Wendie Malick was born in Buffalo, New York. As a child, she was seen as someone who would go far. She
put on neighborhood productions with her younger brother and sister. Totally confident, she even recruited a group of
eleven year-old girls to compete in local beauty pageants. Wendie always knew that she wanted to be an actress.
In the 1970's, Wendie was discovered in New York by the Wilhelmina Agency and got to travel around the world.
While doing a photo shoot in Senegal, the camera crew noticed that a whale had beached itself nearby. It wasn't long before
a mob of villagers rushed toward the animal with axes and knives to hack it to bits for food. Wendie understood that the people
there needed the food, but it was the most violent scene that she had ever seen. The whole crew felt helpless to do anything.
After that event, she became a vegetarian.
She left modeling in the 1980's to do some stage work. After that, Wendie got her first chance for a TV role on the daytime
soap Love of Life. She followed with Medical Center/CBS. After other shows, she landed the role of
Judith Tupper Stone on the hit comedy series, Dream On/HBO. She won four CableACE Awards for the role. Her
movie credits include The American President, Bugsy and Jerome, Bathroom Boy, On Edge, Funny About Love and
the animated Disney film, Emperor's New Groove. Her TV credits
include recurring roles on Baywatch as Mitch Buchannon's ex-wife Gayle, NYPD Blue, Anything But Love and
Kate & Allie. She had a starring role on Just Shoot Me!
as magazine editor Nina Van Horn.
In 1999, Wendie recieved critical acclaim for her dual roles as famous advice columnists Abrigail Van
Buren and Ann Landers in the TV movie, Take My Advice: The Ann and Abby Story.
Wendie's theatrical background includes Guys and Dolls, Mame, Bah! Humbug,
the premiere of Israel Horovitz's North Shore Fish, as well as the Los Angeles productions of Oliver Hailey's Round
Trip. In 1995 she was nominated for the Artistic Director's Award as Best Lead Actress in a Play for
the role. And The Vagina Monologues in 2001.
Wendie lives on a comfortable ranch, which she referred to as being primative and
has an active lifestyle. She stated that she and her husband had only a fax machine to show for the cyber-boom. The
couple uses an SUV to get around the vast acreage. She rises at seven to muck the stables for about a half hour and then
goes horseback riding with her girlfriends until about eight. She keeps herself grounded by taking Yoga and Pilates classes.
Although Wendie is known throughout Hollywood as a tremendously respected and skillful actor, her charity work and
humanitarian efforts also garnered a lot of attention. She supports many causes including Adopt-A-Family,
Planned Parenthood, domestic violence prevention, environmental issues and housing the poor.
Housing the poor has become her main focus. Over 10 years ago, an actress friend
asked Wendie if she would be interested in joining a group from Brentwood Presbyterian Church, close to her home near the
mountains in Santa Monica that was doing housing construction in Tijuana. She had never done anything like that before, so
she thought that the experience would be interesting. A last minute call from her friend got a project and couldn't go. Wendie had
to go it alone with the Presbyterian group. She later described it as being one of the most remarkable weekends she had
ever spent and met her future husband on the very first night over the vegetarian spaghetti sauce.
Wendie's husband, Richard Erickson, a builder, had been traveling to Tijuana, Mexico with
the group for five years before the couple met. Richard was born in the Congo and spent his first seven years
growing up there. Traveling with him to different parts of the developing world, Wendie began to see the it as she
had never seen it before. In 1995, Richard had the idea of getting a group of friends to go down for Thanksgiving instead
of stuffing themselves. They have been doing the trip every year. They called their group The Maverick Building
Squad. One of their projects was to build a bathhouse for City of Angels, a new orphanage, caring mostly for
children of prisoners and prostitutes.
Wendie found the conditions in Tijuana disturbing. Many children died from diseases
like pneumonia because of improper shelter. In recent years, the city has become a place for companies like Sony and Samsung
to build plants and cheap labor. This has caused more people to move toward the area, especially on the poor soil of
the hillsides surrounding Tijuana. Many lost their homes in the 1994 floods, often little more than cardboard shacks.
The Maverick Building Squad was among others provided the needed solid housing. She has stated that she wanted
to help because she felt that she had "such an abundance in my life and once you see how many people suffer and how little
it takes for you to actually change their lives for the better, it's hard not to do something."
Wendie is serious and very vocal concerning her activism during interviews. It was more interesting
talking about experiences that you do for someone else and if you persuade others to join you in your support. Because of
her work, not long ago, a tabloid depicted Wendie as spending all of her money on the poor and that she and her
husband spend every moment helping out people less fortunate. The story was greatly exaggerated. She just feels that to have balance, you
must realize that everything isn't about yourself and satifying your own wants. There is a huge satisfaction in life when
you direct some of that outward.
She was honored by Women in Film in 2001 as A Woman of Vision along with Tipper Gore
and Roseanne. In 2002, she and her husband Richard recieved the Hope Through Empowerment award from St. Joseph's
Center in Venice, California for their humanitarian work. Wendie is on the board of directors of the Environmental Media
Association (EMA). She also supports a medical center in the Congo through their gift fund A Drop In the Bucket.
Wendie's current project is the new comedy series, My Life With Men, where she stars as