A more unconventional husky-voiced "scream queen" heroine of the 1980s was Jill Schoelen, daughter of well-known fashion designer Dorothy Schoelen. Born and raised in Burbank, she studied at the Acting for Life Theatre in Burbank and started off on TV as a teen in the Fame-influenced TV pilot called Best of Times (1981), starring the up-and-coming Nicolas Cage and Crispin Glover. She gained in experience with a number of innocuous films geared mostly toward the young, including D.C. Cab (1983), Thunder Alley (1985) and Hot Moves (1985). The dark-eyed, black-haired pretty girl, with the trademark bangs, wouldn't find her horror niche until hooking up with Wes Craven and his TV movie, Chiller (1985). From there, she scored big with the cult shocker, The Stepfather(1987), wherein she played the resourceful stepdaughter terrorized by the lecherous, meek-appearing Terry O'Quinn as the title monster.
The sleeper hit put Jill on the map with a seemingly solid future, continuing on with The Phantom of the Opera (1989), this time keeping company opposite "Freddy Krueger" inhabiter, Robert Englund, as her deranged pursuer. She also appeared in Curse II: The Bite (1989), Cutting Class (1989) and Popcorn(1991), and When a Stranger Calls Back (1993). Her object-of-a-stalker days behind her, after filming Not Again! (1996), she settled comfortably back and raised two children with her husband, musician/composer Anthony Marinelli.