JODIE FOSTER (Dr. Eleanor "Ellie" Arroway) is an accomplished actress and director whose stunning performances as a rape survivor in "The Accused" and an FBI agent on the trail of a serial killer in the hit thriller "The Silence of the Lambs" earned her two Academy Awards for Best Actress. Foster's role as Special Agent Clarice Starling brought her not only her second Oscar, but a Golden Globe Award, a British Academy Award, a New York Film Critics Award and a Chicago Film Critics Award as well.
Foster's recent starring credits include "Nell," Warner Bros.' "Maverick" and "Sommersby." She made her first feature, "Napoleon and Samantha," at the age of eight, and became widely known for her early memorable performances in "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" in 1975 and "Taxi Driver" in 1976, for which she earned her first Oscar nomination. In total, Foster has appeared in 32 feature films in as many years; her additional films include "Bugsy Malone," "Tom Sawyer," "Freaky Friday," "Foxes," "The Hotel New Hampshire," "The Blood of Others," "Siesta," "Stealing Home," "Five Corners," and "Shadows and Fog."
Foster starred in and made her motion-
picture directorial debut in 1991 with the acclaimed "Little Man Tate." In the fall of 1992, Foster's production company, Egg Pictures, entered into a production pact with Polygram Filmed Entertainment, allowing Egg to develop and produce projects under the creative directorship of Foster. Egg's initial effort, "Nell," earned its star her fourth Academy Award nomination. The bittersweet comedy "Home for the Holidays" was Egg's second project, which Foster both produced and directed.
MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY (Palmer Joss) ascended to the forefront of Hollywood's leading actors in 1996 with two attention-getting performances in two acclaimed films: as lawyer Jake Brigance in Warner Bros.' "A Time to Kill" opposite Sandra Bullock, Samuel L. Jackson and Kevin Spacey and directed by Joel Schumacher; and as Sheriff Buddy Deeds in John Sayles' "Lone Star."
McConaughey's meteoric film career began with his sardonic performance as an over-
aged slacker in Richard Linklater's independent ode to the Seventies, "Dazed and Confused." His first audition in Los Angeles landed him the role of the honest and moral police officer Abe Lincoln in Herbert Ross' poignant "Boys on the Side" opposite Whoopi Goldberg, Drew Barrymore and Mary-Louise Parker. Other notable roles include the lead in the fourth installment of the cult series "Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre," "My Boyfriend's Back," "Angels in the Outfield," "Judgment" and opposite Bill Murray in the comedy "Larger than Life."
Upcoming projects include a starring role in Steven Spielberg's historical drama, "Amistad," and a reteaming with Richard Linklater on "Newton Boys," the fact-
based story of the United States' most successful bank robbers.
McConaughey's own production company, j.k. livin, which entered into a first-
look deal with Warner Bros. in 1996, is currently developing "South Beach" for Joel Schumacher. Additional projects for j.k. livin include "Johnny Diamond," the story of a Los Angeles private detective in the 1960s, and "Last Flight of the Raven," the true story of an international smuggling ring gone awry; McConaughey is set to star in both films.
JAMES WOODS (Michael Kitz) most recently received both a Golden Globe and Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his riveting portrayal of the bigoted murderer of civil-
rights leader Medgar Evers in "Ghosts of Mississippi," Rob Reiner's biographical drama. He has also received powerful reviews and a Golden Satellite Award for Best Actor for his performance in "Killer: A Journal of Murder," produced by Oliver Stone. He also recently completed work on Martin Scorcese's "Kicked in the Head."
Woods' other screen credits include an Oscar-
nominated lead performance in "Salvador," "Nixon," "Casino," "The Specialist," "The Hard Way," "Straight Talk," "Immediate Family," "Diggstown," "True Believer," "The Getaway," "The Boost," "Best Seller," "The Onion Field," "Joshua, Then and Now," "The Choirboys," "Cop," "Eyewitness," "Against All Odds," "Videodrome," "Once Upon A Time in America," "Alex and the Gypsy," "Night Moves," "The Way We Were" and "The Visitors." Woods also recently supplied the voice of Hades, Lord of the Underworld, in the animated feature "Hercules."
On the small screen, Woods earned an Emmy and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor for the Hallmark Hall of Fame production of "Promise," an Emmy Award for "My Name is Bill W." and an American Television Critics Best Actor Award and the Peabody Award for HBO's "Citizen Cohn." His recent performance in Hallmark Hall of Fame's "The Summer of Ben Tyler" brought Woods another simultaneous Golden Globe nomination (along with "Ghosts of Mississippi").
JOHN HURT (S.R. Hadden) has been consistently honored for his work on stage, screen and television, both in the United States and in Europe. After more than 16 years on the British stage and in films, he created a powerful impression on American film audiences with an Oscar-nominated and Golden Globe-
winning portrayal of a drug- addicted inmate in "Midnight Express"; his performance also brought him a British Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Two years later, Hurt was again nominated for both an Academy Award and a British Academy Award for his riveting portrayal of John Merrick opposite Anthony Hopkins in "The Elephant Man."
Among Hurt's more than 40 other films are memorable performances in "A Man for All Seasons," "Alien," "The Osterman Weekend," "Partners," "Champions," "Scandal," "1984," "The Field," "Rob Roy" and "Wild Bill." This year alone, Hurt starred in three independent films, "Love and Death on Long Island," "Brute" and "The Climb." He won a British TV Best Actor Award for his role as Quentin Crisp in Masterpiece Theatre's "The Naked Civil Servant" and also starred in the epic mini-
series "I, Claudius." Among Hurt's most recent stage work was a year- long run on London's West End opposite Helen Mirren in the acclaimed revival of "A Month in the Country."
