Mädchen Amick (umlaut optional), sometimes written Maedchen Amick, Actress, b. Reno, Nevada, December 12, 1970.
Madchen was a girl from Reno with an unusual name, the result of being born to parents named Judy and Bill who basically wanted their daughter's name to be a trifle more interesting than their own. Those same parents divorced when Madchen was two and a half years old, leading to a chain of events that put Judy with a musician whose love for performing, the lights and the audience percolated interest from Madchen. Beginning with music, then painting, and eventually acting, Madchen's realization that she was born to be an artist gelled.
At the age of sixteen, Madchen dropped out of school and moved herself to Los Angeles. There her striking looks got her almost instant work as a model, which soon led to work as a dancer in music videos, most notably by Julio Iglesias and Rick Astley. Those early teenage years went very well for Madchen as she defied the odds to find Hollywood success rather than falling in the usual rut of high school dropout turns junkie in palm lined alley. Then she met and fell in love with the guy across the street, David Alexis, a musician. They would eventually marry and have a couple of kiddies.
Her first professional acting gig would come in 1988, when she was cast in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Then there was an appearance in an episode of Baywatch and a smattering of roles in low budget and made for television films.
Then came Twin Peaks. There she gave all new meaning to the depths of dark humor when her character, Shelly Johnson, cowered in the corner while her husband, the delightful Leo Johnson, slipped a bar of soap in a sock and selected appropriate music by which to beat his wife. According to an article I read some time ago and can't remember where (even if my life depended on it) talked about how Madchen received a flood of letters from abused women telling her where to get help (believing her to really be Shelly Johnson) and prison inmates who wrote her love letters in good taste, seeing her as the sort of angel they wished was waiting for them on the other side. They insisted they could treat her better than Leo did.
"You have to bite up the stem to make it limber. Bite it until it isn't stiff."
--Madchen Amick in Rolling Stone,
October 4, 1990,
discussing how she taught Sherilyn Fenn to tie a cherry stem with her tongue.
Said to have had a great working relationship with director David Lynch, Madchen's greatest professional disappointment was seeing Shelly Johnson end up almost entirely on the cutting room floor when Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me was released. This was the result of pressure from the studio to reduce the length of the film rather than anyone's dissatisfaction with Madchen's performance.
Her tour of duty with Twin Peaks was followed with roles in Stephen King's Sleepwalkers and a role in the lackluster thriller Dream Lover opposite James Spader. Then it was back to television for roles in shows that never found their niche. Central Park And West, which tried to be another in a long line of sleek, modern soap opera dramas that were littering the television waves in the 1990s, never brought in the kind of viewership it needed to stay alive. Madchen's character, Carrie Fairchild, never had the same life force as Shelly Johnson. Then in 1998 she landed on a new version of Fantasy Island, in which Madchen was cast as Ariel, a weird shape-shifting sidekick for the Malcolm McDowell version of Mr. Roarke.
Since then it appears Madchen has mostly been dancing around in B movies and straight to video features. Will she rise again? She seems to be one of those perfect actresses for cult film superstardom. Yet, it appears, she keeps trying to go mainstream. Why, Madchen, why?
Information spot checked and verified at allmovie.com
and from an article in Rolling Stone Magazine, October 4, 1990.
(which I have in a bag. yes, a friggin' bag, damn you)