Jennifer Beals life and biography

Jennifer Beals picture, image, poster

Jennifer Beals biography

Date of birth : 1963-12-19
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2011-09-05
Credited as : actress, model, Flashdance

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Jennifer Beals is an American actress and a former teen model. She is known for her roles as Alexandra "Alex" Owens in the 1983 film Flashdance, and as Bette Porter on the Showtime drama series The L Word. She earned an NAACP Image Award and a Golden Globe Award nomination for the former. She has appeared in more than 50 films.

Beals was born on the southside of Chicago, the daughter of Jeanne (née Anderson), an elementary school teacher, and Alfred Beals, who owned grocery stores. She is biracial, as her father was African American and her mother is Irish American. She has two brothers, Bobby and Gregory. Her father died when Beals was nine years old, and her mother married Edward Cohen in 1981. Beals has said her biracial heritage had some impact on her, as she "always lived sort of on the outside", with an idea "of being the other in society". She got her first job at age 13 at an ice cream store, using her height at the time (she is now nearly 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)), to convince her boss she was 16.

Beals was inspired to become an actress by two events: doing a high school production of Fiddler on the Roof and seeing Balm in Gilead with Joan Allen while volunteer-ushering at the Steppenwolf Theatre.

She graduated from the progressive Francis W. Parker School. Beals also was chosen to attend the elite Goodman Theatre Young People's Drama Workshop. Beals attended Yale University, receiving a B.A. in American literature in 1987; she deferred a term so she could film Flashdance. While at Yale, Beals was a resident of Morse College.

She appeared in her first starring role in the movie Flashdance (1983) while still a freshman at Yale. While at Yale, she also starred in Franc Roddam's The Bride (1985). After graduation from Yale, Beals married independent filmmaker Alexandre Rockwell in 1986, and appeared in several of his films. Most notably, she starred in his In the Soup (1992), which won the 1992 Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and the Audience Award at the Deauville Film Festival.

Beals has continued to find acting work with occasional lead roles in various TV and independent film productions, as well as supporting roles in the features Devil in a Blue Dress (1995), Catch That Kid (2004), The Grudge 2 (2006), and The Book of Eli (2010). One of her most notable roles came In early 2004 when she was cast on the Showtime TV-cable series "The L Word" (2004), playing a lesbian art gallery manager named "Bette Porter" throughout it's entire run until 2009. Her latest role is playing Police Superintendant Teresa Colvin on the Fox Network crime series "The Chicago Code" (2011).

In her personal life, Beals divorced Rockwell in 1996 and married Canadian entrepreneur Ken Dixon two years later. On October 18, 2005, she gave birth to a daughter. Beals also has two stepchildren from her husband's previous marriage.


2006: The Grudge 2; Troubled Waters
2007:My Name Is Sarah
2009: Queen to Play
2010: The Book of Eli


2004-2009: The L Word
2004: Frasier
2007: Law & Order
2009-2011: Lie to Me
2011: The Chicago Code

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