What the Hell Happened to Sean Young?

sean young 2013

In the 80′s, Sean Young was a rising star.  She co-starred with Harrison Ford, Bill Murray, Kevin Costner and James Woods.  She worked with directors Ridley Scott, David Lynch and Oliver Stone.  She was cast in the star-making role of Vicki Vale in the 1989 Batman.  And then, she became a cautionary tale of career implosion.

What the hell happened?

young - stripes

After debuting in the Merchant-Ivory film, Jane Austen in Manhattan, Young appeared in the 1981 comedy classic, Stripes:

Young was cast based on her look.  Director Ivan Reitman liked what he called Young’s “sweetness” which he thought would go well with Harold Ramis on-screen.  It was a small part, but Young made the most of her screen time as the future Egon Spangler’s girlfriend.

Stripes got mostly positive reviews and was a hit at the box office.

young doctors in love poster

The next year, Young appeared in two films.  The first was the forgettable Garry Marshall spoof, Young Doctors in Love.  The movie had a talented cast and attempted to do for daytime soaps what Airplane! did for disaster movies.  But alas, it just wasn’t very good.

As you can see from the clip, it comes close to getting a laugh.  But the timing is off.  Whereas Airplane!  fired off gags at a machine-gun pace, YDiL just limps from yuk to yuk. And that’s probably more than anyone has written about Young Doctors in Love in at least a decade.

The other movie Sean Young made in 1982 was Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner.

Blade Runner was a visionary sci fi film that wasn’t appreciated when it was released in 1982.  But today, it has gained mainstream acceptance from critics and audiences alike.  It has influenced countless films with its dystopian view of a future where it never seems to stop raining.

Young played Rachel, a replicant (robot) who doesn’t know she’s not human.  She’s obviously beautiful, but Young also manages to be vulnerable and mysterious.

Although Blade Runner was not a hit in 1982, it will probably be the part Sean Young is most remembered for.


Young’s next film was another sci-fi fantasy that would take on a cult status.  Unfortunately, 1984′s Dune did not grow in popularity over time.  Even its visionary director, David Lynch, would come to view it as a missed opportunity.

Dune had a long and troubled past even before Lynch came onboard.  Before Lynch was hired, Ridley Scott took a crack at adapting Dune for the big screen.  He planned to divide the story into two movies, but ultimately left the project to make Blade Runner instead.

After the success of The Elephant Man, Lynch was being courted by studios for several different projects.  Among them were The Return of the Jedi and the long-gestating adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi novel, Dune.  Lynch felt that Lucas would be watching over him too much on Jedi, so he opted for Dune instead.

young dune 2

Lynch’s final version of the film was deemed too long by the studio.  They hacked it down to just over a two-hour running time.  But the shortened film didn’t make a lot of sense.

Given Lynch’s track record, I’m not sure the original cut would have been any more coherent, but I would love to have seen it!

Next: No Way Out and James Woods

Posted on May 21, 2011, in Movies, What the Hell Happened?, WTHH Actress and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 157 Comments.

  1. jkindoll@yahoo.com

    Sean Young: taking bat-shiat crazy to the next level since 1980-something.


  2. Thanks LeBeau! Once again, you’ve left no stones unturned! It’s moments like this that I ponder life, and why things are the way they are. I mean, she had it F’ING made LeBeau! All she had to do was NOT act psycho, but as you’ve explained that very quality just seemed to escalate over the years. The archival film that you uncovered of her appearance as Catwoman on the Joan Rivers show is legendary. I honestly turned away at one point out of embarassment. That is some powerfully implosive footage. Not to dwell on it, but:


    “This is stupid, I should just forget it…besides, I might seem strange to people.” (things a normal Sean Young might think)

    As an epilogue to this burnt candle of a career, I’d like to add that she recently appeared on the soap opera The Young and the Restless in a recurring role, but even that seems to have faded away. It’s a very sad tale of self-destructive behavior. She was amazing in Blade Runner.


    • Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for the suggestion! Sean Young was a perfect candidate for this column. But that also meant she was totally off my radar.

      Yeah, she’s done some TV work and a slew of direct-to DVD movies. I meant to include this in the article, but I’ll just include it here in the comments. If anyone wants to read a great interview with a post-fame Sean Young, here is an interview Young did with Entertainment Weekly in 2007:


      Good stuff.

      Sean Young definitely shot herself in the foot. I also think she had some bad luck. Especially breaking her arm while filming Batman. That would have put her on top of the A-list which would have bought her a little more tolerance for her… eccentricities. I also think there may be something to Young’s argument that her aggressive bahavior would have been more acceptable coming from a man. Hollywood let Kilmer act a fool a lot longer than it did Sean Young.

      Also, what if Oliver Stone had listened to Young and switched her role on Wall Street with Hannah’s? Stone says now that he should have done so, but didn’t out of pride. So apparently, Young was right. She just rubbed him the wrong way. If she’d have somehow convinced Stone to switch the roles, I think she’d have gotten a big break.

      On the Catwoman thing, I don’t so much have a problem with her showing up at WB dressed like Catwoman. Other actors have done that sort of thing. Kilmer sent Oliver Stone tapes of himself as Jim Morrison at every age. The thing is, Tim Burton hid under his desk! He had worked with her briefly on the first Batman before her accident. I can only assume that she did something during that time that made the man hide under his desk the next time she came to see him.

      And then, when that didn’t work, to go on a talk show in costume and demand to be given an audition? How does that make any sense? Did she think Joan Rivers’ daytime talkshow audience was going to apply pressure to WB and Burton to give her a chance? Even if they did cave and give her an audition, they clearly didn’t want to work with her. How did she think that was going to work out?

      Incidentally, the Catwoman role was offered to Annette Benning who had to pass due to pregnancy.

      One other thought, Young was doing steamy femme fatale roles before Basic Instinct came along and made those kinds of movies hot. I have to wonder if Young had gotten the Stone part in Basic Instinct, would it have finally made her a star?


    • George Hilbert

      She took the advice everyone hears all the time, “Do something, even if it’s wrong.” Thereupon, everyone jumps down her throat.


  3. Yes, there is no doubt that it’s wrongfully less acceptable for a woman to act out aggressively. I personally don’t find Val Kilmer’s behavior to be any more acceptable though.

    And as far as the James Woods stuff goes, I actually don’t buy his story. James Woods has had his own legal problems over the years, and quite frankly when you have two different kinds of nuts in the mix, it doesn’t always make a party. No, she definitely got the raw deal on that one. I think they were both out of line, but he came out on top.

    I won’t budge on the Catwoman issue though. It’s one thing to send in video tapes. It’s a whole other animal when you try to force yourself into a role. I think she should have realized that her very public attempt at getting the role probably only hurt her chances. Much like Oliver Stone’s admission that pride kept him from switching her role in Wall Street, I highly doubt that Tim Burton would have wanted people (the public and his colleagues) to think that he could be forced into a casting arrangement.


    • Agreed on the James Woods stuff. I remember reading an interview with him in Miovieline magazine probably about a decade ago. My god that man talks a lot of shit! According to Woods, he bagged and dumped just about every actress in Hollywood. He talked about Sean Young in that interview of course. But the story that stuck out to me was one he told about breaking up with Heather Graham. In his story, they had just finished in the bedroom. And Graham says, “James, you just like me because I’m blonde and have big tits.” Cause you know, that’s what women say in bed. According to Woods, he took to long to answer basically confirming that was all he liked about her and they broke up.

      Yeah, James Woods is a piece of work. He’s given some great performances, but what a jack ass! I guess nutballs like Young and Woods gravitate towards each other.

      I’ll also say that Young seems to be really quick to play the “I spurned his advances card”. She didn’t just use it on stars like Woods and Beatty. So, she starts coming off like the girl who cried wolf even if it was true from time to time.

      Yeah, the Catwoman thing was bonkers no matter how you slice it. I’m guessing she just really felt screwed by fate when she had to drop out of Batman and therefore felt a sense of entitlement to be in the sequel. I have no doubt that had she been cast she’d have made a terrific Catwoman. She’s probably more of a natural fit for the role than Pfieffer. She clearly did herself in on that one. I think that’s collectively when Hollywood said, “We’ve had enough.”

      Oh well. At least we’ll always have Blade Runner.

      (Side note: Apparenty Young did voice work for a Blade Runner video game! I’ve never seen it, but they also scanned her face to get the likeness just right.)


  4. Actually, that Woods interview is available on-line. Here’s a link if you’re interested. The Heather Graham story is on page 2. But it makes for a good read.



  5. Agreed. Oh, and by the way, the Joan Rivers clip comes across with an extra bit of creepiness without the audio.

    Looking forward to the next one! I’ll let you know if I think of anybody, but it will be tough to top the triple Batman threat of Keaton-Kilmer-Young!


    • Yeah, people ask about Keaton cause they genuinely miss the guy. They ask about Kilmer and Young cause those two are crazy! Whoever I spotlight next, they probably can’t live up to Kilmer and Young in terms of fireworks.

      I did find the silent Joan Rivers clip extra creepy as well. You can imagine what she was saying. I vaguely recall he talking in a weird Ertha Kitt from the 60′s TV show kind of camp. And Joan was playing along like it was the funniest thing ever.


  6. Holy crap! Sean Young is on Celebrity Rehab! I wondered why so many people were Googling her all the sudden!


  7. Dear Mr Lebeau, you actually must be full of it, or just another member of the psychopathic community. You have no idea what you are talking about as far as it concerns descriptions about me. What is it about you psycho’s? You are the one spreading toxic waste, not me, as evidenced by your meaningless dribble here on your pointless blog. Get a life! Sean Young


    • : ) Love you Sean, can’t wait for your comeback! : )


    • Okay, I was doubtful at first. But I verified her info and this was really posted by Sean Young!

      Ms Young – Or any other celeb I have written about or will write about – It’s all meant in fun. As I have said over and over in various articles and comments, I have a great deal of affection for everyone I write about. Obviously, it can’t be personal. We’ve never met and never will.

