Alexis Bledel rose to prominence playing Rory Gilmore, the daughter of single parent Lorelai Gilmore (played by Lauren Graham), on the popular television series “Gilmore Girls” (The WB: 2000-2006; The CW: 2006-2007), from which she earned two Teen Choice Awards, a Young Artist Award and a Family Television Award, not to mention nominations at the ALMA and Satellite Awards. She stated, “I was certainly lucky to play a teenage character that was so academic and intelligent and unique from a lot of other characters on television, as far as teenagers go, but I'll be happy to play adult roles. But if I don't get to play characters as unique as Rory is, then I'd miss that.”
A former fashion model, Bledel left NYU's Tisch School of Arts and headed to Los Angeles to pursue her acting career. She received an impressive start with “Gilmore Girls” and has since starred in a number of films, including “Tuck Everlasting” (2002, received a Saturn nomination), “Sin City” (2005), “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” (2005, netted two Teen Choice nominations) and the 2008 sequel “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2,” “I'm Reed Fish” (2006) and “Post Grad” (2009). She also guest starred as Dr. Julia Wise in the “ER” episode “And in the End” (2009).
Bledel ranked No. 87 on the Maxim magazine list of “Hot 100 of 2005.” Three years before, in 2002, she was named one of Teen People Magazine's “25 Hottest Stars under 25.” She is friends with her “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” costars America Ferrera and Amber Tamblyn. On a more personal note, Bledel is Roman Catholic. She dated actor Milo Ventimiglia from 2002 to 2006.
Childhood and Family:
Kimberly Alexis Bledel was born on September 16, 1981, in Houston, Texas, to an Argentinean father (Martin Bledel) and a Mexican American mother (Nanette Dozie). She has a younger brother named Eric (born in 1986). Her first language is Spanish and she studied English while in school.
Alexis was very timid as a child. In order to overcome her shyness, her parents encouraged her to participate in community theater, where she performed in such productions as “Our Town,” “Aladdin” and “The Wizard of Oz.” She was spotted by modeling agent Page Parkes while shopping at a local mall and then did some modeling, for which she traveled to fashion cities like Milan, New York, Tokyo and Los Angeles.
The blue eyed beauty attended St Mark's Lutheran Middle School. She graduated from St. Agnes Academy and Page Parkes Center of Modeling and Acting (both in Houston, Texas). After high school, she applied and was accepted to New York University's Tisch School of Arts as a film major. However, she left the prestigious school after a year. She recalled, “I was at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts for a year and I loved it. There are a lot of really creative people. There is a constant exchange of an ideas. We talk about what's been done (in film) and all the rules for filmmaking and then we talk about how to break them.”
Alexis enjoys hanging out with her family, reading, watching films, writing and photography.
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
“Before I got ‘Gilmore Girls’ (2000), I was modeling. I went in for a call and was told, ‘Sweetie, you need to lose two inches off those hips.’ I was 14 so I just replied, ‘I have more jobs than I can do. I'm in high school. I can't go to all the trouble of losing the two inches, so I'll pass.’ Someone might tell you to lose weight, but you can say no.” Alexis Bledel
Alexis originally joined a theater group at age 8 as a means to work on her shyness. By age 14, she had added modeling to her endeavors. Besides traveling, she also graced the covers of magazines like “Seventeen,” “TV Guide,” “Lucky Magazine,” Vanity Fair” and YM” and did print advertisements for “Naturistics Lip Gloss” and “Bonne Bell Chapstick ”
In 1998, Bledel made her feature film acting debut as an extra in “Rushmore,” directed by Wes Anderson and co-written by Anderson and Owen Wilson. A short time later, she decided to leave modeling for acting. Her big break arrived when she won the lead role of Lorelai 'Rory' Leigh Gilmore in the WB series “Gilmore Girls,” opposite Lauren Graham as Lorelai Gilmore. Created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, the comedy debuted on October 5, 2000, and ran until May 15, 2007. For her good acting job, Bledel received two Teen Choice Awards for Choice TV Actress-Comedy, a Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a TV Drama Series - Leading Young Actress and a Family Television Award. She also received an ALMA nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Television Series and a Golden Satellite nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Series, Comedy or Musical.
Bledel's career took off and in 2002, she landed the starring role of Winifred 'Winnie' Foster, a young woman who falls in love with an immortal, in the Disney movie “Tuck Everlasting,” adapted from the 1975 children's book of the same name by Natalie Babbitt. Costarring with experienced actors like William Hurt, Sissy Spacek, Ben Kingsley and Amy Irving, Alexis held her own and was nominated for a Saturn in the category of Best Performance by a Younger Actor for her role.
Two years later, Bledel appeared in Terri Miller's 8-minute film “DysEnchanted” and Gurinder Chadha's “Bride and Prejudice,” which was based on Jane Austen's “Pride and Prejudice.” Bledel next portrayed a young prostitute named Becky in the box office hit “Sin City” (2005), which was written, directed and produced by Frank Miller and Robert Rodriquez, and Lena in the Ken Kwapis' big screen version of Ann Brashares' “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” (2005), where she was teamed up with America Ferrara, Amber Tamblyn and Blake Lively. The actress picked up two Teen Choice nominations for Choice Movie Actress: Drama and Choice Movie Love Scene, which she shared with Michael Rady. Still in 2005, Bledel also played Dylan in Andrew Wilder's “The Orphan King,” opposite Chris Evans.
Bledel was next seen portraying the fiancé of the main character (played by Jay Baruchel) in “I'm Reed Fish,” which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 25, 2006, and received a limited theatrical release in the United States on June 1, 2007. She also appeared as Charlotte in the short film “Life is Short” (2006), opposite Samm Levine, Seth MacFarlane and Riki Lindhome. After the demise of “Gilmore Girls,” she reprised her role of Lena Kaligaris in the sequel “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2” (2008), which was nominated for a Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie: Romance. She then returned to television with a guest appearance in the NBC hit medical drama “ER” (2009), where she played Dr. Julia Wise.
Recently, Bledel starred as Beth Vest in Julio DePietro's “The Good Guy” (2009), opposite Andrew McCarthy and Anna Chlumsky. She also played college graduate Ryden Malby in the comedy film “Post Grad” (2009), helmed by Vicky Jenson and written by Kelly Fremon. The cast of the film also included Zach Gilford, Michael Keaton, Jane Lynch, Bobby Coleman, Carol Burnett and Rodrigo Santoro.
Teen Choice: TV - Choice Actress: Comedy, “Gilmore Girls,” 2006
Teen Choice: Choice TV Actress: Comedy, “Gilmore Girls,” 2005
Young Artist: Best Performance in a TV Drama Series - Leading Young Actress, “Gilmore Girls,” 2001
Family Television: Actress, “Gilmore Girls,” 2000