(written from a Production point of view)
Virginia Madsen (born 11 September 1961; age 60) is the Academy Award- and Golden Globe-nominated actress who played Kellin in the Star Trek: Voyager fourth season episode "Unforgettable". She was born in Chicago, Illinois, and graduated from New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois. She is the sister of veteran actor Michael Madsen. She was married to actor/director Danny Huston from 1989-1992, and was engaged to actor Antonio Sabato, Jr..
Madsen made her film debut in 1983, co-starring with Star Trek Generations actor Alan Ruck in the comedy Class. The following year, she played Princess Irulan in the cult science fiction epic Dune. Also starring in this film were Star Trek: The Next Generation actor Patrick Stewart, fellow VOY guest actor Brad Dourif, and Star Trek: Enterprise guest star Dean Stockwell.
Her next film was the 1985 science fiction romantic comedy Creator, which co-starred Jeff Corey, Michael McGrady, David Ogden Stiers, Kenneth Tigar, and Ian Wolfe, with Ellen Geer portraying Madsen's mother. Madsen then acquired some popularity with her starring role in the 1986 drama Fire with Fire, which also featured her VOY co-star Tim Russ. The following year, she worked with another VOY regular, Robert Beltran, in the film Slam Dance (co-starring Rosalind Chao, Herta Ware, and John Fleck). She has also co-starred with TNG guest actor Clayton Rohner in two films: 1986's Modern Girls (with Cameron Thor, Stuart Charno, and Mark Holton) and 1994's Caroline at Midnight (with Clayton Rohner, Zach Galligan, Jay Baker, Doug Wert, and Kirk Baily. In the 1987 horror film Zombie High Virginia starred with Richard Cox and Kay E. Kuter.
Madsen is well-known for her starring role in the 1992 horror thriller Candyman, in which she co-starred with fellow Star Trek alumni Tony Todd and Tom Towles. She won a Saturn Award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films for her performance in this film. Some of her other genre films include Highlander II: The Quickening (1991) and The Prophecy (1995). Her other films during the late 1980s and early 1990s include 1988's Mr. North (with David Warner) and Hot to Trot (with Jim Metzler, Donald Hotton, Robert Towers, George D. Wallace, and Vyto Ruginis), 1989's Heart of Dixie (with Kurtwood Smith and Barbara Babcock), and 1990's The Hot Spot (with William Sadler and Leon Rippy).
In 1996, she co-starred with Whoopi Goldberg, Susanna Thompson, Bill Smitrovich, Terry O'Quinn, Richard Riehle, Bill Cobbs, Thomas Kopache, and the late Brock Peters in the drama Ghosts of Mississippi. Also in 1996, Madsen had an uncredited role in Tales from the Crypt: Bordello of Blood, starring William Sadler and Chris Sarandon and featuring a cameo by Whoopi Goldberg. The following year, Madsen and her Dune co-star and fellow Trek guest actor Dean Stockwell had roles in the legal drama The Rainmaker.
Madsen co-starred with William Sadler in the 1998 film Ambushed and had a supporting role in the big-budget 1999 horror remake of The Haunting (with Michael Cavanaugh) and starred with noted actor James Coburn in his final film, 2002's American Gun. In 2003, she appeared in the comedy film Nobody Knows Anything!, as did Paul Dooley and Ed Lauter.
Madsen is currently best known for her Academy Award- and Golden Globe-nominated performance as Maya in the acclaimed 2004 comedy drama Sideways. Following her success in this film, she starred in the Harrison Ford thriller Firewall and in Robert Altman's A Prairie Home Companion, both released in 2006. In 2007, she worked with John Billingsley and Denise Crosby in the film Ripple Effect, which Madsen executive produced. That same year, she starred in The Astronaut Farmer with Billy Bob Thornton and in the Joel Schumacher thriller The Number 23 with Jim Carrey and TNG guest actor Ed Lauter.
More recently, Madsen starred in the 2009 supernatural thriller The Haunting in Connecticut and played the title character's mother in the upcoming horror-thriller Red Riding Hood. In the animated 2009 direct-to-DVD feature Wonder Woman (based on DC Comics characters), Madsen was the voice of Hippolyta, the mother of Wonder Woman (voiced by Keri Russell).
She debuted on television in American Playhouse, but Madsen's first major TV role was in the three part miniseries Mussolini: the Untold Story in 1985. She played Claretta Petacci, the mistress and obsessive lover of Mussolini, who eventually gets lynched with him. The Series was Nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards.
Besides her appearance on Star Trek: Voyager, Madsen has made guest appearances on several other television shows. In 1989, she had a recurring role as Maddie Hayes' sister, Annie Charnock, on the drama series Moonlighting. That same year, Madsen appeared in the music video for Michael Jackson's song "Liberian Girl", along with Whoopi Goldberg.
Ten years later, Madsen recurred as Cassandra Stone on the NBC situation comedy series Frasier, which starred Kelsey Grammer. Her last appearance on the show, in the two-parter "Shoutout in Seattle", also featured Dan Butler, Patrick Kerr, and Saul Rubinek. In 2001 Madsen appeared in two episodes of The Practice, along with Bill Smitrovich.
Madsen made an uncredited appearance on the cult science fiction series Earth 2, starring Clancy Brown and Terry O'Quinn. She has also guest-starred on Dawson's Creek, CSI: Miami, and Neal McDonough's Boomtown (with Vanessa Williams). In addition, Madsen has starred in numerous made-for-TV movies, notably The Hearts and Davies Affair in 1985 (co-starring Fritz Weaver), Long Gone in 1986 (with Henry Gibson), Ironclads in 1991 (again working with Fritz Weaver), A Murderous Affair: The Carolyn Warmus Story in 1992 (with Robert Picardo and Chris Sarandon), Bitter Vengeance in 1994 (with Tim Russ and Bruce Greenwood), and Just Ask My Children in 2001 (with Casey Biggs, John Billingsley, and Armin Shimerman).
During the 2006-2007 season, Madsen was a regular on the short-lived CBS action drama series Smith. In 2009, she appeared as journalist T.K. Jensen in three episodes of the USA Network series Monk, the first of which also guest-starred John Carroll Lynch. In 2010, Madsen starred in the ABC series Scoundrels, on which Jessica Collins and Dina Meyer have had recurring roles. She currently has a recurring role on ABC's Designated Survivor.