Kim McGuire, an actress who played Mona “Hatchet Face” Malnorowski opposite Johnny Depp in “Cry-Baby,” died Wednesday of cardiac arrest at a Florida hospital. She was 60.
A native of New Orleans, McGuire graduated from law school but by the mid-1980s was focused on acting. She responded to an ad for an audition and soon was cast by writer-director John Waters to play the grotesquely disfigured Hatchet Face, a member of the gang led by “Cry-Baby” Walker (Depp), in the 1990 comedy musical that was set in 1954 Baltimore. The film wasn’t an initial commercial success but has achieved cult-classic status and spawned a 2008 Broadway show that earned four Tony noms including Best Musical.
After “Cry-Baby,” McGuire guested on “Dream On” and landed a series regular role in On the Air, an oddball ABC sitcom set in 1957 about a fictional network staging a variety show featuring a young but fading star (Ian Buchanan) who hoped the series would revive his career. Critics didn’t know what to make of “On the Air,” and it only aired a few episodes in summer 1982 before being canceled. McGuire would go on to appear in a couple of mid-’90s TV movies before switching careers and becoming a lawyer and later authoring books.
In 2005, she and husband Gene Piotrowsky lost everything to Hurricane Katrina and had to swim out of their home. They relocated to Mississippi and later to Naples, FL. Last year, she published a book titled “Flashback Katrina: 10 Years Later,” which detailed the couple’s struggle to rebuild their lives after the storm. Friends of Piotrowsky’s set up a GoFundMe page to help her defray expenses.