Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
"You need to talk about sex with a sense of humor, especially because sex is a sensitive area for a lot of people. The other thing is that you may not want to tell the world everything you do in bed." Paige Turco
A trained classical ballerina, Paige Turco switched to acting and got her big break as TV news reporter April O'Neil in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze” (1991) and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III” (1993). She has also appeared in such shows as "The Guiding Light," "All My Children," "American Gothic," "NYPD Blue," "Party of Five," "The Agency," and "Rescue Me," and currently plays Lisbeth, the ex-wife of Dylan McDermott's Duncan Collingsworth, on ABC's new drama series "Big Shots." Turco was also seen in the true story-based football drama film "Invincible" (2006), as the wife of Greg Kinnear's Dick Vermeil, and Andy Fickman's feature film "The Game Plan" (2007), alongside Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
More personally, the 5' actress, who was romantically linked to John Meese in the mid 1990s, has been married to her "The Agency" costar, Jason O'Mara, since 2003. They have one child together.
Childhood and Family:
On May 17, 1965, Jean Paige Turco was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, to Joyce J. and David V. Turco. She attended the Walnut Hill School of the Performing Arts in Natick, Massachusetts, and performed as a soloist at the New England Dance Conservatory, the Amherst Ballet Theater Company and the Western Massachusetts Ballet Company. She once danced "The Nutcracker Suite" with The Berkshire Ballet.
Turco graduated with a drama degree from the University of Connecticut. She decided to turn to acting and musical theater after suffering an ankle injury, which terminated her career as a dancer.
On the set of the TV series "The Agency" (2001), Turco met Irish actor Jason O'Mara (born on August 6, 1972). They married on September 19, 2003, and have one child together, a son named David (named in honor of her father who died when she was a baby). The family splits their time between Los Angeles and New York and often visits relatives in Ireland.
Initially trained to be a classical ballerina, Paige Turco broke her foot at age 14 during a rehearsal and was forced to end her dancing career. She then turned to acting. A drama student at the University of Connecticut, she appeared in such college productions as the musical comedies "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown," "Annie" (based on the popular Harold Gray comic strip "Little Orphan Annie"), and "A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine"
After working in summer theater, Turco landed her TV acting debut on the longest-running soap opera in television history, "Guiding Light" (CBS, 1987-1989). She was then featured on the ABC popular soap opera "All My Children," as Melanie 'Lanie' Cortlandt Rampal (1989-1991).
In 1991, Turco made her feature acting debut in the family film "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze." In the second "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" film, she portrayed the female lead character of the resourceful TV news reporter April O'Neil, which also proved to be her first breakout film role. She later reprised the role in its following installment, the live-action “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III” (1993).
Turco subsequently retreated to the small screen and made her primetime TV series debut on the short-lived (five weeks) NBC evening soap opera "Winnetka Road" (1994). That same year, she also starred in two independent films, Conrad Janis' political thriller "The Feminine Touch" (aka “November Conspiracy”), playing an ambitioned journalist and the girlfriend of Dirk Benedict's character, and John Feldman's drama "Dead Funny," in which she acted opposite Elizabeth Peña and Andrew McCarthy.
From 1995 to 1996, Turco was a regular cast member of the CBS supernatural drama series "American Gothic.” She then portrayed the recurring role of Officer Abby Sullivan (1996-1997) on ABC’s Emmy winning cop series "NYPD Blue." She was also cast in the recurring role of alcoholic single mother Annie Mott (1997-1998) on Fox's dramatic series "Party of Five."
Meanwhile, Turco was featured in Richard Schenkman's romantic comedy "The Pompatus of Love" (1996; with Jon Cryer, Mia Sara and Jennifer Tilly), playing Gina, the sister of Adam Oliensis' character, and delivered an effective performance as an unhappily married woman who plots the murder of her abusive husband (played by John Mese) in the festival-screened "Dark Tides" (1998). She also costarred with Mara Hobel and Clancy Brown in Jeremy Workman's comedy movie "Claire Makes It Big" (1999).
Entering the new millennium, Turco had a lead role as the Greek cousin of Joe D'Onofrio's character in Nick Efteriades' independent feature "Astoria" and appeared in the independent gay-themed drama film based on the play "Urban Folk Tales,” which premiered at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival, "Urbania.” She also appeared in Christopher Goode's independent film "Dead Dog" with Jeremy Sisto and Emily Cline and in writer/director Bret Stern's based-on-book comedy movie "R2PC: Road to Park City." Additionally, she starred in ABC’s thriller "Runaway Virus," based on Malcolm Gladwell's magazine article "The Dead Zone," and supported Jared Padalecki in the made-for-TV movie "Silent Witness." She then appeared in the pilot episode of CBS dramatic series "The Fugitive."
In 2001, Turco returned to primetime series TV as a costar of the CBS drama "The Agency" (2001-2003), in which she played rookie CIA recruit Terri Lowell, opposite future husband Jason O'Mara. During that time, she was also spotted as a guest in an episode of NBC cop drama "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and appeared in the films "The Empath" (2002), an independent film by writer/director David Lowell Sonkin, and "Rhinoceros Eyes" (2003), a fantastical coming-of-age film by writer/director Aaron Woodley in which she played a detail-obsessed movie production designer.
After taking a three-year hiatus following her marriage to "The Agency" costar Jason O'Mara, Turco returned in the pilot episode of the series "Women in Law" and with a recurring role as science teacher Mrs. Nell Turbody (2006) in the FX Network's critically-praised drama "Rescue Me." She also played roles in the 2006 films "Waltzing Anna," Doug Bollinger and Bx Giongrete's comedy starring Betsy Palmer, "Invincible" (as the wife of Greg Kinnear's Dick Vermeil), Ericson Core's true story-based football drama starring Mark Wahlberg, and "The Favor," writer/director Eva S. Aridjis' drama starring Frank Wood. In 2007, Turco supported Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in Andy Fickman's feature film "The Game Plan." She currently plays Lisbeth, the ex-wife of Dylan McDermott's Duncan Collingsworth, on ABC's new drama series "Big Shots."
Turco is now filming an upcoming true story-based war drama TV movie titled "Taking Chance" (HBO), alongside Kevin Bacon.