The Life of Mädchen Amick

This is the story of a young woman full of surprises.What you can see from the outside - her stunning beauty - is only the beginning.Even if you've already fallen in love with this talented actress,you will be totally captivated once you learn more about her.

MAY-CHEN AY-MICK (pronounced with the long "ä") was born in Reno,Nevada on December 12,1970.She is half German,a quarter Norwegian,and a quarter Swedish.Her name,which can also be written as Maedchen,means "maiden" or "young woman" in German and results from the desire of her parents,Bill and Judy,to give their daughter a name more unusual than their own.

Mädchen's parents divorced when she was two and a half years old.Her mother,a medical office manager,re-married to a musician and band leader,now deceased,who Mädchen considers her real father.His love of performing would be a strong influence on Mädchen's career choices.

In examining Mädchen's early years,we come to the first surprise,at least for those who have come to think of models and actresses as nothing more than pretty faces and perfect bodies.We learn that she is also very intelligent and has a wide range of artistic abilities.

Mädchen has trained in various forms of dance: tap,ballet,jazz,and modern.She has used that talent to enliven some of her films,dancing with innocent abandon in "Sleepwalkers",and with a calculated seductiveness in "I'm Dangerous Tonight".

Inspired by her father's devotion to music,Mädchen began to study the piano at age three,and continued for twelve years.She also learned to play the bass,violin,and guitar.She is a gifted painter as well,having begun painting in oils while in school,and has sold some of her work.

And,of course,there is acting.Mädchen attributes her sucess to a natural ability to observe and mimic people.She recalls from her childhood,when her mother held parties for adult friends,always wanting to be in the room with the grown-ups,listening to their stories.Her first formal training in acting came much later,under Roberta Fluke,her drama teacher at Robert McQueen High School in Reno.

When she was sixteen years old,Mädchen launched her career.With her parents' blessing,she dropped out of school and moved to Los Angeles,where she found work as a model,and soon was appearing as a dancer in pop music videos with such artists as Julio Iglesias,Dweezil Zappa,and Rick Astley.Even at that young age,her outstanding potential was evident to show-business professionals.A member of the production crew for the Iglesias video remembers Mädchen from the audition as having "...this luminescent quality,heads over any of the many other girls".

It was during these first years among the bright lights of Hollywood that Mädchen's personal life took an important turn.She met a neighbour across the street,David Alexis,an aspiring singer and songwriter as dedicated to music as she was to acting.They would eventually marry and have two children.

Mädchen's acting life began quite modestly.First there was a 1988 episode of "Star Trek:The Next Generation",titled "The Dauphin",in which she played a shape-shifter who at one point turned into a teddy bear.Then,in 1989,she appeared in an episode of "Baywatch" titled "Panic at Malibu Pier".Her first starring role was in the 1990 low-budget TV horror movie"I'm Dangerous Tonight".There were also a couple of small parts in other films.

In 1990,Mädchen left behind forever that life of obscurity when she landed the role which would establish her as an widely-recognized actress.Director David Lynch chose her to play waitress Shelly Johnson on the TV series "Twin Peaks",and viewers of that cult hit soon come to love Mädchen's sensually innocent character,who endured terrible abuse at the hands of her husband,Leo.

Interviewed in the August 1992 issue of the British magazine "Empire",Mädchen told of meeting viewers who so identified her with Shelly that they expressed outrage at the indignities and injuries she had suffered and urged her to seek help.She received mail from all kinds of people,including prison inmates."...but they were the nice ones,they were the polite ones",she said,"the scary ones were out living on Middle America or whatever."

David Lynch played a pivotal role in Mädchen's development as an actress.She remembers Lynch(who gave her a pet name of "Madge-kin")fondly,calling him her teacher and observing "...he would set the stage and he would encourage you to then create and become."Of working with Lynch on the "Twin Peaks" set,Mädchen told television Interviewer Lauren Hutton "It was really a 'film' atmosphere where he made you feel like you had all the time in the world and if it took all day to film a scene he would take it and he would compensate someplace else.".

In connection with "Twin Peaks",we come to another Mädchen's surprises.In a memorable scene,Audrey Horne(played by Sherilyn Fenn)proves her occupational fitness by using her tongue and teeth to tie a knot in a cherry stem.Well,it turns out that Mädchen can actually do this!

She demonstrated her ability during an interview for the October 4,1990 issue of Rolling Stone magazine,saying "I've been doing it for years".She offered a helpful hint,which the reader must imagine being delivered in her sweet,almost child-like voice:"You have to bite up the stem to make it limber.Bite it until it isn't stiff."

There's yet another surprise (and perhaps a bit disappointment) for those who think that such a woman must be living the fast life of a Hollywood starlet:Mädchen remains happily married to David,with whom she lives in Los Angeles along with their two children,and a dachshund named Einstein.

Mädchen does not emphasize the difficulties of nurturing an acting career.Indeed,she feels that her progress has been remarkably easy.She told the Empire writer "It's almost like it's never been a struggle for me.A day-to-day struggle,perhaps,but it's almost like someone's behind me,sort of pushing and guiding me the way I'm supposed to go".She credits her father with helping her place successs in perspective,saying to Lauren Hutton,"...my Dad always told me'stop and look back and appreciate what you've done;stop and smell the flowers'".

Hollywood,though,is seldom kind for very long to an actress,even one of Mädchen's haunting beauty and immense talent.Indeed,her career has had more than its fair share of setbacks and bad luck.Mädchen sees some of this as due,ironically,to her flawlessly good looks.As she told Hutton, "And so there were a lot of parts that I was attracted to,that actually had interesting things and were intelligent,they weren't seeing me as,and the parts that were being offered didn't have anything to them because they were the good-looking parts...".A lack of good scripts and the difficulty in finding challenging roles in studio films has led Mädchen,who is passionate about her art and relishes creative control,to pursue independent films.

