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Heather Langenkamp

Heather Langenkamp
Heather Langenkamp at a celebrity autograph collector's convention in Burbank, California, in 2008
Born Heather Elizabeth Langenkamp[1]
(1964-07-17) July 17, 1964
Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States
Other names Heather Langenkamp-Anderson
Occupation Actress
Make-up artist
Years active 1983–present
Spouse(s) Alan Pasqua (1984–1987)
David LeRoy Anderson (1989–present)

Heather Elizabeth Langenkamp (born July 17, 1964) is an American actress, singer, producer and director.[2][3] She is best known for her role as Nancy Thompson from the A Nightmare on Elm Street films and she served as executive producer and narrator to the documentary Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy. She is also known for her role as Marie Lubbock on the sitcom Just the Ten of Us and has had numerous television guest appearances. In 2011, she released the autobiography I Am Nancy which focuses on her iconic role as Nancy Thompson.


  • Life and career 1
    • 1964–83: Early life and career beginnings 1.1
    • 1984–88: A Nightmare on Elm Street and early success 1.2
    • 1989–present: New Nightmare and continued success 1.3
  • Personal life 2
  • Filmography 3
    • Film 3.1
    • Television 3.2
    • Other works 3.3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Life and career

1964–83: Early life and career beginnings

Langenkamp was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her mother, Mary Alice (née Myers), is an artist, and her father, Robert Dobie Langenkamp, is a petroleum attorney who served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy in both the Carter Administration (where he was largely responsible for realizing the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) and the Clinton Administration (where he was largely responsible for privatizing Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1), and as Director of the National Energy & Environmental Law & Policy Institute of the University of Tulsa College of Law.[4][5] She is of German, Scottish, and English ancestry.[6] Langenkamp attended Holland Hall School in Tulsa.[7] She graduated from The National Cathedral School for Girls in Washington, D.C.[8] Langenkamp's first acting venture was in her late teens: a small part in Francis Ford Coppola's The Outsiders (1983), filmed to a large extent in her hometown of Tulsa and in Rumble Fish. She managed to be an extra in both films but her scenes were cut out of both of the final films.[9]

1984–88: A Nightmare on Elm Street and early success

Langenkamp later starred in Nickel Mountain (1984) which gained mostly positive reviews. While she was studying at Stanford University, Langenkamp rose to prominence when Wes Craven cast her as teen heroine Nancy Thompson in the hugely successful A Nightmare on Elm Street, the first film in the series as he wanted someone very 'non-Hollywood' to play Nancy. He believed that Langenkamp met this quality.[10] For the part she beat out more than 200 actresses.[11] The film follows the story of a group of teenagers who are killed in their dreams one-by-one by a supernatural serial killer. The film was a slasher film. This film is credited for launching her career.

The film introduced the iconic villain Freddy Krueger, played by Robert Englund. Langenkamp was cast along with Johnny Depp, in his feature film debut, played Nancy Thompson's boyfriend, Glen Lantz, and veteran film actor John Saxon who played Nancy's father, police lieutenant Donald Thompson. The film was both a critical and commercial success, earning a total of $25 million at the American box office.[12] In 1985, she received the Best Actress Award at the Avoriaz Film Festival for this role.[13] She also became one of the original scream queens. Many critics praised Langenkamp's role as Nancy due to the smart and independent nature of the character that made her different from most heroines in horror films released at the time. Langenkamp reprised her role as Nancy in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987), in which she co-starred alongside Patricia Arquette and Laurence Fishburne. The film gained generally positive reviews and was a commercial success. John Saxon and Robert Englund also returned with Langenkamp in Dream Warriors. The film focused on the survivors of Freddy Krueger and was Patricia Arquette's debut film.[14]

In between starring roles, she played Marie Lubbock on the television series Just the Ten of Us, which received critical acclaim and has gained a cult following. It was a spin-off of the popular situation comedy Growing Pains (on which Langenkamp guest-starred), from 1988 to 1990. That same year, she and her castmates were nominated for a Young Artist Award for Best Young Actor/Actress Ensemble in a Television Comedy, Drama Series or Special. She has also made numerous other guest appearances on television. In 1989, she had a cameo role as a victim in Wes Craven's Shocker. The film was a moderate commercial success despite negative reviews. Craven intended for Shocker to launch a new franchise but due to negative reviews and a middling box office performance, plans for a sequel were quickly dismissed.[15]

1989–present: New Nightmare and continued success

Langenkamp at the Fan Expo Canada in 2014

In 1994, Langenkamp returned to the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise when she starred as herself in the critically and commercially successful film Wes Craven's New Nightmare alongside Robert Englund. Although New Nightmare is the seventh film in the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, it is not part of the series continuity, instead portraying Freddy Krueger as a fictional movie villain who invades the real world and haunts the cast and crew responsible for his films. While the canon Nightmare on Elm Street films are about dreams overlapping reality, this film is about films overlapping reality. In this film, Freddy is depicted as closer to what Craven originally intended, being more menacing and less comical, with an updated attire and appearance. Over the years, New Nightmare has often been referred to as the prelude to Scream, which went on to become a huge success.

