A rising ingenue with raw talent and bursting sexuality (see her nude photo gallery here) Rose McGowan won praise for her breakthrough role as the speed demoness in Gregg Araki's "The Doom Generation" (1995) and had a commercial hit playing the blonde teen bombshell Tatum in "Scream" (1996).
Smart, hip and attractive, McGowan has a background just begging for talk show exploitation. Born in Florence, Italy, where her father headed the local Children of God cult (the same one in which River and Joaquin Phoenix were raised), she is the oldest daughter and second born of six.
McGowan began modeling in Italian magazines as a child but her world was turned upside down when her father ran off with her nanny. McGowan's mother brought the brood to the USA where they were often on public assistance and McGowan did not always mesh with her mother's men friends.
In a 1997 article she claimed that when she was 14 years old, her mother's then-current beau - a 28-year old surfer dude - convinced her mother that McGowan was on drugs. She was locked up in a drug rehab clinic, although she has insisted she never had a problem. Released, McGowan tried living with her father in Montreal, Canada, modeled a bit, then hit the scene in the Pacific Northwest, even attending art school in Seattle for a short period.
McGowan had some isolated acting appearances in the early 1990s, including small roles in a 1990 episode of the Fox TV series "True Colors" and the 1992 teen comedy "Encino Man". But her breakthrough came when Araki cast her as Amy Blue, the nihilistic speed freak of "The Doom Generation".
In 1996, she had a supporting role in "Bio-Dome", was a mute femme fatale who hooks up with two escaped cons in "Lewis & Clark & George" and was involved in murder in L.A.'s underground scene in "Kiss & Tell". The sexy actress also appeared in the 17-minute short "Seed" as a hooker who was molested by her own mother.
After the phenomenal success of "Scream", one might expect Rose to 'go Hollywood'; instead she continued to appear in independent films. She offered a cameo as one of a trio of Valley girls (alongside Shannen Doherty and Traci Lords) who are vaporized by a space alien in Araki's nihilistic look at Beverly Hills teenagers, "Nowhere" (1997). In "Phantoms" (1997), she and Joanna Going played sisters who return to their hometown only to find no one living there.
McGowan won particular praise for her turn as a sexy young woman who romances Jeremy Davies in "Going All the Way" (also 1997) and as the bitchy leader of a high school clique in "Jawbreaker" (1999).
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