      As always, I wish all of my subjects the best both personally and professionally. Thanks for reading. I have never been more honored to be told to “get a life”! I’ve been laughing my ass off all day!


    • Dear Sean Young, I agree with you. It’s self-aborbed directors, actors, and columnists (who are so full of themselves they’re left wondering why a fine actress like you didn’t trip all over herself for a night with them) that think they’ve said the last word about you–they haven’t. You’ve been spurned by Hollywood, but you’re NOT crazy, because your sons are your legacy of your sanity, as well as all your work recorded on films for many of us, who miss and support you, to keep enjoying. [Such as: after your Susan Atwell character was murdered in No Way Out (and I'm a huge Costner fan), I lost interest in watching the movie's ending, but I kept watching hoping there'd be flashbacks of your earlier scenes with Costner, only to be disappointed that there weren't any.] You’re too good for Hollywood. Would you ever consider a role in a Broadway play? There’s just got to be someone in New York who’ll cast you. Both my husband and I admire your work, think you’re obviously a wonderful mother, and hope all of your dreams for a career comeback come true. Best Wishes, Sean! Darlene Marie


  8. I think she was just on Y&R. Didn’t make the connection until just now.


    • You are correct. She did a stint on Y&R last year.

      And of course she can currently be seen on Celebrity Rehab and my blog.


  9. Yes, her latest gig is LeBlog (part of the reason why I knew it was her). Out of all the celebrities you’ve covered, only Sean would have the gumption to actually post here – that’s a compliment Sean, don’t get mad.

    Sean, you do constantly feed us new material:


    I’m a little shocked that you’re surprised by the fact that people find your antics interesting blog fodder. I think when you posted here, you may have added another “Sean moment” to your list.

    All the best to you. I think you’re a great actress.


  10. Crazy is as crazy does, right? I think that all of the money and attention and just Hollywood of it gets to some of them. I don’t think that everyone is cut out to handle the strain that the movie business puts on people. Very few have what it takes to get into the business and make a few movies. Only the really strong willed and strong minded make it to the top of the heap. Personally, I don’t know how more of them don’t go crazy. I know I couldn’t do that kind of work. Too much of anything can be very bad. Power, Money, Attention….they are all drugs.

    Many people wish for fortune and fame but I am actually glad that I don’t have it.

    And in a moment of kindness I will say that I truly hope that Sean makes it through Celebrity Rehab and gets clean. Getting clean and focused and staying that way may go a long way to rehabilitate her image and her career.


  11. I definitely agree that it takes a really grounded person to not act crazy once in a while in that business. My undergraduate degree is actually in acting. The technique I was taught can be personally/emotionally dangerous if used inappropriately. And that’s just the actual work. Never mind the crazy that can be instilled through fame, money, etc. I never enjoyed any real success (I am now a medical proffessional and I do theatre in my free time) but the egos that were apparently necessary just to keep yourself going at a pretty low level were sometimes alarming/amusing. The nature of the business, in which a person with NO background is technically just as qualified as a person who has been working at their craft their whole life is seriously unstable. I figured out within a few years, that while I love the work, I didn’t really care for the business.


    • That’s a good point. In order to survive in the business, it takes a certain kind of personality…


      • why I left after working in one of the top three hollywood talent’s agencies then . . .two years was enough, and I saw all of this up close, made my decision to go into grad school for psychology , this was a perfect introduction . . . . :)


    • Great find! Thanks for the links.


      • Is that the same incident that I linked above or did she do this more than once? Sean, I love your work, you’re a great actress!!!


      • Same one, different angle. Thanks, Geo & L!

        I believe she reads here. I truly hope she hits my AC blog, I will I have 8 years clean come December and hang out with a lot of folks from AA (I am in the OTHER fellowship). We are NOT a glum lot, heck I think I am wilder clean & sober. Anyhow, if you gotta hide or be ashamed of something from ‘partying’, some DEEP introspection is due.If you have an addiction and do nothing about it, jails, institutions, and death are what awaits. AND not in that particular order. Be brave and get to a meeting. No one judges or particularly cares who you were, just what you are willing to do to tame that beast.

        (I was going to email this to you first. Please delete if it kills the spirit of the discussion:



        • Your contributions to the discourse are always welcome!

          I have my doubts Ms. Young will be coming back to this (pointless) site. Which is a shame. I get the impression she didn’t actually read the article or the comments since we are all fans of hers.

          Here’s hoping she comes out on the right side of things.


  12. Terribly sad. She was truly mesmerizing in Bladerunner. Who would have guessed it would not work out for her at the time? A girl so beautiful and full of talent..


  13. Whenever I see a spike in the site stats, I know one of my “What the Hell Happened subjects has made headlines. Usually, it means Val Kilmer can’t pay his bills or Sean Young is in rehab. (The weekend someone spread a rumor that Eddie Murphy had died in a car crash was surprising.) But now, we’re back to the usual suspects.


    Los Angeles police say actress Sean Young was placed under citizen’s arrest after a fight at the official post-Oscars party.

    The 52-year-old star of Blade Runner and Stripes was arrested at the Governor’s Ball Sunday evening and was booked at the Hollywood police station for investigation of misdemeanor battery. City News Service says she posted $20,000 bail and was released early Monday.

    Police Sgt. Enrique Mendoza confirmed the arrest but wouldn’t give details about the incident.

    Young tried to crash the Vanity Fair Oscar party in 2006. She entered rehabilitation for alcohol abuse in 2008 after she was removed from the Directors Guild of America awards.


    • HA! I just read about this on MSNBC. Good lord what a loon. Saddest thing is they refer to her as “star of Blade Runner”. As in we only remember her from something 30 years ago. How and why is she still able to dress up in furs and try to crash these parties? Could someone this messed up possibly have invested her money wisely enough that she’s still living off the procedes??? Maybe she’ll pop in here again and give us the answer!


  14. It has got to be humiliating to be famous but have to sneak into an Oscars party. I sympathize with that…but she’s kinda forcing the issue, isn’t she? So often, the path of least resistence is the right one.


    • I saw a video of her leaving the police station. She was incoherent. Getting arrested at the Oscars for fighting (I assume under the influence of something) is the definition of an avoidable problem. If I’m not invited, I don’t show. And if I do sneak in, you bet your ass I’m on my best behavior.

      But then, I’m not Sean Young. The train wreck aspect is all she has left.


  15. sean young was talented then when she did blade runner and stripes, but then later on in life she got to be a real looney toon. i wasn’t used to seeing her in dr. jekyll and ms. hyde. it kind of seemed weird before the remake of the nutty professor. i heard ridley scott is doing another sequel to blade runner as well as a prequel to alien. if the sequel to blade runner is good like the original i also hope harrison ford reprises his role as rick deckard the android hunter cop that ridley scott now thinks is a replicant. i think it is bullshit. deckard is a human plain and simple.


    • If Deckard is an android, it completely ruins the point of the movie which is that Roy is more human than Deckard.

      I like Ridley Scott, but I have low expectations of his Blade Runner and Alien-inspired projects. I’ll be surprised if Ford or Young return.


  16. If you havn’t seen it, I can heartily recommend checking out her performance in the somewhat obscure “Cousins”. The movie is only so-so, but she’s great as the selfish uber-bitch wife of Ted Danson. Someone should really cast her in a similar role


    • I actually saw Cousins when it was out in theaters. I skipped over it in the article because it’s kind of a forgotten movie, but I remember enjoying it.

      At this point, why would anyone want to take a chance casting Sean Young? She’s a liability. She needs to get herself together before anyone’s going to take a chance on her. If she does that (and stops making headlines for the wrong reasons) I could see her making a comeback ala Jessica Lange on American Horror Story.


  17. She not crazy….


  18. you’d thinki somebody would think to co star her with Gary Busey in something. That actually could be really funny. I’m sure they would be both up for it


    • That’s a reality show I would watch! Just turn on the cameras and let the sparks fly. I wonder how long before Sean Young shows up on Celeb Apprentice…


  19. Since Young was in ‘Blade Runner,’ I thought this would be the appropriate place to ask this.

    This may sound bizarre, but would a “What the hell happened to Harrison Ford?” article be feasible?

    First, a confession: I actually enjoyed “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” mainly because it was such a treat seeing Ford as Indy again. What I disliked about the movie wasn’t the aliens or that ‘nuke the fridge’ thing (hey, was it any worse than Indy’s old man killing birds in order to stop that Nazi plane?), but rather the obvious CGI prairie dogs & monkeys (in other words, you could tell the Star Wars prequels affected it and, like those, it made enough money to bring up talk of another entry).

    Otherwise, the last film Ford did that I thought was actually good was “What Lies Beneath.”


    • Ford was one of my top candidates up until Crystal Skull gave him a bit of a career bump. The criteria have changed a little. These days, I will write up people who are still working as long as they are no longer on the A-list. So Ford is very high on my list of people to profile.

      And I agree with you about Indy 4. I had a great time wathcing it for the nostalgia factor. And really, the Indy sequels had already dropped the bar pretty low.


    • “Otherwise, the last film Ford did that I thought was actually good was ‘What Lies Beneath.’”

      Unrelated story about that: I was working in video rentals when that movie was released, and one night a guy calls up and says (imagine this spoken by a gravelly-voiced, dumb-sounding Southern drunk): “Uh, have ya’ got ‘Whut Lies Beneath Michelle Pfeiffer’?”

      Begs a lot of amusing but inappropriate replies, right?

      He insisted this was the title we’d posted in the store for the movie. As it turned out, he’d seen a poster we had in the can up front which had the stars’ names bracketing the title.

      Harrison Ford (smaller font)
      What Lies Beneath (larger font)
      Michelle Pfeiffer (smaller font)

      Made me wonder how widespread this misidentification was.


      • lol

        I’ll continue the drift. I was standing in line to buy tickets and the guy in front of me asks for 2 for “Jurassic Hillbillies”. Turns out the theater was splitting a screen between Jurassic Park and the Beverly Hillbillies and had abbreviated both titles with one word on the same line.

        Who wouldn’t want to watch Jurassic Hillbillies if such a thing existed?


