PROFILE
Name:
Joanna Cassidy
Birth Date:
August 2, 1945
Birth Place:
Haddonfield, New Jersey, USA
Height:
5' 9" (1.75 m)
Nationality:
American
BIOGRAPHY
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Joanna Cassidy_180412
Buffalo Bill

Backgrounds:

“It used to be such a stigma, making that transition to various entertainment medias. There are a couple of actresses who have cut it quite well and I consider myself one. You have to work, you have to have your craft. Every job you do, you gain more experience. You never stop learning.” Joanna Cassidy

A fertile American actress of television and film, Joanna Cassidy has appeared in almost 150 projects since making her professional debut in the late 1960s. First attracting the attention of public with her critically acclaimed supporting portrayal of the replicant Zhora in Ridley Scott's “Blade Runner” (1982), the former model further showcased her superb talent in Roger Spottiswoode's “Under Fire” (1983), where she took home a Sant Jordi Award for playing a tough journalist, and on the small screen in NBC's “Buffalo Bill” (1983-1983), where she won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated  for an Emmy Award for her starring turn as Dabney Coleman's on and off television director girlfriend. She received a Saturn nomination for her supporting role on the Robert Zemeckis film “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” (1988) and was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for a performance in an episode of “CBS Schoolbreak Special” (1993). After recurring roles in hit series like “Melrose Place” and Diagnosis Murder,” the reddish haired beauty gained notice for her role as the intriguing psychiatrist and mother of troubled Brenda and Billy in the critically acclaimed HBO series “Six Feet Under” (21 episodes, 2001-2005), for which she received nominations at the Emmy and Screen Actors Guild Awards. Cassidy also had recurring roles in “Boston Legal” (2006), “Hawthorne” (2009), “Call Me Fitz” (2010-2011) and “Body of Proof” (2011-2012) and was a regular player on the British sitcom “Off the Hook” (2009). Her more recent film credits include “The Grudge 2” (2006), “The Human Contract” (2008), “Stolen” (2009), “Anderson's Cross” (2010) and “Carjacked” (2011). Cassidy was elected to the 2007-2008 Screen Actors Guild National Board of Directors.    


Joanna Virginia Caskey

Childhood and Family:

Daughter of Virginia and Joe Caskey, Joanna Cassidy was born Joanna Virginia Caskey on August 2, 1945, in Camden, New Jersey, but was raised in Haddonfield. Growing up in an artistic environment, with mother and grandfather being artists, she was supported to develop her talents at sculpture and painting at an early age. After graduating from Haddonfield Memorial High School, she took an art major at Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York. She, however, quit after one year and married Kennard C. Kobrin, a doctor in residency, in 1964. Around this period, she found work as a model to help her husband finish his schooling. The couple relocated to San Fransisco, where her husband opened a psychiatric practice while Joanna continued modeling. After her marriage ended in 1974, she moved to Los Angeles to try her hand in acting. Joanna and her former husband have one son and one daughter together.    


Six Feet Under

Career:

Joanna Cassidy made her debut as a model when she landed a print campaign for a wine. Her modeling career flourished upon her move to San Fransisco from New York. While in San Fransisco, she had uncredited parts in “Bullitt,” a 1968 action/thriller movie directed by Peter Yates and starring Steve McQueen, Jacqueline Bisset and Robert Vaughn, and “Fools,” a 1972 Tom Gries drama film. Cassidy, however, did not think of a career in acting until she divorced. She headed to Los Angeles and began pursuing both modeling and acting.

Cassidy appeared in a 1973 Smokey the Bear public service announcement (PSA) and in episodes of the CBS hit espionage series “Mission: Impossible” (1972-1973). She went on to land small roles in such films as “The Outfit” (1973), “The Laughing Policeman” (1973), “Bank Shot” (1974), “The Night Child” (1975), “Stay Hungry” (1976), “American Raspberry” (1977), “The Late Show” (1977), “Stunts” (1977) and “Our Winning Season” (1978). In 1977, Cassidy scored her first regular gig on the CBS series “Shields and Yarnell” and was featured as Selma 'Books' Cassidy in the NBC short lived series “The Roller Girls,” the following year. She continued to make guest appearances in “Taxi,” “Starsky and Hutch” and “Kaz” before starring along with John Bennett Perry, Mark Harmon, Stephan Burns and Pamela Hensley in the 1979-1980 action/adventure series “240-Robert,” playing sheriff's pilot, Deputy Morgan Wainwright. In 1979, she made her television film debut in “She's Dressed to Kill,” starring John Rubinstein, Jessica Walter and Connie Sellecca, and also co-starred with John Saxon and Roosevelt Grier in the action film “The Glove,” which was helmed by cult actor Ross Hagen.

