Fairuza Balk

Fairuza Balk (born May 21, 1974) is an American film actress and musician. She made her theatrical film debut as Dorothy Gale in Disney's 1985 film Return to Oz. Balk also appeared in Valmont, The Craft, The Island of Dr. Moreau, American History X, The Waterboy, Almost Famous, and Personal Velocity: Three Portraits.

Fairuza Balk
Fairuza Balk
Fairuza Balk at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2006
Fairuza Alejandra Feldthouse

May 21, 1974 (age 44)
OccupationActress, musician
Years active1983–present

Early life

Balk was born as Fairuza Alejandra Feldthouse in Point Reyes, California.[1] Until age two, Balk lived in Cloverdale, California with her mother. They then moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, where she began acting at age six. They moved to London and then to Paris for another role. They remained there for six months before returning to Vancouver. Balk moved to Los Angeles as a young woman upon signing to act in The Craft.

Fairuza's mother, Cathryn Balk, has studied, performed, and taught the ethnic and traditional dance forms of many countries including Egypt, Turkey, Morocco, and Spain.[2] Her father, Solomon Feldthouse, was one of the founding members of the 1960s psychedelic rock group Kaleidoscope, and is also a traveling folk musician.[3] He was born in Pingree, Idaho and, between the ages of 6 and 10, lived in Turkey where he learned Greek, Turkish, Iraqi, and Iranian music.[4] Balk has stated that her father is of Romani and Cherokee ancestry, and that her mother is of Irish and French descent.[5][6]


Balk's debut role was in a television film titled The Best Christmas Pageant Ever; it was produced in 1983. While in London, Balk was cast by Walt Disney Productions to star as Dorothy Gale in Return to Oz, the unofficial sequel to MGM's 1939 musical The Wizard of Oz.[7] This role led to other, minor roles, including that of Mildred Hubble in The Worst Witch, and in 1988, at age 14, she moved to Paris to work on Valmont with Miloš Forman. By 1989 she was back in Vancouver, where she attended high school. However, she soon decided to take correspondence courses instead and went back to Hollywood, where she gained increasing notice as an actress. In 1992 she was awarded an Independent Spirit Award as best actress for her performance in the Allison Anders film Gas Food Lodging.

In 1996, she appeared in a lead role in The Craft, in which her character formed a teenage coven with characters portrayed by Neve Campbell, Rachel True and Robin Tunney. Since then, Balk has continued to find roles, primarily dark ones. In 1996, she co-starred in The Island of Dr Moreau. In 1998, played a neo-Nazi goth-punk opposite Edward Norton in American History X, and was featured in The Waterboy, alongside Adam Sandler. Since 2000, she has appeared in over a dozen films and was briefly in a band called G-13. She has also done voice work for animated films, TV shows and video games, including Justice League, Family Guy, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Lords of EverQuest. The 2007 documentary Return to Oz: The Joy That Got Away was dedicated to her.

In 2010, Balk released the single "Stormwinds" under the artist title "Armed Love Militia".

In 2011, Balk began to exhibit art in Los Angeles and New York. On August 4, 2012, she participated in the group show 'MiXTAPE', with other notable artists Mark Ryden, Camille Rose Garcia, Jessicka Addams, and Marion Peck. Artists were asked to pick a song and create art inspired by that song. Fairuza chose the song "Nuages" by Django Reinhardt and created a 16"x20"x12" mixed-media sculpture. The eclectic mix of songs chosen were featured for digital download on iTunes.[8][9][10]

In 2017, the emo puppet band Fragile Rock performed a song entitled "Fairuza Balk" on their NPR Tiny Desk Concert.[11] Balk tweeted that the song was "wonderful and hilarious" and made her year.[12]


