First gaining notice as French student Nathalie in the Italian popular TV miniseries “Le ragazze di Piazza di Spagna” (1998), Alice Evans starred in several French films, including Olivier Schatzky's “Monsieur Naphtali” and Claude Lelouch's “Une pour toutes” (both 1999), before achieving popularity in Hollywood thanks to her portrayal of a dog loving parole officer in the Disney hit “102 Dalmatians” (2000). Evans has since acted in British and American films, such as “The Abduction Club” (2002, with Matthew Rhys), “Blackball” (2003, with Vince Vaughn), “Four Corners of Suburbia” (2005, with Mädchen Amick), “Fascination” (2004, with Jacqueline Bisset and Adam Garcia), “Hollywood's Dreams” (2006, with Seymour Cassel), Peter Howitt's “Dangerous Parking” (2007), and the animated films “Agent Crush” (2008) and “Reunion” (2009). She also appeared on television in “Best of Both Worlds,” “CSI: Miami,” “The Chris Isaak Show” and “Lost.” In 2006, Evans starred in Hallmark's hit TV film “The Christmas Card.”
Evans was in a relationship with Olivier Picasso, the grandson of painter Pablo Picasso, from 1997 to 2005. After they broke up, she began dating Ioan Gruffudd. They eventually married in 2007. Evans gave birth to her first child, Ella Betsi Janet Gruffudd, in September 2009. The family currently resides in West Hollywood, Los Angeles.
Evans writes a column in the U.K. edition of “Glamour” magazine about life as a British actress.
Childhood and Family:
Alice Jane Evans was born on August 2, 1971, in Summit, New Jersey. Her parents are David Evans, a professor of math at Bristol University, and Janet Evans, who taught English literature. She was raised in Bristol, England, her parents' native country. Alice graduated from University College in London with a degree in French and Italian. After college, she relocated to Paris to get dramatic training at F.A.C.T. (John Strasberg School) and Cours Florent.
On December 31, 2005, Alice became engaged to Welsh actor Ioan Gruffudd (born on October 6, 1973), whom she met on the set of “102 Dalmatians” (2000). They married on September 14, 2007, in Mexico and their first child, daughter Ella Betsi Janet Gruffudd, was born on September 9, 2009.
The Christmas Card
Alice Evans began her acting career in Paris. Her TV debut came with a guest spot in the anthology series “Strangers” (1996) and later that same year, she made the leap to a series regular in the comedy “Elisa top modèle,” opposite Anthony Debaeck. After appearing in a 1997 episode of “Highlander,” which starred Adrian Paul as immortal Duncan MacLeod, she got her breakthrough role as a French pupil named Nathalie in the Italian six episode series “Le ragazze di Piazza di Spagna” (1998), a remake of the 1952 film of the same name by director Luciano Emmer. The show also starred Romina Mondello and Vittoria Belvedere as Bianca and Fiamma, respectively.
Evans made her big screen debut in “Rewind” (1998), an independent science fiction French film directed by Sergio Gobbi and starring Raoul Bova. However, it was her next film, “Monsieur Naphtali” (1999), a comedy from director Olivier Schatzky, which put her on the radar of Academy Award winning director Claude Lelouch, who invited her to audition for his film “Une pour toutes/One 4 Al” (1999, released in France in January 2000). In the movie, she starred as Macha Desachy, one of three actresses who use their talents to seduce affluent men. Also in 1999, she portrayed Sue in Michel Blanc's drama “Mauvaise passe.”
Evans made her English language movie debut when she landed the role of parole officer Chloe Simon in the Disney live action family movie “102 Dalmatians” (2000), which was adapted from Dodie Smith's 1956 novel of the same name. Directed by Kevin Lima, the film was well received at the box office and grossed more than $183 million. Costars of the film included Glenn Close, Evans’ future husband Ioan Gruffudd, Tim McInnerny, David Horovitch, Ian Richardson and Gérard Depardieu.
The actress then broke into U.K. television with the starring role of Diane Sullivan in BBC's “Best of Both Worlds” (2001), directed by David Richards and written by Paul Abbott. The next year, she starred with Daniel Lapaine, Sophia Myles and Matthew Rhys in the film “The Abduction Club,” where she played a victim of a kidnapping. She returned to French films in Jean-Marie Poiré's “Ma femme... s'appelle Maurice/My Wife's Name Is Maurice.” After starring in the U.K. short film “Hard Labour” (2003), she was put back in the spotlight as the star of “National Lampoon's 'Blackball'” (2003). The comedy was a success with the critics, but failed to charm audiences.
After “Blackball,” Evans headed to Los Angeles and landed a guest spot in the CBS hit drama series “CSI: Miami” (2003). She followed it up with a reoccurring role in the Showtime comedy series “The Chris Isaak Show” (2003-2004) and a supporting role in the drama film “Four Corners of Suburbia” (2005), which was written and directed by Elizabeth Puccini and starred Mädchen Amick. She also appeared in the British TV miniseries “Blue Dove” (2003) and the romance film “Fascination” (2004), opposite Jacqueline Bisset, Adam Garcia and Stuart Wilson.
In 2006, Evans was cast in Henry Jaglom's comedy “Hollywood's Dreams,” which starred Tanna Frederick and Justin Kirk and also featured performances from Seymour Cassel and Eric Roberts. She then starred as Faith Spelman, a young woman who is forced to choose between two men, in the Hallmark Channel original film “The Christmas Card,” opposite Edward Asner and John Newton.
Evans next supported Peter Howitt, Saffron Burrows, Sean Pertwee and Rachael Stirlin in the British drama “Dangerous Parking” (2007), based on the novel of the same by Stuart Browne. Howitt also wrote the screenplay, directed and co-produced the film. She then costarred with Johnny Galecki and Tom Irwin in the sort film “Who You Know” (2007), played Sonia Zeller in the comedy film “Save Angel Hope” (alongside Billy Boyd, Luke Mably, Eva Birthistle and Bernard Hill) and provided the voice of Alex in the Sean Robinson animation film “Agent Crush” (2008), which also starred the voices of husband Ioan Gruffudd and Roger Moore. In 2009, Evans portrayed Minerva in the dramatic film “Reunion” (2009), which was written and directed by Alan Hruska. The film received a limited theatrical release in the U.S. on March 6. 2009. Meanwhile, on the small screen, Evans voiced Heather Mills in the “Curb Your Enthusiasm” episode “The Freak Book” (2007) and had the reoccurring role of Eloise Hawking in three episodes of the hit ABC drama “Lost” (2009).