Kristen Noel Swanson
Her first starring role was in Wes Craven's horror film Deadly Friend (1986), followed by her portrayal of Catherine "Cathy" Dollanganger in the film adaptation of V. C. Andrews's Flowers in the Attic (1987). Swanson also starred in several films, including Hot Shots! (1991), The Program (1993), The Chase (1994), 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag (1997), Big Daddy (1999), and Dude, Where's My Car? (2000), and appeared in Pretty in Pink (1986) and Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986).
Swanson was born and raised in Mission Viejo, California. At the age of nine, she expressed interest in acting to her parents, and began pursuing roles in television commercials. She landed her first job appearing in a doll house commercial, which was followed with several more commercial appearances.
Swanson began her acting career at The Actors Workshop with R. J. Adams and promptly moved into TV advertising roles and several one-off appearances in TV series such as Cagney and Lacey and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. In 1986, she debuted on the big screen in two John Hughes films: Pretty In Pink, in a non-speaking cameo, and Ferris Bueller's Day Off as a character who announces a convoluted excuse for Ferris' absence in class. Her first starring role was later in 1986, in Wes Craven's Deadly Friend as Samantha – "the girl next door." The next year she played Cathy in the adaptation of V. C. Andrews' best-seller, Flowers in the Attic.
Swanson described how she was cast in Pretty in Pink: "[Writer] John Hughes said, 'We're re-shooting the end of Pretty in Pink. I was wondering if you would come be in this scene with our main character, Ducky, because the way we tested it in the movie theater, it didn't work. We need him to end up with somebody else at the end of the movie. So would you play the part?'"
By 1990, Swanson had made many television appearances, including multiple appearances in Knots Landing (1987–1988), Nightingales (1989), her first starring role in a TV series, although it only lasted a season, and a short-lived Burt Reynolds television series called B.L. Stryker (1989).
Throughout the 1990s, she starred mostly in films. She played the title role in the 1992 movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Although not a hit at the box office originally, it had a profitable rental life. She appeared in both starring and supporting roles in movies such as Hot Shots!, The Program, The Chase, or her most critically acclaimed role, playing Kristen Connor, a student discovering her sexuality, in John Singleton's Higher Learning. She also appeared in the film adaptation of the comic-book The Phantom and the dark comedy 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag with Joe Pesci. Most of these films failed at the box office and she reverted to TV work in the late 1990s.
In the 1998–99 season of Early Edition, Swanson played Erica Paget, a love interest of the main character, Gary Hobson. In 1999, Swanson played Vanessa, the ex-girlfriend of Adam Sandler in the movie Big Daddy. In 2000, she returned to a television series, as the star of Grapevine, a revamp of a 1992 TV series that was canceled after five episodes. The same year, she starred in the successful movie Dude, Where's My Car?, alongside Ashton Kutcher, Seann William Scott and Jennifer Garner.
Swanson made a cameo appearance in the "Don't You Forget About Me" episode of One Tree Hill, which aired on February 1, 2010. The episode was a homage to John Hughes as Swanson appeared in two films produced by him in the 1980s.
In 2018, she was cast in the lead role in Hallmark Channel original movie Winter's Dream along with other TV projects. She also appeared in a Hallmark Christmas movie called A Christmas Wish (2011).
In May 2021 Swanson announced a scheduled release date of 15 June for the Jennifer Nichole Lee and Paul Schneider collaboration, Just Another Dream. She co-stars with long-time friend Dean Cain.
Swanson is a Republican. Swanson said that she and fellow actor Dean Cain received death threats for taking part in Obamagate, a stage play that focused on Donald Trump, due to their support of Trump.
|1986||Mr. Boogedy||Jennifer Davis||Disney TV film and Pilot|
|1986||Pretty in Pink||Duckette|
|1986||Ferris Bueller's Day Off||Simone Adamson|
|1986||Deadly Friend||Samantha Pringle|
|1987||Flowers in the Attic||Catherine "Cathy" Dollanganger|
|1990||Dream Trap||Sue Halloran|
|1990||Diving In||Terry Hopkins|
|1991||Mannequin Two: On the Move||Jessie|
|1991||Highway to Hell||Rachel Clark|
|1992||Buffy the Vampire Slayer||Buffy Summers|
|1993||The Program||Camille Shafer|
|1994||The Chase||Natalie Voss|
|1994||Getting In||Kirby Watts|
|1995||Higher Learning||Kristen Connor|
|1995||The Chili Con Carne Club||Julie||Short film|
|1996||The Phantom||Diana Palmer|
|1997||8 Heads in a Duffel Bag||Laurie Bennett|
|1997||Lover Girl||Darlene Ferrari / "Sherry"|
|1998||Ground Control||Julie Albrecht|
|2000||Meeting Daddy||Laurel Lee|
|2000||Dude, Where's My Car?||Christie Boner|
|2001||Soul Assassin||Tessa Jansen|