      • “Jurassic Hillbillies” Starring Woody Harrelson, Gary Busey, Jessica Simpson, and Larry the Cable Guy. Coming in 2013 to theatres way too close to you.


  20. Like many of you I’m equally enthousiastic about MSY. From the publicly available pieces I have gathered I think she’s struggling with her identity. On multiple occasions one can hear she talks about her introversion( and how that is an obstacle in her life). I suspect that she not smiling about her obstacles is her real obstacle. It’s sheer intuïtion talking. She’s a good person.


  21. Well, the comments continue to trickle in on this thread. I am convinced that given good material and handled sensitively by a director who is careful to work with her about getting over her shattered self confidence, Sean could surprise Hollywood by turning in a powerhouse performance.


    • Just watched Blade Runner today. I would love to see Sean Young work some more. Anything is possible I guess. I do think if someone could capture her vulnerability, there would be something worthwhile there.


      • Mr. Lebeau- I would so encourage you to re watch Sean’s performance in “Cousins”. Hopefully it’s on Netflix. It really is a noteworthy, superior performance. Part of the reason she doesn’t have the reputation of being even a credible actress is that she has so few times been given superior material to work with. I am going to rewatch her truncated performance in “Wall Street” soon. Have not seen it since the original release. It would be fascinating to see the “lost” Young footage that Oliver Stone cut out of the film. Best wishes for a joyous summer. ANTHONY


        • I actually saw Cousins in the theaters when it was released. I was a fan of Isabella Roselini and of course Sean Young. I remember enjoying the movie much more than the critics. I’ll have to track it down and rewatch it. It has been a long, long time.

          Same to you, Anthony. Hopefully it’s cooler wherever you are!


          • Mr. Lebeau- I’m in the Los Angeles area, and so far we are having a very cool summer. I am actually a heat fanatic (though not a fan of humidity) so I am hoping it heats up. Have you seen “Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde”?? I understand Sean gives a very funny performance in it. Hope you get a break in your heat!! yours, ANTHONY


            • Mr. Lebeau is my dad. ;)

              I think I am one of 10 people who paid to see Dr. Jeckyll and Ms. Hyde in the theaters. This is how devoted I was to Sean Young. The movie is pretty awful. But Young is by far the best thing in it. If the rest of the movie had lived up to her performance, it would have been a lusty laugh riot. But the movie is mostly interested in PG-gag about the guy from Wings growing boobs.

              As for the heat, I am enjoying the a/c. I am not an outdoorsman under the best of circusmances. But right now I run from my car to the front door to minimize my time outside. We’re breaking records this summer!


    • You hit the nail on its head. Giving eachother a chance is the first thing that pops my mind. But also how the director is crucial to powerhouse performances of individual characters. You nailed it right there.


  22. This is the saddest “What the Hell Happened to” of all. I thought Young was fabulous in Blade Runner and No Way Out. I truly believe she is bi-polar and I read a few years back about a crazy outburst she made at a social gathering, obviously boozed up. Great talent but mental problems. Too bad.


    • Without being a psychologist, it’s unfair for you to make any determination about anyone being bi-polar. Sean was spurned by Hollywood (and a few narcissistic Hollywood males) and, as the saying goes, hell hath seen no fury as that of a woman spurned. I’m on your side, Sean. Go east and play Broadway.


      • I’m just guessing, but something tells me Young would kill for a role on Broadway. Or off.

        I mean, she did Attack of the 50 Ft Cheerleader. I don’t think she’s turning down a lot of work.


  23. Woods later went on record that his girlfriend at the time was the crazy one — though he did back away from that later. This was a situation involving at least three volatile, unstable, highly-strung people. Whatever Sean Young’s problems were, whatever happened, it’s not like it was all her fault or the fault of her own condition.


    • Thanks for pointing that out. As I have said before, in ever interview I has seen with Woods, he comes across like someone I wouldn’t care to know. Woods + Young was a bad situation. Unfortunately for Young, Hollywood is a lot more likely to put up with that crap from an actor than an actress.


      • James Woods always comes across as an arrogant control freak and Sean crossing paths with the likes of a narcissistic type like Woods was the beginning of her undoing…and, for that matter, her drinking. Sad that she didn’t have a supportive circle of friends (even outside of Hollywood) to get her through the trashing Woods did to her after she bruised his fragile ego with her refusal–his harassment lawsuit of Sean was his over-reacting to save face, much like neurotic high school boys do when lying about girls who spurn them…too bad Woods didn’t merely lie about Sean in a locker room instead of in his lawyer’s office. I hope James Woods goes to his death bed with many haunting regrets over women’s lives and careers he’s trashed.


  24. Attack of the 50 Foot Cheerleader?? Is that among her direct to video work?? I’m going to try and track it down, it sounds like a must see!! (does she play the cheerleader?? I am seriously very intrigued!! LOL)


    • Attack of the 50 Foot Cheerleader was an Epix original movie produced by Roger Corman. It aired in 3-D and was every bit as cheesy as it sounds without being much fun. It stars beauty queen Jena Sims as the giant cheerleader. Young plays her horrible mother who is only concerned with beauty. I watched the movie primarily to see what Sean Young was up to. She makes a good stage mom, but the movie is terrible and her part is essentially a cameo. I really can’t imagine much of a reason to watch the movie other than seeing Sims topless. And I’m willing to bet that can be achieved with a Google search.


  25. oh my. Treat Williams is in this too?? He might be a good “Whatever happened to…” cantidate if he hasn’t already been covered.


  26. She’s still oddly attractive, in that emotionless replicant way…

    *slaps down weird boner*


  27. are you aware of facebook site “Mary Sean Young Turned Down My Friend Request” in which 20 more or less obsessed Young fans (including myself) bond together


  28. If there was a male version of Sean Young, who would it be? Maybe Val Kilmer (who is kind of the patron saint or unofficial mascot of the “What the Hell Happened to…” series), since like Sean, he burned many, many bridges w/ his difficult reputation.

    Mickey Rourke is another suggestion that I’ve read while going through Sean Young’s IMDb message board:http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000707/board/flat/207270677?p=1

    Somebody else suggested that Sean Young is the female Charlie Sheen:http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000707/board/flat/207270677?p=1


  29. I really think that Sean Young not getting the Vicki Vale part in “Batman” was kind of a blessing in disguise (not for Sean’s point-of-view obviously). Apparently, both Harrison Ford and Kevin Costner hated working w/ her. So even without the stuff w/ James Woods or the Catwoman issue, Sean Young was building a toxic reputation.

    Tim Burton’s “Batman” was one of the biggest event movies of our time. Imagine bringing in a certifiable basket-case like Sean Young and have her play the female lead in the biggest movie of the year. Granted, Kim Basinger has had her own diva-type issues on movie sets (I mean her alleged antics on the set of “The Marrying Man” is legendary within itself), but it isn’t as bad as w/ Sean Young.


    • I didn’t know this until very recently, but Kim Basinger could’ve worked alongside Sean Young in “Stripes”. According to Ivan Reitman (the director) on the DVD commentary, Kim Basinger was approached to play P.J. Soles’ role as Bill Murray’s love interest, but her agent asked for too much money.


      Sean Young was primarily a starlet, not a real actress.

      At age 19 (?) she was so beautiful she was approached on an AIRPLANE about auditioning for a major film, and when she hit Hollywood there was lots of eagerness about using her in various projects. She was simply breathtaking.

      But she was simply NOT a strong performer. She was only cast in Blade Runner when the casting director promised Ridley Scott to work with her privately and coach her through scenes. Yet Young was so physically gorgeous the director wanted to roll the dice on her. (Her appearance reminded him of Vivien Leigh.)

      But as she aged out of the “beautiful young girl” category, there just wasn’t enough there for her to draw an audience, or impress directors and producers. Also, her personal reputation was catching up with her, as she was often difficult to work with, and reportedly somewhat unbalanced.


  30. Five Actors You Should Never Fight for Creative Control:

    5. Sean Young

    Sean Young’s hubris has undoubtedly cost her much throughout her career. Bill Murray made sure not to work with her again after the actress openly questioned his methods on the set of 1981′s Stripes. Young and James Woods developed a serious feud during the making of 1988′s The Boost; details are scant, but Hollywood legend claims Young responded to the actor’s sexual advances by somehow using industrial adhesive to glue his penis to his leg. Sean Young has even made enemies on films that never bothered to hire her, as with her quest to score the role of Catwoman in 1992′s Batman Returns. Outfitted in a homemade Catwoman getup, Sean made several attempts to confront the filmmakers at Warner Brothers Studios during pre-production, actually managing to break up a meeting between WB head Mark Canton and Batman himself, Michael Keaton. Keaton remembered the confrontation in the July ’92 issue of Playboy: “I noticed that she had a metallic object in her hand. I flashed on it for a second and prayed to God it wasn’t a gun… it was [actually] a walkie-talkie… I asked her what she was doing with the walkie-talkie. She said… ‘I’m talking to somebody.’” Director Tim Burton, who’d been forced to drop Young from the role of Vikki Vale in the first Batman after the actress broke her leg, was allegedly smart enough to hide in the nearest bathroom during one of these incidents.


  31. Shunned By Hollywood: 15 Of Tinsel Town’s Most Notorious Pariahs:

    Actress and 80s sex symbol Sean Young had a string of noteworthy films during the decade of excess. Unfortunately, the actress gained a reputation for being difficult with fellow her collaborators. Her role in Wall Street was cut down thanks to her clashing director Oliver Stone. She was also fired from the role of Tess Trueheart during the filming of package Tracey. Finally, in a moment of desperation, Young dressed up as Catwoman to confront director Tim Burton and actor Michael Keaton about losing the role to Michelle Pfeiffer during the filming of Batman Returns. Hollywood roles dried up for Young in the mid-90s and, most recently, she’s been featured in reality TV and indie movies.


    • Thank you for the fairly recent link Terrence, and everybody else for their insights and updates. I must say, it hurts a little when I see comments like ‘pariah’. She’s no pariah to me.

