Jessica Marie Alba (born April 28, 1981, in Pomona, California)
is an American actress. She is best known for her roles in Dark
Angel, Honey, Sin City, Fantastic Four and Into the Blue.
Alba was born in Pomona, California to Mark Alba and Cathy Jensen.
Her father is a Mexican American, while her maternal grandfather
was of Danish descent and her Canadian maternal grandmother was
of French, English and Italian descent. Alba was raised in an Air
Force family, her brother Joshua and her grandparents until she
was sixteen. She grew up a sports fanatic. Her father's Air Force
career took the family to Biloxi, Mississippi and Del Rio, Texas
before they settled back in California when she was nine. Alba's
early life was marked by a multitude of physical maladies; she suffered
collapsed lungs twice, had pneumonia 4-5 times a year, a burst appendix,
a cyst on her tonsils and asthma. This served to isolate her from
other children at school because, as she claims, she was in the
hospital so often that no one knew her well enough to befriend her.
She also revealed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno that she suffered
from obsessive-compulsive disorder as a child. Her health improved,
however, when her family moved to California. Yet she still exhibits
some symptoms of OCD.
Alba had expressed interest in acting since the age of five. She
took her first acting class at age twelve, and she was signed by
an acting agent nine months later.
Alba's first appearance in film was a small role in the 1994 feature
Camp Nowhere as Gail. She was originally hired for two weeks but
her role soon turned into a two month job when the actress in one
of the more prominent roles in the film dropped out; Alba was picked
to replace her because her hair matched that of the original actress.
Young Alba appeared in two national TV commercials for Nintendo
and J.C. Penney; she was later featured in several independent films.
She branched out into TV in 1994 with a recurring role as the insufferable
young snob, Jessica, in three episodes of the Nickelodeon comedy
series The Secret World of Alex Mack. She then performed the role
of Maya in the first two seasons of the TV series Flipper. Under
the tutelage of her lifeguard mother, Alba learned to swim before
she could walk, and she was a PADI-certified scuba diver, skills
which were put to good use on the show, which was filmed in Australia.
In 1995, she appeared in the film Venus Rising as Young Eve.
After graduating from high school at the age of 16, Alba studied
acting with William H. Macy and his wife, Felicity Huffman, at the
Atlantic Theater Company, which was developed by Macy and Pulitzer
Prize-winning playwright and film director, David Mamet.
In 1998, she appeared as Melissa Hauer in a first-season episode
of the Steven Bochco crime-drama Brooklyn South, as Leanne in two
episodes of Beverly Hills 90210 and as Layla in an episode of The
Love Boat: The Next Wave. In 1999, she appeared in the Randy Quaid
comedy feature P.U.N.K.S..
Alba rose to greater prominence in Hollywood in 1999 after appearing
as a member of a snobby high school clique in the Drew Barrymore
romantic comedy Never Been Kissed, and as the female lead in the
1999 comedy-horror film Idle Hands, opposite Devon Sawa. But her
big break came when writer/director James Cameron picked Alba from
a pool of 1,200 candidates for the role of the genetically-engineered
super-soldier, Max Guevera on the Fox sci-fi TV series Dark Angel.
Co-created by Cameron, Alba was the definitive star in the series
which ran for two seasons before being canceled in 2002. Since then
her most notable roles have been as an aspiring dancer/choreographer
in Honey, exotic dancer Nancy Callahan in Sin City and as the classic
Marvel Comics character Sue Storm, the Invisible Woman in the Fantastic
Four. Jessica then went on to hosting the 2006 MTV Movie Awards
and did sketches spoofing King Kong, Mission Impossible 3, and The
Da Vinci Code.
Alba's most prominent award nomination to date is that of a Golden
Globe for "Lead Actress in a Drama Series" (TV) during
the first season of Dark Angel.
She once told Dark Angel producer, James Cameron, that she did
not want to direct because it appeared to be too difficult an undertaking,
but he responded with the prediction that she would end up directing
sooner than she expected.
Apparently, Alba fears being typecast as a sex kitten.[Page Six,
New York Post] However, she admits, "Somehow, I don't think
this is happening to Natalie Portman." In the interview, Alba
says she wants to be taken seriously as an actress but believes
she needs to do movies that she would otherwise not be interested
in to build her career, stating that eventually she hopes to be
more selective in her film projects.
