Jessica Biel Biography

Jessica Biel

 

Name: Jessica Biel
Profession: Actress, Producer
Birth Date: March 3, 1982
Height: 5' 8"

Jessica Biel was born in Ely, Minn. Biel's family moved a lot during her childhood, living in Texas, Illinois and Connecticut, before finally settling in Boulder, Colo.

Biel initially trained to be a vocalist, and appeared in several musical productions in her hometown, playing lead roles in productions such as "Annie," "The Sound of Music" and "Beauty and the Beast."

At the age of 12 in 1994, Biel attended The International Modeling and Talent Association Conference in Los Angeles, where she was discovered and signed by an agency. She started with modeling work in print ads, in addition to appearing in commercials for such brands as Pringles.

Two years after her discovery, Biel shot to fame as Mary Camden, a minister's adolescent daughter, on the WB drama "7th Heaven." Soon thereafter, Biel also landed her first feature film role, playing Peter Fonda's granddaughter in the critically-acclaimed 1997 drama "Ulee's Gold." Her performance as the gothic, rebellious teenager earned her a Young Artist Award.

In 1998, Biel returned to the big screen in the holiday movie "I'll Be Home for Christmas," in which she starred opposite Jonathan Taylor Thomas.

By the time "7th Heaven’s" fourth season rolled around in 2000, Biel was starting to grow tired of her wholesome character on the series. In an attempt to get out of her contract, Biel posed semi-nude for the cover of Gear magazine, a move that indeed upset the show's producer, Aaron Spelling, and led to her role being scaled down.

Taking advantage of her down time, Biel enrolled at Tufts University in Mass. as she also continued to pursue more film roles. After a slow start with 2002’s "The Rules of Attraction," Biel landed her first starring role the following year in "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre." The film grossed $28.1 million on its opening weekend, proving Biel was capable of headlining a movie.

Biel went on to land more high-profile roles in "Blade: Trinity" (2004, starring Wesley Snipes), "Stealth" (2005, with Jamie Foxx) and "Elizabethtown" (2005, with Kirsten Dunst.

In 2006, Biel scored another breakthrough when she played a turn-of-the-century duchess in the period mystery drama, "The Illusionist," co-starring Edward Norton and Paul Giamatti. She was awarded the Rising Star Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival and won an Achievement Award at the Newport Beach Film Festival for her performance, which brought Biel closer to her goal of being taken more seriously as a dramatic actress.