      Maybe it’s blind love speaking, but I doubt it.If people are publicly called out that way then I can imagine some can’t take it. Why would anyone in the world label somebody a pariah, when that person never did you any wrong.


  32. Star Derailing Role:

    Sean Young in Dr Jekyll And Ms Hyde. Her career was already floundering by the time of the movie’s release in 1995 after a string of critical and commercial failures by the beginning of that decade, but this ultimately proved to be the last straw for the actress. The film tanked, plus a string of accusations ranging from stalking actor James Woods, and failing to get the role of Catwoman in Batman Returns labeled Young as being difficult to work with in Hollywood, allowing her to struggle with alcoholism and appear on reality television shows afterwards.


  33. Too bad really..from checking out her early work on Stripes and Blade runner and also watching audition tapes and behind the scene tapes, I really got the impression that she was a genuinely sweet girl. A rare kind of beautiful. And a rare kind of talent. Majestic. You can never take what you read on blogs and other sources on the net for fact, but it seems to me that she truly was the sweetheart we all thought she was after we saw blade runner. Maybe Hollywood’s ways disenchanted her. After the mid-late 80′s she basically had the f*** you attitude towards Hollywood, not crazy like people say. I don’t think she was clinically crazy. Just the crazy you get from not fitting in with the Hollywood crowd. I think she felt she got screwed over, while thinking she still had much to give. She is getting up there in age now, but is still beautiful. Not blade runner beautiful. I hope she makes it back to the big screen. She should.


  34. What Sean Young’s career needs: Quentin Tarantino.


  35. Hola, I noticed ‘Rachel’ was her best role according to the poll on this site. I totally didn’t saw that one coming. Cheers peeps!


  36. Crossing Sean Young, the Batman curse and Harrison Ford (strong candidate for this list), I hereby declare the “Harrison Ford curse”: which struck Harrison Ford himself, of course, and obviously Mark Hamill comes to mind, but look at the love interests or Ford’s characters.
    Star Wars: Carrie Fisher (WTHHT), Raiders of the lost ark: Karen Allen (WTHHT), Blade Runner: Sean Young (WTHHT), Temple of Doom: Kate Capshaw (she married the director to escape WTHHT), Witness: Kelly McGillis (WTHHT), Frantic: Emmanuelle Seigner (another director bride and quite WTHHT), Working Girl: Melanie Griffith (WTHHT), Last Crusade: Allison Doody (WTHHT), Presumed Innocent: Bonnie Bedelia (WTHHT), Regarding Henry: Annette Bening (not WTHHT, but another wife of), Patriot Games: Anne Archer (WTHHT after the second movie of the franchise), The Fugitive: Sela Ward (WTHHT), Clear and Present Danger: Anne Archer (WTHHT after that), Sabrina: Julia Ormond (WTHHT).

    Do we see a pattern in there?


    • And I forgot the special mention on the “Harrison Ford’s kiss of career death” list: Calista Flockhart.


      • You also left off Anne Heche. Oh and of course Michelle Pfeiffer.

        The thing about Ford is he had a long career during which he dominated the box office. He had a lot of leading ladies who never quite made it big or whose careers have cooled for fairly obvious reasons (usually age). You could make a similar list for Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise or just about any actor who was big in the 80s/90s. I frequently joke about the Kilmer curese because several actresses seemed to have their careers die out shortly after working with him. But really, the same could be said of lots of actors.

        It is fun though coming up with curse theories. ;)


        • You are right. But it’s funny. By the way, actually he boosted Sean Young’s career. But I state my point: Julia Ormond’s and Calista Flockhart’s careers were poisoned by Ford.


          • It is funny.

            Ormond suffered from what would later come to be known as Gretchen Mol syndrome. The press made a big deal out of her. She was expected to be the next big thing. And I think audiences got a little sick of her before she even got a chance. So when she finally started popping up everywhere, there was a bit of a backlash.

            But Sabrina didn’t help anybody except maybe Greg Kinnear. And Ford’s relationship with Flockhart hurt them both professionally. Not to mention the earring.


            • Speaking of which, I’m kind of surprised that Gretchen Mol hasn’t been really considered for a “What the Hell Happened to…” yet.


              Julia Ormond was an unknown in the US when she landed lead roles three big mid-nineties films (Legends Of The Fall, First Knight, and the remake of Sabrina), starring opposite such actors as Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Sean Connery, Richard Gere, and Harrison Ford, but all were box-office and critical disappointments. She’s still working, but she never became the “star” Hollywood expected.


              • I have to admit that after writing that comment I made a mental note to write her up soon. I am working on a big one right now. But Mol could be next. I keep meaning to get back to the poll results, but every time I am ready to do so I think of someone else I need to get to. Usually because someone in the comments section gets me going on a subject like Julia Ormond or Gretchen Mol. Come to think of it, you inspired the one I’m working on now.


                • daffystardust

                  Gretchen Mol has a featured role on Boardwalk Empire. It’s probably the most interesting character she ever played.


                  • Yeah. I like that her story has a happy ending. Even if I know her character is far from a fan favorite on the show. I got a kick out of seeing the infamous “90s It Girl” land on her feet after all these years.


                • Gretchen Mol and Other “Almost It” Girls: Starlets Who Never Quite Made It Big:

                  Just this past week, HBO announced the addition of Gretchen Mol to the cast of its upcoming series ‘Boardwalk Empire,’ starring Steve Buscemi as Atlantic City gangster Nucky Thompson. With a string of respectable supporting roles, Mol’s made a career out of not-quite making it, starting with her famous 1998 ‘Vanity Fair’ cover that asked the entirely premature question: “Is Gretchen Mol Hollywood’s New It Girl?”

                  But though Mol didn’t exactly fade into obscurity (she earned kudos for her eye-opening turn in the indie ‘The Notorious Bettie Page’ and co-starred in ABC’s short-lived ‘Life on Mars’), neither did she become the huge success the industry predicted she would be. What happened? Was it luck, timing, bad choices or simply a case of too much hype? Whatever that case, Mol’s casting got us thinking about other “Almost It” girls that Hollywood left behind about as quickly as it tried to make them mega-stars.Just this past week, HBO announced the addition of Gretchen Mol to the cast of its upcoming series ‘Boardwalk Empire,’ starring Steve Buscemi as Atlantic City gangster Nucky Thompson. With a string of respectable supporting roles, Mol’s made a career out of not-quite making it, starting with her famous 1998 ‘Vanity Fair’ cover that asked the entirely premature question: “Is Gretchen Mol Hollywood’s New It Girl?”

                  But though Mol didn’t exactly fade into obscurity (she earned kudos for her eye-opening turn in the indie ‘The Notorious Bettie Page’ and co-starred in ABC’s short-lived ‘Life on Mars’), neither did she become the huge success the industry predicted she would be. What happened? Was it luck, timing, bad choices or simply a case of too much hype? Whatever that case, Mol’s casting got us thinking about other “Almost It” girls that Hollywood left behind about as quickly as it tried to make them mega-stars.

                  Shannyn Sossamon
                  For a while there in the 2000s, it looked like Sossamon was the next big thing. Her looks smoldered like Angelina Jolie, and she radiated quirk like Winona Ryder. But rather than go the strictly Hollywood route, Sossamon has remained somewhat in the fray, starring in smaller projects such as the indie flick ‘Wristcutters: A Love Story’ and CBS’s vampire drama ‘Moonlight.’

                  Natasha Gregson Wagner
                  Appearing in ‘High Fidelity’ and ‘Lost Highway’ early on in her career, Natasha Gregson Wagner proved herself an adorable character actress with a top-notch Hollywood pedigree. As she most recently landed a recurring told on CBS’ now-canceled ‘The 4400,’ it looks like Hollywood probably won’t ever fully embrace this daughter of another famous It Girl and icon, Natalie Wood.

                  Julia Stiles
                  Her monotone and girl-next-door looks made her an unlikely go-to girl for late ’90s teen movies (she even won the 2001 Teen Choice Drama Award for her work alongside Sean Patrick Thomas in ‘Save the Last Dance’), but we can’t deny there’s something about enigmatic about Stiles’ seriousness. Putting her career on pause in to attend Columbia University, Stiles emerged ready-to-work and all grown up in ‘The Bourne Identity’ films. Since then, she’s stayed under the Hollywood It-scene radar, and we suspect she rather likes it that way.

                  Selma Blair
                  Who doesn’t love Selma Blair? She’s the perfect combination of pout and pow. But after a spate of plum roles in late-’90s films like ‘Cruel Intentions’ and ‘Legally Blonde,’ it seemed like Blair grew into a woman before she could ever become a true It Girl. Recently, she blazed the screen alongside Ron Perlman in both ‘Hellboy’ films, and starred in an ill-fated American re-make of Australian sit-com ‘Kath & Kim.’

                  Ione Skye
                  This model-turned-actress won everyone’s heart (most notably John Cusack’s) as Dianne Court in 1989′s ‘Say Anything.’ With serious acting chops and stunning looks, she went on to star alongside Keanu Reeves in the critically-acclaimed River’s Edge and a handful of offbeat films in the ’90s, but managed to dodge the Hollywood spotlight and its requisite scrutiny. These days, Skye is lovely as ever and still gets steady work in film and TV. Our favorite recent Skye moment? We’d totally raise a boombox for Mrs. Veal, the frisky preacher’s wife on ‘Arrested Development.’


                  • Harvey’s Girls:

                    One of the stranger items of note this year, if you’re into this sort of thing, has been the rise of Blake Lively. To those who merely observe, it’s no different than the dawn of any other interchangeable big breasted blonde starlet. Those come around with the frequency of #22 buses and are rarely lasting.

                    But this particular star-forming has been interesting. TV girls, let alone those of the primetime soap genre, don’t have the best track record with the transition to big screen success. Where some (Michelle Williams) have found critical success, others have either striven for popularity over acclaim, or simply didn’t have the skills to ascend past their television status.

                    But Blake Lively is not only in the company of the small-screeners who’ve reached for the brass rail of film. She’s in that elite club where the crash and burn is just as swift and harsh, but even more vivid and public: the Harvey Weinstein club.

