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. She was later cast as Beth Dawes in another hit TV series, Mad Men.
Actress and producer Kimberly Alexis Bledel was born in Houston, Texas, on September 16, 1981. In a household headed up by her Mexican mother, Nanette, and Argentine 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 teen when she was spotted one day in a mall by a talent scout, who encouraged her to attend Page Parkes's 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.
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!”
Post Gilmore Life
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).
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 not only hitched the actress to one of the most critically acclaimed programs on television, but it also introduced her to her future husband, Vincent Kartheiser, who plays Pete Campbell.
The couple, who began dating in late 2012, married in June 2014.
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