ALICIA WITT Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Alicia Roanne Witt                                                                                   
Born: 21 August 1975 Worcester, Massachusetts, U.S.                                                       
Alicia Roanne Witt (born August 21, 1975) is an American film, stage and                                   
television actress who can currently be seen on the series Law & Order: Criminal                           
Witt was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, the daughter of Diane, a junior high                           
school reading teacher, and Robert Witt, a science teacher and photographer.                               
She has a brother, Ian. Witt was discovered by David Lynch when she appeared on                           
the television show That's Incredible! in 1980; she had recited Shakespeare's                             
Romeo and Juliet. He cast her in the movie Dune (1984), where she played Paul                             
Atreides' young sister Alia. She turned eight during filming. Afterwards, she                             
left Hollywood to concentrate on her studies and music. She was home schooled by                           
her parents. She studied piano at Boston University and won                                               
several national and international classical piano competitions, including the "Bartok-Kabalevsky         
International Piano Competition".                                                                         
At age 14, Witt earned her high school diploma. Shortly thereafter, she moved to                           
Hollywood with her mother (who was noted from 1988-93 in the Guinness Book of                             
Records for the world's longest hair; it is not known for sure if she still has                           
her long hair) to pursue a career as a full-time actress. Soon, Lynch, to whom                             
she refers as a mentor, created the role of Gersten Hayward especially for her                             
in his successful series Twin Peaks. He cast her again in Blackout, a segment in                           
his short-lived HBO series Hotel Room.                                                                     
During this time, Witt supported herself by playing piano at the Regent Beverly                           
Wilshire Hotel. She went on to play small parts in Mike Figgis' Liebestraum (in                           
which her brother Ian also appears), the Gen-X drama Bodies, Rest & Motion and                             
the TV movie The Disappearance of Vonnie. In 1994, the red-haired Witt landed                             
her first lead role in a film, playing a disturbed teenager in Fun. She received                           
the Special Jury Recognition Award at the Sundance Festival and was nominated                             
for Best Actress at the Independent Spirit Awards. This performance inspired                               
Madonna to recommend Witt to be cast as her lover in the first segment, "The                               
Missing Ingredient" of Four Rooms.                                                                         
Witt was introduced to a larger audience playing the role of Zoey Woodbine,                               
daughter of actress Cybill Shepherd's character in the sitcom Cybill from 1995                             
to 1998. Between seasons she starred in films: Mr. Holland's Opus, Alexander                               
Payne's abortion comedy Citizen Ruth, Passion's Way and Bongwater. After Cybill                           
was cancelled, Witt received a leading role in the horror film Urban Legend and                           
the animated feature Gen¹³ which was never released because the studio stopped                           
funding before the completion of the movie.                                                               
In 2000, Witt had starring roles on the television shows Ally McBeal and The                               
Sopranos; the lead role in the comedy Playing Mona Lisa, a supporting part in                             
John Waters' Cecil B. Demented, and her stage debut in Robbie Fox's musical The                           
Gift at the now-closed Tiffany Theater in Los Angeles, in which she played a                               
high-priced stripper with a disease.                                                                       
In the years following, Witt's acting career slowed. She had a small part in                               
Cameron Crowe's Vanilla Sky, which was intended as a reference to her roles in                             
Dune and Liebestraum. She also played a college graduate who discussed losing                             
her virginity in the experimental Ten Tiny Love Stories and the trailer-trash "Barbie"                     
in American Girl, which was released to video in 2005.                                                     
She appeared in the 2002 romantic comedy Two Weeks Notice. In 2003-2004, she                               
turned her back on Hollywood and lived primarily in the UK, filming The Upside                             
of Anger opposite Kevin Costner; and she starred as Evelyn in a stage-production                           
of Neil LaBute's The Shape of Things. Between these two projects, she went to                             
South Africa to shoot the German TV movie Kingdom in Twilight which also goes by                           
the names The Sword of Xanten and The Ring of the Nibelungs. She played                                   
Kriemhild in this film interpretation of the epic poem Das Nibelungenlied, which                           
was released in the US as Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King. On June 14, 2004, Witt                           
modeled what is believed to be the most expensive hat ever made, for Christie's                           
auction house in London. The Champrau d'Amour, designed by Louis Mariette, is                             
valued at $2.7 million (US) and is encrusted in diamonds. In September 2006                               
she returned to the London stage, portraying the piano-playing Abigail, a role                             
specifically written to exploit her musical talent, at the Royal Court Theatre.                           
Witt joined the cast of Law & Order: Criminal Intent for the 2007-08 season as                             
Det. Nola Falacci, a character who is a temporary replacement for Julianne                                 
Nicholson, who is away on maternity leave.