First making an impression on the collective filmgoing consciousness as the resident bad-ass of the teen horror flick The Faculty (1998), Clea Duvall has managed to stand out among the crowd of young actors who gained seemingly overnight fame during the late '90s. Strong-jawed and sharp-eyed, Duvall developed an interest in acting at an early age. Born in Los Angeles on September 25, 1977, she attended the Los Angeles High School of the Arts and got her professional start on television, making occasional appearances on a variety of shows including E.R. and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. After minor work in a couple of independent films, Duvall nabbed her role in The Faculty, starring as a moody goth girl alongside such up-and-comers as Elijah Wood, Shawn Hatosy, and Josh Hartnett. The film was a fairly substantial box-office success, and in 1999 Duvall could be seen in no less than three more films. In The Astronaut's Wife she played Charlize Theron's sister, while Girl, Interrupted cast her as a resident of a mental hospital occupied by the likes of Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie. Duvall also starred as an unwilling patient of another kind of rehab in But I'm a Cheerleader: a comedy-satire about Megan (Natasha Lyonne), a high school cheerleader who is sent to a sort of straight rehab camp for gay teens, Duvall played a tattooed young lesbian who teaches Megan how to cheer for the other team. In 2003 she co-starred with Sean Penn and Naomi Watts in the award-winning drama 21 Grams, and played a leading role in the HBO series Carnivale. Though the show was canceled after only two seasons, Duvall received no small amount of praise for her turn as a member of a traveling circus during The Great Depression. She played a small supporting role in Zodiac (2007), a docudrama chronicling the gruesome story of the serial murderer known as the Zodiac killer. In 2012 she took on another supporting role in Argo, docudrama depicting the efforts to save a group of American diplomats after militants seize control of the U.S. embassy in Tehran during the height of the Iranian Revolution.
Biography by Rebecca Flint Marx
- Is named after the last volume in author Lawrence Durrell's The Alexandria Quartet novels.
- Has studied Tae Kwon Do.
- Was a guest blogger for the comedy Web site Funny or Die in 2009.