                    Every few years, Harvey picks a new girl as his pet. He puts her in a picture or two, takes her to an event, and not unlike Cher Horowitz, makes her a project, an attempted creation.

                    The Harvey Girls are easily spotted. They are all very pretty, often in a rather generic sense. Their instant fame and the push behind them comes seemingly out of nowhere and without any justification in terms of resume or skill set. Most obviously, at least as of 2007, they are clothed exclusively in Marchesa on the red carpet (the fashion line of Weinstein’s wife, Georgina Chapman). So if you were wondering why Harvey Weinstein seems only interested in actresses who dress like fairy princesses from Planet Sugarplum, it’s his wife’s fault. But the most telling sign, if you’re looking, is the Want. These girls, each of them, has the look of desperation, of need. They WILL be famous. They WILL be stars.

                    Rumors of Harvey’s casting couch ways are legendary. As a minor Midwestern blogger, I can’t know their validity. But I do know for each of these girls, there was an enormous PR push, proclamations of “it-girl” and “the next big thing” and then a fairly daunting silence that had to be devastating to these young women who really believed this was their “it.”

                    One of the Harvey Girls was Gwyneth Paltrow, and I suppose she’s what keeps the line long and wanton. But there can only be so many Gwyneths. There’s no shortage of Gretchens.

                    Harvey’s Best and Brightest:

                    Mira Sorvino
                    Then: 1995’s Mighty Aphrodite was huge for Sorvino, winning her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress among other honors.

                    Now: While there exists a cult of us who will forever love her for Romy & Michelle, that adoration has not translated into a popularity resurgence. A subsequent Miramax venture, Guillermo Del Toro’s Mimic was a disappointment, both critically and financially, and after a few more attempts towards big screen success, she’s primarily stuck with indie and television roles, the most notable in Lifetime’s Human Trafficking miniseries.

                    Gretchen Mol
                    Then: In the late ’90s, she co-starred in Rounders with Matt Damon and Edward Norton, then became the fixation of that other moderately creepy bigwig with a fetish for blonde actresses: Woody Allen. She infamously appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair, which touted her “the it-girl of the ’90s.”

                    Now: The human cautionary tale for all would-be “next big things.” Mol’s latter-day career has been comfortable, if not unspectacular, appearing in 3:10 to Yuma, on Lifetime in The Memory Keeper’s Daughter and most recently on Boardwalk Empire. She also, in my opinion, was one of the best parts of David Wain’s lovable mess of a movie, The Ten.

                    Jessica Alba
                    Then: Alba had been around for a while prior to 2005’s Sin City, but apparently Harvey fell in love at first seductive bull ride, trusting her with Awake.

                    Now: Awake failed. But her other film choices have been so much worse that those have had far more to do with her middling career than that forgettable mess.

                    Sienna Miller
                    Then: It was only four or so years ago, but it’s easy to forget just how hard the push was on Sienna Miller. She was huge. She was painted as this immense fashion icon who would be an unstoppable celebrity force as soon as Factory Girl was released.

                    Now: Factory Girl was a big pile of okay, and she just…kind of…didn’t take the world by storm. Everyone else has poor film choices and personal struggle against them. But Miller just didn’t work out. Sometimes that’s worse.

                    Uma Thurman
                    Then: She danced with Travolta, took an adrenaline needle to the heart and became a star.

                    Now: Thurman’s career has been built on unfulfilled promise from her pretty great performances in great movies. Starting with Pulp Fiction to starring alongside a veritable buffet of “our careers didn’t work out as hoped” actresses in Beautiful Girls and making stops at the Kill Bills and Gattaca along the way, Thurman has made no other good movies. None. And with the exception of Bill, the films on which she’s taken first billing have been overwhelmingly unwatchable.

                    It’s not as though these are the only actresses who made it so close to the top to fall with a gently plop. I could go on for days. Moira Kelly, Monica Potter, Mena Suvari, Amy Smart… But Harvey’s Girls have that special place in our world—they were delicately placed at the top, handed their dreams on a platter, and they couldn’t have it, be it through lack of talent, more appealing competitors, or just bad timing.

                    And when he’s done with them? The good Harvey giveth, and the good Harvey taketh away.


                  • There’s a few candidates on this list that I will probably get to. Eighties actresses seem to be popular, so I expect to get to Ione Skye sooner or later.


        • Anne Heche?! She was an unknown when she did a movie with him. Six Days Seven Nights was supposed to be her big break. And it was a successful movie. She destroyed her own burgeoning career by starting an in-your-face lesbian relationship shortly before the movie came out.


          • Yeah, I don’t truthfully think Ford ruined anybody’s career. He was usually the biggest draw in his movies, so typically he was giving his co-stars a career boost. But if you’re naming Ford’s co-stars who imploded, you have to include Heche. She imploded spectacularly. It’s not just that she came out of the closet aggressively at a time when America wasn’t quite prepared for it. It was all of her wacky behavior. The wandering around naked and claiming to be an alien stuff was more damaging than the relationship with Ellen.

            I am glad we have come to a place where someone coming out of the closet is no longer a career-ending scandal. The reaction to Ellen and Heche was embarrassing at the time.


            • Nowadays coming out is fine if you are a woman and/or an arthouse darling. There is still a long way to go before Hollywood would offer a leading role to an openly gay man in a 200 million dollars movie. And despite the tired cliche of “American bigotry”, I’ve rather the impression that the major obstacle to it are international, not domestic audiences.


              • Dammit, the internet ate my response. I had written a fairly lengthy response, but my browser crashed and I lost it. I agree that we have a long way to go. I’m reminded of that more often than I would care to admit. But even so, I never thought we’d come so far so fast.

                I do think you’re probably on to something about a gender difference and the world view. Male leads are expected to be macho action heroes. That is especially important in the world-wide box office. Otherwise, Taylor Lautner probably would have come out by now. (I kid the shirtless guy from Twilight.)


            • I would say that coming out single-handedly ruined her career. The alien stuff just added to her notoriety, she had no career to be ruined by that time—her most recent projects had been a TV movie and 2 films that went straight to video.

              She had her one shot at stardom with 6 Days 7 Nights and she blew it by coming out, against the advice of her agents, against the advice of the movie’s producers, and even against the advice of Ford (I can’t find the exact quote, but she said he told her something along the lines of “you should be making smarter choices”).


              • I wouldn’t say she had no career. She had a very promising career. She wasn’t A-list. But she was climbing. 6 Days killed that momentum and she took the blame (rightly or wrongly) because she came out. I think coming out when she did the way she did hurt 6 Days. But I also think 6 Days was a pretty lousy movie that would have flopped anyway. However, had she not come out the blame wouldn’t have fallen as squarely on her shoulders as it did. Even so, her career didn’t die. She’s done a lot since – mostly TV. She became a very polarizing figure, that’s for sure.


                • I liked 6 days very much. It underperformed for a Ford vehicle but was nonetheless a success overally. That movie WAS the momentum for Heche, her first leading role, the most important movie for her career. It was the launching pad, expected to make her a star (that was the plan) until she ignored everyone’s advice and got involved with Ellen, which ruined everything.

                  6 Days was such a huge opportunity for her, and it’s still frustrating that she threw it all away for a lesbian fling. And who knows if that relationship was even real on her part, since she’s only been with men since. MadTV and SNL were making fun of her regularly, portraying her as a golddigger just using Ellen for publicity. She didn’t need any of it, 6 Days would have given her that and more. If not for her lesbian phase she would be a movie star.


      • Yeah, now that ya mention it, Cal Flockhart hasn’t done much since “McBeal” but I think she does some stage-work.


        • anyone not agree that Sean was hysterical in Ace Ventura?? what would keep her from being equally funny given a proper script and deft direction?? I just refuse to believe that Ms Young is such a huge alcoholic and hated in Hollywood that she is a lost cause. In my opinion Sean is just not being given the chance to do what she is capable of. And as for all that bullshit with James Woods, correct me if I am wrong but didn’t that lawsuit end up with Woods having to pay SEAN a settlement, basically proving that he was the one that was lying???????


          • On Woods vs. Young, I wasn’t there. I don’t know what happened. I am sure they both behaved badly. It was an embarassment for both. Young’s career suffered for it. Woods no so much. Totally not fair, but it is what it is. I don’t want to pick sides, but if I did I’d probably side with Young over Woods.

            It’s been too long since I watched Ace Ventura. I don’t so much remember her being funny as I remember her being sexy. Maybe she was, I just don’t remember the movie very well. She showed she had a talent for comedy even if I wouldn’t say it was necessarily her strong suit.

            I have no doubt she is capable of delivering good or great performances comedic or otherwise. But as you point out, no one is giving her chances. Partially, that’s due to age. But even when she was younger, Hollywood had given up on her. Why? Because she had a reputation. Drink was part of that. But so was eratic behavior, the affair with Woods that went bad in a very public way, feuds with directors like Stone and the whole Catwoman embarassment.

            If Young had been a huge box office draw like Julia Roberts, Hollywood would have put up with that behavior. But even at the peak of her career, Young wasn’t a box office draw. So Hollywood was pretty quick to cut her loose. Her behavior since then has made them reluctant to give her a second chance. Note to any and all actresses: Going to rehab on a reality show will NOT get you more work. At least not the roles you want.


