Christina Applegate

Christina Applegate Biography

Animal Rights Activist (1971–)
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Actress Christina Applegate played Kelly Bundy on the popular sitcom 'Married... With Children.' She is a breast cancer survivor and publicly promotes breast cancer awareness.

Who Is Christina Applegate?

Christina Applegate was born on November 25, 1971, in Los Angeles. She received her breakthrough role as teen airhead Kelly Bundy on Fox's popular sitcom Married... With Children at age 15, paving the way for starring gigs on Jesse, Samantha Who?, Up All Night and Dead to Me. Applegate has also enjoyed success on the big screen, with appearances in comedies like Anchorman and the reboot of Vacation, and has helped raise awareness about breast cancer through her public battles with the disease.

Early Years

Born on November 25, 1971, in Los Angeles, California, Christina Applegate was only three months old when she made her TV debut on the daytime soap opera Days of Our Lives. Applegate made that first appearance in the arms of her mother, actress Nancy Priddy. Priddy raised Christina on her own, after her split from Applegate's father, record executive Bobby Applegate.

TV and Film Roles

'Married... With Children'

After performing in commercials for Kmart and appearing in several movies and TV shows, Applegate landed her breakthrough role as teen airhead Kelly Bundy on Fox's popular sitcom Married... With Children at age 15. She played the daughter of obnoxious dad Al (Ed O'Neill) and pushy Peggy (Katey Sagal), as well as the big sister of Bud (David Faustino) on the show. The sitcom proved to be a huge hit, lasting for an impressive 11 seasons. During this period, Applegate also took on several film projects, including the 1991 comedy Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead.

'The Big Hit,' 'Jesse'

Applegate appeared in several comedic films in the late '90s as she sought to distance herself from the Kelly Bundy persona. She starred opposite Mark Wahlberg in the 1998 Hong Kong-tinged action-comedy The Big Hit, and played the fiancee of a Mob scion in the Mafia parody Mafia! with Lloyd Bridges and Jay Mohr that same year. Also in 1998, Applegate returned to series television: Inspired by her experience with her own mother growing up, Applegate starred as a single mom balancing work and family in the sitcom Jesse. Although the show had some bright moments (including a People's Choice award in 1999), it was canceled after two seasons.

'The Sweetest Thing,' 'Anchorman'

Back on the big screen, Applegate appeared in the 2001 time-travel comedy Just Visiting, which proved to be a commercial and critical disappointment. She then had a chance to show that she could hold her own opposite some of her more respected film peers. Applegate received strong reviews as Cameron Diaz's levelheaded best friend in The Sweetest Thing in 2002, and appeared with Gwyneth Paltrow in the flight attendant comedy A View From the Top in 2003. The following year, she proved a suitable foil to funnyman Will Ferrell in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.

'Up All Night,' 'Vacation,' 'Dead to Me'

Applegate returned to television with the sitcom Samantha Who? in 2007, enjoying some success before the show was axed after two seasons. She then co-starred with Will Arnett as parents dealing with a newborn on Up All Night, which also endured for two seasons. Applegate went on to appear in such films as Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013), Vacation (2015) and Bad Moms (2016). She also lent her voice to several animated films, including the Alvin and the Chipmunks series and The Book of Life (2014). Taking another shot at television, Applegate began co-starring with Linda Cardellini on the dark comedy Dead to Me in spring 2019, earning an Emmy nomination for her efforts.

Facing Cancer

In 2008 Applegate faced a serious health challenge: She underwent a double mastectomy after being diagnosed with an early form of breast cancer. Following the procedure, she was upbeat. Applegate donated her time to combating breast cancer by speaking publicly about the disease and raising money for research. In doing so, she joined fellow survivors Sheryl Crow and Suzanne Somers as well-respected champions of breast cancer awareness.

In October 2017 Applegate revealed she had undergone more surgery — this time, removing her fallopian tubes and ovaries — to further reduce her cancer risk. 

Personal Life

Applegate married her longtime boyfriend, actor Jonathan Schaech, in October 2001. However, the union didn't last, and they began divorce proceedings in November 2005.

Around this time, Applegate met Lee Grivas, a fisherman and aspiring photographer. The two connected through one of Applegate's colleagues on the Broadway show Sweet Charity, though their relationship was reportedly a rocky one, as Applegate disapproved of his struggles with drugs.

Grivas died of an apparent drug overdose in 2008. Applegate was "profoundly saddened" by his death and added that Grivas was "missed beyond words."

Applegate became a mom in 2011, welcoming daughter Sadie Grace with musician Martyn LeNoble. The couple later tied the knot in 2013.

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