Joanna Cassidy

With her lusty laugh and penetrating gaze, Joanna Cassidy manifested an innate intelligence that allowed her to avoid the starlet trap of playing bimbos and girlfriends. Equally adept at comedy, drama and the physical rigors of action-adventure, the titian-haired ex-model scored an early starring role opposite George C. Scott in "The Bank Shot" (1974) but her résumé-building credits were largely in television. Rebounding from the cancellation of her weekly air rescue series "240-Robert" (ABC, 1979-1981), Cassidy joined the cast of Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner" (1982), as an ass-kicking replicant who nearly makes mincemeat of star Harrison Ford. Elevated to the status of leading lady, she was paired with Nick Nolte and Gene Hackman for "Under Fire" (1983), an account of war correspondents swept up in the 1979 Nicaraguan revolution, and with Dabney Coleman for the critically-acclaimed but short-lived NBC sitcom "Buffalo Bill" (1983-84), which netted her a Golden Globe. Key roles in "The Fourth Protocol" (1987), "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" (1989) and "A Vampire in Brooklyn" (1996) kept the actress in the public eye as she matured to more mature parts, most notably as the sexually adventurous widow Margaret Chenowith on HBO's groundbreaking "Six Feet Under" (2001-04). Cassidy showed no inclination to slow down, keeping busy playing a panoply of lusty professional women and domineering mother types on "Boston Legal" (ABC, 2004-08), "HawthoRNe" (TNT, 2009-11) and "Body of Proof" (ABC, 2011-13) while enjoying a hard-won reputation as one of Hollywood's most beloved character actresses.