This article is written from a real world point of view and so is not considered part of The Worst Witch universe.

Fairuza Balk
Fairuza Balk
Fairuza Balk, January 2006

Birth Name

Fairuza Alejandra Feldthouse


May 21, 1974, Point Reyes, California, U.S.



Years Active


Fairuza Alejandra Balk born May 21, 1974) is an American film actress. She made her theatrical film debut as Dorothy Gale in Disney's Return to Oz. She has also appeared in The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Craft, American History X and Personal Velocity: Three Portraits. Fairuza played Mildred Hubble in the 1986 Worst Witch Telemovie.

Early life

Balk was born as Fairuza Alejandra Feldthouse in Point Reyes, California.[1] Her mother, Cathryn Balk, is of Irish and French descent and has studied, performed, and taught the ethnic and traditional dance forms of many countries such as Egypt, Turkey, Morocco and Spain. [2] Her father, Solomon Feldthouse, is of Cherokee Native and Roma gypsy descent. He was one of the founding members of the 1960s psychedelic rock group Kaleidoscope and also a traveling folk musician[3]. He was born in Pingree, Idaho and moved to Turkey at age 10, where he lived for six years and learned Greek, Turkish and Persian music.[4] Fairuza's name is the Turkish equivalent[5] of the Arabic version "Piroozeh" of the Persian name "Firoozeh", meaning "Turquoise, Victory, or Precious One".

Fairuza lived in Cloverdale, California with her mother, until age two. They then moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, where she began acting at age six. They moved from London to Paris for another role. They remained there for six months returning to Vancouver. Fairuza then moved to Los Angeles upon signing to do The Craft.


It was during the time Fairuza was spending in London that she was selected by Walt Disney Productions to star as Dorothy Gale in Return to Oz, the loose sequel to MGM's 1939 musical The Wizard of Oz. It was not her debut role; that role had been in a television movie titled The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, produced in 1983. However, it was the one that brought her attention as an actress. The role led to other minor roles, including that of Mildred Hubble in the comedy The Worst Witch, and in 1988 she moved to Paris to work on Valmont with Miloš Forman. By 1989 she was back in Vancouver, where she attended high school. However, she soon decided to take correspondence courses instead and went back to Hollywood, where she gained increasing notice as an actress. In 1992 she was awarded an Independent Spirit Award as best actress for her performance in the Allison Anders film Gas Food Lodging.

In 1996, she appeared in a lead role in The Craft, in which her character formed a teenage coven] with characters portrayed by Neve Campbell, Rachel True and Robin Tunney.

Balk has continued to find roles. She co-starred in The Island of Dr Moreau in 1996, gave a performance as a neo-Nazi opposite Edward Norton in American History X in 1998, and was featured in The Waterboy, alongside Adam Sandler, in 1998. Since 2000, she has appeared in over half a dozen movies. She has also done voice work for animated films and video games, including Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

Personal life

Balk lives in Hollywood, California, and has an apartment in New York City. Outside her career, her interests include writing poetry and fiction, playing guitar and violin, singing, and dancing. Over the years, she has been romantically involved with a number of well-known men, including British actor David Thewlis, who appeared with her in The Island of Dr. Moreau in 1996 and in American Perfekt in 1997, as well as C. M. Talkington, the director and writer of the cult classic Love and a .45.[citation needed]


Year Title Role Notes
1985 Return to Oz Dorothy Gale
1986 The Worst Witch Mildred Hubble
1986 Discovery Molly
1988 The Outside Chance of Maximilian Glick Celia Brzjinski
1989 Valmont Cecile
1992 Gas Food Lodging Shade
1994 Imaginary Crimes Sonya Weiler
1994 Tollbooth Doris
1995 Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead Lucinda
1996 The Craft Nancy Downs
1996 The Island of Dr. Moreau Aissa
1997 American Perfekt Alice Thomas
1997 The Maker Bella Sotto
1998 Life in the Fast Lane Mona
1998 American History X Stacey
1998 The Waterboy Vicki Vallencourt
2000 Red Letters Gretchen Van Buren
2000 Almost Famous Sapphire
2002 Personal Velocity: Three Portraits Paula
2002 Deuces Wild Annie
2005 What is it? Screaming Snail / Insect / Monkey Girl (voice)
2005 Don't Come Knocking Amber
2005 A Year and a Day Lola
2006 Wild Tigers I Have Known Logan's Mom
2008 Humboldt County Bogart
2008 Grindstone Road Hannah
2009 The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans Heidi
2010 Shit Year Message Voice
2012 Dose of Reality Rose Completed
2012 Thicker Lonely Pre-production
Year Title Role Notes
1983 The Best Christmas Pageant Ever Beth Bradley TV movie
1985 Deceptions Penny Roberts TV movie
1986 The Worst Witch}} Mildred Hubble TV movie
1987 Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton Story Barbara Hutton- Age 12 TV movie
1991 Deadly Intentions... Again? Stacey TV movie
1992 Shame Lizzie Curtis TV movie
1992 The Danger of Love: The Carolyn Warmus Story Lisa TV movie
1993 Murder in the Heartland Caril Ann Fugate TV movie
1994 ZZ Top: Breakaway Vampire Girl TV movie
1995 Shawdow of a Doubt Angel Harwell TV movie
2000 Family Guy Connie D'Amico (voice) Episode: "Let's Go to the Hop"
2002 Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Mercedes Cortez (voice) Video game
2003 Justice League Penny Dee (voice) Episode: "Only a Dream"
2003 Lords of EverQuest Lady T'Lak (voice) Video game
2006 Orpheus Karen TV movie
2006 Masters of Horror Stacia Episode: "Pick Me Up"


  1. ^ California Birth Index 1905 - 1995.
  2. ^ Fairuza Balk. Film
  3. ^ Actress of the Week: Fairuza Balk.
  4. ^ The Rise and Fall of the Neoprene Lizards - the Kaleidoscope Story. Pulsating
  5. ^ [1]

External links