Joanna Cassidy (born August 2, 1945) is an American actress. She is known for her roles as the replicant Zhora Salome in Ridley Scott's film Blade Runner (1982) and Dolores in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988). She has won a Golden Globe Award, was nominated for three Emmy Awards and also was nominated for a Saturn Award and Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Cassidy also has starred in films such as Under Fire, The Fourth Protocol, The Package, Where the Heart Is, Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead, Vampire in Brooklyn and Ghosts of Mars. From 2001 to 2005, she played Margaret Chenowith on the HBO drama series Six Feet Under. From 2011 to 2013, she played Joan Hunt on the ABC series Body of Proof. Between 2015 and 2017 she played the role of Candace Von Weber on the Bravo scripted series Odd Mom Out.
Life and career
Cassidy was born Joanna Virginia Caskey in Haddonfield, New Jersey, the daughter of Virginia and Joe Caskey. She attended Haddonfield Memorial High School, and has described herself as being "a rowdy kid" there. She is known for her infectious, howling laugh which can be heard in the film The Laughing Policeman and on her appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.
Cassidy majored in art at Syracuse University. During her time there, she married Kennard C. Kobrin in 1964, a doctor in residency, and found work as a fashion model. The couple moved to San Francisco, where her husband set up a psychiatric practice while Cassidy continued modeling. In 1968, she landed a bit part in Bullitt. Following her divorce in 1974, Cassidy decided to move to Los Angeles.
Cassidy's first film appearance was in The Outfit (1973). She appeared in a 1973 Smokey Bear public service announcement (PSA), and on such television series as Mission: Impossible, Starsky & Hutch and Taxi. She had a small role in Stay Hungry (1976), a film about bodybuilding which featured a young Arnold Schwarzenegger. Cassidy was considered for the role of Wonder Woman for a television series, but lost it to Lynda Carter. She co-starred in the film Our Winning Season (1978). Her first regular role was as sheriff's pilot Morgan Wainwright in the action-adventure series 240-Robert (1979), although the series only lasted for two abbreviated seasons. Afterwards, Cassidy continued to appear in guest roles in series such as Dallas, Falcon Crest, as well as a regular role on the short-lived sitcom Buffalo Bill (1983) (for which she earned a Golden Globe Award). She starred on the short-lived NBC television series Code Name: Foxfire (1985).
In 1982, Cassidy had her first major feature film role as the replicant Zhora Salome in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner. The following year, she co-starred in Under Fire with Gene Hackman and Nick Nolte. She continued to appear in both films and television; she co-starred in the television miniseries Hollywood Wives (1985), and appeared in The Fourth Protocol (1987), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), 1969, The Package (1989), Where the Heart Is (1990) and Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead (1991). In 1993, she co-starred with Dudley Moore on the sitcom Dudley, but the series only lasted for six episodes. She played the ex-wife of James Garner's lead character in the television movie, The Rockford Files: I Still Love L.A. (1994).
Other screen credits from this era include Barbarians at the Gate (1993), the miniseries adaptation of Stephen King's The Tommyknockers (1993), and Wes Craven's Vampire in Brooklyn (1995). Cassidy also provided the voice of Inspector Maggie Sawyer on The WB series Superman: The Animated Series, and had recurring guest roles on television series such as L.A. Law, Melrose Place, Diagnosis: Murder and The District.
Since 2000, Cassidy has appeared in the film Ghosts of Mars (2001) directed by John Carpenter, and had a recurring role as Margaret Chenowith on the HBO drama series Six Feet Under, for which she received an Emmy Award nomination. In 2004, she guest-starred in two episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise as T'Les (the Vulcan mother of Enterprise crewmember T'Pol) and she had a recurring role as Beverly Bridge on the series Boston Legal in 2006. She voiced the villainess, Hecubah, in the computer game Nox (2000) as well as once again voicing the character of Maggie Sawyer in the 2002 video game Superman: Shadow of Apokolips.
In the spring of 2007, Cassidy donned Zhora's costume once more, 25 years after the release of Blade Runner, in order to recreate a climactic scene from the film for the fall 2007 Final Cut release of the film. In the original 1982 release, a stunt performer played out Zhora's death scene, with the physical differences between the performer and Cassidy very evident (including the stuntwoman wearing a different wig). For the Final Cut, Cassidy's head was digitally transposed onto footage of the stunt performer, making the death scene fit continuity. According to the DVD featurette, All Our Variant Futures, it was Cassidy herself who suggested this be done; she is captured on video making the suggestion during filming of a retrospective interview related to Blade Runner.
In the second season of the NBC series Heroes, she is seen in a photo of the twelve senior members of the show's mysterious company. Beyond appearances in photographs, the actress first appeared as Victoria Pratt in the tenth episode of season two, "Truth & Consequences", during which her character was killed.
In 2008–2009, Cassidy appeared in episodes of Ghost Whisperer, Desperate Housewives, Law & Order: UK, and was also seen in the recurring guest role of Amanda Hawthorne, the mother-in-law of Jada Pinkett Smith's eponymous character on the medical drama Hawthorne.
In 2011, Cassidy began to appear in a recurring role on the ABC series Body of Proof as Judge Joan Hunt, the mother of Megan Hunt, Dana Delany's character on the series. The series was canceled by ABC after three seasons in May 2013.
In 2015, Cassidy was cast as a main character in the Bravo scripted series Odd Mom Out. She plays the role of Candace Von Weber, a snobbish Upper East Side socialite and mother-in-law to the show's protagonist Jill Weber (Jill Kargman).
On March 12, 2018, Joanna Cassidy appeared in a 30 minute television interview talk show with Host Ken Boxer on "Ken Boxer Live," taped in Santa Barbara, California.