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Jessica Biel is a Hollywood sex symbol and actress, known for her work in the series 7th Heaven and films like The Illusionist and Total Recall.
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Born on March 3, 1982 in Ely, Minnesota, Jessica Biel starred in the TV series 7th Heaven as a teen. She caused a stir with sexy photos for Gear magazine before turning to a film career. She’s had roles in a range of work, including the comedy Valentine’s Day, the drama Elizabethtown and the sci-fi thrillers Blade: Trinity and Total Recall, while gracing many other magazine covers as well.
"I had a mission as a kid. I was just one of those kids who begged and begged. 'Take me to this commercial-acting class.' 'Take me to this play.' 'Take me to this audition.' And my parents just supported it."
An actress and activist, Jessica Claire Biel was born on March 3, 1982, in Ely, Minnesota. Growing up, Biel moved around a lot with her family, eventually settling in Boulder, Colorado. With an early interest in all things theatrical, Biel took dance and voice lessons as a child. "I had a mission as a kid," she explained to Harper's Bazaar magazine. "I was just one of those kids who begged and begged. 'Take me to this commercial-acting class.' 'Take me to this play.' 'Take me to this audition.' And my parents just supported it." She was especially interested in the musical Annie, the rags-to-riches story of an orphaned girl. When she was 8, Biel served as an understudy for a production of the show in Connecticut.
Biel branched out into modeling around the age of 11. During a modeling convention in 1994, she won an acting scholarship to a program in Los Angeles. Biel studied her craft for several years, eventually landing her breakthrough role on the family drama 7th Heaven. In the series, she played Mary Camden, the oldest daughter of a minister (played by Stephen Collins) and his wife (played by Catherine Hicks). The couple had five children at the start of the show and each episode featured the moral challenges and misadventures experienced by the sizable brood. Launched in 1996, the show became very popular, especially with families.
While on the series, Biel looked for opportunities to show that she was more than just the wholesome teenager she portrayed on television. She showed great dramatic range as Peter Fonda's troubled granddaughter in the critically acclaimed 1997 drama Ulee's Gold. Biel then co-starred in the 1998 family comedy I'll Be Home for Christmas with Jonathan Taylor Thomas.
In 1999, People magazine named her as one its "50 Most Beautiful People." It was another magazine, however, that provided the most dramatic shake-up to her image; Gear magazine put Biel on its March 2000 cover, wearing next to nothing. The sexy images contained inside, along with several negative comments about her role on the WB, incensed some 7th Heaven fans, as well as the show's producers. Biel later admitted that she agreed to the shoot in order to get out of her contract with the network. The WB forced Biel to honor the duration of her contract. She did manage to appear in fewer episodes of the show due to her schedule at Tufts University. She finally left the show in its sixth season.
After completing her first year at college, Biel returned to Los Angeles to focus on feature films.
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Find out more about the cast of the 2013 Alfred Hitchock biopic, Hitchcock, including the star of the film, Anthony Hopkins, as well as Helen Mirren, Jessica Biel, Scarlett Johansson, Toni Collette, Ralph Macchio and Michael Stuhlbarg. The biopic examines the relationship between the famous horror director and his wife, Alma Reville (Mirren), during the filming of 1960's Psycho. Learn more about the actors of the Hitchcock film, only at Biography.com.
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