Paula Stronin

The villainous Paula Stronin

Paula Stronin (Venus Terzo) is the main villainess from the 2011 Lifetime film, Gone (airdate June 27, 2011). She is a state health commissioner who was deeply in debt and had reluctantly went along with a conspiracy that her financial advisor, Duncan Hall (the movie’s tertiary villain), came up with.

The conspiracy involved Paula masterminding the theft of the current flu vaccine, with plans to sell said vaccine on the black market so that she could earn the millions of dollars needed to pay off her debts. Her actions likely contributed to the fact that least 12 people died from a particular strain of the influenza virus during the current flu season. Paula’s first appearance in the movie was when she appeared at a press conference in order to address the “shortage” of the flu vaccine, with her reply being that the matter was being addressed on both a regional and federal level.

On the day after she spoke at the press conference, Paula began to orchestrate the murder-for-hire plot on Ed Borden, a journalist who had caught on to her conspiracy. The conspiracy involved Duncan kidnapping Emily Franklin, the young daughter of main protagonist Amy Franklin, and also having Duncan make several threatening calls to Amy. Hall stated that if Amy refused to follow his instructions “to the letter,” Emily would be murdered.

Towards the movie’s climax, Amy entered Paula’s home, where Paula was hosting a celebration of her impending retirement from public service. She also informed her friends about a “wonderful opportunity” to join her in creating a “new and visionary” care facility. Her speech was interrupted when corrupt cop Liz Cook rang her doorbell, having found out from Amy’s mother about where her daughter was. At first, both Paula and Duncan had doubt about Liz’s claims, and both of them tried to reassure her that Amy was not present; both were initially unaware that Liz was correct about Amy’s presence.

Not too long after Liz entered Paula’s home, both she and Amy brawled upstairs, with both women falling down the stairs right in front of Stronin, Hall, and also her guests. As Liz attempted to arrest Amy, she pleaded with Paula to help find her daughter, and also attempted to call Duncan out as the kidnapper. After dismissing her guests, Paula decided to take Amy down to her cellar, with Duncan and Liz accompanying the pair. She revealed that her late husband (who had died 4 years before the movie’s events) used the cellar as a workshop. Though Emily was no longer inside the cellar since Liz had moved the 9-year-old to her car under Duncan’s orders, Paula scolded Hall for bringing the kidnapped girl to her home, marking her villainous reveal. However, after Duncan threatened to show Paula how “real business” was done by killing Amy in front of her, the villainess simply went back upstairs, unsure of what to say to her co-conspirators. Not too long after Hall was killed by Amy and Emily was finally rescued from Liz’s car, Paula was shown on TV being arrested for her crimes.


  • Venus Terzo has played several villainous roles, including Sonja in an episode of Supernatural, and Valeria Crossley in an episode of Psych.
  • Venus Terzo also appeared as the evil Susan Jennings in 2006's Circle of Friends.