Veronica Cartwright is an English-born American actress who is popular for her roles in science-fiction films like ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ and ‘Alien’. She has spent almost sixty years in the film and television industry, making a name for herself with over 140 credits under her belt. Over the course of her lengthy career, she has managed to create a niche for herself despite seldom playing the leading character in films or television shows. Her most notable works in films and television shows include ‘Daniel Boone ‘, ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’, ‘Alien’, ‘The Witches of Eastwick’, ‘Tanner '88’, ‘L.A. Law’, ‘The X-Files’, and ‘Resurrection’. Till date, the ‘Alien’ actress has been nominated for several awards—an indication of her powerful acting skills in critically acclaimed roles throughout her career.
Veronica Cartwright started her career as a child artist in 1958, appearing in the Cinemascope and DeLuxe Color film ‘In Love and War’. She then appeared in small roles in several television shows, making her TV debut in 1959 in ‘Zane Grey Theater’ as ‘Sarah Butler’. She appeared in the American television sitcom ‘Leave It to Beaver’ in two episodes, ‘The Tooth’ and ‘Beaver and Violet’, portraying the character of ‘Violet Rutherford’.
She appeared in the 1961 American drama film ‘The Children's Hour’ which was initially released with the title ‘The Loudest Whisper’. In 1963, she received an offer which changed her fortunes for the better. It was an offer from the legendary director Alfred Hitchcock to appear in his horror-thriller film ‘The Birds’ which was based on the story of the same title by Daphne du Maurier. Veronica played the character of ‘Cathy Brenner’ in the film and appeared alongside Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren, Jessica Tandy, and Suzanne Pleshette.
The success of the film ‘The Birds’ and the experience of working with Hitchcock improved her credentials as an actress following which she received several interesting offers. However, in the next decade she acted mostly on television and did not appear in many films.
She was offered the role of ‘Jemima Boone’ in the American action-adventure television series ‘Daniel Boone’. She appeared in the show between 1964 and 1966, acting alongside Fess Parker, Patricia Blair, and Ed Ames. Veronica Cartwright was awarded a regional Emmy for her stellar performance in the television-movie ‘Tell Me Not in Mournful Numbers’ (1964).
After a break of almost ten years from the film industry, she returned to appear in some iconic films in her career. She appeared in the 1978 American science fiction horror film ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’, alongside Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum and Leonard Nimoy. The film was a remake of the 1956 original based on the novel ‘The Body Snatchers’ by Jack Finney.
A year later she appeared in another science fiction film ‘Alien’, directed by Ridley Scott. She was initially picked to play the character of ‘Ripley’ but at the last moment, the director gave her the character of ‘Lambert’ and the lead character went to Sigourney Weaver. However, lead character or not, Veronica again proved her worth and won the Saturn Award for ‘Best Supporting Actress’.
Over the years she appeared in several films including the comedy-fantasy film ‘ The Witches of Eastwick’ for which she earned a nomination at the Saturn Awards, ‘Mirror, Mirror 2: Raven Dance’, ‘Flight of the Navigator’, ‘Money Talks’, ‘Scary Movie 2’, and ‘Straight-Jacket’. She appeared in many television shows and television films in lead and supporting roles in the last two decades.
The coming decades saw her performing in various films and TV shows, such as ‘The Mod Squad’, ‘Miami Vice’, the hugely popular American action drama series ‘Baywatch’, ‘Tanner '88’, ‘L.A. Law’, the medical drama television series ‘ER’, ‘The X-Files’, ‘Chicago Hope’, the American police procedural legal crime-drama television series ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’, and ‘Invasion’.
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Veronica A. Cartwright, popularly known as Veronica Cartwright, was born in Bristol, England on April 20, 1949. She grew up in Los Angeles with her sister Angela Cartwright (also an actress by profession).
She has been thrice married. Her first marriage was with Richard Gates in 1968, which ended in a divorce in 1972. She later married Stanley Goldstein in 1976 and divorced him in 1980. Finally she married Richard Compton, an American actor, and director, in 1982; together they had a son, Dakota Compton. They remained married until Richard died on August 11, 2007.