Shawnee Smith Wiki Bio

Shawnee Smith was born in Orangeburg, South Carolina USA, on 3 July 1969 – her zodiac sign is Cancer, and she holds American nationality. She’s an actress and a singer, perhaps known best for her recurring role in the “Saw” horror movie franchise.

Early life, family and education

Shawnee grew up in California, as she moved there with her family when she was a year old. Her mother, Patricia Ann was an oncology nurse, while her father, James was a former US Air Force pilot, and later worked as a financial planner. They divorced when Shawnee was two years old, and her mother remarried when she was eight.

Shawnee attended Ranchito Avenue Elementary School in Los Angeles, California, and then studied at Madison Jr. High in North Hollywood, Los Angeles. She matriculated from North Hollywood High School in 1987, and hasn’t attended college.

She expressed her acting talent at an early age, appearing in her first play when she was eight, a local production of “A Christmas Carol”. She made her TV debut in 1981, in a McDonald’s commercial entitled “Best Friends”.

Roles in movies

Shawnee joined the Screen Actors Guild at the age of nine, making her film debut in the 1982 comedy drama “Annie”, directed by John Huston and based on the eponymous Broadway play by Martin Charin. In the following years, she had roles in several B-list drama movies, including “Not My Kid” (1985), “Crime of Innocence” (1985) and “Easy Prey” (1986).

Shawnee played her first leading role in 1988,  in the sci-fi horror thriller “The Blob”, centered on an alien entity which crashed on Earth and starts consuming everyone in its path.

In the following year, she starred alongside john Candy and Jeffrey Jones in the hit comedy “Who’s Harry Crumb?” In the early ‘90s, Shawnee went on a three-year-long break from acting, as she had outgrown teenage roles she was previously known for, and had trouble finding work.

Her first film role after her break was in the 1995 drama “The Low Life”, written and directed by George Hickelooper. In the same year, she appeared alongside Nicholas Cage in the Oscar-winning romantic drama “Leaving Las Vegas”, centered on a failed Hollywood screenwriter who arrives in Las Vegas to drink himself to death, but ends up forming an unlikely bond with a prostitute.

In 1998, Shawnee played a supporting role in Michael Bay’s apocalyptic sci-fi adventure “Armageddon”, which starred Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton and Ben Affleck. It was one of the biggest box-office hits of the year, also scoring four Academy Awards nominations, for Best Sound, Sound Effects Editing, Visual Effects, and Best Original Song.

From 2004 to 2009, she played the role of Amanda Young in the first four installments of the “Saw” horror movie franchise, created by James Wan and Leigh Whannel, which centered on fictional serial killer John Kramer, aka ‘Jigsaw’. Her role in the franchise gained her the title of a ‘scream queen’, and she became one of the most recognized actresses in the horror movie genre.

In 2006, she was set to star as Heather Sweet in sci-fi horror rock opera “Repo! The Genetic Opera”, but was eventually replaced by Paris Hilton.

In the following years, she appeared in movies such as “Kill Speed” (2010), “Jayne Mansfield’s Car” (2012) and “Grace Unplugged” (2013). Her latest movie role was in the 2016 holiday drama “Believe”, in which she played the female lead opposite to Ryan O’Quinn. As of late-2021, we are expecting to see Shawnee on the big screen again, in the comedy “Christmas vs. The Walters”, set to premiere on 5th November.

Roles in TV series

Shawnee made her TV series debut in 1984, when she appeared in an episode of the family comedy “Silver Spoons”. In 1986, she had her first recurring role in the sitcom “All Is Forgiven”, which starred Bess Armstrong, Terence Knox and David Alan Grier. In the following years, she appeared in an episode of critically acclaimed series “Murder, She Wrote”, and “X-Files”.

