AARP Eye Center
Attention, sci-fi fans, a familiar face from 1980s cinema is joining the cast of The X-Files this year: Barbara Hershey will portray Erika Price, a "powerful figure who represents a mysterious organization.”
“I like mysterious characters,” says Hershey, 68, who's enjoying the second big comeback in a career that’s been rather mysteriously organized. She was still at Hollywood High School in 1966 when she got her showbiz start as Sally Field’s pal Skip on Gidget. But after winning early fame in films like 1972’s Boxcar Bertha, by newcomer director Martin Scorsese, Hershey turned her back on conventional Hollywood, spurned an offer to present at the Oscars and focused on her private life as an idealistic hippie, which she unwisely publicized, damaging her image.
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So even though her entirely wise no-sugar, whole-grains hippie diet kept her youthful, her career waned until she reached her late 30s, in the 1980s, when she scored iconic roles in The Natural, The Right Stuff, Hannah and Her Sisters and Beaches; became the first person in history to win Cannes Film Festival best-actress awards two years in a row; and earned an Emmy and a Golden Globe, plus an Oscar nomination for The Portrait of a Lady. (This time she showed up for the ceremony.)
Then came another lull. “If you’re an older actress, it’s much harder,” she says. Even so, she bounced back big-time as Natalie Portman’s mother in 2010’s Black Swan — a role that garnered her best-supporting-actress nominations from the Screen Actors Guild and the British Film Academy — and polished her scary persona in the horror film Insidious and A&E’s Damien, in which she played the world’s most powerful woman and the Antichrist’s mentor.
And now, as Hershey joins The X-Files’ Scully (Gillian Anderson) and Mulder (David Duchovny), AARP seeks the truth about her character and her career.
In last season’s X-Files cliffhanger ending, Mulder is seriously under the weather, thanks to the Spartan Virus, which threatens to end humanity. The Cigarette Smoking Man [William B. Davis] is involved. But what the heck does your character, Erika Price, have to do with it all?