Rose Arianna McGowan (born September 5, 1973) is an American actress known for her role as Paige Matthews in WB Network supernatural drama series Charmed, as well as for her roles in several major Hollywood films including The Doom Generation, The Black Dahlia, Scream, Jawbreaker, and Grindhouse. In 2008 she was guest programmer and co-host of TCM’s film-series program, The Essentials. She played Ann-Margret alongside Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Elvis Presley in the CBS mini-series Elvis.
McGowan, the second-eldest of six children (plus two half-siblings), was born in Florence, Italy, the daughter of Terri, an American writer of French descent, and Daniel McGowan, an artist of Irish descent. Daniel McGowan ran an Italian chapter of the Children of God to which both he and his wife held membership until 1978. McGowan spent her early childhood amid the group’s communes, often traveling Europe with her parents. Through her father’s art contacts in Italy, McGowan became a child model and appeared in Vogue Bambini and various other Italian magazines. Her parents returned to the United States when she was 10, when they divorced. She subsequently relocated to Oregon and then to Gig Harbor, Washington, where she also met childhood friend Rey-Phillip Santos. McGowan did not speak English until she moved to the U.S.
McGowan’s formative years were spent with her father in Seattle, Washington, attending Roosevelt High School and Nova Alternative High School. At the age of 15, she officially emancipated herself from her parents. McGowan pursued a possible career in the film industry during her late teens, and also enrolled in a beauty school as a back-up.
McGowan made her first appearance in a Hollywood film with a bit role in the 1992 Pauly Shore comedy Encino Man. Her role in the 1995 dark comedy The Doom Generation brought her to the attention of film critics, and she received a nomination for “Best Debut Performance” at the 1996 Independent Spirit Awards. McGowan was subsequently cast in a supporting role in the 1996 hit horror film Scream.
McGowan spent the majority of the 1990s appearing in a variety of independent films, including roles in Southie, Going All the Way, and Lewis & Clark & George. In 1997, she appeared in the critically acclaimed short Seed, directed by San Francisco-born filmmaker Karin Thayer, and played opposite Peter O’Toole in the 1998 film adaptation of the Dean Koontz novel Phantoms. Notably, McGowan also starred in the 1999 comedy Jawbreaker, where she played a snooty high school student who tries to cover up a classmate’s murder. That role earned McGowan a nomination for Best Villain at the 1999 MTV Movie Awards.
In 2001, McGowan was cast as Paige Matthews in the popular The WB television series Charmed, as a replacement lead actress after Shannen Doherty’s departure from the show. She was offered to be a producer after the seventh season alongside co-stars Holly Marie Combs and Alyssa Milano, but turned it down. The series ended its run on May 21, 2006.
In May 2005, McGowan portrayed actress/singer Ann-Margret in Elvis, a Golden Globe-winning CBS mini-series about the life of Elvis Presley. That same year, she lent her voice to the video game Darkwatch as a femme fatale named Tala. The game was published by Capcom for PlayStation 2 and Xbox.
In 2006, McGowan had a brief role in Brian De Palma’s Academy Award-nominated film The Black Dahlia. The following year, she starred in the Quentin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez double-feature Grindhouse, released on April 6, 2007. Cast in utterly divergent roles, McGowan appears in both portions of the film, as go-go dancing Cherry Darling in Planet Terror, and as Pam in Death Proof. McGowan attended the 60th Annual Cannes Film Festival to promote Death Proof along with Robert Rodriguez, Rosario Dawson, Tracie Thoms, Zoë Bell, and Quentin Tarantino.
According to Variety, McGowan signed on to play B-movie staple Susan Cabot in the upcoming film Black Oasis. Director Stephan Elliott (Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) has penned and will direct the film based on a Premiere article by John H. Richardson. The film has currently been placed on hold.
McGowan was a co-host with Robert Osborne on TCM’s film-series program The Essentials, on which a classic Hollywood film is shown every week. McGowan was on the show for the 2008 season before being replaced by Alec Baldwin.
In 2007, McGowan was cast in Fifty Dead Men Walking. When in production, the movie was first titled Man on the Run but is now officially called Fifty Dead Men Walking. Filming began in Northern Ireland later in October 2007 and went on until December 2007. The movie, also starring Ben Kingsley, was released in August 2009.
Elle Magazine originally reported that Rose McGowan has been signed to play the title role in the future remake of Barbarella, fending off strong competition from other actresses including Sienna Miller. The film is to be directed by Robert Rodriguez and to involve close friend Quentin Tarantino as a member of the crew. Following rumors suggesting that Universal Studios had stopped funding the film as they were unconvinced McGowan could carry such an iconic role, the actress confirmed on MTV that the comments were untrue and unfounded and that the film was still in production. On May 5 2009, it was officially confirmed by Robert Rodriguez on MTV News, that Barbarella would not go into production due to filming location difficulties, even though a lot of planning had already been completed.
In June 2008, USA Today reported that McGowan had been signed to play the title role in a third project with Robert Rodriguez (who takes on the role of the film’s producer), known as Red Sonja.
McGowan will appear in the film Conan as an “an evil half-human/half-witch” who is the daughter of Stephen Lang’s character, Khalar Singh. Filming began on March 15, 2010, with Marcus Nispel directing.
Text taken from Wikipedia