Shawnee Smith

In 1994, Shawnee played Julie Lawry in the mini-series adaptation of Stephen King’s novel “The Stand”. In 1997 and 1998, she played one of the leads in the short-lived comedy “The Tom Show”. She then landed a role in the sitcom “Becker”, created by Dave Hackel, and which starred Ted Danson, Hattie Winston and Terry Farrell. It aired on CBS from November 1998 to January 2004, and followed a small practice doctor, who is constantly annoyed by the people around him.

Her most recent TV series role was in the sitcom “Anger Management”, in which she starred as Jennifer Goodson, the ex-wife of Charlie Sheen’s character; the series is loosely based on the eponymous 2003 movie which starred Jack Nicholson in the leading role. Its first episode was watched by more than 5.7 million people, breaking the record for the most-watched sitcom premiere in cable TV history.

Awards and nominations

In 1987, Shawnee was nominated for a Young Artist Award for Exceptional young Actress Starring in a Television Special or Movie of the Week, for her performance in the critically acclaimed TV drama film “Crime of Innocence”. Two years later, she received another Young Artist Award nomination, for her role in the horror thriller “The Blob”.

In 2007, her work in the “Saw” movie series landed her a nomination for a Scream Award for Most Vile Villain, and an Eyegore Award for Best Actress.

Music career

Aside from acting, Shawnee is also a talented vocalist and a musician, as she plays several instruments. She contributed to soundtracks of a few movies and TV series she also had roles in, including the comedy film “No Vacancy”, the sitcom “Becker” and “Saw III”. Her voice was also featured in the horror films “Catacombs” and “Carnival of the Souls”.

In the early 2000s, she formed the punk/metal band Fydolla Ho, along with the guitarist Rick Battson, bassist Robert Trujillo and vocalist Benji Webbe.

They released their debut album entitled “United” in December 2001, before disbanding in 2004. Shawnee then started working on a solo album, with the help of the producer Chris Goss, but never completed the project.

In 2007, Shawnee and the actress Missi Pyle, formed the country rock duo Smith & Pyle; they met while filming a pilot episode for the ABC sitcom “Travelling in Packs”. The duo released their debut album entitled “It’s OK to Be Happy” in July 2008, produced by Chris Goss. Shawnee and Missi soon founded their own record label, called Urban Prairie Records, but disbanded in 2011, Shawnee stating that the reason was her desire to focus on motherhood and acting work.

In 2019, she provided vocals for Eagles of Death Metal’s cover of Steve Miller Band’s song “Abracadabra”.

Love life and husband

Shawnee has been married twice. Her first husband was the photographer Jason Reposar, whom she married in 1998 during their vacation in Scotland.

They have a daughter together, Verve, who is now a successful filmmaker and a producer. Shawnee and Jason divorced in 2003. Following their separation, she wrote the song “Sugar” about her ex-husband, performed by Smith & Pyle, while his break-up song was called “I Wish You Were Dead”.

In the following year, rumors surfaced about her possible relationship with the guitarist and former member of the rock band Alice in Chains, Jerry Cantrell. They were seen spending time together on several occasions, but the rumors were never confirmed by either of them.

Shawnee married for the second time in 2005 to the musician Kai Matton. A few months later, they welcomed their son Jackson, but their marriage lasted only a year, as they finalized their divorce in 2006.

Shawnee currently appears to be single, and focused on spending time with her family.

Interesting facts

Shawnee was born into a Lutheran family, but converted to Orthodox Christianity in 2013. In the following year she started working on a documentary entitled “Orthodoxy, a Love Story”, which hasn’t been released yet.

In June 2001, Shawnee was featured on the cover of the men’s magazine “Maxim”, but has expressed regret about it in the recent years, estimating that about 80% of her online presence comes from that photoshoot alone.

Although she’s known as a ‘scream queen’, Shawnee has revealed that she is not a big fan of horror movies, and even initially declined the role in the first “Saw” film, because she found the script to be too upsetting.

Appearance, age and net worth

Shawnee is 52 years old. She has long brown hair and brown eyes, is 5ft 3ins (1.6m) tall, and weighs around 120lbs (55kgs).

As of October 2021, her net worth is estimated at more than $3 million.

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