Freaks and Geeks
“I think everyone feels lost at times during their high school years. But what I love about Lindsay is that she is basically a girl trying to find her way in the world. She keeps a lot of her feelings inside, which can be painful, but she tries so hard to help people. She is one of those kids who wants to be accepted for who they are, but isn’t sure how to do that - which is what I think makes her so endearing.” Linda Cardellini on her role in Freaks and Geeks
Attractive and talented TV and movie actress Linda Cardellini is perhaps most known for her portrayals as wild-child gifted student Lindsay Weir in the NBC acclaimed high school drama “Freaks and Geeks” (1999-2000) and as Nurse Samantha Taggart in “ER” (2003-?). On the silver screen, the fresh-faced actress, who got her first movie break with roles in Good Burger, Dead Man On Campus and Strangeland, gained substantial exposure and popularity with her role as the brainy Velma in the highly successful live-action version of Scooby-Doo (2002) and its continuation in 2004. Other movie credits include the cult hit Legally Blonde (2001), the thriller The Unsaid (2001), the comedy Jiminy Glick in Lalawood (2004, with Martin Short), LolliLove (2004), Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain (2005), American Gun (2005) and the comedy Grandma’s Boy (2006). One of the hottest new stars of “ER,” Cardellini is set to play a role for the forthcoming miniseries “Comanche Moon” (2006).
As for her romantic life, Freaks And Geeks star Cardellini has been linked to her costar, Jason Segel (born on January 18, 1980). The two began dating in March 2001.
Margaret Keane Fan
Childhood and Family:
In Redwood City, California, Linda Edna Cardellini was born on June 25, 1975, to Wayne David Cardellini and Lorraine Hernan. The youngest of four siblings was educated at Saint Francis High School in Mountain View, California, and graduated in 1993. She continued her study at Loyola Marymount University’ College of Communication & Fine Arts and earned a degree in theatre in 2001.
As for her personal life, the 5’ 3” inch tall actress, who has Italian/Irish roots, is an art lover, especially the work of Margaret Keane. In her free time, she also likes attending martial arts classes.
Scooby-Doo’s Nerdy Girl
Linda Cardellini had her first public appearance at age 10, when she sang in a school play. The acting bug quickly caught the young girl after the performance and she subsequently plunged herself in several school productions as well as started attending drama lessons. After high school, she headed for Los Angeles to professionally pursue an acting career. Cardellini’s first big break arrived when the 21-year-old girl hit the small screen for the first time with a regular role in the ABC Saturday morning live-action children’s series “Bone Chillers,” starring as Sarah, opposite Trey Alexander. She segued to guest roles in the following year, appearing in shows like “3rd Rock from the Sun,” “Pacific Palisades” (played a two-episodic turn as Sara), “Clueless” and “Step by Step,” and made wide screen debut with a bit part in Brian Robbins’ comedy Good Burger, that same year.
In 1998, Cardellini was additionally featured as Jason Segel’s girlfriend in Tom Everett Scott’s starring vehicle, the teen flick Dead Man on Campus and played the victim of masochistic internet predator Captain Howdy (played by writer/actor Dee Snider) in the writer’s horror/thriller Strangeland. It was her face (although with sewn together lips) that was featured on the theatrical poster and video cover in the latter, however, that made Cardellini a popular and striking figure to movie goers. She followed it up with another small turn in the 1999 romance/comedy film The Prince and the Surfer.
On the small screen, more work knocked on Cardellini’s door during the 1998-1999 periods. After doing an episodic-turn in CBS’ drama “Promised Land” and “Kenan & Kel” (both 1998), the actress landed recurring roles in two series: the UPN “Guys Like Us,” as one of the co-workers named Jude, and the ABC “Boy Meets World,” in which she portrayed Lauren, the girl who could unintentionally separate the show’s star couple Cory (Ben Savage) and Topanga (Danielle Fishel). She then essayed the supporting part of the late girl Leslie Chambers in the made-for-TV film Dying to Live (1999) and was garnered with glowing reviews for her small but important part as the young starlet June in 1930s Hollywood in the AMC miniseries “The Lot” (1999).
Cardellini, however, didn’t achieve a huge break until she was hired to star in the NBC drama “Freaks and Geeks” (1999-2000). As Lindsay Weir, an honor student in the midst of an identity crisis befriends with forceful drummer Bill (Jason Segel) and nihilistic radical Daniel (James Franco), the actress earned positive response that subsequently catapulted her fame. As for the series, despite critical acclaimed, the Emmy-nominating show was axed in the mid season airings.
Returning to the big screen, Cardellini emerged as the upper-class Chutney Windham in a 2000 hit comedy starred Reese Witherspoon, Legally Blonde (2001) and found herself acting with Andy Garcia and Vincent Kartheiser in the thriller The Unsaid, that same year. She scored a massive hit in the following year with the mega-hit Scooby-Doo, where she successfully brought to life the cartoon character of the intelligent girl in the perpetual orange sweater Velma. As the film became a cult hit, Cardellini, along with teen heavyweights Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze Jr. and Matthew Lillard, gained extensive exposure and fame.
Her growing status was further established in 2003 when Cardellini was invited to star as the free-spirited single mom, Nurse Samantha Taggart in the well-liked medical series “ER,” a role she retains until now. Meanwhile, she continued pursuing film career. In 2004, Cardellini reprised the Velma role for the sequel Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, teamed up with writer-actor Martin Short for the oddball comedy Jiminy Glick in Lalawood and had a supporting role opposite James Gunn and Jenna Fischer in Fischer’s comedy film LolliLove. The next year, she was featured as Cassie, a small town cocktail waitress who has a heartbreaking romance with the closeted gay ranch hand Ennis (Heath Ledger) in a high-profile film by Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain (2005). The same year, she also costarred with Donald Sutherland, Forest Whitaker and Marcia Gay Harden in the Aric Avelino-helmed drama American Gun.
Recently starring as Samantha, opposite Allen Covert and Peter Dante, in the comedy Grandma’s Boy (2006), the 31-year-old actress will play Clara Forsythe in the miniseries “Comanche Moon” (2006). The drama will star Charles Baker as Monkey John, Troy Baker as Pea Eye Parker and Brett Brock as Joe Stewart.