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F Entries
Federico Fellini
Richard Fleischer
Louise Fletcher
D.C. Fontana
Anne Francis
Joanna Frank
John Frankenheimer
Brendan Fraser
 
FLETCHER, LOUISE
(1936– ). American actress.

SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY, AND HORROR FILM CREDITS
Acted in: "The Open Window," episode of One Step Beyond (1959); Can Ellen Be Saved? (tv movie) (Harvey Hart 1974); Exorcist II: The Heretic (John BOORMAN 1977); The Magician of Lublin (Menahen Golan 1978); Mamma Dracula (Boris Szulzinger 1980); Strange Behavior (Michael Laughlin 1981); Strange Invaders (Laughlin 1983); Brainstorm (Douglas TRUMBULL 1983); Firestarter (Mark L. Lester 1984); Invaders from Mars (Tobe HOOPER 1986); Flowers in the Attic (Jeremy Bloom 1987); "Home" 1988), episode of Worlds Beyond; "The Hunters" (1988), episode of Twilight Zone; Shadowzone (J. S. Cardone 1989); Final Notice (Steven H. Stern 1989); , "Offspring" (1991), episode of The Hitchhiker; "Top Billing" (1991), episode of Tales from the Crypt; "The Dead Man" (1992), episode of The Ray Bradbury Theatre; "In the Hands of the Prophets," "The Homecoming," "The Circle," "The Siege" (1993), "The Collaborator" (1994), "Shakaar" (1995), "Rapture" (1996), "In the Cards" (1997), "The Reckoning" (1998), "'Til Death Do Us Part," "Strange Bedfellows," "The Changing Face of Evil," "When It Rains ...," "What You Leave Behind" (two-part episode) (1999), episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine;  The Fire Next Time (tv movie) (Tom McLoughlin 1993);  The Haunting of Seacliff Inn (tv movie) (Walter Klenhard 1994);  "Send Me an Angel," "Dr. Strangechild," "Pilot," "Love and Death," "5D," "Reunion" (1995), episodes of VR.5; Frankenstein and Me (Robert Tennill 1996); "Dying to Dance" (1998), episode of Fantasy Island; "Encore" (1998), episode of BrimstoneAfter Image (Robert Manganelli 2001); "Do the Math" (2004), episode of Joan of Arcadia.
 
There is one part that Louise Fletcher plays reasonably well: the apparently gentle and kind-hearted woman who barely conceals, and finally does not conceal at all, her truly evil nature. In other words, she is at her best only when she is playing a bad actress. Art imitates life.

After winning an Oscar for playing that part in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), Fletcher predictably failed to establish herself as a major star in subsequent roles, inexorably driving her into the less prestigious neighborhood of science fiction films. Her most prominent appearance therein was probably the sinister, Martian-controlled schoolteacher in Tobe HOOPER's inept remake of Invaders from Mars, which inexplicably attracted a respectable number of filmgoers;  her other genre roles, in films such as Exorcist II: The Heretic, Mamma Dracula, and Firestarter, attracted less attention because these films, by some curious coincidence, were invariably wretched bombs. Still, one must concede that she was at least adequate as the chain-smoking research scientist in Douglas TRUMBULL's adequate Brainstorm, forced into a major climactic role by the untimely death of Natalie Wood, but such work could do nothing to delay the steadily downward spiral of her career.

If nothing else, though, Fletcher has demonstrated a determination to keep working, and when one's film offers are becoming few and far between, an actor inevitably looks to television, where Fletcher spent most of her time during the 1980s and 1990s. In addition to unheralded performances in episodes of Twilight Zone, The Hitchhiker, Tales from the Crypt, and The Ray Bradbury Theatre, she landed a recurring role in the series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine—presiding over a franchise constantly eager for prestige, the producers were no doubt so thrilled to attract an Oscar-winning actress as to willingly overlook her distinctly limited talents. However, they were savvy enough to give Fletcher precisely the sort of role she had mastered: a smiling but transparently treacherous Bajoran priestess, though she never managed to make her character sympathetic or persuasive. Since that time, the Internet Movie Database testifies that she is still landing generally minor parts in generally minor productions, but I cannot conceal my lack of interest in her career.

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