Virginia Hey: Why She Really Quit Farscape

Virginia Hey was a star on Farscape but had to leave the series because of the physical toll the prosthetics and makeup overhaul took on her body.

By Rick Gonzales | Updated

Virginia Hey’s career burned bright for a moment in time and then poof. Though her flame has never been fully extinguished, it has been flickering for quite some time. Where is this former Australian model and Farscape actress and what has she been up to lately? Here’s everything we know.

Virginia Hey Was Pa’u Zotoh Zhaan On Farscape, But Left Because Of The Physical Toll

Virginia Hey

Virginia Hey’s role as Pa’u Zotoh Zhaan in the short-lived series Farscape came a good dozen years after her failed attempt as a Bond girl (more on that in a bit). After her The Living Daylights experience, Hey went on to appear on series such as Mission: Impossible, Dolphin Cove, Paradise Beach, Flipper, Home and Away, and All Saints. One of Hey’s more notable roles came on the TV series E Street, an Australian soap opera that had her play a recurring role lasting two years.

Virginia Hey was part of the original cast of Farscape. Her character was a Delvian, which was a blue humanoid plant species. It was eventually the extensive makeup and long hours that forced her to leave the role.

Zhaan on Farscape
Virginia Hey as Zhaan

On her now-closed website, Virginia Hey addressed the reasons that took her from the set of Farscape. She spoke, via an Archive article, about how she gave her all to her character, shaving her head and eyebrows for the part, giving up all sense of femininity. “Actually it was the hardest thing I’ve done in my life to sacrifice my human femininity permanently for years on end.”

Then came the brutal truth to her end on the show, “And the downside is that the extensive prosthetics and little sleep caused my kidneys to overload and bleed for three years… I simply had to go… I was soo sick.”

Virginia Hey on Farscape

Virginia Hey also states there were other reasons, besides her bad health, that made her leave Farscape. “But the REAL deciding factor for me was, not only losing my “human” femininity for years on end, but the pressure and adverse physical effect of the extra-long hours due to the prosthetic procedure.”

Virginia Hey Got Her Start In Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior

Virginia Hey

With her stature, it wasn’t hard for Virginia Hey to be noticed. Standing at nearly six feet tall, Hey was discovered at a bus stop by POL Magazine editor Wendy Adnam and immediately found herself gracing the cover of various magazines. She turned the magazine covers into some commercial work that eventually led her to The Road Warrior.

Virginia Hey recalls a costume fitting for her role as the Warrior Woman in the 1981 hit, The Road Warrior (originally titled Mad Max 2). The sequel to George Miller’s Mel Gibson-led 1979 hit Mad Max, was getting ready to shoot when Hey first got a peek at Gibson.

“At the costume fitting all the girls were gossiping about Mel Gibson, telling me I had to see him. A couple of weeks later when Mel was due to arrive on set, all the girls were aflutter,” Hey said via the Daily Record. “The back doors opened and the light blasted in as Mel came into the studio in silhouette. My heart just stopped dead. That guy has got the ‘it’ factor. He was so charismatic with his quirky and mischievous nature, and I had a giant crush on him.”

Mad Max
Virginia Hey in The Road Warrior

Virginia Hey was also quick to point out that even though there was that crush, it was nothing she ever acted upon. “He was happily married, religious, funny and sweet and kept his nose clean for 30 years.”

Not that there weren’t other A-listers the actress has been linked to. The rumors have Virginia Hey taking a shine to Gerard Butler and Kevin Costner with both actors returning said shine.

Hey’s appearance in The Road Warrior also got her some time on the cover of Playboy in 1982. Back to Gibson, perhaps Hey’s affinity toward the much-maligned actor comes from the fact that Gibson helped Virginia Hey obtain her green card for the United States. It took a bit of time but she was able to get a letter signed by Mel Gibson (and also Heath Ledger, with whom Hey worked on the series Roar) which allowed her to get the green card.

She Was A Bond Girl, But Got Cut From The Movie

Virginia Hey

Virginia Hey also went big-time James Bond (R.I.P Sean Connery). She was working on a film called Castaway with the late Oliver Reed (The Three Musketeers) and the movie’s photographer was taking pictures of the beauty on the beach. He told Hey that he was working on a Bond film that was going to star Timothy Dalton when she told the photographer that she’d “kill to be a Bond girl.”

Bond Girl
Virginia Hey in The Living Daylights

The photographer sent her pictures along to Bond producer Barbara Broccoli and in return, she was sent pages for the film to read at an audition in London. “It was only when I finished reading that Barbara appeared from the shadows and told me I was not quite right for the lead. But Barbara told me they loved me so would write a role for me. She asked, ‘What do you want to be? A goodie or a baddie?’ I said a baddie. I wanted to crawl across rooftops like Grace Jones in a tight leather jumpsuit with a big gun.”

Now the producer couldn’t promise Virginia Hey a crawl across the rooftops but they did write a role for her. “I was Russian and had to deliver some lines but they ended up on the cutting room floor.” Bummer.

Virginia Hey Says She’s Now Celibate

Virginia Hey

Virginia Hey’s time on Farscape ended in 2002 and since that time, she has been largely out of the limelight. In fact, since her departure from the show 18 years ago, Virginia Hey has been involved in but three productions.

After a nine-year gap, she appeared in a feature called Alien Armageddon. She then voiced a part in the animated series Rick and Morty in 2014. Lastly, Virginia Hey appeared in the series Kosmos. And that, as they say, is it.

While her career starburst into nothingness, Virginia Hey moved on to another adventure: Fragrances. As she told The Daily Record, “When I was younger my mum used to put fresh flowers in bath water instead of rubber ducks and since then I had a love of perfumes.” She turned that loved into White Flower Lei, a company she created which manufactures soaps and perfumes.

The actress, who is now in her late 60’s, has refrained from having sex for the past few years. She has a good reason, or at least she does if this wasn’t a joke. Virginia Hey told Woman’s Day, “I was so greedy in my younger years with handsome men that I decided to give someone else a turn.” She also said she has given up smoking and alcohol. She did, though, say she can appreciate a good-looking man, “I might be celibate, but I can still appreciate a nice-looking man.”

Celibate or not, Virginia Hey just may be making one last appearance in front of the camera with the upcoming Australian feature Gracemarch. Whether it would become available for fans in the United States remains to be seen. Other than that, it looks as if Virginia Hey’s movie career is slowly coming to an end, which is a shame. She’s still a huge talent.