Alexis Bledel Biography

Film Actress, Television Actress (1981–)
Television and film actress Alexis Bledel played Rory Gilmore in the hit TV comedy-drama 'Gilmore Girls.'

Who Is Alexis Bledel?

Born in Houston, Texas, in 1981, Kimberly Alexis Bledel began her career as a model before moving to New York, where she briefly attended New York University. She then landed the part of Rory Gilmore in the TV drama Gilmore Girls in 2000. The program ran for seven years and launched Bledel to stardom, leading to several film roles. In 2016 she returned to her role as Rory in the Netflix miniseries revival Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. She was later cast as Beth Dawes in the hit TV series Mad Men and in Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale, for which she won her first Emmy ever in 2017. 

Alexis Bledel Photo

Alexis Bledel attends the premiere of 'Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life' at Regency Bruin Theatre on November 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic/Getty Images)

Husband and Child

While appearing on Mad Men, Bledel met her future husband, Vincent Kartheiser, who played Pete Campbell.

The fiercely private couple, who began dating in late 2012, married in June 2014. The next year, Bledel gave birth to their son. 

Spanish-Speaking Upbringing

Actress and producer Kimberly Alexis Bledel was born in Houston, Texas, on September 16, 1981. In a household headed up by her mother, Nanette, who was raised in Mexico, and her native Argentinian father, Martin, Bledel's childhood was shaped by a multicultural upbringing where Spanish was often spoken around the kitchen table.

As a young girl, Bledel attended Houston's St. Agnes Academy, a Catholic school. She was known for her shyness and in an effort to help her become more of an extrovert, Bledel's mother got her daughter involved in community theater.

Bledel's first big break came as a teen when she was spotted one day in a mall by a talent scout, who encouraged her to attend Page Parkes' modeling school in Houston. Soon, Bledel began landing local work and then international gigs, which required her to travel around the world for different jobs. Bledel has said she was fortunate that her parents supported her pursuit of modeling and acting work. That even extended to her choice of a college, New York University (NYU), where she studied film.

Movies and TV Shows

'Gilmore Girls'

In early 2000, during Bledel's freshmen year, she was cast in a new WB comedy-drama series, Gilmore Girls. The program, which ran for seven strong seasons, cast Bledel as Rory Gilmore, daughter of Lorelai Gilmore, a single mother played by actress Lauren Graham.

Praised for its honest portrayal of a mother-daughter relationship as well as its fast-paced dialogue and co-stars like Melissa McCarthy, Gilmore Girls pushed Bledel into stardom, a role the still-shy actress felt uncomfortable embracing.

”It’s not something I gravitate toward,” the actress once said of the media glare. ”I focus on the work. [You] do these stupid movements [during photo shoots] to make the dress look cute. Everyone’s standing around watching. You just feel ridiculous sometimes. I don’t like being the center of attention!”

Still, the show helped launch Bledel's film career, with early work that included Tuck Everlasting (2002), with co-stars Sissy Spacek and William Hurt, and Sin City (2005), among others. 

'The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,' 'Violet and Daisy'

In her relatively short career, Bledel has shown a remarkable affinity for taking on diverse roles, from the love twisted artist Lena in 2005's The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and its 2008 sequel to a violent assassin in Violet and Daisy (2011). In more recent years Bledel has starred in several other films, including the Robert Redford directed historical drama The Conspirator (2010), The Brass Teapot (2012) and Parts Per Billion (2014).

'Mad Men,' 'The Handmaid's Tale'

In 2012, Bledel earned another high-profile television casting when she landed the part of Beth Dawes, the wife of an insurance salesman in the AMC hit series Mad Men. The role hitched the actress to one of the most critically acclaimed programs on television and was a precursor to her even more prominent role in Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale, which premiered in 2017. Playing the character Ofglen, Bledel subsequently won her very first Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series that same year. For the second season of The Handmaid's Tale, which began streaming in April 2018, the actress was cast as a series regular.

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