Diana Elizabeth Scarwid (born August 27, 1955) is an American actress. Scarwid has done work in film, television and theater.


 [hide*1 Personal life

Personal life[edit]Edit

Scarwid was born in Savannah, Georgia, and left Georgia at the age of 17, heading to New York to become an actress. She graduated from Pace University and The American Academy of Dramatic Arts simultaneously, completing the dual program as an honor student. Scarwid was active in the University of Georgia Theater Workshop, the National Shakespeare Conservatory, and the Film Actor's Workshop at Burbank Studios.[citation needed]


Scarwid married Eric Scheinbart, a physician, in 1977. The couple have two children, Jeremy and Ursula. They divorced in 1995.[1]

Film work[edit]Edit

Scarwid's first film appearance was in Louis Malle's Pretty Baby (1978). She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as John Savage's girlfriend in Inside Moves (1980).

Scarwid is perhaps most recognized for her next role, that of Christina Crawford, the abused adopted daughter of Hollywood legend Joan Crawford in the 1981 film Mommie Dearest (film). The film, originally conceived as a dramatic piece, was derided as being over-the-top, then eventually assumed a second life as a camp classic. Scarwid received generally good reviews although several critics claimed that her Southern accent surfaced in several scenes.[2] She later appeared in Silkwood (1983), Psycho III (1986) and the film version of Brenda Starr (1993) starring Brooke Shields. She garnered critical acclaim for her supporting role in 1986's Extremities, starring Farrah Fawcett.

In 1995 she starred as Sarah in the film The Neon Bible opposite Denis Leary. In recent years, Scarwid has garnered more high-profile film roles. She appeared in the 2000 film What Lies Beneath and in 2003, she appeared in Party Monster as Michael Alig's mother, Elke Alig.


Scarwid portrayed Rose Kennedy in the made-for-TV JFK: The Restless Years (1993), and Bess Truman in the HBO film Truman (1995), playing opposite Gary Sinise, for which she earned an Emmy nomination. She was featured in the 2000 Showtime film Dirty Pictures.

In 2001, Scarwid guest-starred on an episode of Law & Order entitled "Myth of Fingerprints", as fingerprint expert Lisa Russo. This was followed by a 2004 appearance in the "Head" episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, as alcoholic mother Jackie Madden.

In 2004, Scarwid landed a contract role in the acclaimed Fox television series Wonderfalls. Scarwid received acclaim for her portrayal of family matriarch Karen Tyler.[3] The show was cancelled after only a few airings, but a DVD has been released of the full 13-episode season.

In 2006, Scarwid appeared as Jeanette Owens in the sixth, seventh and eighth episodes of the second season of the series Prison Break. She also has been featured as Isabel in the third season of Lost, as the figurative "sheriff" of The Others in the episode "Stranger in a Strange Land". In 2008, Scarwid appeared as Mother Superior in first three episodes of the second season of the Bryan Fuller television series Pushing Daisies. In 2009, she appeared in the third season of the television series Heroes in the episode "1961", portraying Angela Petrelli's sister, Alice.


Year Title Role Notes
1976 Starsky and Hutch Lisa Graham Episode: "Nightmare"
Gibbsville Kathleen Episode: "Andrea"
1977 Bunco Lolly TV movies
In the Glitter Palace Casey Walker
The Possessed Lane
Kingston: Confidential Episode: "Golden Girl"
1978 Forever Sybil Davidson TV movies
Battered Doris Thompson
Pretty Baby Frieda
1979 Studs Lonigan Catherine Banahan TV mini-series
Hawaii Five-O Carole Walker Episode: "The Spirit Is Willie"
1980 Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones Sheila Langtree TV movie
Honeysuckle Rose Jeanne
Inside Moves Louise Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
1981 Mommie Dearest Christina Crawford Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress
1982 Desperate Lives Eileen Phillips TV movies
Thou Shalt Not Kill Susan Masters
1983 Strange Invaders Margaret Nominated—Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress
Rumble Fish Cassandra
Silkwood Angela
1985 A Bunny's Tale Toby TV movie
1986 The Ladies Club Lucy Bricker
Psycho III Maureen Coyle
Extremities Terry
Heat Cassie
1987 After the Promise Anna Jackson TV movie
1989 Brenda Starr Libby 'Lips' Lipscomb
1991 Night of the Hunter Willa Harper TV movie
1993 The American Experience Louisa Holt Episode: "Simple Justice"
Labor of Love: The Arlette Schweitzer Story Darlene TV movies
J.F.K.: Reckless Youth Rose Kennedy
1995 The Cure Gail
The Neon Bible Sarah
Truman Bess Truman TV movie

Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie

Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain Lynette Salerno
1996 The Outer Limits Elizabeth Halsey Episode: "Trial by Fire"
Bastard Out of Carolina Aunt Raylene
If These Walls Could Talk Marcia Schulman TV movies
Critical Choices Diana
The Angel of Pennsylvania Avenue Mrs. Annie Feagan
1998 The X Files Linda Bowman Episode: "Kitsunegari"
Ruby Bridges Miss Woodmere TV movie
From the Earth to the Moon Joan Aldrin Episode: "Mare Tranquilitatis"
A Will of Their Own Crystal Eastman TV mini-series
Before He Wakes Joanne Michaels TV movies
1999 Down Will Come Baby Dorothy McIntyre
2000 Dirty Pictures Dianne
What Lies Beneath Jody
2001 Law & Order Lisa Russo Episode: "Myth of Fingerprints"
2002 Path to War Marny Clifford TV movie
The Angel Doll Fronia Black
2003 A Guy Thing Sandra
Party Monster Elke
2004 The Clearing Eva Finch
Wonderfalls Karen Tyler 14 episodes
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Jackie Madden Episode: "Head"
2005 Red Thread Miss Johnson
2006 Valley of the Heart's Delight Natalie Walsh
Local Color Edith Talia
Swimming with the Virgin Mother
Prison Break Jeanette Owens Episode: "Subdivision"

Episode: "Buried" Episode: "Dead Fall"

2007 Lost Isabel Episode: "Stranger in a Strange Land"
2008 And Then She Was Gone Woman in Disguise
Dream Boy Vivian
Cold Case Rayanne Leland Episode: "Spiders"
Pushing Daisies Mother Superior Episode: "Bzzzzzzzzzz!"

Episode: "Circus, Circus" Episode: "Bad Habits"

2009 Episode: "Window Dressed to Kill"
Tribute Cathy Morrow TV movie
Heroes Alice Shaw Episode: "1961"
The Cleaner Mrs. Geiler Episode: "Split Ends"
Criminal Minds Jane Winmar Episode: "Cradle to Grave"
2011 Another Happy Day Donna
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