Heather Locklear Biography:

Blonde, with perfect California girl cuteness and an attractive air of self-possession, actress Heather Locklear made an indelible mark on television, her unforgettable roles in the Aaron Spelling dramas "Dynasty" (ABC) and "Melrose Place" (Fox) among the most notable entries in a prolific decades-spanning career. Perky, but with an undercurrent of peremptoriness, Locklear hit the big time soon after she left her freshman studies at UCLA to pursue an acting career. Before long, the neophyte had secured guest spots on such series as "CHiPs" (NBC) and "Eight Is Enough" (ABC) and supporting roles in the unremarkable TV-movies "Twirl" (NBC) and "Return of the Beverly Hillbillies" (CBS). In late 1981, Locklear joined the cast of the primetime soap "Dynasty", playing Sammy Jo Dean, the seemingly innocent niece of Krystle Carrington, in town for a brief visit. The visit turned into eight seasons on the series, and Sammy Jo proved a force to reckon with, allowing Locklear to treat audiences to some of the more enjoyable scenes of two-faced opportunism in primetime television.

While playing this deliciously deceitful manipulator on ABC's "Dynasty", Locklear demonstrated her adaptability and established her place as a veritable TV fixture with a concurrent role on the network's police drama "T.J. Hooker" (ABC 1982-1985, CBS 1985-1986). The actress co-starred alongside William Shatner, and brought fresh-faced enthusiasm and girl-next-door sexiness to the role of Officer Stacy Sheridan for five seasons. These two ABC roles offered Locklear unparalleled visibility while showcasing her versatility, and television audiences developed a fondness for and familiarity with the actress that would make her continually marketable, helping to cut down on the long-term career lulls that can follow series work. By all accounts and appearances the archetypal nice girl, Locklear married bad boy rocker Tommy Lee in 1985, a move that embodied the ideals of that decade's excess and cast just enough mystery on the actress to make her all the more interesting and attractive to an audience.

Following the demise of "Dynasty", Locklear found herself in the unique and not altogether pleasant position of being a somewhat legendary veteran of television, while still roundly considered a young ingenue. Haunted by the specter of "Dynasty" and its melodramatic reputation, the actress managed to land a spate of TV-movie work, including "Rock 'n' Roll Mom" (1988) and "Rich Men, Single Women" (1990), as well as a starring role in the short-lived sitcom "Going Places" (1990-1991), all on ABC. Still, her most memorable credit from this time period was her reprise of Sammy Jo in the long-awaited two-part "Dynasty: The Reunion" (1991).

Work in unremarkable TV-movies followed, before Locklear staged a most triumphant comeback, joining the cast of Fox's "Melrose Place" from 1993 to 1999. Her character Amanda Woodward was slightly older and infinitely wiser than the assembled group of twentysomethings populating the series, and injected some much needed life in to the flailing program. The tart-tongued and unstoppable Amanda didn't shy away from destruction, and with skirts as short as her temper, managed to seduce nearly every man on the show, while engrossing a loyal audience. Locklear's calculating and uncompromising antics as Amanda jazzed up the series, while her work on the program reestablished her reputation and energized her career. In 1995, she starred in the ABC miniseries "Texas Justice" and skillfully handled the challenging role of a woman suffering with multiple personality disorder in the following year's "Shattered Mind" (NBC). By now she had not only traded in her hard partying Motley Crue drummer husband (they divorced in 1992) for the more stable Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi guitarist and former Cher flame), but she had also begun to emerge in interviews and appearances as an intelligent and genuine person with an evolved self-mocking sense of humor.

While she was always a popular actress, public opinion and critical acclaim had never previously reached the heights it scaled in the late 90s. When "Melrose Place" bid adieu at season's end in 1999, it wasn't long before Locklear was cast in the ensemble of the New York-set political sitcom "Spin City" (ABC), playing Caitlin Moore, the driven campaign manager spearheading the mayor's bid for the US Senate. Again part of a quirky ensemble, but this time working in comedy, the actress made the most of her talents and quickly insinuated herself into viewers' good graces.

While her work on television has certainly been prolific and has adeptly embraced both the sublime and the ridiculous, Locklear has had less luck on the big screen, following up a brief supporting role in 1984's "Firestarter" with a most inauspicious lead acting debut in the sci-fi clunker "Return of the Swamp Thing" (1989). Not surprisingly, feature roles were few and far between for the actress following that debacle, and her next film endeavor, the thriller "Illusions" paired her with former "Dynasty" co-star Emma Samms and bypassed theaters in 1992 for direct-to-video release. The following year she had a memorable turn with a cameo playing herself in the comedy sequel "Wayne's World 2". A supporting role in "The First Wives Club" (1996) ended up a silent uncredited cameo after editing. Locklear fared slightly better with the screen time afforded her in the adventure comedy "Money Talks" (1997).

In 1999, Locklear joined the cast of "Spin City", portraying Communications Director Caitlin Moore. When Micheal J. Fox retired from the sitcom, Locklear continued her wise-cracking innuendos but focusing them on Fox's replacement Charlie Sheen. In 2002, Locklear decided to end her run with the sitcom that earned her two Golden Globe Nominations, Before making her way back to the big screen, she guest starred in three episodes of the NBC hit comedy "Scrubs", after which, it was off to New York where she co-starred in the dramedy "Molly Gunn", a feature directed by Boaz Yakin.

 



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