Lori Petty was a guest at our 2018 Nickel City Con event. To see this year’s lineup, click here.
Lori Petty is an American actress, film director, and screenwriter. As an actress, she is best known for playing Tyler Endicott in the film Point Break (1991), Kit Keller in A League of Their Own (1992), and the titular role in Tank Girl (1995).
After this feisty, kinetic, highly offbeat actress from Chattanooga, Tennessee, broke into TV in the 1980s, she immediately set herself apart from the norm with the mini-movie Bates Motel (1987). This rather inauspicious beginning would also set Lori Petty off on a career as a fighter and a misfit, types for which she would be best known.
She spent her childhood traveling the U.S. with her father, a Pentecostal minister. Her keen talents first lent themselves toward being a graphic artist in Omaha, Nebraska, but an impulsive desire to act quickly took precedence, and soon she was off to New York, where she took acting classes and pounded the pavement for jobs. Going nowhere fast, she eventually headed for Los Angeles and finally found an “in.” Following a number of mediocre TV roles, she won a bit of attention on the TV series Booker (1989) as a lippy secretary, then hit pay dirt in secondary roles as an outrageous Cyndi Lauper wannabe in Cadillac Man (1990) and as Patrick Swayze’s ex-girlfriend/waitress who hooks up with Keanu Reeves in Point Break (1991).
When her appearance in the 1992 women’s baseball comedy drama, A League of Their Own, found Petty practically stealing the limelight from such screen heavies as Madonna and Geena Davis, casting agents took notice, and she subsequently landed roles in such high-profile releases as Free Willy (1993), Poetic Justice (1993), and the Pauly Shore comedy, In the Army Now (1994). Petty’s solid dramatic performance as a lone female cop in the thriller, The Glass Shield (1994), earned her kudos from the critics.
Lori then found her true calling as the bizarre cartoon-comic book heroine Tank Girl (1995), which was billed as a “post-apocalyptic comedy.” The crop-haired, tough-as-nails actress has been taking it to the limit ever since!
In 1999, Petty portrayed “Noss” on the popular TV series, Star Trek: Voyager. Petty is also known for providing the voice of the supervillain “Livewire” on the Warner Bros. DC Comics cartoon series Superman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures.
She co-starred with Gina Gershon and Drea DeMateo as a member of a punk rock band in Prey For Rock & Roll (2003).
In 2008, Petty’s directorial debut, The Poker House won awards at the Los Angeles Film Festival. The film is an autobiography which documents a painful day in her life as a teen raising her two younger sisters while living in their mother’s whore/ poker house. The mother’s pimp contemplates turning her out and rapes her at age fourteen. Strong in all aspects, she perseveres by going on to win her high school championship basketball game immediately after the incident. Last April, Lori had a guest star role on the highly popular Gotham TV series. Her character, Jeri, had the face paint of The Joker and the clothes of Harley Quinn.
Currently, Lori stars as “Lolly” on the highly acclaimed Netflix TV series Orange is the New Black.