Evan Rachel Wood was born in Raleigh, NC, where her father Ira David Wood ran a theater company. Along with her two brothers, she acted in her dad's stage productions before getting small roles in made-for-TV movies. In 1995, she made several guest appearances on the CBS drama American Gothic, as the daughter of Mrs. Russell (played by real-life mom Sara Lynn Moore). Her next regular role was Chloe on the NBC sci-fi police drama Profiler. She left the show to join the cast of the popular ABC family drama Once and Again as Rick's daughter Jessie. Along with child actor co-stars Julia Whelan and Meredith Deane, she won a Young Artist Award for her work on the show. Other TV appearances include Touched by an Angel, The West Wing, and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. In 1998, Wood made her first feature film in Timothy Hutton's directorial debut Digging to China. In the starring role of Harriet Frankovitz, she played a ten-year-old girl who befriends mentally challenged adult Ricky (Kevin Bacon). More movie appearances followed in Griffin Dunne's fantasy Practical Magic, Joey Travolta's crime movie Detour, and Andrew Niccol's sci-fi comedy Simone. Her next leading role was in the family-friendly drama Little Secrets as teenage concert violinist Emily Lindstrom. Her big breakthrough came in 2003 as the star of Catherine Hardwicke's directorial debut Thirteen, which was partially written by teenage co-star Nikki Reed. Launched into semi-stardom by the well-marketed movie, she was then offered a part in Ron Howard's Western The Missing, also starring Cate Blanchett and Tommy Lee Jones. Projects for 2004 include the family drama The Upside of Anger and the teen comedy Pretty Persuasion.
Biography by Andrea LeVasseur
- Started acting on stage at an early age, as her father was the founder and executive director of Raleigh's Theatre in the Park.
- Relocated to Hollywood with her mother after her parents' divorce.
- Auditioned for the role of Claudia in Interview with the Vampire, but lost to Kirsten Dunst.
- Earned her GED at 15.
- Has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
- Once played Helen Keller to her mother's Annie Sullivan under the direction of her father in a stage production of The Miracle Worker.