For my last week of Influential Ladies of Science Fiction, I picked a woman who gave new meaning to being an Android. Also, the fangirl in me just had to pick her.
Tricia Helfer as Cylon Number 6 not only showed us that Androids could be beautiful, they could be kick-butt dangerous as well.
Ms. Helfer’s ability to give us a multi-dimensional droid with feelings, cunning, intelligence and the capability to believe in a higher power was brilliant in my opinion. Not to mention, she was able to show complete differences in each of the clones without fully pulling away from the central premise of this character.
Born April 11, 1974 in Donalda, Alberta, Canada, Ms. Helfer got her start as a model. How, you ask? She was simply standing in line at a movie theater and was discovered. Yeah, she’s just that hot. So much so, that in 1992, she won Ford Models‘ Supermodel of the World Contest and was later signed to Elite Model Management and later to Trump Model Management(1).
Ms. Helfer’s first acting assignment was in a short movie titled “The Eventual Wife”. Her first foray into our neck of the woods was in the speculative fiction series “Jeremiah” as Sarah. From there, she had a guest starring role in “CSI: Crime Scene Investigators”.
In 2003, we were treated to the reboot mini-series of “Battlestar Galactica” in which she starred as the unforgettable Cylon Number 6. In 2004, she returned with the rest of the cast for the series. As Number 6, Tricia showed her acting chops by giving every one of the androids a distinctly different personality.
During the series, the Canadian beauty has also lent her voice to video games, cartoons and cartoon movies.
Ms. Helfer also stared in the unfortunately short-lived ABC series “Killer Women” where her brilliant acting as the first female Texas Ranger, Molly Parker, carried the show to audiences across the nation. Ms. Helfer showed us that women in law enforcement roles don’t have to be one-dimensional, but can be multifaceted and deep–full of love, kick-buttness, and intelligence.
Ms. Helfer’s latest speculative fiction role as Viondra Denniger in Syfy’s mini-series Ascension brought her back to us as a conniving, scheming, adulterous captain’s wife on a ship 51 years away from Earth. If you haven’t seen it, I think you should just for her character (whom I think took the cake in the show).
Ms. Helfer showed that just because she is a genuinely beautiful woman, she can portray in-depth, believable characters.
This Leo Award-winning actress is also a philanthropist. Ms. Helfer is an ardent supporter of Best Friend Animal Society, American Foundation of Aids Research and Kitten Rescue, to name just a few.
Ms. Helfer is influential to me for various reasons. One of those reasons is that she shows so much grace and love for her fans. I have had the opportunity to speak with her via Twitter and she was full of kindness and love. Secondly, Tricia was one of the first models to break the mold. No longer do we have former models in generic roles. We now have a new breed of beauty who shows she can kick booty as well as having the ability to bring multifaceted characters to life.
Join me next week for a guest blog post from the lady who inspired this series, Natacha Guyot, author of the book, A Galaxy of Possibilities: Representation and Storytelling in Star Wars.
“Quite often, when strong female characters are written, especially if they are in law enforcement, they tend to be very one-or-two-dimensional. But Molly isn’t.” Tricia Helfer