Mädchen Amick is an American actress who has appeared in some of the most popular television shows in the 1990s including the enormously successful ‘Twin Peaks’ franchise. She famously played the role of ‘Shelly Johnson’ in the franchise which made her a household name. She was part of the original television show in the early 1990s and then reprised the role in its film adaptation, ‘Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me’, and more recently, in the revival of the series, ‘Twin Peaks: The Return’. Born to parents of mixed ethnicity, she grew up to be a pretty girl with exotic features. Even though her parents are not from the acting field, they encouraged their daughter to pursue her passion for a career in the show business. As a teenager, she moved to Los Angeles from Nevada to start acting. Over the course of her career, she appeared as ‘Carrie Fairchild’ in the soap opera ‘Central Park West’ and played ‘Ariel’ in the fantasy drama show ‘Fantasy Island.’ Apart from being active in the television industry, Amick has also made her presence felt on the silver screen. She has portrayed memorable roles in films like ‘Sleepwalkers’, ‘Dream Lover’, and ‘Love, Cheat & Steal’. Amick was critically praised for her role in ‘Dream Lover’ which earned her a nomination at the Saturn Awards for Best Actress.
Childhood & Early Life
Madchen Amick was born on December 12, 1970, in Sparks, Nevada, to Judy Ross, an office manager, and Bill Amick, a musician. Amick is part German and part Swedish. She is also of mixed Norwegian, Irish, and English ancestry. Her parents wanted a unique name for their daughter, and they came up with ‘Madchen’ which translates to ‘Girl’ in German.
She grew up with a deep interest in fine arts and culture. She learned to play the piano, violin, bass, and guitar during her childhood and also took training in tap dancing, jazz, ballet and modern dancing. Her parents are the major reason she ended up in the show business as they always supported her ambitions.
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Madchen Amick dropped out of high school at the age of 16 to pursue her acting career. She made her debut on television with a guest appearance in the TV show ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ (1989), and later that year, she appeared in another guest role in ‘Baywatch’.
It didn’t take long for her to grab attention in the show business. She was offered the role of ‘Shelly Johnson’ in the American mystery horror television show ‘Twin Peaks’. Director David Lynch offered her the regular role which she played between 1990 and 1991. Amick also appeared in the film adaptation of the show a year later and then reprised the role recently in the revival of the show, ‘Twin Peaks: The Return’.
Amick portrayed the protagonist, ‘Tanya Robertson’, in the 1992 American horror film ‘Sleepwalkers’. A year later, she appeared in the film ‘Dream Lover’, as ‘Lena Mathers’, alongside James Spader, Bess Armstrong, and Frederic Lehne. Amick was nominated at the Saturn Awards for Best Actress for her role.
Between 1995 and 1996, Amick appeared in the prime time television soap opera ‘Central Park West’ as ‘Carrie Fairchild’ for 21 episodes. Two years later, she was offered the role of ‘Ariel’ in the fantasy drama television show ‘Fantasy Island’.
In the ensuing years, Amick appeared in several television shows, mainly in special roles, including ‘Dawson's Creek’, ‘Gilmore Girls’, ‘Jake in Progress’, and ‘Joey’.
However, she was also a regular character in shows like ‘ER’ (as ‘Wendall Meade’; 2004-05) and ‘Freddie’ (as ‘Allison’ in 2005-06).
In the 2000s, Madchen Amick appeared in several television shows like ‘Kidnapped’ as ‘Yvonne Guttman’, ‘Viva Laughlin’ as ‘Natalie Holden’, ‘Gossip Girl’ as ‘Duchess Catherine Beaton’, ‘Californication’ as ‘Janie Jones’, ‘My Own Worst Enemy’ as ‘Angelica "Angie" Spivey’, and ‘Damages’ as ‘Danielle Marchetti’. She has also appeared in a few television films.
In 2013, Amick was picked for the role of ‘Wendy Beauchamp’ in the television series ‘Witches of East End’ which was an adaptation of Melissa de la Cruz’s book of the same name. Amick went on to make 23 appearances in two years in the show. Later, she appeared in the series ‘American Horror Story: Hotel’ and ‘Love’ between 2015 and 2017.
In the mid-2010s, when Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios teamed up to produce a television series, ‘Riverdale’, based on the Archie Comics, Madchen Amick managed to book a role in it. The teen drama television series premiered on January 26, 2017, and featured KJ Apa, Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes, Cole Sprouse, Marisol Nichols, Madelaine Petsch, and Luke Perry.
At the beginning of her career, Madchen Amick managed to get a big role in the television series ‘Twin Peaks’ which would define her career. She portrayed the role of a waitress who is struggling in an abusive marriage. Amick was nominated at the Soap Opera Digest Awards for ‘Outstanding Supporting Actress: Prime Time’ for her role.
The actress was handed the role of ‘Alice Cooper’ in the teen drama series ‘Riverdale’. She portrayed the character of the mother of ‘Betty Cooper,’ who is one of the main characters from the comics. Amick is also the editor of a local newspaper in the series.
Family & Personal Life
Madchen Amick married David Alexis on 16 December 1992 and has two children with him. Their son, Sylvester Time Amick-Alexis, was born on July 5, 1992, and their daughter, Mina Tobias Amick-Alexis, was born on September 2, 1993.
Mina Tobias Amick-Alexis is a singer who released the single ‘Freedom’ in 2015. She has also made a music video which paid homage to her mother’s most popular work to date, ‘Twin Peaks’.
Amick was named by the Femme Fatales as one of the 50 sexiest sci-fi actresses in 1996, and ten years later in 2006, the same magazine named her one of the 50 sexiest women on the planet.
This actress’ career was largely molded by David Lynch for whom she has great respect and admiration.