|2003||Silence||Dr. Julia Craig|
|2005||Bound by Lies||Laura Cross||Video|
|2005||Six Months Later||Linda||Short film|
|2006||Living Death||Elizabeth Harris||Video|
|2009||The Closer||Kaitlyn||Short film|
|2010||What If...||Wendy Walker|
|2012||Little Women, Big Cars||Rocky|
|2013||The Bouquet||Terri Benton|
|2013||Storm Rider||Jody Peterson||Video|
|2014||Beethoven's Treasure Tail||Anne Parker||Video|
|2014||A Belle For Christmas||Daniella Downy||Video|
|2015||Angels in the Snow||Judith Montgomery||Video|
|2017||A Parent's Worst Nightmare||Kathrin||Television film|
|2017||A Mother's Sacrifice||Joanna|
|1984||It's Your Move||Laura||Episode: "Love Letters"|
|1985||Call to Glory||Sally||Episodes: "JFK: Parts 1 & 2"|
|1985||Cagney & Lacey||Stephanie Brandon||Episode: "On the Street"|
|1985||Joan Rivers and Friends Salute Heidi Abromowitz||Young Heidi Abromowitz|
|1986||Alfred Hitchcock Presents||Female Student #2||Episode: "The Gloating Place"|
|1986||Miracle of the Heart: A Boys Town Story||Stephanie Gamble||Television film|
|1986||Mr. Boogedy||Jennifer Davis||Television film (ABC)|
|1986||The Hogan Family||Linda Perkins||Episode: "The Big Fix-Up"|
|1987||Juarez||Cathy Dodge||Television film|
|1987||Growing Pains||Rhonda||Episode: "Thank God It's Friday"|
|1987||Not Quite Human||Eron Jeffries||Television film (ABC)|
|1987–1988||Knots Landing||Jody Campbell||Recurring role (8 episodes)|
|1988||The Loner||Sherry Spicer||Television film|
|1988||Nightingales||Rebecca "Becky" Granger||Television film (NBC)|
|1989||Nightingales||Rebecca "Becky" Granger||Main role (13 episodes)|
|1989||B.L. Stryker||Lynn Ellingsworth||Episodes: "The Dancer's Touch", "Blues for Buder"|
|1996||Marshal Law||Lilly Nelson||Television film (Showtime)|
|1997||Bad to the Bone||Francesca Wells||Television film (ABC)|
|1998–1999||Early Edition||Erica Paget||Main role (20 episodes)|
|1999||Supreme Sanction||Jenna||Television film (HBO)|
|2000||Grapevine||Susan Crawford||Regular role (5 episodes)|
|2001||Untitled Charles Randolph Project||TV pilot|
|2001||Zebra Lounge||Louise Bauer||Television film|
|2003||Just Shoot Me!||Allison Cavanaugh||Episode: "There's Something About Allison"|
|2003||Red Water||Dr. Kelli Raymond||Television film (TBS)|
|2004||CSI: Miami||Roxanne Price||Episode: "Complications"|
|2005||Forbidden Secrets||Alexandra Kent Lambeth||Television film|
|2006||The Black Hole||Shannon Muir||Television film (Syfy)|
|2007||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Lorelai Mailer||Episode: "Bombshell"|
|2008||3Way||Leslie Lapdalulu||Episodes: "Fatal Distraction: Parts 1 & 2", "The Dinah Monologues"|
|2009||Hell's Kitchen||Herself||Season 6 Episode 4: "13 Chefs Compete"|
|2010||One Tree Hill||Woman in Car||Episode: "Don't You Forget About Me"|
|2011||Swamp Shark||Rachel Bouchard||Television film (Syfy)|
|2011||A Christmas Wish||Martha Evans||Television film (Hallmark)|
|2011–2014||Psych||Marlowe Viccellio||Recurring role (6 episodes)|
|2012||Operation Cupcake||Janet Carson||Television film|
|2014||A Lesson in Romance||Megan Mills||Television film (PixL)|
|2014||Merry Ex-Mas||Noelle||Television film (ION)|
|2015||Driven Underground||Sarah Palmer||Television film (Lifetime)|
|2015||Angels in the Snow||Judith Montgomery||Television film (UP)|
|2018||Bad Stepmother||Louise||Television film (Lifetime)|
|2018||Winter's Dream||Kat||Television film (Hallmark)|
|2019||SEAL Team||Julia Logan||Episodes: "Payback", "Medicate and Isolate", "Rock Bottom"|
Awards and nominationsEdit
- 1989: Young Artist Award for Best Young Actress in a Horror or Mystery Motion Picture – Flowers In The Attic
- 1988: Young Artist Award for Best Young Female Superstar in Motion Pictures – Deadly Friend
- 1987: Young Artist Award for Exceptional Young Actress Starring in a Television Special or Movie of the Week – Mr. Boogedy
- 1986: Young Artist Award for Best Young Actress – Guest in a Television Series – Cagney & Lacey episode "On The Street"
- O., Jimmy (July 24, 2015). "Where in the Horror are they Now? Kristy Swanson". Arrow in the Head. Retrieved December 28, 2015.
- Vanderknyff, Rick (July 31, 1992). "Will 'Buffy' Role Slay 'Em? : Mission Viejo's Kristy Swanson Is No Stranger to Outrageous Parts". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
- "Kristy Swanson, Lead Role in 1992 Film "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"—Guest 06/04/2015". kenboxerlive.com. June 4, 2015. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
- Benet, Lorenzo (February 7, 2009). "Kristy Swanson and Lloyd Eisler Get Married!". PEOPLE.com. Retrieved December 7, 2020.
- Swanson, Kristy [@kristyswansonxo] (August 16, 2017). "I've always been a proud republican" (Tweet). Retrieved April 24, 2019 – via Twitter.
- Moniuszko, Sara M. (May 23, 2019). "Pro-Trump star Kristy Swanson: Dean Cain and I got 'death threats' over play". USA Today. Retrieved December 27, 2019.
- "Video: Crowning Jules Trailer". Brian Harrington. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
- "Kristy Swanson - A Lesson in Love - Cast - Hallmark Channel".
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