“Just getting to wake up and play somebody else for an entire day is just an amazing thing.” Carly Schroeder
Starting out modeling for print and television ads, American actress Carly Schroeder rose to prominence playing Serena Baldwin on the “General Hospital” spin-off, “Port Charles” from 1997 to 2003. The role brought her two Young Artist nominations and a YoungStar nomination. She is also known for portraying the evil Melina Bianco in 12 episodes of Disney's No. 1 series “Lizzie McGuire” (2002-2003) and in the 2003 film version “The Lizzie McGuire Movie.”
Schroeder, whose favorite movies are Tom Hanks' “Cast Away,” Sandra Bullock's “Miss Congeniality” and Russell Crowe's “Gladiator,” began to make a name for herself in the big screen circuit with the Humanitas Prize-winning “Mean Creek” (2004), from which she and the rest of the cast jointly nabbed the 2005 Independent Spirit Festival Special Distinction Award. The vigorous, sky-blue eyed beauty gained further recognition as the star of the festival screened “Eye of the Dolphin” (2006, as Alyssa) and “Gracie” (2007, as soccer player Grace Bowen), as well as the indie-thriller “Pray” (2007, as Jessica Newman). She took home the 2007 International Family Film Festival Best Child Actor Award and the 2007 Kids First Film Festival Best Emerging Actress Award for her work in “Eye of the Dolphin.”
Schroeder, who was included in the W Magazines list of “A-list Children Actors” in 2005, will soon star in the thriller “Forget Me Not” (2008). She also has an important role in the upcoming Lifetime movie “Prayers for Bobby” (2009), opposite Sigourney Weaver and Ryan Kelley.
Childhood and Family:
Carly Brook Schroeder was born on October 18, 1990, in Valparaiso, Indiana, to Paul and Kelli Schroeder. At age 7, after gaining her role in “Port Charles,” she relocated to Thousand Oaks, California.
Now a senior in high school, Carly is homeschooled. She plans to attend Ivy League colleges in the New York area in August 2009.
Carly loves watching movies, hanging out with friends and shopping. A sports fan, she enjoys soccer, scuba diving, karate, baseball, surfing, horseback riding and grappling.
Currently, Carly lives in Ventura Co., California, with her parents and younger brother Hunter (also an actor). Talking about her parents, she said, “My parents are a huge deal. They're great people. They support me no matter what and I don't find it difficult, really. I see a lot of people who have gotten into trouble because they have done some things, but that's not the way I am, that's not the way I was raised, and that's not who I'm going to become. I'm just a normal person and this is what I enjoy doing. It's not like, 'Oh, my God, I just saw myself on TV!' That's just not who I am. I enjoy doing it and then watching it with two or three of my friends and then hanging out and goofing off afterwards. It's like going and playing soccer. It's a hobby.
Eye of the Dolphin
Carly Schroeder began taking jobs as a print model at age 3. She was discovered while accompanying her cousin to an acting audition. After her first gig, the cute girl worked in Chicago for clients like Sears, Kmart, Spiegel, Roebuck and Company, Land's End, and Chuck E. Cheese's, and within two years had moved on to television commercials thanks to famous child director Bob Ebel, who hired her to appear in a few of his TV ads.
It was her work in Shake 'n Bake that won Schroeder attention from “General Hospital” (1963) cast member Kin Shriner. In 1997, the Indiana-raised actress made an auspicious acting debut in the spin-off show “Port Charles,” playing Serena Baldwin, and remained there until its cancellation in 2003. During her six-year tenure, Schroeder appeared in 480 episodes and was nominated for a 1999 YoungStar for Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Daytime TV Program, and two Young Artists in the categories of Best Performance in a Day Time Serial - Young Performer (1999) and Best Performance in a Soap Opera - Young Actress (2000). While working on “Port Charles,” Schroeder also contributed her vocals to the animated movies “Babe: Pig in the City” (1998), with Magda Szubanski, James Cromwell, Mary Stein and Mickey Rooney, and “Toy Story 2” (1999), with Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack and Kelsey Grammer. She also portrayed Susan Olsen in her TV movie debut, “Growing Up Brady” (2000) and had a recurring role in “Dawson's Creek” (2000). She was then cast as Jennifer Collins in a failed Disney Channel pilot called “Web Girl” (2001) and appeared in one episode of “George Lopez” (2002).
Schroeder next landed a recurring role in Disney Channel's hit “Lizzie McGuire,” starring Hilary Duff. She played the manipulative and devilish hoaxer Melina Bianco in 12 episodes from 2002 to 2003. She reprised the role for the 2003 film version “The Lizzie McGuire Movie.”
After “The Lizzie McGuire Movie,” the talented young actress auditioned for and got the starring role of Millie in the Jacob Aaron Estes-helmed drama “Mean Creek” (2004), which was shown at various film festivals after its debut at the Sundance Film Festival. As the best friend of Sam (played by Rory Culkin) and Rocky (played by Trevor Morgan), she was nominated for a 2005 Young Actress in the category of Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actress and co-won the Special Distinction Award at the 2005 Independent Spirit Awards.
Following a guest spot in the Emmy-nominating crime series “Cold Case” (2004), Schroeder costarred with Kim Kutner in the thriller “We All Fall Down” (2005), which won the Festival Prize for Best Short at the 2005 Deep Ellum Film Festival, and gained additional fame with her role as the daughter of Harrison Ford and Virginia Madsen in the thriller “Firewall” (2006). She then delivered an impressive performance in the Bahamas International Film Festival-premiered “Eye of the Dolphin” (2006), a role that brought Schroeder the Best Child Actor Award at the 2007 International Family Film Festival, in which the film won the Best Drama Feature category. At the 2007 Kids First Film Festival, Schroeder was handed the Best Emerging Actress for her work in the film.
Schroeder proved her career was on the right track when she landed the high-profile role of Grace Bowen on “Gracie” (2007). A passionate soccer player since the age of 5, Schroeder had intensive soccer training for her role. “Gracie” was screened at the Cannes Film Festival on May 17, 2007, and won a Truly Moving Sound Award at the Heartland Film Festival and a Golden Fleece nomination at the 2008 Golden Trailer Awards. Also in 2007, Schroeder starred as Jessica Newman in the thriller “Prey.”
On April 4, 2008, Schroeder appeared in an episode of the Jennifer Love Hewitt series “Ghost Whisperer” called “Home But Not Alone,” in which she played Lisa Benzing. She has currently completed filming “Forget Me Not” (2008), a thriller helmed by Tyler Oliver and co-written by Oliver and Jamieson Stern. The 18-year-old actress will soon portray Joy Griffith in the made-for-TV film “Prayers for Bobby” (2009), inspired by the real-life story of gay rights reformist Mary Griffith whose young son committed suicide because of her religious intolerance. The film is adapted from the book of the same name by Leroy Aarons.
Kids First: Best Emerging Actress, “Eye of the Dolphin,” 2007
International Family Film Festival: Film Award, Best Child Actor, “Eye of the Dolphin,” 2007
Independent Spirit: Special Distinction Award, “Mean Creek,” 2005