As Knots Landing’s scheming, manipulative vixen Paige Matheson, actress Nicollette Sheridan proved a devilish highlight of 1980s television. Though she had essayed a few small supporting roles in film and television before landing that fateful role, it was Sheridan’s icy perfection on Knots Landing that defined her early career. Just as her career seemed to be on the wane with appearances in such B-grade fare as 1999’s Raw Nerve and director Jim Wynorski’s Lost Treasure, Sheridan surprised television viewers by rising from the ashes to reclaim her former glory by landing the role of fast and loose divorcée Edie Britt on the hit ABC series Desperate Housewives in 2004. Her reborn celebrity status was cemented when the aging actress courted controversy by baring it all (or at least her back) in a steamy Monday Night Football promo.
The granddaughter of revered English actress Dinah Sheridan, Nicollette was born in England and raised in London before later relocating to Los Angeles. In 1984, she made her small-screen debut in the short-lived television series Paper Dolls. The next year, Sheridan gained feature credibility as the object of John Cusack’s character’s affection in the lightweight romantic comedy The Sure Thing before returning to the tube for a pair of made-for-television features. In 1986, she began an enduring seven-year run on the evening drama Knots Landing, her performance providing the series with some of its most memorable moments. Sheridan’s post-Knots Landing career was highlighted by roles in Spy Hard, Beverly Hills Ninja, and a series of made-for-television movies including A Time to Heal and The People Next Door. If it appeared at the dawn of the new millennium that Sheridan would be forever relegated to obscure independent films and little-seen small-screen features, the tireless actress received a healthy career boost when chosen to portray saucy Edie Britt in the surprise ABC hit Desperate Housewives. If this wasn’t enough to put Sheridan back in the spotlight, her controversial appearance on a teaser spot for Monday Night Football raised eyebrows when the actress appeared to seduce Philadelphia receiver Terrell Owens by entering the locker room and dropping her bath towel. Just as Janet Jackson had shocked viewers with the Super Bowl “wardrobe malfunction” commonly known as “Nipplegate,” Sheridan’s revealing moment was instantly dubbed “Towelgate” by a salivating press eager to capitalize on the latest controversy