Where in the Horror are they Now? Virginia Madsen!

Last Updated on July 22, 2021


Then:  You know what is great about writing a column like Where in the Horror Are They Now? Well, for starters, I am spending the evening looking at pictures of Virginia Madsen. Yes, Academy Award nominated, stunningly hot, and ferociously talented Virginia Madsen. The truth is, she hasn’t fully disappeared from the public eye, like at all. However, considering I returned to watch CANDYMAN recently – as well as looked into the great Tony Todd in this very column – it seemed time to find out what was up with this amazing actress. Well since her IMDB page lists 108 credits, it's very clear that she has been pretty damn busy since the day she burst onto the silver screen.

Looking back, the lovely Ms. Madsen had a pretty good start with the Rob Lowe sex comedy CLASS in 1983. Next up was another comedy – with decidedly less sex – called ELECTRIC DREAMS in 1984. That same year she appeared in the legendary bomb, David Lynch’s DUNE. Considering Lynch is hardly a mainstream filmmaker, it would be intriguing to watch this all these years later and see exactly how bad it really is. A misunderstood gem perhaps? Either way, the film’s failure had nothing to do with Madsen. In fact, in 1986, the actress was the leading lady in both FIRE WITH FIRE opposite Craig Sheffer and MODERN GIRLS. I caught both of these flicks years later and frankly I dug each one. Plus, the later also offered up Daphne Zuniga and Cynthia Gibbs as well as the awesome genre badass Clayton Rohner.

Over the next few years, this intoxicating beauty set fire to the small screen in an episode of the anthology series “The Hitchhiker” and the baseball made for cable movie “Long Gone” in 1987. That same year she also shined in the big screen Independent flicks SLAM DANCE and ZOMBIE HIGH. While the later was considered a horror film, it was a little bit more INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS as opposed to what the title might suggest. And maybe you’d appreciate her in the Bobcat Goldthwait horse comedy HOT TO TROT (1988). Personally, I much preferred  her white hot performance in another made for cable movie called “Gotham” (1988) starring opposite Tommy Lee Jones. Talk about sizzling!

With a ton of other movies to her credit including HEART OF DIXIE (1989), THE HOT SPOT (1990) and even HIGHLANDER II: THE QUICKENING (1991) there is one movie that solidified her as one hell of a great genre actress. In 1992, she appeared as the much maligned lady in peril in the absolutely incredible fright flick CANDYMAN. As Helen Lyle, Ms. Madsen was able to give life to a woman faced with an unimaginable horror, and one that she needed to ably give some sort of romantic chemistry within. And boy did she and Tony Todd have it. This is the type of movie that just gets better and better with every watch. It is a highly effective feature directed by Bernard Rose with a script by Rose and genre legend Clive Barker – it is based on one of his shorts called “The Forbidden.”

Since we generally focus on the genre portion in this column, let’s move forward with a few of her horror offerings. In 1995, THE PROPHECY gave this stunner another starring role opposite Christopher Walken and Elias Koteas – as well as a young Viggo Mortensen. In 1999’s THE HAUNTING she shows up for a minute in one of my least favorite horror remakes ever put to screen. It’s a shame because this flick features Liam Neeson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Owen Wilson and Lili Taylor. This should have been awesome.

In 2001 she once again took on a lead role in the thriller LYING IN WAIT. That same year she appeared in yet another low budget thriller called FULL DISCLOSURE. Thankfully however, her impressive acting chops earned her a well deserved Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in the terrific SIDEWAYS. Yes, I know we focus on horror, but how can we not mention her fantastic work opposite the great Paul Giamatti and the talented Thomas Haden Church?

NOW:In 2007 I had the opportunity to meet the actress briefly at the press conference for the Jim Carrey mystery THE NUMBER 23 in which she played a dual role. And let me tell you, she really is as beautiful and charming as you’d think she would be. My goodness she was amazing!  And even though she is featured in a variety of different types of movies, she seems to always come back to horror. In 2009 she starred in THE HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT. In 2011 she appeared in the fantasy RED RIDING HOOD and in 2013 she was featured in eight episodes of the series “Witches of East End.” Man I love somebody with her talent unafraid to get her scary on.

Next up for Ms. Madsen? Well you can find her in the video game adaptation DEAD RISING: WATCHTOWER along with Dennis Haysbert and Jesse Metcalfe. And for all you David O. Russell fans, she will also be starring in his latest JOY, the director’s take on the Miracle Mop inventor Joy Mangano. You know the one, that flick with Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro and Edgar Ramirez? Yeah, she is in that. So suffice it to say, Virginia Madsen is still working constantly, and she is every bit as gorgeous and talented as she ever was. In fact, she has a ton of stuff coming up so thankfully, we’ll be seeing quite a bit of this incredible talent for what I hope to be a very long time.

If you’d like to keep up to date on Ms. Madsen, you can check out her official website here. You can also find her on Facebook here, as well as Twitter. I recommend you do it all because she is simply that good! Talented, beautiful and just plain classy! Yep, Virginia Madsen is all that and then some.

Source: AITH

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JimmyO is one of JoBlo.com’s longest-tenured writers, with him reviewing movies and interviewing celebrities since 2007 as the site’s Los Angeles correspondent.