Born on November 30, 1959, in Los Angeles, Cherie Currie secured her place in the annals of rock music as a member of the seminal girl band the Runaways. However, it was her twin sister, Marie Currie, who was actually offered a spot in the band. Approached in a club by group Svengali Kim Fowley and guitarist Joan Jett, Marie Currie passed on the opportunity, but Cherie Currie took the chance, auditioning for the fledgling act and getting the nod as lead singer. Quickly earning a record deal, the Runaways suffered from being viewed as a novelty and Currie's suggestive attire only served to give credence to naysayers. Currie would appear on the group's first three releases, The Runaways, Waitin' for the Night, and Live in Japan (Japan being where the band achieved its greatest level of success, notching several gold records and a rabid group of followers). The albums managed little commercial success in the States, barely eking out a place on the charts, but in years to come the Runaways' reputation as pioneers would increase considerably and their body of work would be reassessed in light of its influence on a generation of female musicians.
Currie left the band in 1977 amid rumors of tensions between her and Fowley, as well as Runaways guitarist Lita Ford. Whatever rift that may or may not have existed between Currie and Fowley, he still produced her 1978 solo issue, Beauty's Only Skin Deep, although it failed to break Currie to a wider audience. She returned two years later, this time with sister Marie Currie, to release Messin' with the Boys. Despite having some heavyweight players (including several members of Toto) backing the siblings, the record again failed to ignite commercially. Currie shifted some of her focus to cinema instead, appearing in the well-received Foxes alongside future Academy Award winner Jodie Foster. Currie more than held her own in the film and earned strong reviews for her portrayal of a desperate teen. The performance led to more acting opportunities on television and film, including a small role in the classic This Is Spinal Tap (which didn't make the theatrical release, but was restored on DVD) and a starring role in the 1983 cult science-fiction flick Wavelength. She also did quite a bit of voice-over work.
In 1989, Currie co-authored the biographical book Neon Angel: The Cherie Currie Story, which eventually inspired a 2010 film on the Runaways. In 1998, Young & Wild was released, culling together tracks from Currie's days with the Runaways as well as material from her solo albums, and in 2001 she performed on and produced an album by Katt Lowe & the Othersyde. ~ Tom Demalon