Natasha Lyonne biography
Date of Birth: April 4, 1979
Born in New York, Lyonne began her professional career at the age of six, after demonstrating her
aptitude by reading newspapers outloud on the subway. Her parents found her an agent and soon she
was cast as Opal in the original Pee-Wee's Playhouse. After a stint as a contact player on As the
World Turns, she made her feature film debut as Meryl Streep's niece in the Mike Nichols film
Heartburn, based on the book by Nora Ephron. When her parents marriage began to fall apart, the
family moved to Israel while they tried to patch things up. Upon return, and the eventual split
of her parents, Lyonne lived with her mother in Manhatten and was sent to a posh private school,
which was an unpleasant experience. She then landed a role in Woody Allen's Everyone Says I Love
You (1996) and the school suggested that she leave. After the film, she applied to NYU and was
accepted a year early after reading her essay comparing T.S. Eliot's The Hollow Men to working
on Woody Allen's movie. But projects kept coming up and to date, Lyonne has deferred three times.
She was next seen as Richard Dreyfuss' daughter in the comedy Krippendorf's Tribe (1998). But
Tamara Jenkins' Slums of Beverly Hills (also 1998) offered the rising star one of her best screen roles to date as a
teenager coping with the onset of puberty and herd ysfunctional (all male) family's constant
movement from apartment to apartment. The young thespian delivered a winning and assured performance
that garnered her a Chicago Film Critics nomination as Most Promising Actress. She followed with
a decidedly supporting turn in the horror comedy Modern Vampires (1999). That same year, she also appeared in the teen sex romp comedy American Pie.
She then appeared in Detroit Rock City, opposite Edward Furlong, which is set in 1978 and focuses
on four young teenagers who embark on a wild adventure to attend a KISS concert. Lyonne then
segued immediately into Matthew Bright's indie pic Confessions of a Trick Baby, the story of two
young women who meet in prison and plot their escape to freedom, followed by But I'm A Cheerleader,
opposite Clea DuVall, in which she plays a naive 17-year-old who is sent to a "re-hab camp" when her family and friends suspect that she may be a lesbian.
In August 2005, Lyonne was takent to New York City's Beth Israel Hospital's intensive care unit, reportedly suffering from hepatitis C, a heart ailment and a collapsed lung.
After several years off to recover, she returned to films with roles in films such as Outrage (2009) with Michael Madsen, The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle (2010) and 13 (2010), with Jason Statham and Mickey Rourke. In 2012, Lyonne reunited with her American Pie co-stars for the series' fourth instalment, American Reunion. She then took on the role of Nicky Nichols on the Netflix show Orange is the New Black. More recently, she starred in Loitering with Intent (2015).
Natasha Lyonne Filmography