Daughter of famed makeup artist Michael Westmore, McKenzie Westmore entered the showbiz very early. She made her film debut at age 3, playing Robert De Niro's daughter in Martin Scorsese's biographical film about former boxing middleweight champion Jake La Motta, “Raging Bull” (1980). She would later be popular among TV viewers while starring as Sheridan Crane Lopez-Fitzgerald on the television soap opera “Passions” (1999 to 2008), which earned her two Daytime Emmy nominations and won her a Soap Opera Digest Award for Outstanding Heroine.
McKenzie has been married to musician Keith Volpone since 2002 and has one son with him.
Childhood and Family:
The third child of Emmy and Academy Award-nominated makeup artist Michael Westmore and his wife Miriam (Marion) Westmore, a former model for costume designer Edith Head, Mckenzie Kate Westmore, nicknamed Kenzie, was born on April 26, 1977 in San Fernando Valley, California. Her grandfather is Hollywood makeup artist Monte Westmore (July 22, 1902 – March 30, 1940), the make-up supervisor on two of the most iconic films of the age, “Gone with the Wind” (1939) and “Rebecca” (1940). Her greatgrandfather is hairdresser George Westmore (27 June 1879, Isle of Wight, England – 12 July 1931, Hollywood, California), who is known for establishing the first movie make-up department (1917). Her uncles are make-up artists Marvin and Monty Westmore and her cousins are Kandace and Kevin Westmore, who is also a Hollywood make-up artist.
Mckenzie attended the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts as a music major and graduated in 1995. She met future husband, musician Keith Volpone (lead singer of “Whiskey Falls” and “Seven and the Sun” who goes by the nickname “Seven Williams”), when he and his band filmed a special guest episode of "Passions" (1999) that aired on 13 May 2002. They were married on May 25, 2002 and have one son together named Maddox (born on May 21, 2006).
“I love being a mother. It's a whole new world, and it's a welcome change because Maddox makes it all worth it. Everything about him amazes me.” McKenzie Westmore.
Mckenzie is also a trained equestrian and a certified personal trainer.
Raging Bull's Kid
Born into the Hollywood scene, McKenzie Westmore began acting a few months after her first birthday, making her TV debut in “A Bold” detergent commercial. At age 3, when her father worked on the makeup for Martin Scorsese's biographical film about former boxing middleweight champion Jake La Motta, “Raging Bull” (1980), McKenzie got her first film role, as the title role's (played by Robert De Niro) daughter.
McKenzie, whose father also worked on make-up artist division in various "Star Trek" productions, played her first television role, as Rose, in an episode of the syndicated sci-fi series "Star Trek: The Next Generation." She would later played a Ba'ku woman in the film "Star Trek: Insurrection" (1998) and guest-starred as Ensign Jenkins in a 1999 episode of "Star Trek: Voyager." Meanwhile, she was also spotted as a guest in a July 1996 episode of USA Network's comedy series based on the movie of the same name, "Weird Science."
From 1999 to 2008, McKenzie starred as heroine Sheridan Crane on the NBC/The 101 soap opera "Passions." For her work in the show, she won a Soap Opera Digest Award for Outstanding Heroine. She was also nominated for Daytime Emmy Award's Special Fan Award - Irresistable Combination, Daytime Emmy Award's Special Fan Award - America's Favorite Couple, and Soap Opera Digest Award's Favorite Couple (all she shared with Galen Gering).
Talking about her favorite storylines, McKenzie revealed, “There have been so many... I loved the very first tango. I loved all the stuff of Luis and Sheridan running around in Paris together. One of my other favorites storylines was Luis and Sheridan on the island where they found the buried treasure. Luis got hurt and then we played the past life of the pirates.”
On what she missed the most about the show, McKenzie admitted, “Aside from the cast and crew, I definitely missed getting to play Sheridan. She's such a fun character. I love what James Reilly has created, and I especially love what I'm portraying right now.”
Having been portraying the character since the series began in 1999, McKenzie was briefly portrayed by Shannon Sturges (Sheridan Crane #2) when Westmore was out sick in 2005 and by Kam Heskin (Sheridan Crane #3) in 2006 when Westmore was out on maternity leave and again in 2008 while Westmore was out sick. In early flashback sequences, Sheridan at age 12 was portrayed by Sara Paxton, and when Sheridan's history was retconned and her flashback sequence age was downgraded from 12 to 6 she was played by Rylee Fansler.
She recalled, “I watched the show three times while I was away. I tried to catch up here and there. I ended up having to get prepped by our acting coach because she keeps up with all the storylines. We had a two hour conversation to completely fill me in on my story. It was a little weird to see someone else playing Sheridan, but Kam (Heskin) did such an amazing job.”
About her return to “Passions” following the birth of her son, McKenzie described, “The best thing about being back at Passions is the cast and the crew. I missed everyone so much. That was probably the hardest thing about being away. It's like a little family here, and it felt like a little piece of me was torn away. So it's good to be back with my 'family'.”
During this time, McKenzie appeared as a guest in a 2004 episode of NBC dramedy starring Alicia Silverstone and Ryan O'Neal, "Miss Match."
A trained opera singer, McKenzie, whose theater training includes the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute and the Uta Hagen Master Class, has appeared in such stage productions as "Dido & Aneas," "The Sound of Music," and "Little Shop of Horrors."
Soap Opera Digest: Outstanding Heroine, "Passions," 2001