How they got their start: Jill Hennessy

By: Start TV Staff     Posted: November 29, 2018, 3:33PM

Image: 20th Century Fox

Jill Hennessy has made her name as a TV star. In the 1990s, Gillian Anderson said Hennessy was almost cast as Dana Scully on The X-Files, but instead, we saw Hennessy join Law & Order's cast. She played Claire Kincaid, a straight-laced assistant district attorney not to be crossed. In the 2000s, she rose to even greater prominence as the lead on Crossing Jordan. The New York Times praised her performance as Dr. Jordan Cavanaugh in the premiere season, saying, "Ms. Hennessy gives Jordan an appealing, loose-cannon attitude."

But before her first TV role would come in 1989, Hennessy launched her career when she was cast in a chilling David Cronenberg film, Dead Ringers (1988). In the movie, we didn't just meet Hennessy for the first time, we actually met her and her twin sister Jacqueline. The pair was cast because the entire movie follows the bizarre circumstances a pair of twin doctors find themselves in trouble when they fall for the same woman. Hennessy and her sister show up briefly but memorably as hired twin escorts, Mimsy and Coral. It's a lot of seeing double (if you can stomach Cronenberg's gruesome body horror scenes that predictably take the twin theme way too far).

While this movie role would spark Jill Hennessy's acting career, her sister Jacqueline went on to become a writer and TV host instead. Jill, as we know, was soon cast in TV shows and movies, including I Shot Andy Warhol, Robocop 3, Law & Order, Autumn in New York, Exit Wounds, Las Vegas and many more. 

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