Former child actress Fairuza Balk started her screen career at the age of 11 when she starred as Dorothy in Return to Oz (1985). A sweet-faced child with dark hair and striking blue eyes, Balk -- whose first name means "turquoise" in Persian -- was summarily typecast in sugary roles in television movies. She spent some time in England making films and got a chance at more adult fare in 1989 when she played easily deflowered convent girl Cecile DeVolanges in Milos Forman's Valmont. Balk subsequently returned to the U.S. and, at the age of 18, she earned some of the greatest acclaim of her young career for her portrayal of Shade, a sensitive girl growing up in a dead-end New Mexico town, in Gas, Food, Lodging (1992), the esteemed directorial debut of Alison Anders. Following further TV and film work, Balk earned a certain degree of cult status with her starring role as a psychotic teenage witch in The Craft (1996). In keeping with the goth image fostered by her role in the film, Balk subsequently bought Panpipes, a famed Hollywood occult shop. In 1998, the actress ventured into more mainstream territory as the girlfriend of Adam Sandler in the smash comedy The Waterboy. That same year, she earned plaudits playing another girlfriend, this time in American History X, which cast her as the love interest of a neo-Nazi (Edward Norton). As the 2000's unfolded, Balk would continue to appear on screen in movies like Almost Famous, Wild Tigers I Have Known, and Humboldt County.
Biography by Sandra Brennan
- First name in Persian translates to "turquoise."
- Relocated with her mother to Vancouver at age 3.
- Made her screen debut as Dorothy Gale in Return to Oz (1985).
- Studied at the Royal Academy of Ballet in London; the Bush Davies School of Theatre Arts in the U.K.; and Vancouver Academy of Music.
- Bought an occult store while doing research for her role in The Craft (1996) and sold the business in 2001.
- Art creations were displayed in 2008 at the Melissa Morgan Fine Arts Gallery in Palm Desert, Cal.
- Recorded and independently released single "Stormwinds" in 2010.