Even the eagerly-anticipated "Twin Peaks" movie proved to be a disappointment to Mädchen's fans.Studio pressure to reduce the length of "Twin Peaks:Fire Walk with Me" forced director David Lynch to drastically cut Mädchen's reprise of her role as Shelly,putting her on the big screen for less than a minute with just a few lines.It was only one of several times that the entertainment industry showed how little its understands Mädchen's talent and extraordinary appeal.

A highlight of Mädchen's film career is the 1994 feature film "Dream Lover",a thriller in which she co-starred with James Spader.It is one of the few films to showcase her awesome ability to portray a complex character.

Mädchen's return to network TV came in the fall of 1995,in the much-publicized CBS dramatic series "Central Park West".Despite her brilliant performance as the sexy and manipulative Carrie Fairchild,the series suffered from poor ratings and was pulled after only about seven episodes.The month-long eight-episode return of the show as a new and improved product called "CPW" in June 1996 (delayed from January),was poorly promoted by the network and received scant attention from viewers.

And Mädchen's future looks very bright.She has starring roles in two recent direct-to-video releases:the thriller "Wounded"(1996) and the romantic comedy "French Exit"(1995).She also stars "Bombshell",a futuristic thriller produced in 1996 by Molecular Films but not yet released.A member of the production crew expects the film to become a cult hit.She appears in another video movie called "Perfect Crimes",whose status is unknown.

A few other tidbits,to add to your picture of Mädchen,or perhaps to add to the mystery:She and her father have survived the crash of a small airplane.After seeing the movie "Arachnophobia",she dreamed that her body was covered with spiders.She has stolen items - towels,glasses,a water pitcher,a set of pillows - from hotels.She was the victim of an attempted mugging while living in New York City during the taping of "Central Park West";nevertheless,she feels safer in New York than in LA.

And a final surprise:Mädchen knew someone who,like Shelly Johnson,shot an abusive partner.She explained mysteriously to the Rolling Stone interviewer "I kind of based Shelly on someone I knew",and concluded "I think the guy died".

You can write to Mädchen through her agent:

Madchen Amick
c/o International Creative Management
8942 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles,CA 90211

Much of the information in this biography was contributed by readers.Comments,suggestions,corrections,questions,and of course any news about Mädchen,are always welcome.


Date of birth (location) 12 December 1970, Reno, Nevada, USA
Mini biography :- Born and raised in Reno,
Sometimes Credited As: Madchen Amick

Actress - filmography
Risque (2001)
Scenes of the Crime (2001)
Hangman (2000/II) (TV) .... Grace
List, The (2000)
Mr. Rock 'n' Roll: The Alan Freed Story (1999) (TV) .... Jackie McCoy
"Fantasy Island" (1998) TV Series .... Ariel
Black Cat Run (1998) (TV) .... Rachel
Hunted, The (1998) (TV) .... Sam
... aka Gejagte, Die (1998) (TV) (Germany)
Heartless (1997) (TV) .... Ann
Twist of Fate (1997) .... Rachel Dwyer
... aka Psychopath (1997) (USA: video title)
Wounded (1997) .... Julie Clayton
Bombshell (1996) .... Angeline
Courtyard, The (1995) (TV) .... Lauren
"Central Park West" (1995) TV Series .... Carrie Fairchild
French Exit (1995) .... Zina
Dream Lover (1994) .... Lena Reardon
Trapped in Paradise (1994) .... Sarah Collins
"Fallen Angels" (1993) TV Series .... Mrs. Cordell (Love and Blood)
Love, Cheat & Steal (1993) (TV) .... Lauren Harrington
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992) .... Shelly Johnson
... aka Twin Peaks (1992) (France)
"Fifth Corner, The" (1992) TV Series
Sleepwalkers (1992) .... Tanya Robertson
... aka Sleepstalkers (1992) (Hong Kong: English title: cable TV title)
... aka Stephen King's Sleepwalkers (1992)
Borrower, The (1991) .... Megan
For the Very First Time (1991) (TV) .... Rhonda
... aka Til I Kissed Ya (1991) (TV) (UK)
Don't Tell Her It's Me (1990) .... Mandy
... aka Boyfriend School (1990)
I'm Dangerous Tonight (1990) (TV) (as Madchen Amick) .... Amy
"Twin Peaks" (1990) TV Series .... Shelly Johnson
Jury Duty: The Comedy (1990) (TV) .... Miss Doddsworth
... aka Great American Sex Scandal, The (1990) (TV)
Baywatch: Panic at Malibu Pier (1989) (TV) .... Laurie Harris

Filmography as: Actress, Notable TV guest appearances

Notable TV guest appearances
"Dawson's Creek" (1998) playing "Nicole Kennedy" in episode: "Reunited" (episode # 2.20) 5/12/1999
"Dawson's Creek" (1998) playing "Nicole Kennedy" in episode: "Perfect Wedding, A" (episode # 2.18) 4/28/1999
"Dawson's Creek" (1998) playing "Nicole Kennedy" in episode: "Psychic Friends" (episode # 2.17) 3/10/1999
"Fallen Angels" (1993) 10/8/1995
"Baywatch" (1989) playing "Laurie Harris" in episode: "Panic at Malibu Pier" (episode # 1.0) 4/23/1989
"Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1987) playing "Anya as teenage girl" in episode: "Dauphin, The" (episode # 2.10) 2/18/1989