Year Title Role Notes
1983 Mr. Mom Babysitter
1985 Return to Oz Dorothy Gale
1986 Discovery Molly
1988 The Outside Chance of Maximilian Glick Celia Brzjinski
1989 Valmont Cecile
1992 Gas Food Lodging Shade Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead
1994 Imaginary Crimes Sonya Weiler
1994 Tollbooth Doris
1995 Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead Lucinda
1996 The Craft Nancy Downs MTV Movie Award for Best Fight (shared with Robin Tunney)
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
1996 The Island of Dr. Moreau Aissa
1997 American Perfekt Alice Thomas
1997 The Maker Bella Sotto
1998 Life in the Fast Lane Mona
1998 American History X Stacey
1998 The Waterboy Vicki Vallencourt
2000 Red Letters Gretchen Van Buren
2000 Almost Famous Sapphire
2002 Personal Velocity: Three Portraits Paula
2002 Deuces Wild Annie
2005 What Is It? Screaming Snail/Insect/Monkey Girl (voice)
2005 Don't Come Knocking Amber
2005 A Year and a Day Lola
2006 Wild Tigers I Have Known Logan's Mom
2008 Humboldt County Bogart
2008 Grindstone Road Hannah
2009 Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans Heidi
2010 Shit Year Message Voice
2013 Dose of Reality Rose
2013 Another Stateside Rifka
2014 Beyond Clueless Narrator
2014 Lost Soul Documentary film
2015 August Falls Anna Ellison
2017 Battle Scars Rifka
2018 Hell Is Where the Home Is The Visitor
Year Title Role Notes
1983 The Best Christmas Pageant Ever Beth Bradley Television film
1985 Deceptions Penny Roberts Television film
1986 The Worst Witch Mildred Hubble Television film
1987 Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton Story Barbara—Age 12 Television film
1991 Deadly Intentions... Again? Stacey Television film
1992 Shame Lizzie Curtis Television film
1992 The Danger of Love: The Carolyn Warmus Story Lisa Television film
1993 Murder in the Heartland Caril Ann Fugate Television film
1994 ZZ Top: Breakaway Vampire Girl Television film
1995 Shadow of a Doubt Angel Harwell Television film
1999 Family Guy Coco (voice) Episode: "Peter, Peter, Caviar Eater"
2000 Family Guy Connie D'Amico (voice) Episode: "Let's Go to the Hop"
2001 The Sopranos Agent Deborah Ciccerone Episode: "Army of One" (original airing only)
2003 Justice League Penny Dee (voice) Episode: "Only a Dream"
2006 Orpheus Karen Television film
2006 Masters of Horror Stacia Episode: "Pick Me Up"
2011–2012 Celebrity Ghost Stories Herself 3 episodes
2015 Ray Donovan Ginger 7 episodes
Video games
Year Title Voice role
2002 Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Mercedes Cortez
2003 Lords of EverQuest Lady T'Lak


  1. ^ California Birth Index 1905–1995.
  2. ^ "Fairuza Balk Biography (1974-)". FilmReference.com. 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-12.
  3. ^ "Fairuza Balk Photos, Gossip, Bio & Reviews". AskMen.com. IGN Entertainment, Inc. 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-12.
  4. ^ "The Rise and Fall of the Neoprene Lizards — the Kaleidoscope Story, p. 1". PulsatingDream.com. 2006. Archived from the original on 2010-04-21. Retrieved 2010-08-12.
  5. ^ Balk, Fairuza (2010-09-10). "Persecution of the Roma". Fairuza.com. Retrieved 2010-09-20.
  6. ^ "Fairuza Balk on Twitter". Twitter.
  7. ^ "The Wizard of Oz Production Timeline". The Walt Disney releases an unofficial sequel to the 1939 film titled Return to Oz and starring Fairuza Balk. The film is not a musical, and is much darker in tone than the 1939 film.
  8. ^ Miller, Bridgette.Frances Bean Cobain & More Create Art That Rocks for MiXTAPE LA Bust (magazine) Aug 02, 2012
  9. ^ LA MIXTAPE: AS A GESTURE OF LOVE L.A. Record August 3, 2012
  10. ^ Duran, Amy.[1] IN L.A.: LA MIXTAPE @ LEBASSE PROJECTS CHINA TOWN juxtapoz magazine Monday August 20, 2012
  11. ^ NPR Music (2017-07-25), Fragile Rock: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert, retrieved 2017-08-06
  12. ^ Balk, Fairuza (2017-07-16). "You guys just made my year:)! You are wonderful an hilarious:) I am honoured to have been sung to by a puppet band!". @fairuza. Retrieved 2017-08-07.

External links

American History X

American History X is a 1998 American crime drama film directed by Tony Kaye and written by David McKenna. It stars Edward Norton and Edward Furlong, and features Fairuza Balk, Stacy Keach, Elliott Gould, Avery Brooks, Ethan Suplee, and Beverly D'Angelo. The film was released in the United States on October 30, 1998, and was distributed by New Line Cinema.

The film tells the story of two brothers from Venice, Los Angeles who become involved in the neo-Nazi movement. The older brother serves three years in prison for voluntary manslaughter, changes his beliefs and tries to prevent his brother from going down the same path. The film is told in the style of nonlinear narrative. Made on a budget of $20 million, the film grossed $24 million at the worldwide box office.

Critics mostly praised the film and Norton's performance, which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. In September 2008, Empire magazine named it the 311th-greatest movie of all time.

