Madeleine Stowe

Madeleine Stowe

Madeleine Marie Stowe Mora was born in Los Angeles. The daughter of an American civil engineer father and a Costa Rican mother, Stowe grew up in Eagle Rock, CA. Before she took up acting, playing the piano was her passion. Beginning at age 10, Stowe trained every day to become a concert pianist, but when her instructor died in 1976, she also stopped playing. Stowe instead studied cinema and journalism at the University of Southern California, and then took up acting at the Solaris Theater in Beverly Hills. She also worked odd jobs at the Solaris, where she met a talent agent who helped her land a minor part on the crime drama "Baretta" (ABC, 1975-78). Stowe followed it up with numerous guest starring roles on popular shows such as the beloved family drama "Little House on the Prairie" (NBC, 1974-1983) where she appeared as a blind painter, the medical series "Trapper John, M.D." (CBS, 1979-1986), and the historical miniseries "The Gangster Chronicles" (NBC, 1981), where she met actor Brian Benben - best known for his role on the groundbreaking HBO series "Dream On" (1990-96) - whom she would marry in 1986. In 1987, Stowe appeared in her first big-budget film feature, the buddy cop comedy "Stakeout" opposite Richard Dreyfuss and Emilio Estevez. She played the ex-wife of an escaped convict who is under the surveillance of two wisecracking cops (Dreyfuss and Estevez), and who finds herself falling for one of them. The movie was a box office and critical hit, and spawned a less-appreciated sequel, "Another Stakeout" (1993), in which Stowe reprised her role. Named one of "The 50 Most Beautiful People in the World" by People magazine in 1994, Stowe steadily established herself as a dramatic actress, albeit initially in damsel-in-distress roles. She played Kevin Costner's tragic love interest in the thriller "Revenge" (1990), and co-starred as Kurt Russell's wife in "Unlawful Entry" (1992). Stowe's breakout role was playing a feisty general's daughter who holds her own against Native American tribes in the wild with the help of Hawkeye (Daniel Day-Lewis) in Michael Mann's award-winning drama "The Last of the Mohicans" (1992). Her critically acclaimed performance in the epic adventure, which grossed more than $75 million worldwide, elevated Stowe from supporting player to an A-list movie star. Stowe next joined the ensemble cast of director Robert Altman's comedy "Short Cuts" (1993), giving one of her most memorable performances as a spunky wife of an adulterous cop (Tim Robbins). Stowe was riveting in her first starring vehicle, the 1994 taut thriller "Blink," as a blind musician who, shortly after recovering her eyesight, faintly sees a serial killer. That same year, Stowe slightly switched gears and turned on the charm as a gun-toting prostitute in the action-Western drama "Bad Girls" opposite Mary Stuart Masterson, Andie MacDowell and Drew Barrymore. In 1995, she went back to her dramatic roots in the post-apocalyptic film "Twelve Monkeys," playing a sympathetic psychiatrist opposite Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt. She rounded out the decade with a starring role opposite John Travolta in the blockbuster hit "The General's Daughter" (1999) where she appeared as a warrant officer investigating the mysterious death of the daughter of a politically ambitious U.S. general. After a successful film career for almost a decade, Stowe's career unexpectedly came to a halt so she could spend more time with Benben and their children. She spent the better part of the 2000s floundering in a handful of TV movies and a few box office flops, including "Avenging Angelo" (2002) opposite Sylvester Stallone and the late Anthony Quinn. In 2007, Stowe starred on the short-lived supernatural drama "Raines" (NBC) about an eccentric cop (Jeff Goldblum) who solves cases with the help of dead crime victims.In 2007, Stowe starred on the short-lived supernatural drama "Raines" (NBC) about an eccentric cop (Jeff Goldblum) who solves cases with the help of dead crime victims. A mid-season replacement that was introduced in March 2007, the show aired a scant seven episodes before it was effectively canceled that April. Meanwhile, Stowe starred in another made-for-television movie, "The Christmas Hope" (Lifetime Television, 2009), playing a mother whose loss of her son (Garth Merkeley) spurs her to devote herself to needy children despite the strain put upon her marriage to her husband (James Remar). Returning to regular series television work, Stowe starred on the highly anticipated drama, "Revenge" (ABC, 2011-15), a loose adaptation of Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo. The series featured Emily VanCamp as a young woman who adopts a new identity and returns to The Hamptons, where she plans to exact her revenge on the people responsible for her father being wrongly implicated in a terrorist plot. Stowe played a rich and powerful matriarch who was once in love with the girl's father, a role that earned her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Drama Series.By Candy Cuenco