TOM SKERRITT (David Drumlin) earned an Emmy Award for his work on the accalimed series "Picket Fences," in which he starred as Sheriff Jimmy Brock for four seasons. He recently returned to directing with the cable film "Divided by Hate," in which he also stars and which will air on the USA Network later this year, and completed a starring role opposite Matthew Modine, Judith Ivey, Bernadette Peters and James Earl Jones in the Hallmark telefilm "What the Deaf Man Heard."
Since debuting on screen opposite Robert Redford in "War Hunt," Skerritt has appeared in more than 35 films, with some of his most notable performances including starring roles in "M*A*S*H," "The Turning Point," "Alien," "Top Gun," "Steel Magnolias" and "A River Runs Through It." On television, he has starred in dozens of productions, including an acclaimed six-episode arc of "Cheers" and made-
for- television movies such as "The China Lake Murders," "The Heist," "Red King, White Knight," "Miles to Go," "Poker Alice," "Child in the Night" and "Getting Up and Going Home."
Skerritt's face has become familiar to millions through his work in several successful advertising campaigns for Guess? Jeans, having been the first celebrity model for the popular company.
WILLIAM FICHTNER (Kent Clark) most recently starred in Kevin Spacey's directorial debut, "Albino Alligator," and in the upcoming "Going West," written and directed by Jeb Stuart. Fichtner's other film roles include "The Underneath," directed by Steven Soderburgh, Michael Mann's "Heat" and "Strange Days," directed by Kathryn Bigelow.
Television audiences are familiar with his portrayal of petrochemist Ryan Sparks in the premiere season of the comedy hit "Grace Under Fire."
Fichtner is a member of the Circle Repertory Theatre where he received critical acclaim for his performance in "The Fiery Furnace," directed by Norman Rene. Other theater work includes "Raft of the Medusa" at the Minetta Lane Theatre, "The Years" at the Manhattan Theatre Club, "Clothes for a Summer Hotel" for the Williamstown Theatre Festival and "Machinal" at the late Joseph Papp's Public Theatre.
DAVID MORSE (Ted Arroway) starred in last summer's action hit, "The Rock," and in the thrillers "Extreme Measures" and "The Long Kiss Goodnight." He most recently played the title role in the independent film "George B." He starred for director Sean Penn in "The Crossing Guard" and "Indian Runner," and his other film credits include "Twelve Monkeys," "The Getaway," "The Good Son," "Desperate Hours," "Inside Moves" and "Personal Foul."
Television viewers know him from his starring role as Dr. Jack Morrison on the long-
running drama series "St. Elsewhere." Other television appearances include starring roles in the miniseries "The Langoliers," "Cross of Fire" and "Brotherhood of the Rose," and in such telefilms as "Prototype," "Tecumseh: The Last Warrior," "Miracle on I-990," "Dead Ahead," "A Cry in the Wild," "Winnie" and "A Place at the Table." His stage work includes a run on Broadway in "On the Waterfront," Off- Broadway in "Waiting for Godot" and in regional theaters on both coasts in the critically hailed one-man show "An Almost Holy Picture." He is currently starring Off-Broadway in "How I Learned to Drive" opposite Mary- Louise Parker to rave notices; his performance earned him a Lucille Lortell Award, a Drama Desk Award and an Obie for Best Actor.
ANGELA BASSETT (Rachel Constantine) received a Golden Globe Award and an Oscar nomination for her astounding performance as Tina Turner in "What's Love Got to Do With It" and has gone on to star in the hit films "Waiting to Exhale," "Strange Days," "Vampire in Brooklyn" and "Malcolm X." Her other film roles include "F/X," "Kindergarten Cop," "Boyz N the Hood," "Innocent Blood," "Panther" and "Passion Fish."
Following her training at Yale University, Bassett appeared in Off-
Broadway and regional productions of "Antigone" and "The Mystery Plays." She received critical acclaim for her performances in the Broadway productions of the powerful dramas "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" and "Joe Turner's Come and Gone," and in Joseph Papp's production of "Henry IV, Part I." Bassett's work for television includes appearances in the series "227," "The Cosby Show," "thirtysomething," "Tour of Duty," "Equal Justice," and "Storytime," which earned her an Emmy nomination. She was also featured in starring roles in the telefilms "The Jacksons: An American Dream" and "Line of Fire: The Morris Dees Story."
ROB LOWE (Richard Rank) made his feature film debut in "The Outsiders" and has since worked in more than 25 films, including starring roles in "Class," "The Hotel New Hampshire," "St. Elmo's Fire," "About Last Night," "Masquerade," "Illegally Yours," "Bad Influence," "Wayne's World," "Frank and Jesse" (which he co-produced), "Tommy Boy" and "Mulholland Falls." He earned a Golden Globe nomination and critical acclaim for his performance as Rory, Winona Ryder's mentally challenged friend, in "Square Dance."
Lowe's notable television projects include the mini-
series "The Stand," an acclaimed production of "Suddenly, Last Summer" for the BBC (which aired in the U.S. on PBS) and two films for Showtime, "On Dangerous Ground" and "Midnight Man." Recently, he wrote and directed a short film, "Desert's Edge," a black comedy produced by Chanticleer Films for Showtime.