Anne-Marie Martin (a.k.a. Eddie Benton) was a familiar face on television and in movie theatres in the late 1970s through the 1980s. Gorgeous, tough and talented, Anne-Marie was able to portray both bad girls and good girls with ease, whereas many actresses are typecast for one type of character.
Born in Toronto, where she started performing in plays at a young age, Anne-Marie moved to Los Angeles in 1974. While performing in the stage play "Telemachus Clay" at The Los Angeles Theatre East, an agent from The Rifler-David Agency spotted her and immediately signed her. It didn't take long for Anne-Marie to start getting roles on the small screen.
It's no surprise that Anne-Marie played a model-in-peril in an episode of "Wonder Woman" (1976), with her striking beauty. She also guest-starred on "The Streets Of San Francisco" (1977) with Michael Douglas and scored a recurring role as 'Nurse Koscinski' on the medical drama "Rafferty" (1977). In 1978 and 1979, Anne-Marie divided her time between L.A. and Toronto, acting in features and series alike. She starred as 'Clea' in the adaptation of the popular comic book hero "Dr. Strange" (1978) as well as the true story "Deadman's Curve" (1978), both high-rated telefilms. While "Dr. Strange" didn't garner many good reviews, Anne-Marie's presence did raise a few eyebrows in the industry. In 1979, she played 'Nurse Diane Cooper' on the series "Doctors Private Lives," and guest-starred on "240-Robert" and "Time Express." That year she made her motion picture debut in the sci-fi thriller "The Shape Of Things To Come," based on an H.G. Wells story, as well as the suspense film "The Dark Ride."
As 1980 rolled around, horror movies were doing big business at the box-office, and Anne-Marie's best film roles were in that genre. "Prom Night" (1980), a horror hit starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Leslie Nielsen, featured Anne-Marie as the school bitch. Her performance in this slasher classic is perfect - and her advice to Jamie Lee's character - "It's not who you go with, honey...it's who takes you home." - is always recalled upon mention of the film. Her character of 'Wendy Richards' wasn't just your typical high-school victim, either. She was strong and vindictive, and she gave the axe-wielding killer a run for his money in the infamous cat-and-mouse chase sequence throughout the shadowy high school. She impressed legendary producer Aaron Spelling, who cast her in his pilot "Waikiki" (1980). After guest-starring on "Buck Rogers" (1980), "B.J. & The Bear" (1980), and "Lobo" (1981), Anne-Marie appeared in three big-screen shockers in 1981. In "The Boogens," filmed in snowy Utah, Anne-Marie is attacked by slimy creatures with razor-sharp tentacles. In "Savage Harvest," which co-starred Tom Skerritt and Michelle Phillips, she played another sassy girl named 'Wendy' who is attacked by lions at her family's home in Kenya during a drought. This movie was reportedly based on a true story. Lastly, she had a cameo in "Halloween II," thanks in part to the friendship she developed with Jamie Lee Curtis while filming "Prom Night."
Next, Anne-Marie won over soap opera fans when she portrayed lawyer Gwen Davies on "Days Of Our Lives" from 1982-1985. During her three-year run on the series, the busy actress managed to squeeze in other projects. She appeared on episodes of "Mr. Merlin" (1982), "The Powers Of Matthew Star" (1983), and "St. Elsewhere" (1984). In a pivotal episode of "T.J. Hooker" (1983), she played 'Officer Karen Hall,' a cop who develops a romance with William Shatner's character and is wounded in the line of duty. And, as most soap opera performers do, Anne-Marie was featured on a game show: "Hot Potato" in 1984. That year, she had a small but pivotal role in "Runaway," a sci-fi thriller directed by Michael Crichton and starring Tom Selleck. Anne-Marie eventually ended up marrying the film's director. After playing a diva on an episode of "Highway To Heaven" (1986), Anne-Marie won her most popular role to date: as 'Officer Dori Doreau' on the wild comedy classic "Sledge Hammer!" (1986-1988). The series starred David Rasche as a trigger-happy, downright deranged L.A. cop who was partnered with Dori Doreau, a straight-laced by-the-books cop. However, they made a great couple, and Dori proved to be a tough cookie with physical prowess when faced with the bad guys. In the DVD commentary, Anne-Marie mentions that she particularly loved the fact that the role was physically demanding. When the series ended it's run, Anne-Marie retired from acting and had a daughter, Taylor, with her novelist/director husband.
She made a brief appearance on "Primetime:Live" (1994) on an episode that interviewed Crichton on his involvement with the hit films "Jurassic Park" and "Disclosure." Using the name Anne-Marie Crichton, she co-write the screenplay to "Twister" (1996) with her husband, and the disaster flick, starring Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton, was a box-office smash.
It's always understandable when actresses tire of the routine and would rather raise their families and/or work behind the cameras. However, Anne-Marie's exceptional beauty and acting chops has left a lot of fans waiting and hoping for her return to film and television. She's a real class act in an industry notorious for bleached blonde bimbos and fleeting, untalented starlets.