The always elegant Alexis Bledel proved that Hollywood actresses did not always have to be caught up with paparazzi and partying. The petite and preppy star completed a year as a film major at NYU but had to put her studies on hold after getting cast as Rory in the long-running drama "Gilmore Girls." Bledel also showed big screen star power, taking on the role of Lena Kaligaris in "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" and its 2008 sequel, based on the best-selling novels of Ann Brashares.
Kimberly Alexis Bledel was born on Sept. 16, 1981 in Houston, TX. Family and friends called her by her first name Kimberly, including her Argentinean father Martin, Mexican-American mother Nanette, and younger brother Eric. Growing up, the raven-haired star spoke Spanish primarily and picked up English while attending St. Agnes Academy in Houston. To help her daughter overcome shyness, Nanette encouraged her to act in community theater, where she appeared in productions of "Our Town" and "The Wizard of Oz," as well as did a little fashion modeling, for which she traveled to Tokyo, Milan, New York, and Los Angeles. Bledel went on to Page Parkes Center for Modeling and Acting before enrolling in New York University's Tisch School of the Arts with a film major.
The up-and-coming actress had a quick cameo in the Wes Anderson film "Rushmore" as a student in a classroom. In 2000, after a year at NYU Film School, the Texas native was cast after her first ever audition as Rory Gilmore opposite Lauren Graham in the series, "Gilmore Girls." The lovely, shy, and Yale-educated character was very similar to the actress, who blossomed into a lady onscreen and inspired millions of adolescent fans to always stay true to themselves. The role also earned Bledel a Teen Choice Award nomination in 2004 for Choice TV Actress: Comedy, an award she won in 2005 and 2006. One of her co-stars -- and Rory's love interest -- on the show was actor Milo Ventimiglia, whom Bledel dated from 2002 to 2006, before the actor played Peter Petrelli on "Heroes."
Just two years after getting the lead role on the show, the actress was included on People magazine's list of "Hottest Stars Under 25." Her promising career took off even further with her first big screen role as Winifred "Winnie" Foster, a young woman who falls for an immortal in 2002's "Tuck Everlasting." Her fairy tale resume also included a role as Goldilocks in 2004's "DysEnchanted," a movie about seven storybook heroines who meet weekly in group therapy. Bledel shed her good-girl image -- at least onscreen -- in "Sin City," where she brought to life one of Basin City's gun-wielding prostitutes in the highly stylized adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novels. Bledel's other high profile project that year was "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants," a film based on Brashares' novels about four friends who share a magical pair of jeans. Bledel shared the leading role with other young Hollywood power players, including America Ferrara, Amber Tamblyn and Blake Lively. All four stars were nominated for Teen Choice Awards in 2005 for their performances, while the movie was nominated for Choice Drama.
Three years later, the foursome reunited in "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2." Having said goodbye to her star-making role of Rory Gilmore after the show's 2007 bow, Bledel filmed "The Good Guy" opposite "Friday Night Lights" actor Scott Porter, starring as his character's girlfriend in the 2009 film. She also starred as Ryden Malby in "Post Grad," a comedy about a recent college grad who moves back in with her eccentric family and figures out what to do next, in which she co-starred with comic legend Carol Burnett.
Bledel's other films include "Bride and Prejudice," an Indian musical version of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice," directed by Gurinder Chadha ("Bend It Like Beckham"), and the independent films "Orphan King" and "I Am Reed Fish" opposite Jay Baruchel.
In 2009, Alexis guest starred as Dr. Julia Wise in the two-hour series finale of the NBC hit series "ER," which drew over 16 million viewers. She also recently guest starred as Beth Dawes on AMC's "Mad Men."
Bledel starred in the FOX series "Us & Them," an outrageous but authentic ensemble single-camera comedy about a pair of young lovers, whose path to happily-ever-after is complicated by the screwed-up circus of people closest to them. She plays the character Emily in the Hulu's award winning series "The Handmaid's Tale." Her performance earned her an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series.
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