- Jun 13, 1974
- Columbia, South Carolina, USA
Bio: Born in Columbia, South Carolina and raised in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, Crider's interest and journey in the arts began very early in her life. She was interested in every play, musical and dance class the little artistic town had to offer. Her first love was singing and playing the violin. She first gained recognition as a country music stage show singer when she… More
Bio: Born in Columbia, South Carolina and raised in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, Crider's interest and journey in the arts began very early in her life. She was interested in every play, musical and dance class the little artistic town had to offer. Her first love was singing and playing the violin. She first gained recognition as a country music stage show singer when she was awarded Young Entertainer Of The Year by the OMA Music Awards Association in Branson, Missouri. She was then on the road to record an album in Nashville, but the trip was stopped short due to her driver having a car accident on the way there. The album was never recorded, as of yet.
Missy has gone on to demonstrate an immense range and depth as an actor matched by few of her peers. Her early Hollywood credits were accomplished between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, where starting in New York, she was flying to all coasts while doubling as a high school student with a 3.98 grade point average back home in Arkansas. Adding to her already impressive schedule, Missy spent seven years working on the stage in musical theater locally. She didn't make a permanent move to Los Angeles until the fall of 1992, after having already filmed six movies and miniseries for television, including the award-winning original Lonesome Dove with Tommy Lee Jones, Robert Duvall, Angelica Huston, and Diane Lane. New York based casting director Lynn Kressel took a liking to Missy after casting her in the miniseries and went on to cast her in three other projects while she was still residing in Arkansas. As Anjelica Huston's lovesick daughter, Missy's performance was so striking that Lorimar Productions immediately signed her to a one-year holding contract. She celebrated her graduation from high school with a starring role opposite Ossie Davis and Morris Chestnut in NBC's The Ernest Green Story; which documented Little Rock, Arkansas' integration strife in the 1950's.
After moving to Los Angeles, the next two years saw extraordinary work from this remarkable young actress. Notably, one month after her L.A. arrival, director Glenn Jordan cast her opposite James Woods and Anne Archer in the esteemed Hallmark Hall Of Fame's Jane's House. She then played the beleaguered daughter of Lesley Ann Warren in ABC's A Mother's Revenge opposite Shirley Knight and Bruce Davison, and soon after director John McNaughton cast her as an aspiring singer who lands a record deal (to her delight, McNaughton wanted her to sing the vocal tracks for the film) in Showtime's campy remake classic Girls In Prison which co-starred Anne Heche and Ione Skye. She capped off the year with a 1994 Emmy Nomination for her leading role opposite Tom Everett Scott in the ABC drama about fear of sex in the 90s Love In The Dark Ages.
Crider then smoothly made the transition to film when writer/director Mitch Marcus cast her is his A Boy Called Hate as the female lead, `Cindy' opposite Scott Caan, James Caan, and Elliott Gould. This gritty road movie captivated filmgoers and critics alike, winning The Grand Jury Prize/Berlin Film Festival. She followed this role by playing a southern young woman caught in a cycle of violence with a sensitive portrayal of a student who empathizes with Sean Patrick Flanery's character in Disney's feature film Powder, co-starring Jeff Goldblum and Mary Steenburgen. It was this winsome portrayal that brought her to the attention of renowned television producer Steven Bochco, who cast her opposite Anthony LaPaglia and Mary McCormack as inscrutable murder defendant 'Sharon Rooney' for a 9 episode run in the second season of his highly acclaimed ABC series, Murder One. It was during this period that Crider filmed Paramount's Sins Of The Mind cast in the lead role `Michelle Widener' opposite Louise Fletcher and Jill Clayburgh. This telefilm was based on a true story about a talented and traditional young woman who slips into a coma following a car accident and awakens with psychologically disturbing and uncharacteristic emotional behavior swinging mercurially from child-like behaviors to that of a young woman. That winter, she went on to show more colors with Nick Cassavettes and Paul Johannson as a neglected date at the end of her rope in the short film Conversations In Limbo.
