Joanna Pacula

Joanna Pacula (born January 2, 1957) is a Polish actress.

Pacula was born Joanna Pacuła in Tomaszów Lubelski, Poland to a pharmacist mother and an engineer father. In 1979, she graduated from The Theatre Academy in Warsaw and joined Warsaw Dramatic Theatre where she acted until 1981. She started her career playing in productions of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Othello and As You Like It. She also found work in a handful of films, including Krzysztof Zanussi's Barwy ochronne/Camouflage (1977).

In 1981, Pacula was caught in Paris when communist authorities in Poland declared martial law. In 1982 she eventually emigrated to the U.S. (probably as an asylee) where she has specialized in playing European temptresses since her feature debut opposite William Hurt in Gorky Park (1983). She played the part of the exotic beauty in numerous American TV series and movies, including the Holocaust drama Escape From Sobibor (CBS, 1987), The Kiss (1988), E.A.R.T.H. Force (CBS, 1990), and the TV series, The Colony (ABC, 1996).

She was featured in Marked for Death (1990) as an expert on Jamaican voodoo and gangs; in the Italian erotic thriller Husbands And Lovers (1992) as a free spirited adultress (which featured a rather controversial bare-bottom spanking scene, a first in a mainstream film); Tombstone (1993) as Doc Holliday's lover, Kate (also known as Big Nose Kate and Mary Catherine Haroney, born November 7, 1850); in The Haunted Sea (1997); and in the movie Virus (1999), playing a Russian scientist. She currently resides in Southern California.


  • Joanna was considered for the role Catharine in Black Widow (1987).
  • Once owned a house that belonged to Rudolph Valentino.
  • 5' 9" (1.75 m).
  • Turned down the Glenn Close role in Fatal Attraction (1987).
  • Music video for Robert Palmer: "Addicted to Love".
  • Pacula was turned down for the role of Vicky Vale in Batman (1989).
  • Chosen by People magazine as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the world (1990).
  • Auditioned for the role of Rachael in Blade Runner (1982).
  • Listed as one of twelve "Promising New Actors of 1984" in John Willis' Screen World, Vol. 36.
  • Turned down roles in Brazil (1985), Power (1986) and Nine 1/2 Weeks (1986).
  • Ranked #9 in FHM magazine's '100 sexiest women of all time'.
  • Was considered for the role Carol in Chained Heat (1983)
  • Turned down the Melanie Griffith role Something Wild (1986).
  • Turned down role Pam Bouvier in Licence to Kill (1989).
  • Appeared on cover of Vogue 2 times.
  • Auditioned for the role of Jane Craig in Broadcast News (1987). Holly Hunter was cast instead.
  • Was ranked #36 in Channel 5's "World's greatest supermodel".
  • Joanna wanted the role of Catwoman in Batman Returns (1992) but was rejected.
  • Auditioned for the role Sophie Zawistowski in Sophie's Choice (1982).
  • Auditioned for the role of Crystal Connors in Showgirls (1995).
  • Was considered for the role Kady Tyler in Butterfly (1982).
  • Turned down for the role of Erin Grant in Striptease (1996).
  • Her performance as Irina Asanova in Gorky Park (1983) is ranked #57 on Premiere magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
  • Was considered for the lead role in A Fish Called Wanda (1988), which eventually went to Jamie Lee Curtis.
  • According to a 2006 interview to polish magazine "Pani" ("Lady"), Pacula lost out to Annie Potts in Ghost Busters (1984).
  • Turned down the Leilani Sarelle role in Basic Instinct (1992), because she feared the role called for nudity.
  • Was considered for the lead role in Music Box (1989) that eventually went to Jessica Lange.
  • Auditioned for the role of Holly Body in Body Double. She impressed everyone and was asked back to several callbacks and even did a screen test, but the producers and director ultimately decided that she was too rather unpopular.


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