ALSO: Click here for our interview with Alicia Witt.
Alicia Witt's role as Police Detective Nola Falacci on "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" might be temporary, but she's bound to be remembered once she leaves. This little redheaded girl isn't easy to forget. If ever someone came into the world with insurance against an ordinary life, it was Alicia. Born in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1975 to two schoolteacher parents, she showed remarkable intelligence and talent at an extremely early age, learning to read by the time she was two. At age five she was on ABC's "That's Incredible" – she had memorized all of "Romeo and Juliet."
In 1984, oddball auteur David Lynch chose the nine-year-old to appear as Paul Atreides' little sister in his ill-fated version of "Dune." The movie famously bombed and not much happened in her acting career for the next several years. But Alicia kept busy. Home schooled, she was a high school graduate by age 14 as well as an accomplished classical pianist. Not one to wait around, Alicia reportedly moved to Los Angeles on her own, supporting herself by playing piano in a tiny Beverly Hills hotel. Meanwhile, her mother Diane Witt, was listed several years running in the "Guinness Book of World Records" for having the world's longest hair. We all have our special talents.
In 1990, David Lynch helped restart Alicia's acting career with a part he specially created for her in the second season of his groundbreaking art-soap, "Twin Peaks." After that, she appeared in a string of mostly small budget, director-driven films, starting with a role in "Liebestraum" for Mike Figgis, the Alison Anders segment of the omnibus film, "Four Rooms" (costarring with Madonna), and the first film directed by Alexander Payne ("Election," "Sideways"), "Citizen Ruth" starring Laura Dern.
By 1995, things were starting to take a more upscale direction. First, Alicia learned to play clarinet for her role in the very mainstream family drama, "Mr. Holland's Opus." In 1997, she was cast as Cybill Shepherd's obnoxious daughter, Zoey, for four seasons of the sitcom "Cybill." While working on "Cybil," she met her longtime boyfriend, future television star Peter Krause ("Six Feet Under," "Dirty Sexy Money"). After that, she continued mixing indie and mainstreams parts, including the role of a porn star in the John Waters comedy, "Cecil B. Demented," as a Hollywood "D-Girl" on an episode of "The Sopranos," a small role in "Vanilla Sky," and as Kriemhild, a character from Norse mythology, in the Sci-Fi' channels non-operatic version of "Ring of the Nibelungs."
The following year she appeared as a nervous bride in the Oscar-nominated "The Upside of Anger," alongside Joan Allen and Kevin Costner. Another major comedy role followed in 2006 when she was cast in the Queen Latifah vehicle, "Last Holiday." 2007 started out with a big disappointment, however, when her starring role with Al Pacino in the thriller "88 Minutes" apparently didn't thrill anyone, going straight to video. Now joining the ever-growing ranks of "Law & Order" beauties, Alicia's career seems to be on the upswing. But even if it doesn't continue that way, she'll be fine. She's a beautiful super-genius. There'll always be a demand for that.
Alicia Witt on the Web
An online database of Alicia's career.
Photos, news and Alicia's latest TV appearances
All about Alicia.
Photos and links to Alicia's movies, plus more on her upcoming films and a detailed bio.
A fan site.
Hiss and Pop
A few semi-revealing shots of Alicia in all her auburn glory.
Alicia Witt on the Screen
Alicia was all-too believable as a nervous young bride who meltdowns after being told she has a plump face in "The Upside of Anger." However, since we've been around Tinseltown a bit ourselves, we also have a special place in our heart for her role as a sexy development executive who gives Christopher Moltisanti agita in "D-Girl" episode. She certainly brought back memories.
On being the little redheaded girl:
"In my fantasy I was always the savior. I would come to 'Peanuts' land and save everybody. Charlie Brown would fall madly in love with me. Peppermint Patty was so jealous."
On good roles:
"I like to play any character that allows me the freedom to explore it and teach the audience something they didn't know, and show them a journey they identify with...or be inspired, or moved. Anything that touches someone's heart is important for me."
On why Peter Krause might be jealous, but really shouldn't be:
"It occurred to me the other day that I've made out with more people on camera than I have in real life!"