Virginia G. Madsen (born September 11, 1961) is an American actress and producer. She made her film debut in Class (1983), which was filmed in her native Chicago. She soon moved to Los Angeles. In 1984, David Lynch cast her in the science fiction film Dune as Princess Irulan. Madsen was then cast in a series of successful teen movies, including Electric Dreams (1984), Modern Girls (1986), and Fire with Fire (1986).
She is most known for her role as Helen Lyle in the horror film Candyman (1992); and for her performance as Maya in Alexander Payne's film Sideways (2004), for which she received numerous awards and nominations, including nominations for the Golden Globe and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Her other film appearances include Long Gone(1987), Gotham (1988), The Hot Spot (1990), Ghosts of Mississippi (1996), The Rainmaker(1997), A Prairie Home Companion (2006), The Haunting in Connecticut (2009), Red Riding Hood (2011), and All the Wilderness (2014).