Alba suffered anorexia and a kidney infection in 2001. She also
now suffers from motion sickness, which developed after childhood.
Alba was engaged to her Dark Angel co-star Michael Weatherly, but
it was called off. In January 2005, she began dating Cash Warren,
a director's assistant on Fantastic Four, whom she met when filming
Regarding children, Alba has stated:
"I'm really girly when it comes to kids. I've been surrounded
by kids my whole life because I'm the oldest of 15 cousins
I've been changing diapers since I was six. I want to have a couple,
Alba announced on the UK teen website "Teen Today" in
2005, prior to the birth of her brother's child, that she was beginning
a children's clothing line:
"About four of my girlfriends have babies so they have no
time for me. I figure if I can do baby clothes maybe they'll have
more time to hang out!"
She is a self-professed animal lover (although she dislikes reptiles
and rodents). She also revealed that she "hates cats"
in an interview with Conan O'Brien in 2001.
She is an enviromentalist, and owns a Lexus hybrid. She has also
bought her parents a Toyota Prius.
During an interview with GQ magazine, Alba said that in her teen
years she became a born-again Christian in a rebellion against her
parents but told Access Hollywood that she abandoned this because
"a lot of people gave me a lot of grief for just being a woman
and made me feel ashamed for having a body because it 'tempted men'"
As the daughter of conservative parents, Alba, whose grandparents
did not even allow her to wear a bathing suit around the house,
maintains a no-nudity clause in her contract, though she has claimed
she had been willing to be nude in Sin City. She remarked of a GQ
shoot in which she was scantily-clad:
"They didn't want me to wear the granny panties, but I said,
'If I'm gonna be topless I need to wear granny panties".
Nominated as "Worst Actress" for both Fantastic Four and
Into the Blue for the 26th annual Razzie Awards.
On E's "101 Sexiest Bodies", Alba was placed at 3rd, behind
Brad Pitt in 2nd, and Angelina Jolie in 1st.
In Maxim magazine's 2006 Hot 100, Jessica Alba came in 2nd, after
Eva Longoria. She had jumped 7 spots (in 2005 she ranked Number
9). She is also featured in their Girls of MaximGallery.
Her brother Joshua appeared with her in "And Jesus Brought
a Casserole," the first season finale of Dark Angel, in which
he played Krit, one of her X-5 brothers who wanted to help destroy
After Dark Angel, Alba dyed her hair blond for her role in Into
the Blue, a hair color her characters also required in her next
two roles, playing blonde comic book characters Nancy Callahan and
Sue Storm a.k.a. The Invisible Woman.
She has a tattoo of a daisy with a ladybird on it on the back of
her neck, a butterfly just above her lower back, and a recently
made one in her wrist, the Sanskrit symbol for lotus flower, "padma.".
According to an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, her measurements
Alba revealed that she envisions a much older man as her ideal partner,
having made references to "Morgan Freeman, Sean Connery, Robert
Redford, Michael Caine. I have this thing for older men. They've
been around and know so much".
Playboy magazine named Alba among its 25 Sexiest Celebrities, and
the Sex Star of the Year in its March 2006 issue, on whose cover
she appeared. Alba was involved in a litigation against Playboy
for its use of her image (from a promotional shot for Into the Blue)
without her consent, which she contends gave the appearance that
she was featured in the issue in a "nude or semi-nude pictorial".
However, she later dropped the lawsuit after receiving a personal
apology from Playboy owner Hugh Hefner, who agreed to make donations
to two charities that Alba has supported.
Alba came first in the Ralph 200 sexiest women.
Star magazine listed her as "Best Female" in their 3rd
"Best and Worst Bodies" list.
Australia's FHM magazine Jessica Alba was voted 1st in the FHM Sexiest
100 for 2006
2007: Fantastic Four 2
2007: Sin City 2
2005: Into the Blue
2005: Fantastic Four
2005: Sin City
2003: The Sleeping Dictionary
20002002: Dark Angel
1999: Idle Hands
1999: Never Been Kissed
1996: Too Soon for Jeff
1995: Venus Rising
1994: Camp Nowhere
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