In early 1980s, Cassidy could be seen appearing in episodes of “Hagen,” “Insight,” “Dallas” (as Sally Bullock), “Charlie's Angels,” “Enos,” “Hart to Hart,” “Flo,” “Trapper John, M.D.,” “The Love Boat,” “Strike Force,” “Lou Grant,” “The Devlin Connection,” “The Family Tree” and “Fantasy Island,” and playing the recurring role of Katherine Demery in the primetime soap “Falcon Crest.” In 1982, the actress received her breakout film role in Ridley Scott's “Blade Runner,” opposite Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, and Sean Young. Her performance as Zhora, the exotic snake dancer replicant, earned her critical praise. She delivered another superb turn, as a radio journalist named Claire, in the Academy Award nominated political movie “Under Fire” (1983), for which she received rave reviews and was handed a 1984 Sant Jordi in the category of Best Foreign Actress (Mejor Actriz Extranjera).

Cassidy returned to series television as a regular in the NBC superior sitcom “Buffalo Bill,” featuring the misadventures of an narcissistic talk show host and his staff at WBFL-TV, a small TV station in Buffalo, New York. Starring Dabney Coleman as the title role, the show ran for two seasons from May 31, 1983 until April 5, 1984. For her bright performance as Jo Jo White, the television director with an on-again, off-again relationship with her chesty star (Coleman), she won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series – Comedy/Musical and was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.

After the cancellation of “Buffalo Bill,” Cassidy starred as former CIA operative Elizabeth Foxire Town in the short lived series “Code Name: Foxfire” (NBC, 1985) and was cast as Elaine's close friend, Marilee, in the television miniseries adaptation of Jackie Collins' novel, “Hollywood Wives” (ABC, 1985). She returned to feature films in Harold Ramis' “Club Paradise” (1986), opposite Robin Williams, Peter O'Toole, and Jimmy Cliff. Two years later, she portrayed Dolores, Eddie's on-off girlfriend who works as a waitress, in the Robert Zemeckis fantasy/comedy noir film “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” where she received a Saturn nomination in the category of Best Supporting Actress for her performance. She also appeared in the films “1969” (1988) and “The Package” (1989, with Gene Hackman, Tommy Lee Jones).  

Cassidy next had roles in such films as “A Girl of the Limberlost” (1990, TV), “Where the Heart Is” (1990, starred Dabney Coleman and Uma Thurman), “May Wine” (1990, TV), “Bad Girls” (1990, TV), “Wheels of Terror” (1990, TV), “Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead” (1991), “Lonely Hearts” (1991), “All-American Murder” (1991), “Landslide” (1992), “Grass Roots” (1992, TV), “Taking Back My Life: The Nancy Ziegenmeyer Story” (1992, TV) and “Live! From Death Row” (1992, TV), “Perfect Family” (1992, TV) and “Barbarians at the Gate” (1993, TV). In 1993, she was cast as the title character's former wife, Laraine Bristol, in the CBS sitcom “Dudley,” but the show was canceled after only six episodes aired. The same year, she also played Linda Jurgenson in an episode of “CBS Schoolbreak Special” called “Other Mothers” and was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Performer in a Children's Special for her effort. Following guest stints in “Burke's Law,” “Murder, She Wrote” and “ L.A. Law” (3 episodes, as Judge Carolyn Walker), Cassidy had her next regular role on the short lived CBS “Hotel Malibu” (1994), where she played the leading role of  Eleanor Mayfield. The prolific actress went on to act in various films throughout the remaining of the decade, including Wes Craven's “Vampire in Brooklyn” (1995), “ Sleep, Baby, Sleep” (1995, TV), “Eye of the Stalker” (1995, TV), “Chain Reaction” (1996), “Loved” (1997), “Dangerous Beauty” (1998) and “To Serve and Protect” (1999, TV). Additionally, she had a recurring role in “Melrose Place” (1997, as Kate Reilly) and provided the voice of Inspector Maggie Sawyer in several episodes of “Superman: The Animated Series” (1997-1998). In 1999, she began her recurring role as Madison Wesley in the hit CBS series “Diagnosis Murder.”

