Joan Severance (born December 23, 1958) is an American actress and former fashion model.
Born in Houston, Texas, Severance's family moved often while she was growing up. The family had to leave Libya during the Six Day War in 1967. They moved back to Houston where she attended Westbury High School and, at the age of 15, started modeling to make money for college. Her ambition was to become a veterinarian although she failed to make enough money for tuition. She was then hired by the Elite modeling agency which allowed her to travel again.
In the late 1980s Joan used her modeling success to start an acting career, making her debut in a small role in the first Lethal Weapon film in 1987. She usually takes the femme fatale roles in lower budget horror and murder mystery movies, most notably Lake Consequence (1993), Criminal Passion (1994) and Payback (1995). She memorably featured alongside Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder in the 1989 comedy See No Evil, Hear No Evil, and as Hulk Hogan's love interest, Samantha N. Moore, in the wrestling film No Holds Barred (1989). She had leading roles in Roger Corman's Black Scorpion (1995) (she later starred in and co-produced a sequel, Black Scorpion II: Aftershock (1997)), and The Last Seduction 2 (1999).
Her most notable role is as a villainess on the TV series Wiseguy, where she played half of a brother/sister crime team (the other half was played by Kevin Spacey) to great acclaim. Their partnership was reprised in See No Evil, Hear No Evil. In the early 1990s, Severance appeared as Samantha "Sam" Dooley, the Martian Belle, in several training videos for Virtual World Entertainment alongside other actors such as Cheech Marin, "Weird Al" Yankovic, R. Lee Ermey, and Judge Reinhold. She is currently appearing in the My Network TV telenovela Wicked Wicked Games.