            • and yet, with all of Sean’s transgressions, we are still fascinated with her and talking about her over 25 years after her commercial peak. What other Hollywood actor sparks this kind of interest?? One could name some music figures, but no actors that I can think of. Sean’s defenders (like me) are rabid in their protectivity of her. If only she hadn’t broken her arm and played Vicki Vale in the original Batman!! we wail. Her detractors have plenty of ammunition in her personal and professional life to rip her to shreds. But in my opinion her Hollywood punching bag POST “B list” film life in which she is a one word gag line for comedians is what really cements her place in Hollywood history. I was friends with one of her assistants who was reading scripts for her at the time she was working on “Fatal Attraction” (I think that was what that Carl Reiner vehicle was called) So the truth is out, I am not a neutral party. Her assistant had known her since before her film career, Not surprisingly, he painted a very positive portrait of Sean as a personal person. I don’t know her, however, she has no idea who I am. It was not until several years later when I saw “No Way Out” that I became such a huge fan of hers (and to be fair “No Way Out” is equally kevin kostners and gene hackman’s triumph) But still, for me, her performance in that movie is one of the touchstone cinematic experiences of the 80′s for me. And with that, I will leave your blog alone for a while, while of course still following this thread. I hope you have a great Oscar nomination viewing season Mr. Le Beau. Signing out from Los Angeles ANTHONY


              • Hey Anthony,

                I always say that I love it when people post passionate opinions in the comments section. You definitely has a passion for Sean Young and I respect that. What’s more, you have shared your opinion in a polite and respectful manner. So kudos to you. You’ve sparked some interesting conversation and I’m grateful for your participation in the discussion. Thanks! I hope you’ll stick around. The comments section is what makes this place interesting.

                Yes, the fact that we’re still discussing Young says something about her. Do other actresses spark that level of interest? Sure. I mean, Marilyn Monroe has been dead longer than that and people are still fascinated by her. But the fact that Young is still a subject of conversation means she is at the very least interesting.

                Had Young not injured herself making Batman, I am sure she would have risen to greater heights. One can only speculate what might have happened after that. Maybe the success would have been too much for her. It’s possible that things turned out for the best for her overall. Probably not, but it’s possible. We’ll never know what could have been.

                Fatal Instinct was the Carl Reiner-directed parody Young starred in. I actually saw it in the theaters based almost entirely on Young’s involvement. I was a pretty big fan at the time.

                I am glad to hear a flattering portrayal of Young. I’m sure she has a lot of good qualities that get overlooked in all the talk about her being a crazy boozehound. My wife watched her on the Dr. Drew show and said she came across as a really sweet person.

                So thanks again for the counterpoint to the majority opinion. It’s always welcome here.


                • Thank you Mr Lebeau. You are a very nice man. I am taking a few months off from the internet in general, but as the Sean thread shows up in my inbox, I am sure I will pop up and speak eventually. In the meantime, I want to watch some of Sean’s work from the 80′s. i am particularly eager to rewatch her in “Wall Street” and somehow get a copy of her original shooting script and note the deletions Stone made in her part to rush her away. And, for the record, I am in the camp that says Mary Sean Young should play an aged Racheal in the Blade Runner sequel. But you saw that coming, right?? Peace out from the City of Angels


                  • How does an aged Rachel work if she’s a replicant who doesn’t age? I can think of a couple of ways to work it out. But really, I don’t think it’s worth it. The ONLY reason to do it is a desire to cast Sean Young. I don’t think the payoff of that is worth the gymnastics required to make that make sense.

                    I’m not sure a Blade Runner follow-up is a good idea at all. But if they do one, I think it should either be a reboot or a new story set in the same world with completely different cast of characters.


                    • I havn’t seen “Blade Runner” in a long time Are Racheals’s childhood memories totally implanted?? Now that I think of it I guess they are. Look, I’;ve broken my vow not to comment on this thread already!! I confess I did’nt read the thread about recasting Racheal very closely. It seems the consensus was that Katy Perry would be the best fit. That seems ludicrous to me. If Perry can act, it seems her skills lie as a comedienne. If Harrison Ford is involved in the project, it seems only fair that Sean should be too since her role is probably even more iconic than Fords in the film. But alas, our friend Sean is no longer a dewy eyed 25 year old. By the way , there have been reports in the tabloid press that Sean has been making showy pubiic statements demanding she be in any Blade Runner sequel. According to the “Mary Sean Young Rejected My Friend Request” Facebook site, the opposite is true and Sean has been almost completely silent on the matter. As far as I know, Sean is busy doing some kind of followup up to her “skating with the stars” appearance. She looked perfectly happy in the photo I saw of her two weeks ago practicing her skating.


                    • In Blade Runner, it was established that Young’s character was a replicant (ie. a robot). Not only that, but most replicants had a very short life span. Rachel’s life span was not capped like the others, so the character could still be alive. However, it would not make sense for her to have aged a day unless you go to the trouble of creating some kind of loophole to explain it. Not too hard to do, but probably not worth it (in my opinion).

                      I think the consensus was that Katy Perry would make a terrible Rachel due to lack of acting experience. I think she has the right look for it. I’m also pretty sure Scott could coax enough of a performance out of her to make her a believable robot.

                      It has been hinted that Ford’s character may or may not be a replicant. For a whole variety of reasons, I hate the idea. It’s a neat twist, but it robs the movie of all of the subtext about what it means to be human if Ford’s character is also a machine. So theoretically, casting an older Ford could work. It would also end the question of whether or not he was a replicant. Unless of course they do something kooky like making replicants who age. But again, I think that would be a terrible idea.

                      Sean Young did an interview with Entertainment Weekly to promote her new horror movie, Jug Face. They asked her about Blade Runner and she did in fact make a statement about her lack of involvement. She called for a boycot of the film if she wasn’t cast.

                      Here are some exerpts:

                      EW: What’s the word, if any, on your involvement in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner sequel?
                      Young: Mmm, let’s see. Alcon – they’re the ones that own it and apparently they have Ridley to direct it — and when I met with them they didn’t make any offer-plans to include me. And when I called Ridley Scott’s office, he doesn’t call me back. So I guess they’re going to go, like, prequel or…I don’t know what they’re going to do. But my official opinion is that, if they don’t include me in it, everybody should boycott it. Because it’s stupid not to have me in it. It’s really stupid. That’s my opinion! I mean, you try to tell people something sensible in Hollywood and sometimes they just don’t listen, you know. And they usually pay the price too, because everybody’s an expert.


                    • well, thank you for correcting me about Sean’s statement about boycotting the movie. I will repeat it on the sites I am on, just so the truth is out there. Ridley is going to do exactly what Ridley wants to do, he always does and the results are usually very good. If there is a new young Racheal, it should either be with someone proven or someone totally unknown, not a performance out of a celebrity who is doing it as a vanity piece. Sean will get plenty of publicity out of her “not” being in it, and hopefully we will get a fine movie to discuss. It is almost certain that the original will not be equalled.


                    • Although it should be pointed out that when Blade Runner was released, it was not a hit with audiences or critics. It gained appreciation over time. But it received mixed reviews and disappointed at the box office.

                      I actually have very little faith in Scott to make a decent follow-up. Especially after prometheus which was nice to look at but made no sense at all.


  37. Sean Young is staring in a new mafia movie called ‘Send No Flowers’ and will be signing autographs at the film’s premier on July 19th at the Long Island International Film Expo. Young will be there to take pictures with fans and sign autographs….if any fans on this site want any more information they can check out the film’s twitter page @SendNoFlowers


  38. 7 Car-Crash Actors Whose Meltdowns Were Better Than Their Careers:

    7. Sean Young

    Sometimes there’s just so much you could say that the words make themselves scarce.

    Whatever happened to 1980s Hollywood starlit, Sean Young? After playing roles in Stripes and Blade Runner, Young seemed like she was on her way to becoming one of the most sought after A-lister’s, being complimented continually for her looks and sweet demeanor. However, none of that was to happen.

    After the release of the forgettable romantic drama called The Boost in 1988, co-star James Woods would file a restraining order against Young and sue her for harassment against himself and his finance. The actress would get away with the crazy charges then by saying Woods was angry because she spurned his advances. What is apparently just Hollywood myth is that the suit was over Young gluing Woods manhood to his leg and leaving a disfigured doll on his doorstep.

    Then the unfortunate happened to Young. While on set rehearsing for Batman, she broke her arm while gearing up to play Vicki Vale and had to be replaced by Kim Basinger. From this point on her life would become an absolute mess.

    She has gone on in most recent years to be thrown out of almost every award ceremony and event she has attended. She has checked herself into rehab for alcoholism time and again and appeared on Letterman begging for work, describing her motherly relationship towards her sons while using a horsewhip, and jumping up and down while wearing a Catwoman suit (the same one she wore to beg Tim Burton for the part of Catwoman in Batman Returns), shouting “I’m not crazy.”

    The Letterman incident is pretty dang sad, but to be fair, he did steer the questions purposely to make her look bad. Doesn’t matter though in light of Sean Young being arrested again at the Oscars for slapping a security guard when he wouldn’t let her into the show.

    It appears now that everyone’s got the number for once great actress Sean Young… and they’re not going to call it.


  39. Katy Perry Wants To Play ‘Rachael’ In BLADE RUNNER 2:

    You’ve got to hand it to Katy Perry, she’s got taste…in movies anyway! The singer turned actress who provides the voice for Smurfette in the Smurfs sequel has hopes to continue her movie career with live action roles, and she’s definitely not short on ambition. “With films, I hope to win you all over with animation and then do other films,” Perry tells The Metro.co.uk “I am really interested in comedy, and I would really love to play Rachael in Blade Runner 2, if Ridley would just call! I think I’d enjoy playing the opposite of what you expect.” Rachael was the female lead in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner and was played by Sean Young. The character was a replicant, but has no knowledge of this when the story begins and is enlightened by Harrison Ford’s Deckard, whom she then becomes the love interest of. We don’t even know if Rachael will be a part of the planed sequel, but there is definitely a resemblance between Young and Perry — what do you guys think?


    • No. Katy Perry’s body is not synchronous built. Certainly not as Sean Young (was). Also, Perry is too wacky. ‘My’ Rachel isn’t.


      • I could see it. I assume Scott would direct Perry well enough to get the performance he needs. His movies are more about style anyway. Perry has a doll-like look appropriate for a replicant. Throw in Scott’s atmospheric rain and lighting and it could work.

        Although I’d prefer she play another character. Or hey, leave Blade Runner alone!


