Remember Jodi Kramer, the cool and sassy senior from Dazed and Confused? Yeah, we haven’t forgotten her infectious laugh and carefree spirit. But Michelle Burke, the actress who brought Jodi to life, faded from the big screen after that iconic teen classic. So, where did she go?
Burke was born on November 30, 1970 in Defiance, Ohio. While much of Burke’s childhood is a mystery, her hobbies are not. She enjoys antiquing and playing the guitar in her spare time.
In 1993, Burke received her first credited role as Stacy in an episode of the teen sitcom Parker Lewis Can’t Lose. She was twenty-three years old at the time.
That same year, she would land one of her most memorable roles to date. Burke was cast to play Conjaab “Connie” Conehead in the sci-fi comedy film Coneheads.
Produced by Lorne Michaels, “Coneheads” is a film adaptation of the SNL sketch about alien family, the Coneheads, stranded on Earth. Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin reprise their roles as Beldar and Prymaat, who, after surviving a UFO crash, try to assimilate into suburban life with their daughter, Connie (played by Burke, replacing Laraine Newman).
The story centers around teenage Connie’s struggles to fit in and her father’s mission to return to their planet. Despite initial resistance, Beldar prioritizes Connie’s happiness, leading to their decision to stay on Earth. Initially criticized, the film’s satirical portrayal of the immigrant experience gained appreciation post-9/11 for its relevance.
Dazed and Confused
Burke’s role as Connie Conehead wouldn’t be the only notable one from 1993. The coming-of-age film Dazed and Confused, a cult classic film about the last day of school for a group of teenagers in 1976 also premiered that year.
Burke played the effortlessly cool Jodie Kramer who asks the senior boys to go easy on her younger brother Mitch, played by Wiley Wiggins, during the annual hazing ritual, which only results in the seniors punishing Mitch more.
Dazed and Confused would help propel some of the careers of future Hollywood stars such as Ben Affleck, Parker Posey, Matthew McConaughey, and Renee Zellweger. Partially due to the strong ensemble cast, Dazed and Confused was met with positive reviews from critics and audiences. Desson Howe of the Washington Post wrote, “Dazed succeeds on its own terms and reflects American culture so well, it becomes part of it.”
Long after Dazed and Confused premiered, it is still remembered and honored as one of the best movies in several areas. In 2003, Entertainment Weekly ranked the film number 17 on its list of The Top 50 Cult Films and number 3 on its list of the 50 Best High School Movies.
Despite these two major roles in 1993, Burke went on to have roles in less well known projects that didn’t garner her the same attention Dazed and Confused did.
The following year, Burke played Nikki Reese in the sequel Major League, the aptly titled Major League II. Burke was added to star alongside Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, and Corbin Bernsen, all of whom reprised their roles from the previous film.
Much of Burke’s roles were predominately in television after her role in Major League II. She starred in singular episodes of Tales from the Crypt, Sliders, Mysterious Ways, The Division, and Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior all between 1994 and 2011.
What is Michelle Burke doing now?
Michelle’s last credited role would be in 2020 when she played Dr. Karen Nera in the psychological thriller Captors. The film centers around Alys, a previous victim of sex trafficking who escaped her captor. Years later, she is lured to a cabin in the woods where a man forces her to fight for her survival.
Also in 2020, during the height of the pandemic, Michelle virtually reunited with her Dazed and Confused cast mates for a table read of the movie.
Today, Burke has managed to relatively anonymous in the information age. She is not active on social media, nor is there information about her current employment.
What is known is that she and her family reside in Studio City in California.
She met her husband, Scott Thomas, a member of the band Ringside, in 1992 when they were introduced through a mutual friend. In 1995 they married in a small, private ceremony and are still together today.
Burke gave birth to their first child, Jill, in 1999. In 2001, she had a son named Jude. Three years later, they welcomed a daughter named Sadie.
Let’s hope that Burke is enjoying her private life with her beautiful family.