Family & Companions
Reedy, wistful brunette lead of the 1970s turned versatile character actress of TV in the 80s and 90s. Lenz began as a child actress in local California TV and had played roles on "Ironside," "The Andy Griffith Show" and "The Tammy Grimes Show" before being cast in George Lucas's "American Graffiti" (1973). She enjoyed one of her best-remembered parts that same year when she played a precocious drifter who becomes involved with an older man in Clint Eastwood's third directorial effort, the sensitive if minor "Breezy." Films including "White Line Fever" (1975) and "Moving Violation" (1976), however, did not reinforce her status as a prominent new ingenue, and she began alternating leads with supporting roles later in the decade. Whether playing tough in "Stripped to Kill" (1987) or sexy in the poor country-western drama "Falling from Grace" (1992), Lenz rose above her often middling material, but she was less well-served by "Mean Dog Blues" (1978), and her credits include mostly obscure items like "Fear" (1988) and "Streets" (1990).
Lenz has, however, flourished on TV. She won an Emmy for her work on an ABC Afternoon Playbreak "Heart in Hiding" (1974) and another one 15 years later as an AIDS victim who becomes romantically involved with the nighttime radio host protagonist of "Midnight Caller." Lenz has been prominent in miniseries including the landmark "Rich Man, Poor Man" (1976) and its sequel, and kept busy in lead roles in TV-movies ranging from the horrors of "The Initiation of Sarah" (1978) to the lurid thrills of "Hitler's Daughter" (1990). She was especially good in the supporting role of the gradually humanized dragon lady attorney Maggie Zombro on the NBC drama series "Reasonable Doubts" (1991-93).
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Acted and sang on the TV show, "My Genie and Me" at age 11; performed on 165 episodes (date approximate)
Made feature film debut in a bit part in "American Graffiti"
Played first prominent feature film role in "Breezy"
Played Kate Jordache in the landmark ABC-TV miniseries, "Rich Man, Poor Man" and its sequel, "Rich Man, Poor Man: Book II"