        • I’m sure directors would attempt to make their actors act good. But the history of remakes does not favor blind trust. Not from my end that is. Also from a logical point of view Kate Perry would not be the Rachel I (or we) know: often a role is based on both the script but also the actor. As in, roles are often adapted to the actor they hired. I’m sure Rachel’s way of things have been somewhat adapted to some ways fo ms. Young. Putting the original Rachel-character in the person of Katy Perry would yield either (1) a Rachel out of character or (2) a whole new Rachel. But then again, after all these years, could I accept the new Rachel still being called Rachel?


          • Honestly, I think using the original characters is just a bad idea in general. Hasn’t Scott spent the last 30 years saying Deckard is a replicant? How is that supposed to work with Ford as a senior citizen?

            If Scott wants to revisit the world of Blade Runner, I will reluctantly go along for the ride (so long as Damon Lindelof isn’t involved. But let’s start with all new characters. Nothing good can come from checking in on Deckard and Rachel.

            Perry as a replicant? Sounds like type casting. Perry as Rachel? Eh.


            • Hehe I’m not a fan of Lindelof either – to put it mildly. I’m a huge SF fan so I’ll go along for the ride as well but as usual I won’t pay for it. So on this ‘reluctance’ thing and ‘Lindelof’ we agree. This movie is based off the book written in 1995 and is just milking the cow again. So no chance to start with new characters there.

              In my quest to find something positive about Katy Perry for this role, I remember when Rachael untied her hair, she looked completely different. I could imagine Perry would do a good job with the help of make-up, lighting and lenses.

              I also notice the both of us spelled ‘Rachael’ wrong.


              • Rachael is a tough name to spell. ;)

                How about Jennifer Anniston as Rachel. Then she’d have a trendy haircut.

                I don’t seriously think there’s much danger of Perry appearing in a Blade Runner sequel/redo/whatever.


                • No, no Anniston. Even if she could, she has no goodwill from my end whatsoever. Katy Perry it is then. At least Katy is genuinely fun. Anniston should stick with her hysterical Oprah and Ellen audience.


  40. Its a shame when naive beauty gets harassed by an ugly scumbag in a world full of deceit and jealousy. Supporting Sean Young since 1991.


    • Agreed. Hey wait! Am I the “ugly scumbag” in this picture? *shakes fist in the air*

      I hardly think I’m guilty of harassing Ms. Young by posting a snarky article on a blog. You may want to look up the meaning of that word.

      I’ve been supporting Ms. Young’s career since long before 91 and I have the ticket stubs to prove it!


  41. Does anybody else believe that Sean getting fired from “Dick Tracy” (and preceding to publicly accuse Warren Beatty of firing her for turning down his sexual advances) did more harm to her career than the Catwoman stunt? Perhaps this had to do w/ the feeling that Beatty still had a lot of pull in Hollywood (far more than Tim Burton) at the tim.



    • well- maybe- but Burton had the whole studio behind him- its not like Batman was an independent Dogma film.

      Dick Tracy might have been the final straw- like Cimino going over budget on Footloose was his real exit from Hollywood-


    • Where’s his “pull” now? Beatty hasn’t made a movie since that “Town & Country” bomb.


  42. check out her website, she looks darn good for 50!


  43. No comment on her tits in the opening of The Sketch Artist (1992)?


  44. re: “or just another member of the psychopathic community.” – Sean Young

    “psychopathic community”~?!? Define. Must one be born into this “community” or do they take applications?

    I can’t recall the magazine — I think it was Esquire — but I read an article on Young years ago: It wasn’t a hatchet piece, it didn’t make fun of her, but Young, by her own words, came off as rather loopy…and I DON’T mean that in any sort of mean-spirited way. I felt sorry for her…maybe she needs medication. I hope she gets help…where some Hollywood “divas” are simply vain JERKS, it seems that Young really needs help, and not the kind with “publicity” connected to it.

    I also liked how you, Mr. LeB, referred to Doc Drew as a “celebrity ambulance chaser.” I mean, haven’t a few of his former “patients” departed this mortal veil…?

    As for whether goofy behavior is “tolerated” by MALE stars as opposed to female ones, two words: Val Kilmer. See also Tom Sizemore, almost any Baldwin brother not named Alec, Jan Michael Vincent (I’m old enough to recall when he was supposed to become a major Star), Charlie Sheen (if it weren’t for TV he’d be in direct-to-DVD movies), Michael Richards. (OK, the last one is a stretch, but still…does he have a career anymore?) The point is (if there is a point here) is that Hollyweird will tolerate almost ANYONE’s goofy, jerky, or evil behavior IF THEIR MOVIES MAKE duh Industry LOTS OF $$$. If not, I refer you to another actress that’s gone from TV to It Girl to returning-to-TV actress: Kathryn Heigl.


    • Sean Young’s comments brought me endless joy. Probably not the reaction she intended. After I was done laughing, there was sadness. You are right that she clearly needs help from someone more interested in her well being than maintaining their VH-1 reality show.

      I used to respect Dr. Drew back when he did the radio show. I think he genuinely did some good there. But with the celeb reality show, he clearly crossed a line into exploitation. And yes, many of his former patients from that show have passed.

      You hit the nail on the head that it’s all about money. Hollywood will put up with almost any behavior as long as there is a payoff. Once the money runs out, they will drop a difficult star like *that*. Unfortunately, actresses tend to have a shorter shelf life and rarely ever make as much as their male counterparts.


      • This thread has become so stupid. MARY Sean Young as she prefers to be known now was delivering pereformances in the late eighties that were THIS close to being worthy of Oscar nominations, Then after standing up to a male actor, director, or executive or two (and yes, probably enjoying a cocktail or two (do people even REMEMBER the 80′s??) she is a laugingstock?? Do people realize she has been the “draw” in about 25 direct to video productions since then?? It’s Hollywood’s loss, not Mary Sean Youngs.


        • I don’t think anyone wrote she didn’t accomplish anything, or wasn’t potential Oscar material. Nor do I think the respondents here consider her a laughing stock. But it’s a fact that her career wasn’t as optimal and there are many interesting aspects to it.


          • Exactly. Although I do consider her a laughing stock at this point. Not for her career, but for her bad public behavior. Also, her visit her still elicits laughter whenever I read her barely coherent comments. So, yeah, I am laughing at her. But with respect for her past accomplishments and whatever she has going on now. I’m assuming it’s not all as dreadful as Attack of the 50 Foot Cheerleader.


        • It’s nice of you to stand up for Ms. Young, but:

          “and yes, probably enjoying a cocktail or two” — I’m sorry, but this is DENIAL CITY. A heavy-drinking relative once told me, “Ya can’t be an alcoholic on BEER!” I guess because beer has no alky therein. Ms. Young was in rehab once or twice for alcoholism, and I assume she wasn’t there just for fun.

          Finally, being in LOTS of direct-to-video productions is nothing to brag about, especially as many (though by no means all) of these productions are crap.


          • shemp montgomery clift was a pillhead and an alcoholic. and your opinion of his acting skills is… Hollywood artists don’t develop “mystiques” for good or for bad based on nada. sean was dragged through the scandal sheet press brutally because she sold papers. my point ab out her being a veteran of direct to view videos is that she has remained reliable and level headed enough to still support herself in her chosen profession. If you want to research Mary Sean Young you have to start with the press reputatiuon she had in the industry before “No Way Out”. I am in no way putting down anyone interested in Sean’s kooky niche in modern Hollywood history, but sometimes the wheat has to be divided from the chaff.


            • There’s no doubt Young’s press changed. At one point, she was a darling of Hollywood. She was the next big thing. But you can’t absolve her of her role in sinking her own career. She had a habit of biting the hand that fed her.

              It’s great that she’s been functional enough to continue working. As always, I wish her nothing but the best. That includes sobriety. Either way, I want to be objective with both the successes and the shortcomings.


          • I think being in direct-to-video can be something to brag about. I bet our own Daffy Stardust would love to have Young’s DTV career. But it’s definitely a step down for an actress who was once considered a rising star.

            That’s a nit pick. Your main point is solid. You can’t talk about Young’s career without addressing he substance abuse problem. She made it a public issue.

            I’m sympathetic towards Young. A lot of the things she did to get herself blacklisted would have been perfectly acceptable had she been a man. To that extent, she was a victim of the system. But you can’t excuse drunken oubursts at awards shows.


            • Who is Daffy Stardust?

              As for direct-to-DVD “stardom”: Yeah, I’m sure many struggling actors DREAM of starring in movies that get shown on the SyFy channel (a sign a career is circling the drain) or are mostly available in Walgreen’s for $3.99. Just like many singers look forward to seeing their albums in the bargain/clearance bin of a music store. (Which is NOT to imply that albums in those sections are garbage…in fact I’ve found many a FANTASTIC listen therein. LOTS of great albums get released and don’t sell for various reasons. But nobody wants to see their album for sale in the 99 cent bins…would you?) Not ALL direct-to-cable/video movies are crap, but many of them, sadly, are.


              • Daffy Stardust is a contributor here on the site. He writes the Boardwalk Empire articles. He also did a series on comedy through the decades and a look at the jurors in 12 Angry Men. He’s an actor who has posted articles about his stage work as well as a zombie movie he worked on. I think he is actually representative of the vast majority of actors. It puts things into perspective. Most actors would kill for the level of success of someone like Young.

                In these articles, I tend to poke fun because the celeb in question failed to maintain their fabulous success indefinitely (and been taken to task for it in the comments section). I will be the first to admit, that this is not a reasonable expectation. The fact that these stars ever became as successful as they were is nothing short of extraordinary. It’s worth pointing out every now and then that even though I’m having some fun at the subject’s expense, they all accomploshed something pretty great.


        • That’s certainly one point of view. I’m sure it’s the one Young would endorse. But it’s painfully one-sided.

          Young is still a working actress which is a major accomplishment that should be recognized. Good for her that she has found work in direct-to-video productions. A lot of actresses would kill for her level of success.

          But Young isn’t a laughing stock because she stood up to James Woods, Warren Beatty or Oliver Stone. She’s a laughing stock because of her public intoxication, making a speactacle out of herself in the Catwoman incident and at awards shows, and desperately grasping at some level of C-list stardom with sad turns on reality shows like Skating with the Stars and Dr. Drew.

