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Whatever Happened To Rachael From Blade Runner?

There was a time when Blade Runner star Sean Young was one of Hollywood's hottest young talents, putting together a string of roles in a number of noteworthy films. By the mid-1990s, however, she'd retreated from the spotlight, and these days, you're far more likely to see Young in made-for-TV movies, low-budget indies, web series, and reality television. What went wrong? Well, it's kind of a long story...

Stardom in the 1980s

Throughout much of the 1980s, Sean Young was a bona fide star. The Kentucky-born and New York-educated talent landed her first gig as Ariadne Charlton in Merchant Ivory Film's Jane Austen in Manhattan, which both introduced Young and waved goodbye to Oscar-winning acting legend Anne Baxter. From there, she landed roles in Stripes and Blade Runner, where her gifts were clearly on display.

Young's career continued to trend upwards throughout the '80s thanks to roles in Young Doctors in Love, Dune, and Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend. She followed those up by starring alongside Kevin Costner and Gene Hackman in 1987's No Way Out—which, unfortunately, marked the pinnacle of Young's young career.

Her relationship with Hollywood was troubled from the start

Despite making a name for herself with a string of noteworthy roles in credible films like Blade Runner, Sean Young's relationship with Hollywood was broken from the start.

Young claims that she was the recipient of some unwanted attention from Hollywood bigwigs early on, alleging that a particular movie mogul made "creepy" advances and then attempted to blackball her when she turned him down—something she claims happened all too frequently. "The city of angels?" she asked Entertainment Weekly. "It's the city of devils. The city of smiling cobras. This [town] eats venom for breakfast ... I've been forced to deal with my character assassination. I never hurt anybody in this business, ever."

She was removed from the set of 'Wall Street'

The first instance of what Young calls her "character assassination" took place after she was cast to play Kate Gekko, the wife of Gordon Gekko, in Oliver Stone's 1987 hit drama Wall Street. What was originally supposed to be a central role was ultimately cut down to an entirely insignificant amount of screen time after Young had some apparently serious disagreements with both the director as well as her co-star, Charlie Sheen, resulting in her being virtually removed from the film and literally removed from the set.

Despite the apparent problems while filming Wall Street, Young has insisted she likes Sheen. "He had a funny sense of humor," she told The Hollywood Reporter. "He wrote very dark poetry. He went in the makeup room one morning and he read his poetry, and we all kind of stood there quietly and we looked at him. I remember saying to him, 'That's like two or three days on Platoon, buddy.' I'd write about flowers, and he would write about the dark night of the soul. I actually like Charlie, but show business is tough. It can whack people out."

James Woods tried to sue her for harassment

In addition to her falling out with director Oliver Stone on the set of Wall Street, Young attracted years of negative press when James Woods—her on-screen husband in The Boost—filed a harassment lawsuit against her, following a rumored real-life affair and an alleged on-set romance. Young claims, however, that neither the affair nor any harassment ever took place.

According to a 1989 issue of People, Woods dumped his onscreen wife and returned to his real-world fiancée—something Young allegedly didn't handle very well. Woods claimed Young sent him anonymous hate mail, anti-abortion letters directed to his fiancée, pictures of corpses and dismembered animals, and even an iodine-soaked doll with a slit throat. The FBI got involved... and the more the tabloid press followed the story, the more difficult it became to discern the truth from the slander.

Though Young, to this day, denies everything, and the twisted Hollywood lovers' quarrel was settled out of court, the once on-the-rise replicant's reputation was permanently damaged.

Her reputation in Hollywood became a joke

In Hollywood, Young became the butt of a lot of jokes and a punchline to those involved in the movie-making business. After landing the role of Tess Trueheart in Dick Tracy, she was kicked to the curb after creative differences with Warren Beatty—whom she claimed fired her for declining his sexual advances. Things got even worse when she charged into the studio wearing a homemade Catwoman suit in an infamous (and unsuccessful) bid to land a role in Batman Returns.

Not everyone considered Young to be as unstable as her reputation suggested, however. "When I hired her for Cousins," Joel Schumacher remembered, "I got a lot of phone calls from people saying I was crazy. Sean is an artist, and she doesn't know how to monitor herself. She will pour out her emotional road map of the day to you, and it can be quite frightening." Nevertheless, Schumacher enjoyed working with her—but most of Hollywood seemingly didn't want to deal with the "crazy" Sean Young.

She won two Razzies for one film

Young's career certainly wasn't helped by the 1991 "erotic and stylish" neo-noir thriller A Kiss Before Dying, in which she starred alongside Matt Dillon. The film received generally unfavorable reviews, but Young bore the brunt of the film's negative reception.

