BANGOR, Maine — The heartfelt online tributes to Stephanie Niznik are a testament to the friendships she formed in a career that took her from Bangor to Hollywood.
The entertainment industry magazine Variety reported last week that Niznik had died unexpectedly in June.
In a 2007 interview with NEWS CENTER Maine, Niznik spoke warmly about growing up in Maine. She said drama was only an occasional hobby at John Bapst Memorial High School in Bangor where she graduated as co-valedictorian. The acting bug didn't truly bite her, she said, until she went away to college at Duke University.
Niznik's listing on IMDb is replete with guest roles on such hugely popular shows as "Lost," "Grey's Anatomy" and "Diagnosis Murder." She also hitched a ride aboard the Starship Enterprise in the movie "Star Trek: Insurrection."
The TV series "Everwood" gave Niznik her most visible role. She was a regular cast member from the pilot episode in 2002 until the series finale in 2006.
Scott Wolf was an "Everwood" co-star. "I'm lucky to have known her," he said in a post to his followers on Twitter.
Also expressing her grief on Twitter was "Everwood" show runner Rina Mimoun. She described Niznik as "an incredible friend, a nurturing mother figure to our younger cast members and an artist who brought warmth, compassion and humor to every episode and our set."
Niznik was bubbling with enthusiasm for future projects during her 2007 interview with NEWS CENTER Maine. Some of those projects inevitably fell by the wayside. Niznik credited her Maine upbringing for helping her deal with the highs and lows of life as a performer.
"I feel like I'm grounded," Niznik said. "I feel like I know the value of a dollar. I feel like I know where the truth lies. And I think, coming from Maine and New England, I think that all counts."