7th Heaven's Mary
Model and actress Jessica Biel rose to fame with the success of WB's family drama "7th Heaven," (1996) where she was cast as series regular Mary Camden. She next drew attention for portraying Peter Fonda's disobedient granddaughter Casey Jackson in the acclaimed film Ulee's Gold (1997). Due to her bright performance, she won the Young Artist Award in 1998. Biel continued to play roles in such films as I'll Be Home for Christmas (1998, opposite Jonathan Taylor Thomas), Summer Catch (2001, costarring Freddie Prinze Jr.), The Rules of Attraction (2002), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), Cellular (2004, starring Kim Basinger and Chris Evans) and Blade: Trinity (2004, also starring Kris Kristofferson, Wesley Snipes and Ryan Reynolds).
Biel, who shares the same birthday with model/actress Kim Smith, was listed as one of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People in 1999.
Off screen, she is a philanthropist who supports such charities as PETA and Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. As for her private life, the hazel-eyed beauty was once romantically linked to actor Adam LaVorgna. She is now reportedly dating Cellular star Chris Evans.
Fans can catch Biel in the more recent and upcoming movies Stealth (2005, opposite Josh Lucas, Sam Shepherd and Jamie Foxx), Elizabethtown (2005, Orlando Bloom, Kirsten Dunst and Susan Sarandon), London (2005) and The Illusionist (2006, also starring Paul Giamatti and Edward Norton).
Childhood and Family:
A blend of French, English, German and Choctaw (Native American) ancestry, Jessica Claire Biel was born on March 3, 1982, in Ely, Minnesota. She spent most of her childhood in Boulder, Colorado, with her father John Biel and mother Kim Biel, and younger brother Justin.
As a child, Jessica Biel, whose nickname is Jessie, dreamed of becoming a surgeon and once cut open a dead squirrel's brain. At age nine, Jessie acted on stage for regional productions of "The Invisible People," "Annie," "Beauty and the Beast" and "The Sound of Music."
In 1994, Jessie participated in an International Modeling & Talent Association competition and was awarded a scholarship to Diane Hardin's Young Actors Space in Los Angeles. Though she did not win the contest, Jessie's career in modeling began to open up. Following some print modeling gigs, she had her first taste of television work when she was seen in a Pringles potato chips commercial. In 1996, she added acting to her endeavors.
5' 7" tall Jessie attended Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts in 2000, finishing a year and a half of study there. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her cat Kit Kat and dog Freckles. During her off time, she enjoys such sports as soccer, rollerblading, mountain biking, ice-skating, running and practicing yoga. She also likes singing, ballet and collecting vintage glasses. Jessica is also an amateur photographer.
Since childhood, Jessica Biel enjoyed performing in public. As a young girl, she was seen in theatrical productions of "Annie," "Beauty and the Beast," "Anything Goes" and "The Sound of Music." Spotted by an agent when she competed in a modeling competition in 1994, Biel became a teen model and soon appeared in television commercials, including one for Pringles potato chips.
After two years of pursuing a modeling career, Biel finally started her professional acting career when she was cast in the regular role of Mary Camden, the eldest daughter of a minister, in the WB highly acclaimed family drama "7th Heaven" (1996). Her debut performance in the top-rated show helped her emerge as a breakout star.
While working on the Aaron Spelling-produced show, Biel also made a giant step in her career in 1997 when she was cast as the rebellious granddaughter of Peter Fonda in Ulee's Gold (1997). The film was chosen as the Centerpiece Premiere for the 1997 Sundance Film Festival and was presented at Cannes. Biel's good performance in the film gained notice from film critics and she was awarded with a Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a Feature Film-Supporting Actress in 1998. She followed it up with a starring role opposite Jonathan Taylor Thomas in the Disney holiday film I'll Be Home for Christmas (1998, played Allie).
In an effort to escape from her contract with Spelling and her wholesome television image, Biel posed semi-nude for Gear Magazine under the headline "Fallen Angel" in 2000. The issue became one of Gear's most popular and Biel got what she wanted. In the year 2000, the role of Mary was reduced, enabling her to attend college as well as pursue roles on the wide screen.
The following years saw Biel costarring opposite Freddie Prinze Jr. in the Warner Brothers romantic comedy Summer Catch (2001), before joining the young ensemble of writer-director Roger Avary's tense adaptation of Brett Easton Ellis' novel, The Rules of Attraction (2002). Continuing her modeling career, Biel became a spokes model for L'Oreal in 2002.
Biel experienced her first blockbuster film when she landed the lead role of Erin in New Line Cinema's hit The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003). The horror film also starred Jonathan Tucker, Erica Leerhsen, Mike Vogel, Eric Balfour and Andrew Bryniarski.
After providing her voice for Regrettal in the animated film It's a Digital World (2004), she teamed up with Kim Basinger and Chris Evans in the New Line Film Cellular (2004) and costarred with Kris Kristofferson, Wesley Snipes and Ryan Reynolds in Blade: Trinity (2004). In Trinity, Beil portrayed Abigail Whister, a young woman skilled in martial arts and a master marksman with a crossbow.
Biel will soon star as Lt. Kara Wade in the drama Stealth (2005, also starring Josh Lucas, Sam Shepherd and Jamie Foxx). She will also play a role opposite Orlando Bloom, Kirsten Dunst and Susan Sarandon in Cameron Crowe's Elizabethtown (2005). Biel is scheduled to play the title character in London (2005) and will star as Princess Sophie in the romantic drama The Illusionist (2006, also starring Paul Giamatti and Edward Norton).
- Young Artist: Best Performance in a Feature Film--Supporting Actress, Ulee's Gold, 1998