Life and Career of Lori Petty, a Star of the TV Series Orange Is The New Black

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Many people in entertainment joined the industry as a result of having one family member or the other in showbiz, but the likes of Lori Petty made a success out of an acting career without any previous connection to the world of entertainment. The records revealed her as just the daughter of a Pentecostal minister who has gone ahead to achieve huge success in the movies. Read on to get acquainted with the details of both her personal and professional life.

Who is Lori Petty of The Orange is The New Black

Her place of birth is Tennessee United States and she was born on the 14th of October 1964. Lori Petty is the daughter of Pentecostal minister (father) and grew up with two siblings, her dad’s job took him to many parts of the country, and he usually went along with his children, most especially Lori who is his eldest child.

Embarking on a lot of tours with her dad presented many difficulties with her Academics but Lori discovered her artistic inclination in the process which translated into excellent acting abilities afterwards, though she had no prior aspirations to pursue a career in entertainment. Besides, no one in her entire family has ever been connected to the movie world, they only went by on an average minster’s income from her dad.

She did high school in Iowa, graduating from North High School, during her formative years; Lori Petty was seen as a misfit which led to her becoming a loner, further equipping the budding star to better express herself. After she left school, she looked for employment as a graphic designer, working for some years in Nebraska.

However, she soon became jaded and started searching for more exciting career. Acting seemed more like it and she soon went over to New York to join acting school.

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Lori Petty was unsuccessful with her attempt to apply for Broadway’ productions and commercial in New York which informed her decision to relocate to Loss Angeles to start auditioning for roles. The hopeful finally came before the camera in the mid 1980s after several months of struggle.


She came in a small stint on the set of The Twilight Zone in 1986, portraying the character of a teenager with not much action than to look beautiful. By 1987, Lori Petty was already part of many television productions both in series and TV films like Bates Motel, Stingray, Head of the Class and The Line. The next year saw her in a short movie known as They Haven’t Seen This, but her official movie debut was made with Cadillac Man in 1990. By then, the future was looking bright as she began drawing attention in the entertainment industry. Her break through role was accomplished in 1991 as part of the cast of Point Break – an action thriller where she appeared alongside Keanu Reeves.

The movie titled A League of Their Own followed the next year in 1992 with Lori cast in the role of tomboy baseball player, earning several accolades in the process which gave her inroad to many other roles. Lori Petty landed a lead role in Free Willy – a family drama released in 1993 portraying her in the role of a young lady with a genuine love for animals. Her acting skills continued to get better as she gave life to the role of a female recruit on the set of In the Army Now in 1994, for Lori, it was a perfect opportunity for her to display her flawless comic timing with the part that later became iconic over the years.

Tank Girl is a 1995 science-fiction action–comic movie gave her another major role in her acting career. A starring role came from the 1996 television series Lush Life where she came as a wild bohemian artist called George Sanders, however, the series was scrapped after five episodes as it was considered to be too unconventional for national television. Lori Petty breathed life into the character of Maxine in the television series Brimstone in 1998, after which she exhibited her comic timing for the second time in the romantic comedy known as Relax… It’s Just Sex.

Warner Brothers hired her to lend her voice to the character of the super villain Livewire both on the set of Superman: The Animated Series and in The New Batman Adventures. Till the mid 2000s, Lori Petty kept her fans entertained with a variety of roles in both movies and series.

One major career achievement which should not be overlooked is her role as a scriptwriter and director for The Poker House – a movie that chronicled her childhood which entailed an abusive relationship with her dad, the mental and emotional trauma suffered by her mom who had no choice but to work as a prostitute in order to take care of her two daughters after she left her husband. The movie which became a huge success gave the rising actress the needed edge to be choosy in her future roles. Her next roles were accomplished in two episodes of the 2009 Prison Break and 2014 series Orange is the New Black where her guest appearance which was supposed to last for a single episode became a full role in both episode three and four.

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