          I’m happy to talk about all of Young’s successes. But let’s not ignore her role in the implosion of her Hollywood career.


          • She actually would have been a pretty good Catwoman- no doubt better than Hathaway-


            • I have no doubt young would have made a great, slinky Catwoman. Although I thought Hathway was terrific too. Really, playing Catwoman is all about attitude and filling out the skin-tight leather. Not necessarily in that order. It wasn’t that Young was wrong for the role. It’s how she went about it – as with many things in her career.


          • re: Young isn’t a laughing stock because she stood up to James Woods, Warren Beatty or Oliver Stone. She’s a laughing stock because of her public intoxication, making a spectacle out of herself in the Catwoman incident and at awards shows, and desperately grasping at some level of C-list stardom with sad turns on reality shows like Skating with the Stars and Dr. Drew.

            Thank you! It’s good she has loyal fans and I honestly DO wish her the best and I hope she gets some proper help. But Young DID “torpedo” her own career with goofy and/or irresponsible behavior.

            As for male “stars” and people being more “accepting” of their goofy behavior: Look up any Baldwin brother NOT named Alec; Tom Sizemore, Val Kilmer, Mike Myers, Michael Madsen and Chevy Chase….I’m almost CERTAIN they’ll have time to chat w/ you.



            • When Dr. Drew was chasing after Britney Spears, it was just impossible to maintain any respect for him as a medical professional. He showed his true colors. He’s a self-promoter first and foremost.


  45. Also: Mike Myers and Cheevy Chase Lounge, two august members of THIS community, are male “stars” that nobody wants to deal so much no-more w/ their shite anymore after their bombs.


  46. She’ll forever be an ageless (*emphasis on the ‘ageless’) Replicant to me.


  47. 10 Actors Who Blew Their Big Chance Before They Got Going:

    Sean Young

    Sean Young is probably best known as the female lead in 1982′s sci-fi classic Blade Runner. She had a couple of other hits in the 80s (including Dune), but the intensity of her performance opposite Harrison Ford suggested that she was destined for greater things. However, towards the end of the decade, Young began to get a reputation for disruptive behaviour on set. She clashed with Oliver Stone during the filming of Wall Street which reportedly led him to cut her role down. After a rocky time filming the 1988 movie The Boost, her co-star James Woods sued her for millions for harassment. It was settled out of court in 1989, according to EW.

    She has starred in a long list of TV movies in recent years, and the sheer volume of credits on her IMDB page suggests that she may be trying to make ends meet. Since 2008, Young has been in and out of rehab for alcoholism, and is periodically featured in the tabloids for drunken conduct such as an attempt to break into a post-Oscars ball in 2012. Here’s hoping that Young can deal with her demons and find her way back to roles worthy of her talent.


  48. The moment it all went wrong:

    As nutty as Sean Young is, I have no doubt that Beatty fired her when she wouldn’t put out. She just called him on it publicly. Woods is an a**hole in his own right and he was married to the women who was his fiance when the Young thing was going on for all of about a month. The press played up the Sean Young is crazy angle including the fake rumor that “Fatal Attraction” was based on her. Oliver Stone cut her role down in “Wall Street” after she went up to him and insisted she should be playing the Daryl Hannah part. Years later he realized she was right, that she would have been better in that part.

    by: Anonymous reply 23 01/01/2011 @ 05:29PM

    I knew Sean Young in the early ’90s — a close friend was Sean’s assistant/sycophantic hanger-on. Sean had pictures of James Woods all over her apartment although she was denying having anything to do with him. She was a manipulative person and very full of herself. I have no problem believing she was capable of doing some very odd things.

    by: Anonymous reply 32 01/01/2011 @ 05:44PM


  49. The Mother Brain Files Underrated Actors Special: Sean Young:

    This latest installment of the Underrated Actors Special is a very controversial choice indeed. Yet, I do find the incredibly sexy 80s star, Sean Young, to be someone fitting the definition of underrated actor. With her exotic looks and her Bacall-like voice, she burst onto the screen strong with her memorable performance in Blade Runner which opened up a wide variety of opportunities. She earned some film roles that turned into franchises while others that could have shot her career to the moon ended up in disappointment. But there’s no question she paved the way for the likes of Sharon Stone, Demi Moore, Anne Hathaway, etc.

    Mary Sean Young was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1959. Media was in her blood from an early beginning with her screenwriter mother, Lee Guthrie, and journalist father, Donald Young. After graduating from Cleveland Heights High School, Young attended the Interlochen Arts Academy followed by the School of American Ballet in New York. She spent much of her time in New York as a model and dancer before pursuing acting full time.

    After making her film debut in 1980’s Jane Austen in Manhattan, Young’s first star making role that slipped away was the role of Marion Ravenwood in Raiders of the Lost Ark. She had tested with the then unknown Tom Selleck who nearly won the role until he was forced to turn it down due to his TV commitment to Magnum P.I. (The screen test video would be finally made public when Raiders was released on DVD). The film would ultimately star Harrison Ford and Karen Allen. Young, however, did win the part of the military M.P. love interest of Harold Ramis in the 1981 comedy hit, Stripes. Not only did Young show she could be a credible leading actress but she also revealed her natural comedic timing in the film, holding her own opposite Ramis and the film’s star, Bill Murray.

    Young soon got the industry talking when she was cast as the replicant “Rachel” in the Ridley Scott sci-fi classic based on the Philip K. Dick story, Blade Runner, in 1982. As the experimental replicant assistant to Tyrell, the replicant creator, Rachel falls into the arms of the film’s detective/hunter hero, Deckard (Harrison Ford) after discovering the truth about her implanted memories which makes her a prime target for ‘retirement’. Young was pitch perfect in the role starting out as a stoic, emotionless assistant and then ultimately feeling a touch of humanity due to Deckard’s love. Her best moments in the film involved the sexual tension between Rachel and Deckard which were photographed beautifully by Ridley Scott with his use of film noir-style low key lighting and smoke haze to add to the atmosphere. While it gained little respect in its initial release, Blade Runner has become not only a cult classic of its genre but it’s also the quintessential piece of brilliant cinema.

    Young’s next major role was that of Chani in David Lynch’s adaptation of the Frank Herbert classic novel, Dune. This time, Young got to not only play the love interest of Kyle MacLachlan’s Paul Atreides but as one of the Fremen warriors on the desert planet, she got to be more physical in massive battle scenes in the film’s third act. Her performance also seems to have served as inspiration for Carrie-Anne Moss’ Trinity character in The Matrix films. Like Blade Runner, Dune did not have a warm reception from critics or audiences when it was released in 1984 and sequel plans were scrapped as a result. But it still has a following of fans to this day.

    Continuing to work steadily during the period, Young appeared in a number of forgettable films including Young Doctors in Love and Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend. But in 1987, Young was back on the Hollywood radar when she played Kevin Costner’s girlfriend in Roger Donaldson’s hit thriller, No Way Out. The role of Susan Atwell became signature for Young: An upbeat loose woman on the outside with dark secrets being concealed inside. While her on-screen chemistry with previous actors like Ford and MacLachlan were relatively good, her on-screen chemistry with Costner had heads turning with their now infamous love scene in the back of a limousine. No Way Out was not only the high point of Young’s career but it would also be the beginning of the end.

    Her downward spiral from the A-list started when she was cast as Michael Douglas‘ wife in Oliver Stone’s Wall Street. What should have been a top billing role opposite Douglas, Charlie Sheen, and Blade Runner co-star, Daryl Hannah, became a drastically cut down performance due to conflicts with the director as well as Hannah who was frustrated with her own role. Things only got worse with her next film, The Boost, where she had off-screen drama with her co-star James Woods who would try to sue her for harassment. Things did seem to turn around when Young was cast as Vicki Vale in Tim Burton’s Batman. Unfortunately, a horseback riding accident during filming left her physically unfit to complete production and Kim Basinger took her place. The enormous success of Batman turned Basinger into one of the hottest actresses in Hollywood and Young was left out in the cold.

    By the early 90s, Young’s career would suffer more bad luck. Warren Beatty would cast her as Tess Truehart in Dick Tracy only to replace her with Glenne Headly after production started. Young claims she turned down Beatty’s advances towards her while Beatty felt she was too sexy to be the extreme opposite of Madonna’s Breathless Mahoney character. Then her subsequent films like Fire Birds, A Kiss Before Dying, and Once Upon a Crime went completely ignored by audiences. But all that paled in comparison with her controversial publicity stunt in 1991 when Young lobbied so hard to audition for Catwoman in Batman Returns that she and a camera crew stormed into the Warner Bros production offices in a homemade costume scoping out Tim Burton. After Michelle Pfeiffer was cast in the role, Young was seen by the Hollywood community as not only a difficult actress but also a complete lunatic.

    After several movie mishaps (Fatal Instinct, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, etc.), Young made a brief comeback as a Miami lieutenant with a disturbing secret in 1994’s Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. The film which turned In Living Color comedian Jim Carrey into an overnight movie star utilized the combination of Young’s troubled public persona and the feline-like swagger of her earlier roles to create the character of Lois Einhorn. Carrey himself encouraged Young to play the part like a ticking time-bomb waiting to explode and she threw herself into the role to the point where she not only had one of the most insane man versus woman fight scene but she also posed in a wig and fake mustache for (SPOILER ALERT) a picture of Einhorn’s previous identity as disgraced Miami Dolphins player Ray Finkle.

    The rest of the 90s and most of the 2000s saw Young working steadily in mostly straight-to-video films and appearances on shows such as Boston Public and Reno 911. She also made some video game history when she reprised the role of Rachel in a Blade Runner video game for the PC, having her face scanned and reproduced in 3D. In 2010, Young had a recurring role on The Young and the Restless and was featured in the first season of ABC’s Skating with the Stars. While her personal and professional issues are not quite behind her yet, Young is looking to let her troubled past go and devote more time to family as well as interacting with fans via social media. With a new generation of filmmakers who grew up with her films coming up, perhaps the time will turn to the point where good luck will be on her side.


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