Worked With:

Frank Grillo

Timothy Olyphant

William Forsythe

Hannah Ware

Jim Caviezel

Peter Bogdanovich

Jamie-Lynn Sigler

Tyler Perry

Mark Pellegrino

Simon Baker

Jamie Kennedy

Bailee Madison

Alicia Witt Biography

Home > Actresses > W > Witt, Alicia > Biography

Birth Name: Alicia Witt
Born: 08/21/1975
Birth Place: Worcester, Massachusetts, USA

Born Aug. 21, 1975 in Worcester, MA, Alicia Roanne Witt was precocious beyond all measure, including speaking at one month old and reading/memorizing/reciting Shakespeare by one years of age. As a child prodigy, she made national headlines and sparked multiple magazine pieces, including a memorable spot on "That's Incredible!" (ABC, 1980-84), where the four-year-old Witt performed the famed balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet. Home schooled and gifted in numerous disciplines, Witt had never even seen a movie when David Lynch cast her as a mystical child in his sweeping sci-fi saga "Dune" (1984). Of her many gifts, however, Witt was most passionate about music, demonstrating a world-class talent for piano and building a reputation as one of the most gifted pianists of her generation, winning multiple awards and rankings. After earning her high school diploma at just age 14, Witt decided to pursue an entertainment career, starting with a guest spot on Lynch's "Twin Peaks" (ABC, 1990-91) as a youthful piano prodigy.

Supporting herself by playing piano in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel's lounge, Witt continued to cut her professional acting teeth with a supporting role in the drama "Bodies, Rest & Motion" (1993), but proved what a talented actress she really was with a powerful starring role in "Fun" (1994), the based-on-real-life story of two teenage runaways (Witt and Renée Humphrey) who murder an elderly woman for the thrill of it. Although the film was not a commercial success, it earned enormous critical acclaim, and Witt was awarded a special jury prize from the Sundance Film Festival as well as a Best Debut Performance nomination from the Independent Spirit Awards. Buoyed by her success, the actress went on to essay roles in "Four Rooms" (1995), "Citizen Ruth" (1996) and "Bongwater" (1997), but found her most enduring fame when she was cast as Zoey, the genius daughter of flaky actress "Cybill" (CBS, 1995-98) on Cybill Shepherd's eponymous sitcom.

Earning the lion's share of critical praise along with Christine Baranski's brittle boozehound, Witt became a recognized personality thanks to "Cybill," and shared a nomination for a Screen Actors Guild ensemble award with her co-stars. After the series wrapped, however, Witt struggled to build on her momentum. After landing the female lead in the horror hit "Urban Legend" (1998), she booked a memorable guest spot as a "D-Girl" who considers Christopher's (Michael Imperioli) screenplay on "The Sopranos" (HBO, 1999-2007) and played a crusading adult film actress in John Waters's twisted valentine to filmmaking, "Cecil B. DeMented" (2000). Witt sang with Randy Newman on "Ally McBeal" (Fox, 1997-2002) and took supporting roles in "Vanilla Sky" (2001), "Two Weeks Notice" (2002), "The Upside of Anger" (2005) and "Last Holiday" (2006). Her focus increasingly turned towards her music career and stage performances, with acclaimed turns in productions like "The Shape of Things" and "Piano/Forte." Although she was a seasoned pro as a professional musician who played the works of others, Witt began booking club dates and gaining experience performing her own compositions - a lifelong dream. She released her debut album, 2009's EP Alicia Witt to critical plaudits, while at the same time, continuing to act, notching high-profile recurring roles on "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" (NBC, 2001-07; USA Network, 2007-2011), "Friday Night Lights" (NBC/The 101 Network, 2006-2011) and "The Mentalist" (CBS, 2008- ).

By Jonathan Riggs