Other credits for this prolific young actress include a play, Pot Mom directed in Los Angeles by Justin Tanner; Peter Benchley's eight-hour miniseries for NBC The Beast opposite William Petersen, Stephen King's quicksilver highway for ABC opposite Christopher Lloyd, and the independent film Stand-Ins where Missy memorably drones in her lowest German octave as Marlene Dietrich's savvy, wise-cracking double while bantering 40s style with her fellow stand-ins Bette Davis, Jean Harlow, Mae West, Rita Hayworth and Greta Garbo. In Christian Otjen's drama/suspense indie Reeseville she plays the quirky small-town girl who works at the local stop-n-shop hoping to meet a boy passing through, who is murdered by her best friend's brother, the local sheriff. She won the role of Janine Haywood in the premiere episode of the second season of CBS's hit show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation playing a Las Vegas dancer with a Jersey-laden accent who is suspected of murdering her lover/owner of a successful chain of casinos, due to her insisting she is in his will and owns `half' of his mansion. Next, Missy was offered to play opposite Simon Baker in CBS's series The Guardian as Minette, his ex-girlfriend, an actress from his less sober days in New York, who shows up in his Pittsburgh office after five years in hopes of picking up where they left off. She then accepted the offer to play a lovely role in Showtime's futuristic new series Jeremiah. She plays Claire, a brave young lady making her way in a new and hopeful post-apocalyptic time. Claire's mysterious way and curious behavior of siphoning scarce gasoline is luring to Jeremiah. He goes on to fall in love with her as she reveals that she has been storing what gas she could find a little at a time over the span of ten years to fuel her late father's boat and the promise to live out his dream of sailing the sea to discover if there is life remaining in other parts of the world.
In the fall of 1999, Missy received a call from Steven Spielberg. He said he had recently seen her work on ABC's Strange World and was so captivated by her performance that he wanted to write a part specifically for her to play a lead role in his new NBC one-hour drama The Others. She was thrilled to accept this role that was written to be `Satori', a gifted psychic, opposite fellow telepaths Bill Cobbs, Julianne Nicholson, John Billingsley, Kevin O'Connor, and Gabriel Macht. The series ran for one season on Saturday nights throughout 2000. Proving equally adept with humor, Crider completed a co-starring role in Mike Binder's award-winning feature film comedy The Sex Monster joining an ensemble cast including Mariel Hemingway, Kevin Pollack, and Stephen Baldwin. In this bedroom farce, which won Best Picture at the 1999 Aspen Comedy Festival, Crider plays `Diva', a beautiful young secretary who becomes the unwitting object of both her employer's and his wife's affections.
2001 was a very busy year for Missy. The fact that she is a true southerner ingratiated Bill Paxton to cast her in his directorial debut feature film set in rural Texas Frailty playing a cameo as Matthew McConaughey's wife `Becky'. Soon after, she was offered the leading role in the indie feature film The Perfect Husband playing `Tess', a young woman who must overcome the discovery that her husband is a serial killer and has stalked her since she was a child. Crider also landed a coveted role in David Lynch's ABC pilot turned feature film Mullholland Drive as `Diana/Betty', a smart, hip but mysterious waitress who dreams of becoming an actress and serves as the projection of Naomi Watts' character's fragile, thwarted identity. Writer/director Andrew Bowen offered Missy the female lead in his independent feature film The Haven, a coming of age tale about four young men whose lives seem destined for tragedy. Crider plays `Jordan', a photojournalist whose relationship with one of the friends becomes the catalyst that forces him to come to terms with his life.
Missy joined a star-studded cast including Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez, Al Pacino and Christopher Walken in Revolution Studios' romantic comedy Gigli, (2003) written and directed by Martin Brest. Martin was enamored with Missy's portrayal of his creation of `Robin' during her audition process and cast her in this pivotal cameo role opposite Ben and Jennifer that is bound to shock you. Director Gregory Hatanaka offered Missy the lead role of "Mina" in his ensemble independent film Until The Night, (2004) where she plays the girlfriend of a hopeful cinematographer (Norman Reedus) and an actress who battles with them growing in different directions in Hollywood. She was offered the female lead in an original Hallmark Channel television film Out Of The Woods, (2004) and completed the premiere episode of the 2004 fall season of CSI: Miami (2004) as the lead guest star, "Tawny Williams", the wife of a wealthy man and stepmother of his child, who is suspected of her husband's murder, and found innocent.
Be it the decided hair color, befitting accent, or mercurial carriage, this passionate actress continues to enigmatically transform herself into the vast range of characters she is attracted to portray. She has undoubtedly entered into the consciousness of diverse viewers everywhere; as she continues to walk in the many-colored hats, shoes, and personas that quixotically tell our stories. Assuredly at times unrecognizable, this tried and true tinker bell is here to stay.
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