In the new millennium, Cassidy made guest appearances in television shows like “Rude Awakening” (as Colleen Woods), “D.C.” (as Lewis's Boss), “Hollywood Off-Ramp” (as Claire), “Philly” (as Marian Marshall), “Three Sisters” (as Barbara), “Hidden Hills” (as Carol), “The District” (3 episodes, as Teddy Reed), “Less Than Perfect” (as Norma), “Everwood” (as Evelyn Rowser), Star Trek: Enterprise” (2 episodes, as T'Les) and “Clubhouse” (as Mrs. Dean). Besides, Cassidy appeared in such films as “Moonglow” (2000), “The Right Temptation” (2000), “Ghosts of Mars” (2001), “Anthrax” (2001), “Wildfire 7: The Inferno” (2002, TV), “Martha, Inc.: The Story of Martha Stewart” (2003, TV), “Found” (2005, TV) and “The Reading Room” (2005, TV).

From 2001 to 2005, Cassidy had a notable recurring role as Margaret Chenowith, mother of Brenda and Billy Chenowith, in the acclaimed HBO series “Six Feet Under.” The role brought her a 2006 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series and a Screen Actors Guild nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.

After “Six Feet Under” ended, Cassidy joined the cast of David E. Kelley's legal dramedy,  “Boston Legal,” in 2006 in the recurring role of Beverly Bridge, the wife of lawyer Danny Crane. The same year, she also had small roles in Kevin James Dobson's “The Virgin of Juarez” and Trent Cooper's “Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector” as well as offered a remarkable supporting turn as Karen and Aubrey's ailing mother, Mrs. Davis, in Takashi Shimizu's “The Grudge 2,” a sequel to the 2004 hit  remake “The Grudge.” She next acted in C. Jay Cox's “Kiss the Bride” (2007, starred Tori Spelling), Joe Wehinger's “The American Standards” (2008, with James Brolin, Corin Nemec), the Jada Pinkett Smith directed/written drama “The Human Contract” (2008, played Rose), Ted Smith's “Stay Cool” (2009, starred     Winona Ryder, Mark Polish and Hilary Duff), Anders Anderson's “Stolen” (2009, starred Jon Hamm, Josh Lucas and Rhona Mitra) and Robert J. Wilson's “For Sale by Owner” (2009).

Cassidy maintained her presence on the small screen by making guest appearances in “Heroes” (2007, as Victoria Pratt), “In Plain Sight” (2008, as Deandra Bevins), “ Ghost Whisperer” (2008, as Faith Clancy), “Criminal Minds” (2008, as Mrs. Holden), “Desperate Housewives” (2009, as Melina Cominis), “Law & Order: UK” (2009, as Shona) and “Holby City” (2009, as Bianca Parsons). In 2009, Cassidy appeared in several episodes of the TNT medical drama starring Jada Pinkett Smith, “Hawthorne,” and starred alongside WJonathan Bailey, Danny Morgan, James Buckley and Georgia King in the British sitcom “Off the Hook,”which ran on the BBC Three from September 10, 2009 until October 22, 2009. The actress also was cast in the lead role of the manic professor, Alison Trevase, on “Sex Ed,” which was originally conceived as a television pilot in 2009 and was later made into a five part web series on the official Sex Ed website. She received a Streamy nomination for Best Actress in a Comedy, while the show was nominated for Best Drama at the Webby Awards.                 

In 2010, Cassidy landed the recurring role of Elaine Fitzpatrick in the Canadian sitcom “Call Me Fitz,” starring Jason Priestley as the title role. The year also saw her appear in the films “Flying Lessons” and “Anderson's Cross” as well as in episodes of “Notes from the Underbelly” (as Kay), “Pete Versus Life” (as Jane) and “ Doctors.” In the next year, she started to play a recurring role as  Judge Joan Hunt, the mother of Megan Hunt (played by Dana Delany) in the ABC medical series “Body of Proof.” She played Betty in the thriller movie “Carjacked,” opposite Maria Bello, Stephen Dorff and Catherine Dent. The film premiered in the US on November 22, 2011.

Cassidy will star in the short film “The Sleepy Man” (2012), which was directed and written by Oona Mekas. She is also set to play Ruth in the upcoming family movie “Doorway to Heaven” (2012), by Craig Clyde.
    

Awards:

Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series – Comedy/Musical, “Buffalo Bill,” 1984
Sant Jordi: Best Foreign Actress (Mejor Actriz Extranjera), “Under Fire,” 1984

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