit American History X (1998), playing the role of a neo-Nazi girl friend Stacey. That same year, She also portrayed Adam Sandler's love interest in the blockbuster hit The Waterboy.
Entering the new millennium, Fairuza, whose favorite bands are The Germs, The Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Ministry, Frontline, Butter8, Radiohead, and Blur, had a supporting role as a band-aid groupie in Almost Famous before acting in Red Letters (2000).
In 2002, Fairuza costarred in Personal Velocity: Three Portraits (2002) and Deuces Wild (2002) before providing her voice in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002) and Lords of Everquest (2003). In 2004, Fairuza had two silver screen projects: A Year and a Day and Bye Bye Blackbird. Recently, she did voice work as a snail in Crispin Glover's What Is It? (2005) and portrayed Amber in Don't Come Knocking (2005, starring Sam Shepard and Jessica Lange).
- Enzian Award: Florida Film Festival, 1994.
- Independent Spirit: Best Female Lead, Gas, Food Lodging, 1992