Idols

Sean Young, under-rated femme fatale

Sean Young

In the mid-1980s, Sean Young was emerging as one of the hottest stars in Hollywood. Her model’s face, dancer’s body and raw, uninhibited acting style made her destined for superstardom. But due to off-screen troubles, Young never quite fulfilled the promise of her earliest successes, such as her lauded turns in the Merchant Ivory production Jane Austen in Manhattan (1980), the sci-fi cult hit Blade Runner (1982) and the blockbuster suspense thriller No Way Out (1987). Still, she remains a talent to watch, one who has worked consistently in both the big screen and small, always turning in unique, credible, and inspired performances.

Sean Young was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on November 20, 1959. Before acting, Sean Young studied as a dancer at the American Ballet in New York and worked as a model. She gained widespread notice with her intense, vulnerable performance as the love interest of both Gene Hackman and Kevin Costner in No Way Out (1987) and delivered a subtle, engaging performance as the Replicant android Rachel in Blade Runner. She also appeared in the mega-production Dune (1984) and Oliver Stone’s Wall Street (1987) as Mrs. Gordon Gekko.

Off-screen trouble found Young when, after meeting on the set of 1989’s The Boost, the romance between Young and James Woods soured. Woods soon filed a harassment suit against Young, claiming she kept trying to contact him against his wishes. In response, Young took out full-page ads in trade and popular publications to defend her name. Next came the Batman II (1992) incident, during which Young made much noise about losing the role of Vicky Vale due to an injury that made her unable to shoot. Young soon appeared on a TV talk show in a Catwoman suit, lobbying for this role.

After 1990 Young never again won the A-list roles that seemed her destiny. However, she has found no shortage of work, appearing in A Kiss Before Dying (1991), Once Upon a Crime (1992), Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994), Poor White Trash (2000) and more.

These days acting work seems a little thin on the ground although there was a brief run in the day time soap The Young and the Restless in 2010, the same year she appeared on Skating With The Stars but was eliminated in the first round. In 2013 she appeared in Star Trek: Renegades a fan made project.