|Birth name : Alicia Roanne Witt
|Date of birth : 21 August 1975
|Place of birth: Worcester, Massachusetts, USA
|Height: 5' 8½" (1.74 m)
|Spouse: Nathan Foulger (2003 - 2007) divorced
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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 Intent. A porcelain-skinned redhead with a child prodigy past and a promising acting future, Alicia Witt made her TV debut at the age of four, reciting Shakespeare on a 1979 episode of ABC's "That's Incredible". Probably best known for her role as Zoey Woodbine, the precocious and exceptionally dour teenaged daughter of struggling actress Cybill Sheridan (Cybill Shepard) on the CBS sitcom "Cybill" (1995-98), the performer racked up impressive film and television credits and was also a classically trained pianist.
Witt's impatience and ambition as a child was focused on learning (home-schooled, she's reported to have commenced reading at age two, and received her general equivalency high school diploma at 14) and that same determination easily translated to her acting career. She moved on her own to Los Angeles at age 15 and purposely pursuing varied parts in an effort to avoid typecasting. The actress got her start in 1984's "Dune" after impressing director David Lynch in a post-audition interview. He went on to cast her in a 1990 episode of his TV series "Twin Peaks" (ABC) and a 1936-set segment of the HBO anthology film "Hotel Room". (1993).
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. By now a familiar face in American homes due to her regular stint on "Cybill", Witt set out to prove her versatility and took a role in "Mr. Holland's Opus" (1995), playing Gertrude Lang, a shy, awkward clarinet student under the tutelage of composer turned reluctant instructor Glenn Holland (Richard Dreyfuss). Dedicated to her craft, Witt learned to play the clarinet in order to realistically represent her character. A starring role as a college student trying to stop a mysterious series of related campus murders in the 1998 horror thriller "Urban Legend" was preceded by a turn as the teenage daughter of a pro-life couple in 1996's "Citizen Ruth".
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. A guest role as an opportunistic film development executive on a 2000 episode of HBO's popular series "The Sopranos" brought Witt back into the limelight, and a nude love scene revealed more of the actress than audiences had seen before. She next teamed up with John Waters for a role as a young porn actress in "Cecil B. Demented" (2000) and appeared in a recurring role on the FOX legal dramedy "Ally McBeal," tormenting Richard Fish (Greg Germann).
Taking steps to graduate to roles in A-list films, Witt took a small supporting role opposite Tom Cruise in director Cameron Crowe's reality-bending "Vanilla Sky" (2001) and next co-starred as Hugh Grant's girlfriend and Sandra Bullock's romantic rival in the frothy comedy "Two Weeks Notice" (2002). She continued to turn in finely etched supporting turns on the big screen, playing one of Joan Allen's troublesome daughters in "The Upside of Anger" (2005) and mistress of Queen Latifah's antogonist (Timothy Hutton) who has a sympathetic side in the escapist confection "Last Holiday" (2006).
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.
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