(written from a Production point of view)
Valerie Wildman (born 6 August 1953; age 67) is the actress who played Nevala in the Star Trek: Voyager fourth season episode "Message in a Bottle". She filmed her scenes on Thursday 2 October 1997, Friday 3 October 1997, and Tuesday 7 October 1997 on Paramount Stage 8, 9, and 16.
Wildman made her film debut in the 1984 Ron Howard directed Splash with Patrick Cronin, Clint Howard, and Bill Smitrovich. Wildman followed this debut with the 1985 Cold War drama The Falcon & the Snowman (with Jerry Hardin). Wildman appeared in the 1986 war film Salvador (with Tony Plana and fellow VOY guest star John Savage). That same year Wildman returned to comedy in Blake Edwards: A Fine Mess (alongside James Cromwell, Castulo Guerra, Darryl Henriques, Keye Luke, and Paul Sorvino). Henriques and Wildman shared in the box office success of their next film, the Jerry Bruckheimer/Don Simpson-produced, Tony Scott-directed Beverly Hills Cop 2 (1987, with Ronny Cox, John Hostetter, Tommy "Tiny" Lister, Jr., and Dean Stockwell). Towards the twilight of the 1980s, Wildman took her first telefilm roles. In 1988, she was in Justin Case (with Molly Hagan, Richard McGonagle, and Kenneth Tigar), Deadline: Madrid (with Marta Dubois), and finally in Break of Dawn, (with Tony Plana and Kamala Dawson).
1980s television guest work
- St. Elsewhere episode "Ties That Bind" (1983, starring Ed Begley, Jr., Ellen Bry, Norman Lloyd, Kavi Raz, and Jennifer Savidge)
- Matt Houston episode "The Beach Club Murders" (1985, with Richard Herd)
- The A-Team episode "Alive at Five" (1986, starring Dwight Schultz and with Dick Durock)
- My Sister Sam episode "And They Said It Would Never Last" (1987, starring Joel Brooks)
- Hunter episode "Turning Point" (1987, with Ed Trotta)
- Jake & the Fatman episode "Snowfall" (1989, with Branscombe Richmond)
- Hardball episode "The Silver Scream" (1989, with Harvey Jason and Megan Parlen)
- Monsters episode "Half as Old as Time" (1989, with Nick Ramus)
Career growth in the 1990s
Wildman took her first big screen role in the sexually-themed police thriller Internal Affairs (1990, with Victoria Dillard and Marco Rodriguez). That same year was the Mafia comedy My Blue Heaven (with Ellen Albertini Dow, Ed Lauter, and Joel Polis). Wildman took her first sci-fi role in Neon City (with Monte Markham) and then was in Dangerous Women (with Paul Carr and Leonard Kelly-Young), both in 1991. The next film in which Wildman appeared was Josh & S.A.M. (1993, with Raye Birk, Ronald Guttman, Brent Hinkley, and Don McManus). Wildman was surrounded by many Trek alumni in 1995's My Family, Mi Familia (with Scott Bakula, Bibi Besch, Bruce Gray, Paul Robert Langdon, and Benito Martinez), then next that year was the fact-based court drama Indictment: The McMartin Trial (alongside Robert Clendenin, James Cromwell, Gregg Daniel, Miriam Flynn, Castulo Guerra, Mary Mara, Scarlett Pomers, and Eileen Seeley), then Fast Company (with Geoffrey Blake and Tim Ryan), and finally the thriller Rumpelstiltskin (with Max Grodénchik in the title role, as well as Sherman Augustus, Mark Holton, and Patrick Massett). In 1996, Wildman was seen in the postal comedy Dear God (with Stephanie Niznik). Wildman then got work in the Tim Burton-directed alien invasion comedy Mars Attacks! (reuniting with Gregg Daniel and along with Michael Reilly Burke, Willie Garson, Jeanne Mori, and Paul Winfield). 1997 saw Wildman surrounded by Skeletons (appearing with Dennis Christopher, David Graf, Julianna McCarthy, and Christopher Plummer). Wildman's final film of the decade and 20th century was Inconceivable (with Martha Hackett).
Beverly Hills 90210
Wildman's most noteworthy television role is that of undercover FBI agent Christine Pettit on the prime-time soap Beverly Hills 90210. Ostensibly, Pettit was the girlfriend of Jack McKay played by Josh Taylor whose ex-wife Iris was portrayed by Stephanie Beacham. Wildman was featured largely in the third season from 1992 to 1993. Her debut was that season's Thanksgiving-themed "The Kindness of Strangers" (1992) (with Clyde Kusatsu and Melanie Smith), then in 1993 was "Back in the High Life Again" (with Ann Gillespie), then "Dead End" (with Gillespie again) in which Pettit was revealed to be a federal law enforcement officer; her final appearance that season was "The Child is Father to the Man" (directed by James Whitmore, Jr., with Miguel Perez). Wildman resumed playing Pettit in the fifth season in the holiday episode "Christmas Comes This Time Each Year" (1994, with Beacham as well as Michael Durrell) and "P.S. I Love You Too" (1995, directed by Victor Lobl). In 2000, Wildman returned in the tenth and final season as Pettit resurfaced in "Eddie Waitkus" (directed by Chip Chalmers) and finally "Ever Heard the One About the Exploding Father?" (directed by Anson Williams, and with Matt Winston).
1990s television guest work
- Freddy's Nightmares episode "Funhouse" (1990, with Clayton Landey)
- Tales From the Crypt episode "Came the Dawn" (starring John Kassir, with Michael J. Pollard)
- Murder, She Wrote episode "Proof in the Pudding" (1994, with Fran Bennett)
- Silk Stalkings episode "Ask the Dust" (1994, starring Charlie Brill, with Christopher Carroll, Bruce Grey, and Constance Towers)
- Tracey Takes On episode "1976" (1996, starring Seymour Cassel)
- Walker, Texas Ranger' episode "El Coyote" (1996, starring Noble Willingham, with Clifton Collins, Jr.)
- Baywatch Nights episode "Backup" (1996, with Scott Thompson Baker)
- High Incident episode "Nobody Walks in El Camino" (1996, starring Titus Welliver, with Lisa Vidal)
- Chicago Hope episode "Positive IDs" (1997, with Ellen Bry)
- Fired Up episode "Are We Not Friends" (1997, executive produced by Kelsey Grammer, starring Jonathan Banks and Sharon Lawrence, with Wendy Schaal)
21st century work
Wildman's first film in this century was 2000's Crime & Punishment in Suburbia (with Brad Greenquist and Marshall Teague), then next that year was the Tom Hanks-led drama Cast Away (with Nan Martin). Wildman got her first telefilm role of the decade in Mystery Woman (2003, with David Bowe and Clarence Williams III). Wildman gained a role in the 2007 period film The Last Sin Eater (with Louise Fletcher).
The other television guest work Wildman received in this decade was on shows produced by Beverly Hills Cop 2 producer Jerry Bruckhemier who, for an entire year, had Wildman on a trio of his television series. First was CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (starring Wallace Langham, reuniting with Nan Martin, and also working with Greg Ellis) in the transgressive "King Baby" (2005). Next in 2006 were Cold Case (co-produced by Voyager star Roxann Dawson) in "Debut" (with fellow VOY guest star Tom Virtue) and then Without A Trace (starring Enrique Murciano) in "The Stranger" (with David Doty).