|This article is written from the Real World perspective|
|Born|| Virginia Madsen|
September 11, 1961
|Characters played||Silver Sable|
Madsen was born in Chicago, Illinois to fireman Calvin Madsen and Elaine (née Melson), who was an Emmy-winning playwright, producer, and poet who often works for PBS. She is the sister of actor Michael Madsen. Their paternal grandparents were Danish and they also have Irish and Native American ancestry. He graduated from New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois.
She has a genetic trait, called heterochromia, giving her eyes different colors. Her right eye is all green while her left is part green and part brown.
She started acting in her brother's magic show as his assistant. She would later attend Ted Liss Acting Studio in Chicago and Harand Camp Adult Theater Seminar in Elkart Lake, Wisconsin. She was engaged to actor Billy Campbell when she came to Hollywood.
In the 1980s she became popular from teen movies. Her first real acting job was as Lisa in Class, a 1983 teen sex comedy and later as Princess Irulan in 1984's Dune. In Fire with Fire she became popular as a Catholic schoolgirl who falls in love with a boy from a prison camp. In 1987's Gone she was the sexy romantic interest of Cecil "Stud" Cantrell. She was in the final season of Moonlighting"". Her role in the 1992 film Candyman gave her an award by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films.
In 1989 she married Danny Huston but divoriced in 1992. In 1994 she began a relationship with Antonio Sabato, Jr. who she has a son with named Jack.
Other films she appeared in were The Hot Spot, Third Degree Burn, and the series Unsolved Mysteries. She rose to fame again in The Rainmaker. Critic Roger Ebert said she had a "strong scene" while James Berardeinelli said that "the supporting cast is solid, with turns from…Virginia Madsen as a witness for the plaintiff." Her next big movie was her critically acclaimed performance in the 2004 film Sideways, which sent her into Hollywood's A-list and gave her an Academy Award and Golden Globe.
After that she appeared in Firewall with Harrison Ford, A Prairie Home Companion, The Number 23 with Jim Carrey, and The Astronaut Farmer with Billy Bob Thorton.
She has made appearances on several television series including but not limited to Star Trek: Voyager, CSI: Miami, Dawson's Creek, The Practice, Frasier, and the short-lived Smith.
She is no stranger to voicing comic book characters. In addition to Silver Sable she voiced Hippolyte, the mother of Wonder Woman, in the animated Wonder Woman film.
At the 2009 Sundance Film Festival she was a member of the U.S. Dramatic Jury.