Langenkamp and her husband, David Leroy Anderson, own and operate AFX Studio, a Special F/X Make-Up firm that is credited with the special make-up for many successful films such as Dawn of the Dead, The Cabin in the Woods, Cinderella Man, Dogtown and Z-Boys, Frost/Nixon, Bruce Almighty, Evan Almighty, Dragonfly and Angels and Demons. She also starred in, executive produced, and narrated the 2010 documentary Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy, which was directed by Daniel Farrands and Andrew Kasch.[16][17][18] In 2010, Langenkamp made her documentary entitled I Am Nancy, which was a critical success.[19] I Am Nancy focused on Langenkamp's role as Nancy from the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. In 2012, Langenkamp was cast in The Butterfly Room. The following year, Langenkamp had a supporting role in the film, Star Trek Into Darkness which was critically and commercially successful. In 2014, Heather had a cameo appearance in season four of the horror anthology series American Horror Story.[20] She is set to star in the upcoming movies, Home (2015) and Getting the Kinks Out (2015). On September 22, 2015 it was revealed that Langenkamp, along with AFX Studio, is behind the special effects for Scream Queens.[21]

Personal life

Many elements of the plot for Wes Craven's New Nightmare are based on an incident in which Langenkamp received numerous threatening letters from an obsessed fan after the cancellation of Just the Ten of Us.[22]



Year Title Role Notes
1984 Nickel Mountain Callie Wells
1984 Nightmare on Elm Street, AA Nightmare on Elm Street Nancy Thompson
1987 Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, AA Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors Nancy Thompson
1989 Shocker Victim
1994 Wes Craven's New Nightmare Heather Langenkamp (Nancy Thompson)
1995 Demolitionist, TheThe Demolitionist Christy Carruthers
1999 Fugitive Mind Suzanne Hicks Video
2007 Bet, TheThe Bet Heather Langenkamp
2012 Butterfly Room, TheThe Butterfly Room Dorothy
2013 Star Trek Into Darkness Moto
2015 Home Heather Post-production
2015 Getting the Kinks Out Esther Pre-production


Year Title Role Notes
1984 Passions Beth TV film
1985 Suburban Beat Hope Sherman TV film
1986 CBS Schoolbreak Special Erica Episode: "Have You Tried Talking to Patty?"
1986 ABC Afterschool Special Paula Finkle Episode: "Can a Guy Say No?"
1986 Heart of the City Audrey Episode: "Of Dogs and Cat Burglars"
1987 New Adventures of Beans Baxter, TheThe New Adventures of Beans Baxter Tracy Episode: "Beans Goes to Camp"
1987 Hotel Monica Episode: "Desperate Moves"
1988 Growing Pains Marie Episodes: "How the West Was Won: Parts 1 & 2"
1988–1990 Just the Ten of Us Marie Lubbock Main role (47 episodes)
1990 Growing Pains Amy Boutilier Episodes: "Let's Go Europe: Parts 1, 2 & 3"
1994 Tonya & Nancy: The Inside Story Nancy Kerrigan TV film
1997 Perversions of Science Lou Ann Solomon Episode: "Ultimate Weapon"
1999 Partners Suzanne Episode: "Always..."
2002 JAG Janet Thompson Episode: "Odd Man Out"
2014 American Horror Story: Freak Show Female Toulouse Episode: "Test of Strength"

Other works

Year Title Notes
2004 Dawn of the Dead Production crew
2005 Cinderella Man Makeup artist
2007 Evan Almighty Makeup artist
2008 Prank Director
2010 Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy Executive producer
2011 I Am Nancy Producer
2012 Cabin in the Woods, TheThe Cabin in the Woods Makeup artist
2013 Star Trek Into Darkness Makeup artist


  1. ^ "Annual Commencement: Order of Exercises - Stanford University". Retrieved 2015-08-11. 
  2. ^ "Heather Langenkamp - Filmography - Movies & TV". 2007-01-18. Retrieved 2015-08-11. 
  3. ^ "Heather Langenkamp singing". Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  4. ^ "Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations for 1981 ... - United States. Congress. House. Committee on Appropriations. Subcommittee on Dept. of the Interior and Related Agencies - Google Books". Retrieved 2015-08-11. 
  5. ^ "M. A. Langenkamp - Biography". Retrieved 2015-08-11. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ [2]
  8. ^ "Heather Langenkamp". Retrieved 2015-08-11. 
  9. ^ "Heather Langenkamp Life and Career". Retrieved 19 October 2014. 
  10. ^ "A Nightmare on Elm Street (Digitally Remastered): Heather Langenkamp, Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, John Saxon, Ronee Blakley, Amanda Wyss, Jsu Garcia, Charles Fleischer, Joseph Whipp, Lin Shaye, Joe Unger, Mimi Craven, Jacques Haitkin, Wes Craven, John H. Burrows, Joseph Wolf, Robert Shaye, Sara Risher, Stanley Dudelson: Movies & TV". Retrieved 2015-08-11. 
  11. ^ "Horror Movie News | Reviews | Release Dates | Trailers | Arrow in the Head". Retrieved 2015-08-11. 
  12. ^ business statistics"A Nightmare on Elm Street".  
  13. ^ Barton, Steve (2010-04-26). "Heather Langenkamp Explains Why You Should Never Sleep Again". Dread Central. Retrieved 2015-08-11. 
  14. ^ "Dream Warriors". Retrieved 19 October 2014. 
  15. ^ "Shocker Reception". Retrieved 16 October 2014. 
  16. ^ "". Retrieved 2015-08-11. 
  17. ^ Serafini, Matt (2009-10-19). "Never Sleep Again Website Online This Friday". Dread Central. Retrieved 2015-08-11. 
  18. ^ Moore, Debi (2009-10-16). "Never Sleep Again Twitterfeed Continues!". Dread Central. Retrieved 2015-08-11. 
  19. ^ I Am NANCY" Documentary""". Facebook. Retrieved 2015-08-11. 
  20. ^ Squires, John. American Horror Story: Freakshow.""Heather Langenkamp in . iHorror. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  21. ^ Boyce, Simone. "The Original Scream Queen Heather Langenkamp". Fox 5 News. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  22. ^ based on factual events"New Nightmare". Retrieved 19 October 2014. 

External links

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