Amanda Detmer

Active - 1999 - 2017  |   Born - Sep 27, 1971 in Contra Costa County, California, United States  |   Genres - Comedy, Comedy Drama, Drama, Thriller

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Biography by Sarah Sloboda

The adorably spunky Amanda Detmer had everyone going when she took on teen roles, bright-eyed and genuine, in films like Boys and Girls and Final Destination. Indeed, the actress in real life was substantially older than the young women she portrayed onscreen, although her convincingly youthful performances aided her looks in deceiving viewers about her age. Born on September 27, 1971, in Chico, CA, Detmer's academic career was established long before her successful list of film credits. After attending California State University as an undergraduate, she earned her master's degree at N.Y.U. in fine arts. While her acting debut occurred with the television movie Stolen Innocence in 1995, she decided to complete her M.F.A. before seriously embarking on a career in show business.

In 1999, she re-entered the dramatic scene with a role in the TV miniseries To Serve and Protect. She also gained exposure and television experience on the series MYOB and Ryan Caulfield: Year One. Finding an asset in her youthfulness, she then appeared in two teen films, despite being in her late twenties, in 2000: Boys and Girls -- a romantic comedy starring Freddie Prinze Jr., Claire Forlani, and Jason Biggs -- and the thriller Final Destination. Upon gaining attention in Hollywood, she was often found in warm and lighthearted roles, if not in outright comedy, as appropriate for the sweet charm her presence evokes onscreen. She starred as a would-be nun, longed for by the character played by Jason Biggs in Saving Silverman (2001), also featuring Jack Black. In The Majestic (also 2001), she portrays the woman Jim Carrey leaves behind when stricken with amnesia. In addition to smaller roles in 2002's Kiss the Bride and Big Fat Liar, she would star in a comedy by Lorena David entitled Extreme Dating. An action-packed romantic adventure, the film also starred Devon Sawa. Though Extreme Dating may have thrown a little something original in the romantic comedy mix by offering a little more gunplay and adrenaline than the typical chick flick, few of Detmer's efforts in the following years would prove adventurous or original enough to really break the mold or merit mentioning. A key role on the small-screen relationship drama What About Brian offered the actress a bit more to chew on in 2006, and later that same year Detmer could be seen in the Owen Wilson houseguest-from-Hell comedy You, Me, and Dupree.

Over the coming years, Detmer would appear in a number of other projects, including the series What About Brian, Private Practice, Man Up, and Necessary Roughness.

Movie Highlights

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  • Father was a singing cowboy and rice farmer; older brother, Matthew, is also an actor.
  • Wrote an essay about acting titled "The Reality of Make Believe" that was published by Newsweek in 1995, when she was a senior at Cal State, Chico.
  • Made her TV debut in Stolen Innocence, a 1995 Tracey Gold TV-movie filmed in Chico.
  • Performed with Grey's Anatomy alum T.R. Knight in a 2001 production of Amadeus at the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis. (He played Mozart, she his wife, Costanze).
  • Made theatrical-film debut (as Miss Minneapolis) in the 2002 beauty-pageant mockumentary Drop Dead Gorgeous.
  • Was a regular on the short-lived NBC sitcoms M.Y.O.B. (2000) and A.U.S.A. ('03) and the '06-07 ABC relationship-drama series What About Brian? 
  • Has had recurring roles in Private Practice and Necessary Roughness.