Beyond Clueless

Beyond Clueless is a 2014 British documentary film about teen movies, directed by Charlie Lyne, narrated by Fairuza Balk and with an original soundtrack by Summer Camp. The film features extracts from over 200 teen movies, with a particular emphasis on those released between 1995 and 2004.The film was funded on Kickstarter in January 2013 and edited in Lyne's bedroom. It premiered at SXSW 2014 and went on to play at film festivals including International Film Festival Rotterdam, CPH:DOX and Hot Docs.

Celebrity Ghost Stories

Celebrity Ghost Stories is an American paranormal reality television series that aired on The Biography Channel for its first four seasons and Lifetime Movie Network beginning with its fifth. The series debuted on October 3, 2009, with the pilot airing on September 26, 2009. Celebrity Ghost Stories interviews various celebrities who talk about paranormal events that have happened in their lives. A spin-off, The Haunting Of, features footage from the series plus follows the celebrities as they go back to the places of their haunted experiences to find out the truth. The series has run five seasons. LMN announced that the series would not be returning for a sixth season.

Deuces Wild

Deuces Wild is a 2002 American crime drama film directed by Scott Kalvert and written by Paul Kimatian and Christopher Gambale, who also created the story. It stars Stephen Dorff, Brad Renfro, James Franco, Matt Dillon, and Fairuza Balk, among others. The film is set in 1958 Brooklyn, New York City. Martin Scorsese was originally the executive producer (as a favor to Paul Kimatian), but he eventually removed his name from this film. It was the final film of cinematographer John A. Alonzo before his death in 2001.

As the tagline states, there is little firearm violence; most of the fighting is hand-to-hand, in keeping with the 1958 setting.

Gas Food Lodging

Gas Food Lodging is a 1992 movie written and directed by Allison Anders and stars Brooke Adams, Ione Skye, and Fairuza Balk. It tells the story of a waitress trying to find romance while raising two daughters in a trailer park. It was adapted from the young adult novel Don't Look and It Won't Hurt by Richard Peck.

The film was produced by Cineville and entered into the 42nd Berlin International Film Festival. Fairuza Balk won the 1993 Independent Spirit Award for best female lead for her role.

Hell Is Where the Home Is

Hell Is Where the Home Is is a 2018 American home invasion thriller film directed by Orson Oblowitz. The film stars Angela Trimbur, Janel Parrish, Jonathan Howard, Zach Avery, and Fairuza Balk.Principal photography began in Malibu, California in August 2017. The film had its world premiere at the London FrightFest Film Festival on August 26, 2018.

Humboldt County (film)

Humboldt County is a 2008 comedy/drama film by Darren Grodsky and Danny Jacobs. It stars Jeremy Strong, Fairuza Balk, Frances Conroy, Madison Davenport, Brad Dourif, Chris Messina and Peter Bogdanovich. The film made its debut at SXSW on March 7, 2008. It was picked up by Magnolia Pictures and was released on September 26, 2008.

Imaginary Crimes

Imaginary Crimes is a 1994 drama film directed by Anthony Drazan, and an adaptation of Sheila Ballantyne's 1982 novel of the same name. The film stars Harvey Keitel and Fairuza Balk, and tells the story of Ray Weiler (Keitel), a widowed hustler trying to raise his two daughters in 1962 Portland, Oregon. His eldest daughter Sonya (Balk) is a gifted student and writer who attempts to start a life for herself despite her father's inability to change his self-destructive behaviour. Her journal entries form the basis of retrospective scenes documenting the family's story.

Let's Go to the Hop

"Let's Go to the Hop" is the fourteenth episode of the second season of the animated comedy series Family Guy. It originally aired on Fox in the United States on June 6, 2000. It guest-stars Fairuza Balk, Gregg Allman, Mary Kay Bergman, Patrick Bristow, Wayne Collins, Tom Dorfmeister, Joey Slotnick, and Fred Tatasciore.

Peter, Peter, Caviar Eater

"Peter, Peter, Caviar Eater" is the first episode of the second season of Family Guy, a holdover from season 1, originally aired on Fox on September 23, 1999. It guest-stars Robin Leach as himself, and Fairuza Balk as Coco. This episode's title is a reference to the nursery rhyme Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater.

Pick Me Up (Masters of Horror)

"Pick Me Up" is the eleventh episode of the first season of Masters of Horror. It originally aired in North America on January 20, 2006. It was based on the short story by David Schow.

