Superfans of Fairuza Balk know the actress from cult hits like The Craft and The Waterboy, but would you believe one of her first roles was playing Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz? The actress continues to grace TV and movie screen, but where is she now?
Fairuza Balk was born in Point Reyes, CA on May 21, 1974 to Solomon Feldthouse and Catherine Belk. The actress’ name, Fairuza, means turquoise in Persian, and her father named her after the color of her eyes.
Her father, who was born David Earle Scaff, was a founding member of Kaleidoscope, a 60s psychedelic rock band, and her mother was a belly dancer. While the actress was born in California, she moved to Michigan, where she lived with her mother until she was two, before moving to Canada.
After moving to Vancouver, British Columbia, from Michigan, Balk began acting when she was six. The actress traveled to London and Paris for acting roles before returning to Canada. Balk made her first television appearance in the TV movie The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (1983) and then landed the part of Dorothy Gale in Return to Oz (1985) at the age of 11.
Return to Oz was the unofficial sequel to the classic 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz, and the role earned Balk a nomination for the Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor. The movie follows Dorothy as she returns to Oz and finds it taken over by the Nome King, and she ventures to restore it with new friends.
Fairuza Balk has appeared in numerous films over the years, and there’s no sign of her stopping soon. So, here’s a look at some of her most notable acting roles.
Balk played Cecile in the 1989 romantic drama Valmont, which starred Colin Firth and Annette Bening. In the film, Balk’s character is betrothed to a middle-aged man, despite being only 15 years old.
The movie is based on a 1782 French novel, but fans of the book will notice many differences between the two. Overall, the film received mixed reviews and brought average ratings at the box office.
Balk played Sonya Weiler in the 1994 period drama film Imaginary Crimes, an adaptation of the 1982 semi-autobiographical novel by Sheila Ballantyne. The plot revolved around a widowed con artist as he raised his two daughters, one being Balk after his wife died from cancer.
One of Balk’s most well-known roles was in the 1996 supernatural horror film The Craft, for which she became famous for her iconic line, “We are the weirdos, mister.”
The actress played Nancy Downs, one of four girls wishing to pursue witchcraft. The film gained a cult following, and Balk earned a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress nomination. Balk won the MTV Movie Award for Best Fight with co-star Robin Tunney.
Balk landed the supporting role of Stacey in the 1998 crime drama film American History X which starred Edward Norton and Edward Furlong. The dramatic movie follows the two brothers involved in white power skinhead and neo-Nazi-led movements. The film received significant praise, and Norton won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role.
The Island of Dr. Moreau
In 1996, the actress played Aissa in the science fiction horror film The Island of Dr. Moreau, which was based on the 1896 novel of the same name. Filming was tumultuous due to extreme weather, high costs, and cast issues, including actor Rob Morrow dropping out of the movie due to script rewrites.
Balk played Vicki Vallencourt in the 1998 Adam Sandler comedy The Waterboy, which revolved around Sander’s character acting as the waterboy for the University of Louisiana football program. The actress played the childhood crush of Sandler’s character, who his mother, played by Kathy Bates, affectionately would refer to as “the devil.” The film was a huge box office success and grossed $186 million worldwide.
Balk continued her film success in the 2000 comedy-drama film Almost Famous, which also starred Kate Hudson, Billy Crudup, and Frances McDormand. The movie centered around the fictional rock band Stillwater, with Balk playing the role of Sapphire, an aid to the band.
The actress played Annie “The Ice Cube” Pockets in the 2002 crime drama Deuces Wild along with James Franco, Matt Dillon, Stephen Dorff, and Brad Renfro. The movie revolved around a member of the Deuces gang falling for the sister of a rival gang member leading to a street war between the two gangs. The film received mostly negative reviews and grossed about $6.2 million worldwide.
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
In 2009, Balk played Officer Heidi in the crime drama film Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, which centers around an average cop (Nicolas Cage) who rescues a prisoner from drowning after flooding from Hurricane Katrina. Many compared the film to the 1992 movie Bad Lieutenant by Abel Ferrara due to a similar storyline.
Balk guest appeared in seven episodes of the crime drama series Ray Donovan, where she played Ginger in season three. The show follows Ray Donovan (Liev Schreiber) as a professional fixer who arranges illegal activities to protect his celebrity clients. The series ran for seven seasons on Showtime before being canceled in February 2020.
What is Fairuza Balk doing now?
Balk continues to act, most recently appearing as Lizzie Thomas in the musical drama series Paradise City, which is a spinoff of American Satan.
The actress also made a cameo in the 2020 film The Craft: Legacy, the sequel to the original cult favorite, The Craft. She also appeared on the Lifetime show The Haunting, discussing the ghosts she believes are living in her studio.
The actress has also been working on her music, releasing several singles, and has spent time exhibiting her art, which is sometimes influenced by her music. Balk has various original drawings that she has sold through her website.
In spring 2022, Balk announced she would co-host a podcast with Rachel True, her The Craft co-star. The podcast is available for listening to on her website, Fairuza.org. Super fans of the actress have been able to book a message from her via Cameo, but currently, the actress is unavailable. However, you can follow her on the site to be the first to know when she is back delivering messages. But fans can follow the actress on Instagram and Facebook to stay on top of her happenings.
There is no evidence that Balk has been married, but she has been linked to former co-stars Crispin Glover and David Thewlis. If the actress is dating anyone currently, she is keeping it somewhat private, and the actress does not have any children.