Sherilyn Fenn, Actress, born Sheryl Ann Fenn, Feb. 1, 1965. Detroit, Michigan.
Born to Arlene and Leo Fenn on February of 1965, Sherilyn Fenn's life path was set up by the fact that her mother played keyboards in a series of rock bands, traveling the country and landing Sherilyn in reprised roles as the "new girl" whenever she started in a new school and had to make new friends. While her mother never really hit the big time, Sherilyn's aunt happened to be Suzi Quatro, with whom her mother played with in the early seventies band the Pleasure Seekers. As it turned out, Suzi reached moderate success in the music business soon after Arlene left the band to raise her kids, Sherilyn and her two elder brothers.
Soon after graduating from high school, Sherilyn decided to pursue a career as a Playboy bunny. Seen as having the right physical attributes to ascend the bunny ladder, Sherilyn alas did not have the "mental acumen" and dropped out during her first year of bunny school. After getting some action in early eighties style designer jeans and department store perfume ads, Sherilyn got her first movie offer and appeared in the 1984 film The Wild Life.
Sherilyn made appearances in several other films during the eighties, but it wasn't until the outbreak of David Lynch's Twin Peaks that she gained recognition and celebrity. Her character, Audrey Horne, seemed to have been based on a warped reflection of her own life. Was her wild ride undercover at One Eyed Jacks a parody of her failed efforts to become a Playboy bunny? Who the hell knows. I don't, but I wonder. The mind of David Lynch is funny like that sometimes. She also managed to popularize the whole tying a cherry stem with your tongue thing that is now done to death. Watching Audrey Horne do it now just doesn't pack the same punch it once did. She changed the world.
During the run of Twin Peaks, Sherilyn Fenn joined Sheryl Lee (of Laura Palmer fame) in making cameo appearances in the David Lynch film Wild at Heart. Sherilyn can crash my car anytime. Well, as long as she has full insurance coverage. I mean, come on.
Following Twin Peaks she snuck into the more or less lead role in 1993's Boxing Helena, directed by Jennifer Lynch, the daughter of David Lynch, after Kim Basinger backed out. In a movie that could have been so much more than the marshmallow pancake it turned out to be, the ability of Sherilyn to radiate under any conditions became more clear to us.
If you are going to cut off someone's arms and legs, don't say "just kidding" at the end. Gosh, that must have been in the top ten of most disappointing moments in my life.
In 1995, Sherilyn was tapped to play the role of Elizabeth Taylor in a made for television rendition of the life of Liz Taylor. It seemed to be the perfect role for her, as if nothing else, Sherilyn often looks like a modern day, scrubbed down version of a young Elizabeth Taylor.
In spite of classic starlet looks, Sherilyn's career never really blasted off. Twin Peaks was certainly the zenith of that career, at least to date. Most of her other films have been of either the made for television variety or straight to video features. She has made numerous guest appearances on television, going way back to an appearance on Cheers in 1982 through appearances of 21 Jump Street and Friends. She was last reported working on the Showtime sit-com Rude Awakening and another television series known as Birds of Prey.
I suppose the perception is that one must remain in the spotlight at all times to be a star. What about those who continue to get work but no longer seem capable of making the headlines? For someone who has appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone and was featured in a Playboy spread, and whose film credits show no gaps in which she could not get work, where is the complaint? I don't know if she has one, but I certainly don't. All I know is that I can see something burning behind those eyes of hers and I think I like it.
One day I'll cast her in something and then I'll feel a whole lot better about myself. Or so I like to think in those unguarded moments.
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