What the Hell Happened to Madeleine Stowe?
Madeleine Stowe was a rising star in the late 80s and early 90s. She worked with A-list directors like Tony Scott, Michael Mann, Robert Altman and Terry Gilliam. Stowe seemed destined for a long and distinguished career as a leading lady. And then, poof, she vanished. In the mid-nineties, her movie career cooled off. It warmed up briefly in the late 90s, but ended just a few short years later.
What the hell happened?
But wait a second, you say. Stowe is on the TV show Revenge. She looks fantastic and was nominated for a Golden Globe. That’s what the hell happened to her. Fair enough. Pre-2011, Stowe was high on my WTHH list. But since she’s been on a network TV show, I’ve had her on the WTHH back-burner. But people still ask about her. A lot. So we’re going to go ahead and cover Stowe’s career even though she’s had a pretty impressive resurgence. The question is, what the hell happened to Stowe’s movie career?
Stowe trained as a concert pianist from age 10-18. She was a shy child and threw herself into her training as a way to avoid having to socialize with her peers. Her Russian instructor continued teaching her on his deathbed. After he passed at the age of 92, Stowe quit training. According to Stowe, “I just felt it was time to not be by myself anymore.” At the age of 18, Stowe started dating.
While attending the University of Southern California, Stowe appeared in a production of Solaris at a Beverly Hills theater. An agent discovered her in the play and started getting her work on TV.
In 1978, Stowe made her TV debut on the cop show, Baretta. She also played a damsel-in-distress on the live action Marvel super hero show, The Amazing Spider-man (pictured). If you want to see what Spidey looked like in the 70s, you can watch the entire groovy episode through the wonders of the internet:
My favorite part of the episode is when Spidey fights Odd Job (well, a henchmen played by Harold Sakata of Goldfinger fame anyway) who throws ninja stars instead of a bladed bowler hat. Once he dispatches of the henchmen, he rescues Stowe, stuffs her in a car and drives away… you know, like the webslinger does in the comics. In the next scene, he swings off a balcony with her for absolutely no reason other than to prove he can.
Later that year, Stowe played Mary in the TV movie The Nativity.
John Shea played Joseph. The movie focused on their relationship. It was kind of When Joseph Met Mary…
The next day, Stowe appeared in the TV movie, The Deerslayer. The movie was an adaptation of James Fenimore Cooper’s novel. Stowe’s dialogue was redubbed by another actress.
In 1979, Stowe appeared on an episode of the Buddy Ebsen detective show, Barnaby Jones.
The episode was called School of Terror and Sean Penn was also a guest star.
In 1980, Stowe appeared in the Civil War mini-series, Beulah Land. Lesley Ann Warren and Eddie Albert starred. The cast also included Don Johnson and Meredith Baxter.
Later that year, Stowe played a blind painter on an episode of Little House on the Prairie titled, Portrait of Love.
Man, did that show love blindness or what?
In 1981, Stowe appeared in an episode of the MASH spin-off, Trapper John, M.D.
Posted on December 27, 2014, in Movies, What the Hell Happened?, WTHH Actress and tagged madeleine stowe, revenge, Stakeout, The Last of the Mohicans, twelve monkeys. Bookmark the permalink. 62 Comments.