Jessica Biel

3 03 2007

Jessica BielJessica Claire Biel (born March 3, 1982) is an American actress and former fashion model, and probably best known for her role as Mary Camden in the long-running family-drama series 7th Heaven and her roles in feature films, such as Summer Catch, the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Illusionist.

Early life

Biel was born in Ely, Minnesota to Jonathan Edward Biel and Kimberly Conroe. Biel, who has a younger brother, Justin, and an older brother, Robert,[citation needed] grew up in Boulder, Colorado, where her family had moved when she was very young. She initially trained to become a vocalist with the hope of performing in musical theater and appeared in several musicals at an early age including The Sound of Music, Annie, Beauty and the Beast and Anything Goes.

Career

It wasn’t until Biel attended the International Modeling & Talent Association Convention in Los Angeles in 1994 when her career started to take off as a fashion model. However, her big break came when at 14 years old she landed the role of Mary Camden on the WB TV Series 7th Heaven. The family drama from Aaron Spelling and Brenda Hampton became the most popular (and remains the longest running) series on the fledgling network. Jessica’s film career also began at age 15 when she played alongside Peter Fonda in his Golden Globe winning performance in Ulee’s Gold (1997). Aside from acting, Jessica became a spokesmodel for L’Oreal cosmetics in 2002.

In 2000, Biel posed topless in a layout of Gear magazine. It was controversial because she was only 17 at the time of the shoot. Her frustration and fear about being typecast was one of the reasons that led to her decision. She blamed her saintly image on 7th Heaven for limiting her film career, including losing a lead role in American Beauty, which eventually went to Thora Birch. Jessica also hoped that by posing she would get out of her 7th Heaven contract, which she accomplished. She later said she regretted posing for the magazine and regards it as a learning experience. Jessica returned to 7th Heaven full time for the 2001—2002 season and then focused the attention on her movie career and has made minimal TV appearances since then.

After her departure from 7th Heaven she accepted projects mainly geared to teens and young adults including Summer Catch (2001), The Rules of Attraction (2002) and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003). The movies were met with mild reaction from the box office and received mixed reviews, with at least as many negative as positive ones as well. She has also had starring roles in Blade: Trinity (2004) and Stealth (2005), the latter of which was a box-office flop, losing a significant amount of money. Biel was also rumored to be up for the part of Elizabeth in The Fog (a part originated by scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis). Later reports stated Biel did not want to do any more horror films. The part eventually went to Maggie Grace of Lost. Turning down the role proved to be a wise move: the remake was a box office flop, which had been predicted by various critics, as the film was not screened for the press prior to its release. After a nearly three year absence, Jessica surprised her fans by making one final appearance in the series finale of 7th Heaven in May 2006. The series was later renewed, at last minute, for an 11th season. Biel has not made any future appearances as of early 2007. After several indifferent feature films, her film career finally blossomed when she played a turn-of-the-century duchess in The Illusionist (2006), which received good reviews and generated a profit at the box office. Variety wrote that “Biel is entirely stunning enough to fight to the death over,” while “handily employing a refined English accent.”

Her latest film, Home of the Brave (2006), about soldiers returning from Iraq, premiered in Los Angeles on December 5, 2006.

She’ll next star opposite Nicolas Cage and Julianne Moore in Next (2007), a science fiction action film based on The Golden Man, a short story by noted author Philip K. Dick. She will also star opposite Adam Sandler in the comedy I now pronounce you Chuck and Larry, and in A Women Of No Importance, taking over Lindsey Lohan’s part, since the latter recently dropped out of the project.

Personal life

Jessica attended the exclusive private Lycée Français de Los Angeles for high school. In fall 2000, she enrolled in undergraduate study at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. Having attended her fall 2000, spring 2001 and fall 2002 semesters, she left before completing a degree program to concentrate on her acting career.

Biel’s hobbies include ballet, soccer, running, yoga and hiking. She has a dog named East. She recently bought a house close to her parents in Colorado. Biel is the co-founder of MTDN (Make the Difference Network) and she supports several non-profit groups, including PETA and the home rehabilitation organization Rebuilding Together, as well as GLAAD. She is also a vegan.

Biel currently resides in Los Angeles. She dated fellow actor Chris Evans from 2001 to 2006, with at least one time “off” during that period. Together, they appeared in the films London and Cellular. She also dated another fellow actor, Adam LaVorgna, who portrayed the character of Robbie in 7th Heaven, for about two years. Jessica has most recently been linked to New York Yankees star shortstop Derek Jeter. She is now rumored to be dating Justin Timberlake.

On July 18, 2006, Biel auctioned herself for a charity event to help raise money for medical expenses for Colorado teen Molly Bloom, who lost her leg and part of her pelvis in an auto accident. The winning bid for the lunch date with Biel was $30,000 paid by 28-year-old John Schiffner. Biel quipped, “I promise, I’m a cheap date.” The charity event raised $38,000 total. The lunch date was set for August 18, 2006. Biel also donated money to the daughter of actor Rey-Phillip Santos for her appendix operation.

Awards

  • 2007: Rising-star Award – Palm Springs International Film Festival 2007 Gala Awards
  • 2005: ShoWest Award Female Star of Tomorrow – 2005 ShoWest Convention
  • 1998: Young Artist Award – Best Performance in a Feature Film – Supporting Young Actress in Ulee’s Gold

Other

  • Ranked #5 by AskMen.com readers in the list “Top 99 Women 2007″
  • Esquire magazine named her the “Sexiest Woman Alive” in a 2005 six-part series with each month, revealing a different body part and clue to the woman’s identity. One clue given was that her last name rhymes with what sigillographers are interested in (document seals).
  • Ranked #98 on VH1’s 100 Hottest Hotties.
  • Ranked #99 in Stuff magazine’s “102 Sexiest Women In The World” (2002).

Trivia

  • In 7th Heaven, Jessica’s character, Mary, is one year older than Beverley Mitchell’s character, Lucy. In reality, Mitchell is older than Biel by more than a year.
  • A noticeable result of the extensive weight training and strict diet Jessica went through in order to play Abigail Whistler in the Blade: Trinity, you can see Jessica’s character in her next movie, Stealth, very muscular, particularly in the scene where she wears a bikini.
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