Though a credited director, writer, and producer, Lori Petty continues to be revered by fans for her acting prowess and is still considered one of the most respected “actors’ actors” in the industry, as evidenced by her illustrious career spanning over 30 years. Some of Lori’s most iconic roles include the adventurous surfer Tyler in the original 1991 action thriller Point Break, alongside Keanu Reeves and the late Patrick Swayze; Geena Davis’s bratty baseball-playing fan-favorite sister Kit in A League of Their Own (1992); the title role of the film adaptation of the British cult-favorite comic book, Tank Girl (1995); the classic Free Willy (1993); and John Singleton’s Poetic Justice (1993). Lori broke into TV in the 1980s where she played notable characters in Bates Motel (1987), Head of the Class, The Thorns, Booker, and Lush Life. Lori’s film career took off after she played a colorful Cyndi Lauper wannabe in Cadillac Man (1990).
Lori Petty can currently be seen in the critically acclaimed, postapocalyptic HBO Max limited series Station Eleven. Her other recent notable credits include a heavy recurring role in Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black (for which she won two SAG Awards for Best Ensemble in a Comedy), Pop TV’s Swedish Dicks, and Fox’s Gotham.
In between acting gigs, Lori is an accomplished film and theatre director. Her directing debut was for the 2008 independent film The Poker House (which she also co-wrote), starring Jennifer Lawrence. The film was nominated for Best Narrative Feature at the 2008 Los Angeles Film Festival, with future Oscar-winner Lawrence receiving the Outstanding Performance jury prize for her role—a testament not only to Lori’s directing skills, but also to her eye for talent. Lori recently directed the play Trial at the American Theatre of Actors, which received rave reviews.