Spike Lee’s Girl
Highly attractive, up-and-coming blonde actress Gretchen Mol gained notice as a cover model for the popular Vanity Fair in 1998 and Matt Damon’s girlfriend Jo in John Dahl’s Rounders (1998). A film and TV performer primarily cast in supporting roles, Mol is also memorable as a sex operator girl in Spike Lee’s Girl 6 (1996). Since then, she has worked alongside such notable leading men as Al Pacino, Michael Madsen and Johnny Depp in Donnie Brasco (1997), Neal Cassady in The Last Time I Committed Suicide (1997), Mike McGlone in Subway Stories (1997, TV), Leonardo DiCaprio in Woody Allen’s Celebrity (1998), Jude Law in Music From Another Room (1998), Sean Penn in Woody Allen’s Sweet and Lowdown (1999), Matthew Settle and Tom Everett Scott in Rules of Attraction (2000) and Paul Rudd in the wide screen adaptation of Neil LaBute’s The Shape of Things (2003). Her more recent and upcoming credits include The Notorious Bettie Page (2005), Puccini for Beginners (2006) and The Valley of Light (2006, TV).
As for her romantic life, Mol was once linked to a jazz musician, but she refused to give her boyfriend's name. She also had a relationship with Clark Gayton before marrying director/writer Tod Williams in 2004.
Deep River’s Daughter
Childhood and Family:
On November 8, 1972, Gretchen Mol was born in Deep River, Connecticut. She is the daughter of Janet Mol, an actress, and her father, who works as a school principal. At age 11, Gretchen’s parents split up, leaving the young girl and her older brother, Jim Mol, under the care of their mother.
Moving to New York in 1990, Gretchen enrolled as an acting student at New York’s William Esper Studio. She also graduated from the prestigious American Musical and Dramatic Academy, the same school that actors Lee Tergesen, Tyne Daly and Paul Sorvino attended.
Gretchen happily married director Tod Williams (born September 27, 1968) on June 12, 2004.
Spotted by a talent agent while working as a hat check girl at a restaurant, Gretchen Mol landed her first professional acting job in a Coca Cola commercial. After some stage training, Mol kicked off her movie career when she was recruited to appear as one of the phone sex operators in Girl 6 (1996), a comedy film directed by Spike Lee. She was next seen in the supporting turn of Helen, the interloper girlfriend of a gangster, in Abel Ferrara’s The Funeral (1996). The same year, Mol also broke into the small screen with the miniseries “Dead Man’s Walk,” which starred F. Murray Abraham and Keith Carradine, and then played the love interest of a young guy who quits college in favor of the boating life in the “Hallmark Hall of Fame” TV-movie “Calm at Sunset” (1996).
Mol went on to work both on TV and film in the following year. She was featured as Michael Madsen’s girlfriend in Mike Newell’s Donnie Brasco (1997, also starring Al Pacino and Johnny Depp), played one of Neal Cassady’s girlfriends in The Last Time I Committed Suicide (1997), and played character Mary in The Deli (1997). After demonstrating her comic skills in an episode of the ABC sitcom “Spin City” (1996), the actress was cast as Mike McGlone’s newlywed wife in one segment of HBO’s omnibus “Subway Stories” (1997).
1998 saw Mol achieve celebrity status as her face graced the cover of the renowned Vanity Fair. Her raising star was further confirmed when she took home her most remarkable role to date, that of Jo, the love interest of Matt Damon’s Mike McDermott, in the John Dahl-directed Rounders (1998). The same year, Mol also picked up small roles in such movies as Bleach, Too Tired to Die, New Rose Hotel and Finding Graceland. She also found herself acting with Leonardo DiCaprio in Woody Allen’s Celebrity (1998) and got a pivotal role alongside Jude Law, Martha Plimpton and Brenda Blethyn in the love story Music From Another Room (1998).
Mol concentrated on wide-screen movies in the subsequent year. She first costarred in the science-fiction film The Thirteenth Floor (1999), then appeared as Marion Davies in Tim Robbins’ Cradle Will Rock (1999) and rejoined Woody Allen in the small role of Ellie in his comedy Sweet and Lowdown (1999), starring Sean Penn and Samantha Morton. In addition, Mol was seen as Ella Brice in Forever Mine (1999) and Hedy Coletti in Just Looking (1999).
In the new millennium, Mol costarred with Matthew Settle and Tom Everett Scott in the Toronto-screened Rules of Attraction (2000) and had an uncredited part in Get Carter (2000). She also returned to the small screen to play Madge Owens in the CBS remake of Picnic (2000). Two years later, Mol made two television movies, Freshening Up (2002) and the A&E remake of The Magnificent Ambersons (2002). Still in 2002, Mol debuted on a series with the FOX ensemble drama “Girl’s Club,” playing Lynne Camden, starring opposite Kathleen Robertson and Chyler Leigh.
In 2003, Mol reprised her stage role of Jenny in the film adaptation of Neil LaBute’s The Shape of Things, which also starred Paul Rudd and Rachel Weisz, and contributed to the short film Heavy Put-Away in the following year. Next up, Mol won the title character of the real-life pin-up model Bettie Page in the biography film The Notorious Bettie Page (2005) and, recently, played a role in the comedy-romance Puccini for Beginners (2006). She will soon play the small role of Eleanor in the television film The Valley of Light (2006), a drama directed by Brent Shields. Moreover, Mol is reportedly set to star with Seann William Scott in Trainwreck, a film based on the adaptation of Jeff Nichols’ memoir and directed by her husband Tod Harrison Williams.
Aside from her screen career, Mol also participated in several stage projects that included the London stage production of “The Shape of Things” (2001) and the Tony Award-winning musical “Chicago” (2004), playing Roxie Heart.