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Jennifer Love Hewitt is an American actress and singer-songwriter best known for her role on the TV show Party of Five and her part in I Know What You Did Last Summer.
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Hewitt tried to cash in on her new celebrity with a second album of songs—this one released to an American audience. The album performed poorly, and the performer returned to the studio again to record what would become a 1996 self-titled album. And while it didn't produce any chart topping hits, Hewitt's voice and style earned some praise from skeptical critics.
"Her feathery light voice is more soulful than you'd imagine," wrote one reviewer. "Depending on your threshold for harmless,
white-bread teen pop, this album could be a welcome addition to your collection because, frankly, it makes you like her even more than her image did in the first place." Hewitt released her fourth album, Barenaked, in 2002, and followed up with Cool with You: The Platinum Collection, a compilation released in Asia in 2006.
As much as she could, Hewitt also continued to find more acting opportunities. Film work was a part of the mix, with roles in House Arrest (1996) and Trojan War (1997). Her big break, though, came the same year as the release of Trojan War, with the lead role in the surprise scream-fest hit, I Know What You Did Last Summer. Hewitt made movie executives millions, and she earned herself big-time Hollywood stardom. While a sequel proved to lack the same kind of commercial punch, Hewitt scored another hit in 1998 with Can't Hardly Wait, whose story line centered on a night at a final high school party.
Hewitt then starred in the unsuccessful Party of Five spin-off Time of Your Life, which found Hewitt's character relocating to New York to seek her real father. The show only earned enough ratings to make it halfway through the 1998-99 television year, and the actress started making moves to shed her teenage status. She attempted some fairly ambitious roles starting in 2000, when she starred in the made-for-TV movie, The Audrey Hepburn Story. A year later she starred alongside Sigourney Weaver and Gene Hackman in Heartbreakers (2001), which was followed up with a family action comedy The Tuxedo (2002) alongside Jackie Chan.
As one might expect, Hewitt's stardom has been accompanied with some criticism, both of her acting and her looks. Citing her performances in The Tuxedo and Garfield (2004), she was discussed as a possible Worst Actress nominee for the Razzie Awards, an annual ceremony dedicated to "saluting the worst that Hollywood has to offer."
In late 2007, Hewitt was shown sporting a bikini on a beach in Hawaii that seemed to indicate a tad more girth than what fans had come to expect. The photograph coursed through the Web, attracting snarky comments from bloggers and others. Hewitt rushed to her own defense, and fired back at the commentators.
"I've sat by in silence for a long time now about the way women's bodies are constantly scrutinized," she wrote on her Web site. "To set the record straight, I'm not upset for me, but for all of the girls out there that are struggling with their body image.
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