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Success arrived early for Mädchen Amick.  Best known to audiences for her role in "Twin Peaks," she recently starred as Wendall Meade, Dr. Carter's (Noah Wyle) love interest on the successful drama "ER," and on "Joey," playing a photographer and love interest for Joey (Matt LeBlanc).

When she was 16, Amick--with her parents' blessing--dropped out of school and moved to Los Angeles, where she found work in modeling and music videos.  Her acting career began quite modestly with roles on "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and "Baywatch."  Her first starring role was in the 1990 low-budget horror telefilm "I'm Dangerous Tonight."

In 1990, director David Lynch, who played a pivotal role in Amick's development as an actress, chose Amick to play waitress Shelly Johnson on the series "Twin Peaks," and viewers of that cult hit soon came to love her sensually innocent character who endured terrible abuse at the hands of her husband, Leo.

A highlight of Amick's career is the feature film "Dream Lover," a thriller in which she starred with James Spader.  It is one of the few films to showcase her awesome ability to portray a complex character.  Film critic Roger Ebert called her performance "perfect," and said that he expected to "see more great things from this talented actress."

Her other credits include an episode of "Jake in Progress," opposite John Stamos; Stephen King's "Sleepwalkers"; "Trapped in Paradise," opposite Nicolas Cage; "Scenes of the Crime," with Jeff Bridges, Morris Chestnut and Noah Wyle; and the series "Central Park West" and 1998's "Fantasy Island."

Amick was born in Reno, Nevada.  Her name means "maiden" or "young woman" in German and results from the desire of her parents, Bill and Judy, to give their daughter a name more unusual than their own.

Amick divides her time between New York and Los Angeles.  She is married with two children.  Her birth date is December 12.