2009-12-26 / Potter County News

Coudersport native hits the ‘big time’

A young woman with Potter County roots is making it big on the Hollywood scene.

From blockbusters such as “Million Dollar Baby,” to NBC’s Jay Leno Show, Riki Lindhome is making a name for herself with a combination of talent, beauty, ambition, versatility and marketing savvy.

She’s the daughter of Rick and Cheryl Lindhome. Her late grandparents, Dick and Muriel Lindhome, were prominent Coudersport residents.

Her appearance last week on Leno as part of the musical comedy duo, Garfunkel and Oates, was enjoyed by millions.

“They’re playing the big clubs in Los Angeles, and have also played in New York,” says father Rick, a lawyer based in Olean, N.Y., and a 1969 graduate of Coudersport Area High School. “Riki has done well. She’s very smart, and very hard-working.”

The Leno show was just another step in Riki’s varied career, which has included working with Clint Eastwood and opposite stars Hilary Swank and Angelina Jolie.

That face that has been showing up everywhere from the Jay Leno Show to a Clint Eastwood blockbuster film is none other than Coudersport native Riki Lindhome, daughter of Rick and Cheryl Lindhome. She’s shown here (top photo) in “Pushing Daisies,” one of her many television roles and with Kate Micucci her partner in the musical comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates, who appeared on NBC’s Jay Leno Show last Monday night. That face that has been showing up everywhere from the Jay Leno Show to a Clint Eastwood blockbuster film is none other than Coudersport native Riki Lindhome, daughter of Rick and Cheryl Lindhome. She’s shown here (top photo) in “Pushing Daisies,” one of her many television roles and with Kate Micucci her partner in the musical comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates, who appeared on NBC’s Jay Leno Show last Monday night. “Acting is my main focus, but I’m enjoying comedy a lot,” Lindhome told Endeavor News.. “They go hand-inhand. Doing the former makes me better at the latter, and vice versa.”

Riki was two years old when she moved with her parents from Coudersport to Portville, N.Y. Her success would doubtless be a source of pride to her grandparents. Muriel Lindhome was a long-time reporter and columnist for the Potter Enterprise and a director of the county’s tourist promotion agency.

After graduating from Syracuse University in 2000, Riki landed minor roles in television series such as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” getting her big break when Tim Robbins cast her in his play, “Embedded.”

Her portrayal of Gondola – a parody of Condoleeza Rice – captured the attention of Clint Eastwood, who gave Lindhome her first film role, in the Academy Award-winning “Million Dollar Baby.”

Eastwood also cast her in the role of a nurse in his 2008 film, “The Changeling.” She’s played roles in several other films, including “My Best Friend’s Girl” and the 2009 remake of “The Last House on the Left.”

Lindhome, 30, has also appeared in television shows, including Gilmore Girls, Heroes, Pushing Daisies and Criminal Minds. She has most recently landed roles in Bones, Nip/Tuck and Three Rivers, and will appear in a 2010 movie, “Girltrash.”

The Garfunkel and Oates pairing combines folk sound with comedy, based on real-life situations.

Lindhome also feels she benefitted from some “bizarre experiences” during her senior year that “made me more angry and rebellious,” but ultimately made her stronger, more self-assured and, admittedly, sometimes edgy in her performances.

“Working on Leno was a great experience,” Riki told Endeavor News. “Everyone who works there – including Jay Leno himself – was very supportive and encouraging.”

Lindhome says putting her experiences into comical songs helps ease the stress and uncertainty of an acting career.

“It’s nice to have that extra income,” she added. “We get checks from Japan, Australia and Europe . . . It has opened a lot of doors for us.”

Riki’s career can also be followed on her website, rikilindhome.com.

She recalls her grandmother Muriel being supportive of her ambitions:

“When I graduated from high school, she gave me a scrapbook that she made of every play, concert and dance recital I had ever been in. She had been saving programs since I was in second grade. If that’s not support and encouragement, I don’t know what is.”

Rick and Cheryl Lindhome marvel at their daughter’s success.

“She’s 30 years old, and she has had a private lunch with the Kennedys, had a part in an Oscar-winning film, and sang on Jay Leno,” Rick said. “Needless to say, we are very proud of her.”

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