Return to Oz

Return to Oz is a 1985 fantasy film directed and written by Walter Murch, co-written by Gill Dennis and produced by Paul Maslansky. It stars Nicol Williamson, Jean Marsh, Piper Laurie, and Fairuza Balk as Dorothy Gale in her first screen role. The film is an unofficial sequel to the 1939 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) film The Wizard of Oz, and is based on L. Frank Baum's Oz novels, mainly The Marvelous Land of Oz (1904) and Ozma of Oz (1907). In the plot, Dorothy returns to the Land of Oz to find it has been overthrown by the villainous Nome King, and must restore it with her new friends Tik-Tok, Jack Pumpkinhead, and Princess Ozma.

In 1954, Walt Disney Productions bought the film rights to Baum's remaining Oz books to use in the television series Disneyland; this led to the live-action film Rainbow Road to Oz, which was never completed. Murch suggested making another Oz film in 1980. Disney approved the project as they were due to lose the film rights to the series. Though M.G.M. was not involved in the production, Disney had to pay a large fee to use the ruby slippers created for the M.G.M. Wizard of Oz. Return to Oz fell behind schedule during production, and following a change of Disney management Murch was briefly fired from the project.

Return to Oz performed poorly at the box office, grossing 11.1 million dollars in the United States on a $28,000,000 budget, and received mixed reviews. However, it performed well outside the U.S and has since acquired a cult following. It received an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects.

The Craft (film)

The Craft is a 1996 American supernatural horror film directed by Andrew Fleming and starring Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell, and Rachel True. The film's plot centers on a group of four outcast teenage girls at a fictional Los Angeles parochial high school who pursue witchcraft for their own gain, but soon encounter negative repercussions, which prove to be the ruin of one of them and a harsh learning experience for the other three, according to the Rule of Three of Wicca, which states that one's actions, whether positive or negative, return to the actor threefold (that is, amplified).

The film was released on May 3, 1996, by Columbia Pictures and it was a surprise hit, earning $55 million with a budget of $15 million. In the years since its release, the film has gained a cult following.

The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996 film)

The Island of Dr. Moreau is a 1996 American science fiction horror film, the third major film adaptation of the 1896 novel The Island of Doctor Moreau by H. G. Wells. The film was directed by John Frankenheimer (who was brought in half a week after shooting started) and stars Marlon Brando, Val Kilmer, David Thewlis and Fairuza Balk. The screenplay is credited to the original director Richard Stanley and Ron Hutchinson.The production was notoriously difficult, and the film was a box office bomb that received mostly negative reviews.

The Maker (film)

The Maker is a 1997 American drama film written by Rand Ravich and directed by Tim Hunter. The Maker was released in the United States on October 17, 1997.

The Waterboy

The Waterboy is a 1998 American sports comedy film directed by Frank Coraci and starring Adam Sandler, Kathy Bates, Fairuza Balk, Henry Winkler, Jerry Reed, Larry Gilliard, Jr., Blake Clark, Peter Dante and Jonathan Loughran. It was produced by Robert Simonds and Jack Giarraputo.

Lynn Swann, Lawrence Taylor, Jimmy Johnson, Bill Cowher, Paul "The Big Show" Wight and Rob Schneider have cameo appearances. The film was extremely profitable, earning $161.5 million in North America alone.

Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead

Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead is a 1995 American neo-noir crime film directed by Gary Fleder from a screenplay written by Scott Rosenberg. The film features an ensemble cast that includes Andy García, Christopher Lloyd, Treat Williams, Steve Buscemi, Christopher Walken, Fairuza Balk, and Gabrielle Anwar.

The film's title comes from a Warren Zevon song of the same name, recorded on his 1991 album Mr. Bad Example, which he allowed under the condition that the song be played during the end credits. The lead character's name, "Jimmy the Saint," comes from the Bruce Springsteen song "Lost in the Flood" from the album Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.

It is referred to by critic Jonathan Rosenbaum as one of several of Pulp Fiction's clones.

The film was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival.

What Is It?

What Is It? is a 2005 American surrealist film written, edited, co-produced and directed by Crispin Glover. It stars Crispin Glover and Fairuza Balk and Steven C. Stewart. As of 2008, the film has only been shown at independent theaters, typically accompanied by a question-and-answer session, a one-hour dramatic narration of eight different profusely illustrated books as a slideshow, and a meet-and-greet/book signing with Glover. What Is It? is the first entry in a planned trilogy directed by Glover, followed by It Is Fine! Everything Is Fine. and continued with It Is Mine.

Wild Tigers I Have Known

Wild Tigers I Have Known is a 2006 feature film written, edited, produced and directed by Cam Archer.

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