Best known today as the frequently married, oft divorced, Edie Britt on ABC’s “Desperate Housewives,” and to an older audience as Paige Matheson on “Knots Landing,” Nicollette Sheridan seems to have been born to make her name starring in at least two generations worth of nighttime soaps.
Born Collette Sheridan in England to actress Sally Sheridan in 1963, young Colette was raised by her mother and her stepfather, actor Telly Savalas (a.k.a., “Kojak”). Savalas appears to have been very close to her, and she is said to speak fluent Greek. At age 15, she became the girlfriend of teen idol Leif Garrett. Her parents, apparently none too strict, allowed her to live with Garrett at home. The pair stayed together until the mid-80s.
Hitting the States to make her name in show business, the re-christened Nicolette’s first break came, naturally, from a nighttime soap opera —1984’s short-lived “Paper Dolls.” That was followed by the ultra-sexy title role in the teen romantic comedy, “The Sure Thing,” directed by Rob Reiner, and starring John Cusack and Daphne Zuniga. Though the film was a hit, work after that was sporadic until 1989, when she was cast in a recurring role as a sexy ingénue late in the run of “Knots Landing,” a popular spin-off of the mega-soap “Dallas.” She was made a regular and stayed with the show until its cancellation in 1993. That was also the year she divorced her husband of two years, “L.A. Law” star Harry Hamlin, and began seeing annoying balladeer Michael Bolton.
After that, her career was not exactly meteoric. A 1996 starring role in the Leslie Nielsen spoof comedy, “Spy Hard,” didn’t help all that much, nor did her lead role in the Chris Farley vehicle, “Beverly Hills Ninja.” Nicollette went back to television, starring in several soapy TV movies. In 1998, there was another significant disappointment when Nicollette lost the part of Grace in the sitcom, “Will & Grace,” to Debra Messing. The fact that a few years later she would guest star in a 2003 episode of the hugely successful comedy was probably cold comfort. By 2004, Nicollette would nevertheless land an important role on another phenomenally successful show, the controversial tongue-in-cheek soap, “Desperate Housewives.”
Her career in a higher gear, Nicollette made waves in a notorious “Monday Night Football” opening skit in which she successfully seduces wide receiver Terrell Owens by dispensing with a towel in a locker room. The skit attracted flack from the usual quarters, and her clothing choices attracted jeers from self-appointed couture king, Mr. Blackwell. Others found fault with some apparent plastic surgery. Still, she was an official TV star, and in 2005, Nicollette was nominated for a Golden Globe. But her personal life was attracting attention, too. An engagement to a little-known Swedish actor and personal trainer ended badly, and Nicollette returned to “Office Space” laughingstock Michael Bolton, to whom she is now engaged.
Perhaps inspired by all the gossipy Sturm und Drang, she spoke of stress and moving to a farm to breed horses with Bolton, leaving many to speculate that she may have wanted to quit the show. That began to look like a very serious possibility when, at the end of the 2006 season, Edie Britt became desperate indeed and hanged herself. But “Desperate Housewives” fans were relieved to learn that summer that Edie had apparently been saved from her suicide attempt, when producers signed Nicollette up for another season of romantic hi-jinks and vicious cat fighting.
Nicollette Sheridan on the Web
Nicollette Sheridan at Maxim
Nicollette Sheridan was already making a name for herself before 'Desperate Housewives.' The self-described "strong woman" put together a strong gallery for the good people at Maxim.
An online database of Nicollette’s career.
Photos, bio, and news, as well as Nicollette’s latest TV appearances
Register your opinions on Nicollette and Edie here. Also, some nice shots from recent award shows here.
More about Nicollette.
Photos and links to Nicollette’s movies, plus more on her upcoming films and a detailed bio.
Nicollette Sheridan on the Screen
Clearly Nicollette’s onscreen career hasn’t always been charmed, but she’s had her moments. An appearance in the 2007 Cedric the Entertainer spy comedy, “Code Name: The Cleaner,” shows her deadpan talents and, nearing her mid-forties, her smoking hot, three-fourths naked body. There are some things that can’t be faked with CGI and body doubles, right? (For the time being you can investigate for yourselves on YouTube.)
On the irony of beauty:
"I grew up feeling like the ugly duckling, and things have not changed that much. For some reason, Hollywood seems to have painted me as a gorgeous vixen at times or the sweet girl. I don't get it."
On the biz:
“I think I've been very lucky. A lot of this business is being in the right place at the right time with the right thing.”
On being hot in the digital age:
“Someone told me there was this website with my head on other people's naked bodies doing lewd, crude, and totally unacceptable things. I guess at one point I've got to get around to suing them. But the real drag of it was that my body is much better than their bodies.”