Veronica A. Cartwright (born 20 April 1949) is an English-born actress who has worked mainly in American film and television.
Cartwright was born in Bristol, England but grew up in Toronto and Los Angeles. Her career as a child actress began in 1958, with a role in In Love and War. Among her early appearances was a semi-regular part in the television series Leave it to Beaver (1959) (as "Violet Rutherford") and an episode of The Twilight Zone "I Sing the Body Electric" (1962). She guest starred twice in 1963 in NBC's medical drama about psychiatry, The Eleventh Hour, in the episodes "The Silence of Good Men" and "My Name is Judith, I'm Lost, You See". Cartwright appeared in the films, The Children's Hour (1961) and Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds (1963) which were both highly successful. She was cast as daughter Jemima Boone in the first two seasons of NBC's Daniel Boone from 1964 until 1966, with co-stars Fess Parker, Patricia Blair, Darby Hinton, and Ed Ames.
Cartwright's career slowed down during the late 1960s. She continued to work sporadically and achieved two of her biggest successes with Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) and Alien (1979). She was originally cast as Alien's heroine Ellen Ripley, but director Ridley Scott switched her role with Sigourney Weaver's just prior to shooting the movie.
Other film roles include: Spencer's Mountain with Henry Fonda and Kym Karath (1963), Inserts (1976), Goin' South (1978), The Right Stuff (1983), Flight of the Navigator (1986), The Witches of Eastwick (1987), Money Talks (1997), Scary Movie 2 (2001), Kinsey (2004), and Straight-Jacket (2004).
A frequent performer in television, she has played guest roles in such series as The Mod Squad, Miami Vice, Baywatch, L.A. Law, ER, The X-Files, Chicago Hope, Will & Grace, Touched by an Angel, Judging Amy, Six Feet Under, The Closer. Cartwright has received three Emmy Award nominations, one for her work in ER in 1997, and two for her work on The X-Files in 1998 and 1999.
She co-starred in the fourth remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Invasion (2007). She appears on the cover art for the Scissor Sisters' 2006 single I Don't Feel Like Dancin' as well as on their second album Ta-Dah.