In this remake of the 1956 original, Young played both Ellen and Dorothy Carlsson—which makes sense, since the characters are twin sisters. Unfortunately, the Razzie Awards weren't very kind to Young, awarding her a dastardly double of Razzies for both Worst Actress and Worst Supporting Actress. Ouch.

She crashed Vanity Fair's Oscar party

Sean Young carried her reputation for being more than a bit unstable into the 21st century, most notably with her attempt at crashing Vanity Fair's Oscar party in 2006.

As reported by The New York Times, Young skipped up behind Jennifer Aniston, gave a few poses, waved, and then took off into the party. Problem was, she wasn't invited, and pandemonium ensued as security guards stopped invited guests from entering the venue while they frantically searched for her. Eventually, security announced over the radio that "we got her" and she was escorted out the back door. "It was degrading," Young told Entertainment Weekly two years later. "But when you have nothing to lose, it's really not that big of a deal."

Sadly, this wouldn't be the only time Young would be escorted from a high-profile event.

She interrupted Julian Schnabel's acceptance speech

At the 2008 Directors Guild of America Awards, Sean Young had another questionable moment in which she didn't make herself any friends.

When Diving Bell and the Butterfly director Julian Schnabel took the stage to accept an award, he was audibly heckled by someone off-camera and off-stage to his left. "Who said that to me?" he asked, before noticing the culprit. An awkward silence ensued before Young continued to make comments, at which point Schnabel calmly told Young to "go have another cocktail," which elicited some laughter from the audience. Schnabel then promptly wrapped it up by thanking the DGAs and invited Young to finish his speech, before making his exit in front of a stunned crowd.

Shortly after, television personality Julie Chen filled David Letterman in with the details of what Young said. Apparently, while Schnabel was noticeably moved and struggling to find the right words, Young drunkenly yelled: "Get on with it!" (Which wasn't her first intoxicated outburst of the night.) Letterman got a kick out of Young's "heckling the winners," however, jokingly announcing that "we need more of that kind of stuff" and that he hoped it "starts a trend."

The DGAs found it less amusing, however: Young was promptly escorted from the premises.

She entered rehab twice for alcohol abuse

Following her outburst at the 60th Annual Directors Guild of America Awards, Sean Young checked herself into rehab for alcohol addiction.

"Actress Sean Young voluntarily admitted herself yesterday to a rehabilitation center for treatment related to alcoholism," her publicist stated a few nights after the awards show. "It is understood that Young has struggled against the disease for many years." The DGA also issued a statement, announcing it "wishes to respect Ms. Young's privacy at this difficult time and declines further comment."

Years later, Young would enter rehab again—this time, by joining the cast of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. "I turned them down," she told The Hollywood Reporter, "and eventually they offered me so much money, and I thought 'If I don't do this, this is dumb. I have a family I have to take care of.' After the DGA, they were left with the impression that I would make a good candidate for [Celebrity Rehab]. I only had to work 10 days on it, and it was over quick. Actually, I did have a really good time on it because I learned a lot and I went on to really [stop] my drinking. I don't drink anymore, so that made a big difference."

Sean Young and the Restless

On the road to revitalizing her career, Sean Young joined the cast of the long-running daytime drama The Young and The Restless, taking on the role of Meggie McClaine. Starting off as a barmaid who moved in with Victor and Nikki, Meggie went on to have a colorful arc—she didn't give Murphy his medication while he was having a stroke, killed Murphy's son, spiked Nikki's drinks, sent her to rehab, and planned on both marrying and killing Victor. Ultimately, her character was arrested, but she claimed it was a good bit of fun playing a crazy person.

The soap also served as a reunion between Young and her The Man Who Came Back co-star Eric Braeden. "Getting the chance to work with my dear friend Eric Braeden, one of the true gentlemen in entertainment, was certainly a deciding factor for me," Young told People, "as well as wanting to get back to work after taking a few years off to raise my kids."

She unsuccessfully skated with the stars

In November and December of 2010, Fox gave the whole celebrities-on-skates idea another go with Skating with the Stars, pairing the likes of Mötley Crüe singer Vince Neil, Disney Channel star Brandon Mychal Smith, and—of course—Sean Young with professional figure skaters.

