Real name: Sheryl Ann Fenn
Birthdate: February 1, 1965
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Sherilyn Fenn (born February 1, 1965) is an Emmy- and Golden Globe award-nominated American actress and filmmaker, best known for playing Audrey Horne on the cult TV series Twin Peaks, for her roles in Ruby, Of Mice and Men, Boxing Helena and Rude Awakening, and for portraying actress Elizabeth Taylor in Liz: The Elizabeth Taylor Story.
Shortly after shooting Twin Peaks' pilot episode, David Lynch gave her a small but impressive part in Wild at Heart, as a girl injured in a car wreck, obsessed by the contents of her purse, opposite Nicolas Cage and Laura Dern, which won the Golden Palm Award at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival. "David’s direction was, ‘Only think of this: bobby pins, lipstick, wallet, comb, that’s it.’ It’s very abstract." "I just pictured her being able to do this", said Lynch of her scene, "she’s like a broken China doll." David Lynch, who once described Sherilyn Fenn as "five feet of heaven in a ponytail", and said that she makes him think of a porcelain doll, said about her:“She's a mysterious girl and I think that actresses like her who have a mystery - where there's something hiding beneath the surface - are the really interesting ones.”
"He's very creative and unafraid of taking chances," she said of the director. "I really respect him. He's wonderful."
Her most notable film role to date was in the controversial Boxing Helena (nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 1993 Sundance Film Festival), directed by David Lynch's daughter Jennifer Chambers Lynch, in which she played a narcissistic seductress amputated and imprisoned by Julian Sands, who makes her become his personal Venus de Milo in an effort to possess her. Helena was a way for Fenn to avoid being type-cast, with a risqué and radically different role from what she’d done in the past:“I like taking risks and I decided to put every bit of me into the role.”
Fenn also portrayed Potiphar's wife Zulaikha in Showtime's biblical TV movie Slave of Dreams opposite Adrian Pasdar and Edward James Olmos. The film was directed by multi-award winning Robert M. Young and produced by Martha and Dino De Laurentiis.
After a short break during which she married and gave birth to a son, Fenn was chosen amongst more than 100 actresses to portray legendary actress Elizabeth Taylor in NBC's 1995 telemovie Liz: The Elizabeth Taylor Story.“Playing Elizabeth Taylor was probably the hardest job I’ve ever done.”
Fenn joined again Jeremy Piven in a 1998 episode of Cupid, as Piven's love interest. In 1999 she reteamed with Chris Penn and Adrian Pasdar for Pasdar's art-house directorial debut, the neo-noir Cement, a contemporary re-telling of Othello, in which she played a tempting but imprudent femme fatale, the wife of jealous corrupt cop Chris Penn. "I play a character who's selfish and sloppy with her sexual energy. I saw the film and I was really happy with it. It's got a lot of soul." The film, which won Best Picture awards on the festival circuit, was written by Farscape’s screenwriter Justin Monjo and also starred Jeffrey Wright and Henry Czerny. She also reteamed with actor/director Bruce Davison for his 2001 award-winning family comedy, Showtime's Off Season alongside Rory Culkin, Hume Cronyn and Adam Arkin.
She then played the recurring part of Violet Montgomery on Fox's Boston Public (2003-2004), and appeared in Showtime's Cavedweller (2004) opposite Kyra Sedgwick. Fenn joined former co-star Mark Harmon in a 2004 episode of NCIS.