American actress and former Calvin Klein model known for playing sexually powerful, even intimidating characters Kim Dickens is perhaps best recognized for playing Joanie Stubbs on the HBO award-winning series “Deadwood” (2004-2006), from which she received a SAG nomination. She also earned a Blockbuster Entertainment nomination in the 2000 film “Hollow Man” and an Independent Spirit nomination in the Sundance-screened “Things Behind the Sun” (2001). Other films in which she has acted in include “Palookaville” (1996), “Heart Full of Rain” (1997, TV), “Zero Effect” (1998), “Mercury Rising” (1998), “The Gift” (2000), “The House of Sand and Fog” (2003), “Thank You for Smoking” (2005) and “Wild Tigers I Have Known” (2006). Dickens is now playing Jonelle Shakespeare in the television comedy series “12 Miles of Bad Road” (2008-?), and has two films in post-productions, “One Way to Valhalla” and “Red” (both 2008).
Childhood and Family:
Kimberly Jan Dickens was born in Huntsville, Alabama, on June 18, 1965. A marvelous student in high school, she spent much of her time participating in such activities as varsity softball and tennis, and received many honors as a senior, including the Senior Class Favorite, before eventually graduating in 1983. She attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville, from which she earned a B.A in Communication, and then went to New York to study at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. Kim is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and becomes a member of the Opera Stage theater Company. She relocated to Los Angeles in the late 1990s.
One Way to Valhalla
Kicking of her career in modeling, Kim Dickens appeared in TV commercials, music videos and modeled for the 1994 Calvin Klein spring collection, as well as acted in regional and summer stock stage productions, before making her feature film acting debut in Alan Taylor's “Palookaville” (1996), which saw her as Vincent Gallo's tomboyish love interest. The comedy was firstly shown at the Venice Film Festival on September 15, 1995. Following guest spots in the series “New York News” and “Swift Justice,” she made her television movie bow in NBC's “Voice from the Grave: From the Files of 'Unsolved Mysteries'” (also 1996), starring Kevin Dobson and Megan Ward.
Dickens had her next big screen outing in the next year when she was reunited with Gallo in “Truth or Consequences, N.M” (1997), the feature directorial debut of Kiefer Sutherland. She followed it up with a supporting part opposite Rick Schroder, Caroll Baker and Gabriel Mann in the CBS telepic “Heart Full of Rain” (1997), and in 1998, she portrayed the inscrutable and elusive suspect, Gloria, in Jake Kasdan's directorial debut, “Zero Effect.” Among her costars in the cult-hit comedy were Bill Pullman, Ben Stiller and Ryan O'Neal. She then supported Hank Azaria, Ethan Hawk and Gwyneth Paltrow in a modern adaptation of the Charles Dickens' classic, “Great Expectation” (1998), and had her first female lead in the Harold Becker-directed thriller “Mercury Rising” (1998), opposite such heavyweights as Bruce Willis and Alec Baldwin. She closed out the decade with a supporting role in the direct-to-video-release “The White River Kid” (1999), starring Bob Hopkins and Antonio Banderas.
In 2000, Dickens had small roles in the movies “Committed,” a Sundance-screened starring Heather Graham and Casey Affleck, the poorly-received horror flick “Hollow Man,” in which she was featured as an eccentric scientist, and Sam Raimi's “The Gift,” where she briefly seen as the buddy of Cate Blanchett. She also appeared in the superb film “The House of Sand and Fog” (2003), featuring the Oscar nominating performance from Ben Kingsley in the leading role. The Alabama-born performer fared better on the small screen. She landed a starring role in the Showtime film “Things Behind the Sun” (2001), playing rising rock star who suffers from post-traumatic rape syndrome, and was nominated for an Independent Spirit for Best Female Lead for her work in the Sundance-screened film. The same year, she also was cast in the regular role of FBI Agent Sarah Day in the critically acclaimed CBS crime series “Big Apple” (2001), which only lasted for less than a month. In 2003, she costarred with Eric Stoltz, Felicity Huffman, and William H. Macy in the miniseries “Out of Order.”
Dickens' big break arrived in the following year when she won the role of Joanie Stubbs, the Madame of the Bella Union, on the David Milc-created series “Deadwood,” which run on the HBO for three season until 2006. Along with her costars that included Ian McShane, Timothy Olyphant, Molly Parker, Sean Bridgers and W. Earl Brown, she jointly netted a 2007 Screen Actors Guild nomination in the category of Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. While working on the show, she revisited the big screen with roles in Dennis Brooks' “Goodnight, Joseph Parker” (2004), starring Paul Sorvino, the satirical comedy “Thank You for Smoking” (2005), where she portrayed the former wife of Aaron Eckhart, and the drama “Wild Tigers I Have Known” (2006).
When “Deadwood” came to its demise in 2006, Dickens had recurring roles in two episodes of the all-star cast series “Numb3rs” (2006) and three episodes of “Lost” (2006-2007). Currently, she stars as Jonelle Shakespeare on the comedy series “12 Miles of Bad Road” (2008-?), opposite Lily Tomlin, Mary Kay Place and Leslie Jordan.
As for her upcoming projects, the 43-year-old actress is scheduled to star with Alison Pill in the drama film “One Way to Valhalla” (2008), directed and written by Karen Goodman. She also plays Carrie Donnel on the based-on-novel “Red” (2008), starring Brian Cox.