What the Hell Happened to Leelee Sobieski?
For a brief time in the late 1990’s, Leelee Sobieski was going to be The Next Big Thing. She looked so much like a young Helen Hunt, that many people thought they were related. At the time, Hunt was a big star. So by the transitive property, it stood to reason that Sobieski would go one to similar levels of success. Up through about 2001, everything seemed to be lining up for Sobieski. But before you could say The Wicker Man, it was over. Sobieski seemed to disappear.
What the hell happened?
Sobieski’s real name is Liliane Rudabet Gloria Elsveta Sobieski which is at least two names too many. Clearly Rudabet and Elsveta had to go. Whoever came up with the idea of shortening that mouthful down to “Leelee” is some kind of genius. I named this site “Lebeau’s Le Blog” for no other reason than I liked the repetition of the “le” sounds. I have to think the same reasoning was applied here. It’s just so much fun to say. “Leelee Sobieski”. You can’t say that and not smile a little.
Sobieski has a very unusual and potentially royal heritage which she discussed with Craig Ferguson in 2005:
As a child, Sobieski was spotted by a talent agent in a cafeteria at a private school in New York. Because apparently private schools in New York allow talent agents to troll their cafeterias. I can’t be the only one who finds that mildly creepy. No doubt the talent agent thought he was watching Helen Hunt’s niece as she ate her fish sticks. Soon, she was in the running for Kirsten Dunst’s role in Interview With the Vampire.
I was in my school cafeteria in New York and a casting director asked me to meet with one of her assistants. It turns out she was casting Interview With the Vampire, but I went in only for a general purpose meeting. The irony is that I constantly think how I would love to be a vampire–not for the blood-sucking part, but for the essence, the coolness, the magical quality. Anyway, I read some lines and I was just awful. I thought acting was making a lot of expressions.
In 1994, Sobieski made her acting debut in the TV movie, Reunion. Marlo Thomas starred as a mother who loses her child. After dealing with the loss, her child returns. Tears are shed. Lessons are learned. And based on the picture above, wings and halos are donned.
More importantly, viewing audiences everywhere learned how much fun it is to say “Leelee Sobieski”.
In 1995, Sobieski starred opposite Robert Urich in the TV movie, A Horse For Danny.
Sobieski played a precocious 11-year-old who hangs out at the race track with her uncle played by Urich. As this is a TV movie, Danny knows more about racing than any of the adults around her including her uncle who trains horses for a living. Danny decides to help her uncle by picking out a prize horse for him to train.
In 1995 and 1996, Sobieski was doing the child actor thing on TV shows. She had guest spots on Grace Under Fire and News Radio. She also had a regular gig playing Mark Harmon’s daughter on the crime drama, Charlie Grace. Harmon played a cop who was kicked off the force for busting fellow cops. He becomes a single dad and a private investigator. 9 episodes were filmed. Only 6 aired before the show was cancelled. Here’s a taste:
Posted on February 2, 2014, in Movies, What the Hell Happened?, WTHH Actress and tagged 88 minutes, Deep Impact, eyes wide shut, In the Name of the King, joan of arc, joy ride, leelee sobieski, never been kissed, The Wicker Man. Bookmark the permalink. 103 Comments.