Diana Scarwid (born August 27, 1955) is an American actress. Scarwid has done work in film, television and theater.
Scarwid was born in Savannah, Georgia, and left Georgia at the age of 17, heading to New York to become an actress. She graduated from Pace University and The American Academy of Dramatic Arts simultaneously, completing the dual program as an honor student. Scarwid was active in the University of Georgia Theater Workshop, the National Shakespeare Conservatory, and the Film Actor's Workshop at Burbank Studios.
Scarwid married Eric Scheinbart, a physician, in 1977. The couple have two children, Jeremy and Ursula. They divorced in 1995.
Scarwid's first film appearance was in Louis Malle's Pretty Baby (1978). She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as John Savage's girlfriend in Inside Moves (1980).
Scarwid is perhaps most recognized for her next role, that of Christina Crawford, the abused adopted daughter of Hollywood legend Joan Crawford in the 1981 film Mommie Dearest. The film, originally conceived as a dramatic piece, was derided as being over-the-top, then eventually assumed a second life as a camp classic. Scarwid received generally good reviews although several critics claimed that her Southern accent surfaced in several scenes. She later appeared in Silkwood (1983), Psycho III (1986) and the film version of Brenda Starr (1993) starring Brooke Shields. She garnered critical acclaim for her supporting role in 1986's Extremities, starring Farrah Fawcett.
In 1995 she starred as Sarah in the film The Neon Bible opposite Denis Leary. In recent years, Scarwid has garnered more high-profile film roles. She appeared in the 2000 film What Lies Beneath. In 2003, she appeared in Party Monsteras Michael Alig's mother, Elke Alig.
Scarwid portrayed Rose Kennedy in the made-for-TV JFK: The Restless Years (1993), and Bess Truman in the HBO film Truman (1995), playing opposite Gary Sinise, for which she earned an Emmy nomination. She was featured in the 2000 Showtime film Dirty Pictures.
In 2001, she guest-starred on an episode of Law and Order entitled "Myth of Fingerprints" as fingerprint expert Lisa Russo.
In 2004, Scarwid landed a contract role in the acclaimed Fox television series Wonderfalls. Scarwid received acclaim for her portrayal of family matriarch Karen Tyler.The show was cancelled after only a few airings, but a DVD has been released of the full 13-episode season.
In 2006, Scarwid appeared as Jeanette Owens in the sixth, seventh and eighth episodes of the second season of the series Prison Break. She also has been featured as Isabel in the third season of Lost, as the figurative "sheriff" of The Others in the episode "Stranger in a Strange Land". In 2008, Scarwid appeared as Mother Superior in first three episodes of the second season of the Bryan Fuller television series Pushing Daisies. In 2009, she appeared in the third season of the television series Heroes in the episode "1961", portraying Angela Petrelli's sister, Alice.