"I've put skates on before, like when I was a kid... and then I had some time at a Culver City ice rink where my kids would like to go ice skating on Saturdays, but that was really just like puttering around," Young told Access Hollywood Live. "The last five weeks [of training for the show] have been very challenging and actually amazing fun. You have to have a kind of athletic personality for it and I do. I have a dance background, so I'm athletic and I learn quickly, which is lucky in this situation."

Young approached the skating competition with a positive attitude. "My biggest competition is within me," she claimed. "It's your own mental game. It's like you wake up and you say, 'I need to face this with a good attitude, I need to do my very best and at the end of the day,'" she shared. Unfortunately, it didn't help much—Young was the first celebrity eliminated from the show.

She crashed an Oscars party (again)

Sean Young and award shows simply don't mix.

In 2012, while trying to gain entry into The Governer's Ball—the most prestigious Oscars afterparty—Young was denied on the grounds that she wasn't invited. According to TMZ, she was asked to leave... but returned shortly after and tried once again to get in. At some point, a security guard may or may not have put his hand on her arm, prompting her to slap the guard in question. She was then placed under citizen's arrest, taken in by the LAPD, and booked for misdemeanor battery.

Naturally, the tabloids had a field day with the story, but Young claimed she was both sober and mistreated. "I just want everyone to know that I was sober, extremely well behaved when a very stupid security guard went postal on me and then the Academy's very stupid lawyer recommended a 'private person's arrest,'" she posted on Facebook. "I have grounds for a lawsuit against the Academy, although I believe a public apology to me would be much better."

Young is still waiting on that apology.

She doesn't like doing interviews...

After a career's worth of negative press, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Sean Young isn't particularly keen on talking to reporters.

"I don't really like doing interviews," Young told Entertainment Weekly's Karen Valby, who described the actress as seeming "wearily resigned to her unshakable reputation for being seriously unhinged," in 2008. "I'm so easy to make sound bad," Young explained, "but what are you going to do that hasn't been done to me already? Who's going to f*** me over any more than they already have?"

Young also reiterated the same sentiments to The Guardian's Danny Leigh in 2015, ending her final regret-filled email to the author by asking: "Please don't write s*** about me, OK?"

...But she doesn't care so much anymore

These days, Sean Young is (mostly) over all the drama.

"It doesn't bother me now," she told Gawker. "I'm a 56-year-old woman, and yes I do look good for my age and I'm in good health. I can't be bothered with worrying about it anymore, but I spent a lot of years in...look, I would call it desperation. I saw my career go up in flames and it was heartbreaking to me. The more I tried to defend myself, the crazier I looked. Even though that's not really fair, what I learned quickly is that fair has nothing to do with it. It's all perception. It's all what people believe, it's not really what's in fact accurate."

Having been through a lot, she claimed to be often approached by members of the Hollywood scene—both new and established—in search of some advice. "I have a unique experience," she added, "and I'm called upon a lot now from people who have been in the business for a while and want my opinion or who are up and comers and would like my advice."

She's a major conspiracy theorist

She's fought unflattering rumors about her mental health, but Young has no qualms about admitting she buys into a lot of conspiracy theories.

For example, she's very firmly anti-vaccination and thinks the powers that be are responsible for intentionally spreading whooping cough and measles: "The thing is, you have a very big pharmacological industry, and they want those bucks to keep flowing," she told Gawker. "It's definitely not impossible to imagine that there are agents that spread this kind of thing. Remember when the English came over with blankets that were laced with tuberculosis and they gave all those blankets to the Indians? You think that doesn't happen today?"

She also has a thing or two to say about chemtrails. "I know people will call me a conspiracy nut or whatever, but the evidence is out there," she added. "There's an interview on Red Ice Radio from the guy who worked at the CDC who said that there was evidence of autism and they buried it. And the whole idea that a corporation is responsible for performing their own tests. Are you f***ing kidding me? We'll do our own in-house testing and then we'll present what we want, and that's supposed to be the evidence that the EPA accepts? You don't think there'd be any conflict of interest in that. This stuff is obvious..."

What does the future have in store?

After this long and tumultuous road from starring in A-list movies to appearing in reality shows and web series, what does the future hold?

While Sean Young might not be on every director's radar, she's certainly got enough projects to keep her busy, with credits in upcoming projects like Somewhere Only We KnowHealed by Grace 2Dan & CarlaA Beautiful Distraction, and Dark Ascension II: The Journey to Hell. That being said, it's unlikely we'll see Young in another major blockbuster ever again... but stranger things have happened. And in the meantime, you can see plenty of the stars Young told The Hollywood Reporter she sees as her heirs apparent—"Jennifer Lawrence and Alicia Vikander."