Actor/singer songwriter Alicia Witt has had a nearly three-decade long career, starting with her film debut, in 1984, as “Alia” in David Lynch’s science fiction classic, Dune (1984).
Witt was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, to Diane (Pietro), a high school teacher, and Robert Witt, a photographer and science teacher. Her ancestry includes Irish, Italian, French-Canadian, Polish, and English.
Alicia is an accomplished singer/songwriter. A classically-trained pianist for the past five years, she has been performing her original piano-driven rock all across the world, and has opened for Ben Folds Five, Jimmy Webb and John Fullbright. Her self-titled first EP was released on iTunes in 2009 and her Kickstarter-funded first full length album, “Live at Rockwood”, which was recorded at Rockwood Music Hall in NYC, was released following a self-booked national tour in 2012. Witt performed live as the musical guest on CBS’ The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (2005).
In 1994, Witt appeared in the critically-acclaimed Fun (1994), which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival. The film, directed by Rafal Zielinski, depicts a tale of two disturbed young girls whose quest for fun leads them to murder. Witt received the “Special Jury Recognition” Award at Sundance and a nomination for an Independent Spirit Award. In 1998, she starred in Columbia Tristar’s hit horror movie, Urban Legend (1998).
On television, Witt has made guest appearances on the phenomenally successful HBO series, The Sopranos (1999), and the Emmy award-winning Ally McBeal (1997), in which she sang opposite Randy Newman. She previously starred for four seasons, as Cybill Shepherd’s daughter “Zoey”, on the hit CBS sitcom, Cybill (1995).
Witt combined her acting talents, with her skills as a pianist, in the romantic comedy, Playing Mona Lisa (2000). For this role, she won a Best Actress Award at the US Comedy Arts Festival. Alicia made her film debut in 1984 in David Lynch’s Dune (1984), and by age 14, received her high school diploma and moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting full-time. Once in Los Angeles, Lynch cast her in his cult classic television series, Twin Peaks (1990), as “Gersten Hayward”, a part that he had written specifically for Witt. Following this, Lynch utilized Alicia’s talents once again in his HBO trilogy, Hotel Room (1993), in which she portrayed a young woman with a multiple personality disorder, opposite Crispin Glover.
Witt was seen in Paramount’s Last Holiday (2006), with Queen Latifah and Timothy Hutton. She also appeared, opposite Joan Allen, Kevin Costner, Erika Christensen, Evan Rachel Wood and Keri Russell in New Line’s critically-acclaimed film, The Upside of Anger (2005), which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. She is also well-known for her role in the Warner Bros. hit romantic comedy, Two Weeks Notice (2002), opposite Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock.
Witt appeared on-stage in fall 2006 at London’s Royal Court Theatre in Terry Johnson’s “Piano/Forte”. She made her West End debut with Neil LaBute’s “The Shape of Things”. She was also seen on stage in “Dissonance” at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. In April 2013, Alicia performed in the 24 Hour Musicals off-Broadway, for the 3rd time. She has previously taken the stage in the 24 Hour Plays on Broadway and in the West End.
Alicia made her directorial debut with the short film, Belinda’s Swan Song (2006), which she also wrote. The film premiered at the 2006 Rhode Island International Film Festival and was screened at 9 additional festivals around the world, including the Los Angeles International Short Film Festival.
She also appeared in Mr. Holland’s Opus (1995), opposite Richard Dreyfuss, as clarinet player “Gertrude Lang”, as well as Four Rooms (1995) (Miramax), with Tim Roth, Madonna, and Lili Taylor, and directed by Quentin Tarantino, Allison Anders, Robert Rodriguez and Alexandre Rockwell. She was also seen in the John Waters film, Cecil B. DeMented (2000), with Stephen Dorff and Melanie Griffith, as well as director Cameron Crowe’s Vanilla Sky (2001), opposite Tom Cruise.
Other film credits include Mike Figgis’ Liebestraum (1991), starring Kevin Anderson; Bodies, Rest & Motion (1993), starring Tim Roth and Bridget Fonda; Bongwater (1998), opposite Luke Wilson; Peep World (2010), with Sarah Silverman, Michael C. Hall and Rainn Wilson; The Pond (2010) with David Morse; and Away from Here (2014), opposite Nick Stahl.
Alicia is on Season 5 of the Emmy-award winning FX series, Justified (2010) with Timothy Olyphant, in which she is heavily recurring as “Wendy Crowe”, the smart and sexy paralegal sister of crime lord “Danny Crowe”, played by Michael Rapaport. The season premiere, in which Alicia is introduced, airs January 5, 2014.
She starred, opposite Peter Bogdanovich and Cheryl Hines, in the independent family dramedy Cold Turkey (2013), in limited theatrical release Nov 15, 2013, following its festival run. She also can be heard on the closing credits song, which she wrote and co-performed with Ben Folds. The music video can be seen at themefrompasadena.com. Alicia will appear that same month in her Hallmark film A Very Merry Mix-Up (2013), in which she stars as a girl who goes home to spend Christmas with her fiancé for the first time, only to discover that she may or may not be about to marry the wrong guy.
She also appeared in Tyler Perry’s feature A Madea Christmas (2013), which was released through Lionsgate theatrically worldwide on December 14, 2013. To round out her trio of holiday films, A Snow Globe Christmas (2013) premieres on Lifetime on December 17. Additionally, she is recurring this year on the ABC series Betrayal (2013), as the long-estranged sister of Sara (Hannah Ware). Her first episode aired Nov. 10.
The critically-acclaimed independent feature film, I Do (2012), opened nationwide in May 2013, after screening at 25 festivals worldwide and winning 10 awards. Alicia has two songs featured in this film as well, including her latest single, ‘Do It’.
In 2012, she was in the Samuel Goldwyn film Cowgirls ‘n Angels (2012), with ‘James Cromwell’, which premiered at the Dallas Film Festival and opened on May 25, 2012. She appeared in the Emmy award-winning series finale of Friday Night Lights (2006) on NBC, in which she reprised her Season 4 role as Becky’s mom “Cheryl”, and recurred on CBS’ The Mentalist (2008) as blind pianist “Rosalind”. Alicia starred, opposite Al Pacino, in the feature film, 88 Minutes (2007), for director Jon Avnet. Witt played a graduate student and teaching assistant with whom Pacino’s character, a forensic psychiatrist, has a complicated relationship. She played “Detective Nola Falacci”, opposite Chris Noth, on NBC’s Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2001) for half a season; she was also featured on the Emmy-award winning CBS comedy, Two and a Half Men (2003), as a teacher-turned-stripper in an episode featuring an extended lap dance that has been viewed nearly 2 million times on YouTube.
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