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Joanna Cassidy

Joanna Cassidy in 2007
Born Joanna Virginia Caskey
August 2, 1945 (1945-08-02) (age 64)[1]
Haddonfield, New Jersey, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1968—present
Spouse(s) Dr. Kennard C. Kobrin (1964-1974) (divorced) 2 children
Official website

Joanna Cassidy (born August 2, 1945) is an American actress, known for her various roles in film and television.[1]

Life and career

Cassidy was born Joanna Virginia Caskey in Haddonfield, New Jersey, the daughter of Virginia and Joe Caskey.[2]

At an early age, Cassidy was involved in painting and sculpture and went on to major in art at Syracuse University in New York. During her time there, she married Kennard C. Kobrin in 1964, a doctor in residency, and found work as a fashion model. The couple moved to San Francisco, where her husband set up a psychiatric practice whilst Cassidy continued modeling. The couple later had two children, a son and a daughter. Following their divorce in 1974, Cassidy decided to move to Los Angeles in a bid for an acting career.

Cassidy started her acting career appearing in television series such as Mission: Impossible, Starsky & Hutch, and Taxi. She co-starred in the 1978 film Our Winning Season. Her first regular role was in the 1979 action-adventure series 240-Robert, though the series only lasted for two seasons. Afterwards, Cassidy continued to appear in guest roles in series such as Dallas, Falcon Crest, as well as a regular role in the short-lived 1983 sitcom Buffalo Bill (for which she earned a Golden Globe Award).

In 1982, Cassidy had her first major feature film role as the replicant Zhora in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner.[3] The following year, she co-starred in Under Fire with Gene Hackman and Nick Nolte. She continued to appear in both films and television, and co-starred in the television mini-series Hollywood Wives (1985), The Fourth Protocol (1987), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), The Package (1989), Where the Heart Is (1990), and Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead (1991), In 1993, she co-starred with Dudley Moore in the sitcom Dudley, but the series only lasted for six episodes. She also appeared opposite James Garner, playing his ex-wife, in the 1994 television movie The Rockford Files: I Still Love L.A. Her other screen credits from this era include Barbarians at the Gate (1993), the 1993 mini-series adaptation of Stephen King's The Tommyknockers, and Wes Craven's Vampire in Brooklyn (1995). Cassidy also provided the voice of Inspector Maggie Sawyer in the WB's series Superman: The Animated Series, and had recurring guest roles on television shows such as LA Law, Melrose Place, Diagnosis Murder and The District.

Since 2000, Cassidy has appeared in the 2001 film Ghosts of Mars directed by John Carpenter, and had a recurring role as Margaret Chenowith on the HBO drama series Six Feet Under for which she was nominated for an Emmy Award. In 2004, she also guest-starred in two episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise as T'Les (the Vulcan mother of Enterprise crewmember T'Pol and she also had a recurring role as Beverly Bridge on the series Boston Legal in 2006. She also voiced the villainess, Hecubah, in the computer game Nox (2000) as well as once again voicing the character of Maggie Sawyer in the 2002 video game Superman: Shadow of Apokolips.

In the spring of 2007, Cassidy donned Zhora's costume once more, 25 years after the release of Blade Runner, in order to recreate a climactic scene from the film for the fall 2007 Final Cut release of the film.[4] In the original 1982 release, a stunt performer played out Zhora's death scene, with the physical differences between the performer and Cassidy very evident (including the stuntperson wearing a different wig). For the Final Cut, Cassidy's head was digitally transposed onto footage of the stunt performer, making the death scene fit continuity. According to the DVD featurette, All Our Variant Futures, it was Cassidy herself who suggested this be done; she is captured on video making the suggestion during filming of a retrospective interview related to Blade Runner.[5]

In the second season of the NBC series Heroes, she is seen in a photo of the twelve senior members of the show's mysterious company. Beyond appearances in photographs, the actress first appeared as Victoria Pratt in the tenth episode of season two, "Truth & Consequences", during which her character was killed off.

In 2008-09, Cassidy appeared in episodes of Ghost Whisperer, Desperate Housewives, Law & Order: UK, and was also seen in the recurring guest role of Amanda Hawthorne, the mother-in-law of Jada Pinkett Smith's eponymous character in the medical drama HawthoRNe.


  1. ^ a b NetIndustries, LLC. (2007). "Joanna Cassidy Biography (1945–)". NetIndustries, LLC.. Retrieved October 1, 2007. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ James Christopher (2007). "Blade Runner: The Final Cut". London: Times Online. Retrieved October 1, 2007. 
  4. ^ Carolyn Giardina (2007). "Cutting a new 'Blade': No bloodshed allowed". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 1, 2007. 
  5. ^ All Our Variant Futures, a featurette in Blade Runner Five-Disc Complete Collector's Edition DVD set, 2007

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