Rooney Mara

Active - 2008 - 2021  |   Born - Apr 17, 1985 in Bedford, New York, United States  |   Genres - Comedy, Horror, Drama

Share on

Biography by Cammila Collar

Actress Rooney Mara didn't exactly come from a show business family. One great-grandfather founded the Pittsburgh Steelers; another founded the New York Giants. Despite her heritage, Mara opted to go into acting instead of sports, and made her professional debut with a bit-part in the direct-to-video Urban Legends: Bloody Mary (which starred her older sister, Kate). She followed this with a handful of appearances on episodes of shows like Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and The Cleaner, eventually scoring a number of film roles, appearing in 2009's Tanner Hall, Youth in Revolt, and Friends (With Benefits).

Her career changed forever when David Fincher cast her in a small but key part in The Social Network, and then trusted her to play Lisbeth Salander in his English-language adaptation of the international best-seller The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, a part that earned young performer Golden Globe and Oscar nominations for Best Actress. She appeared in Spike Jonze's Her and Steven Soderbergh's Side Effects, both in 2013. In 2015, Mara was controversially cast as Tiger Lily in Joe Wright's Pan. She followed that up with Todd Haynes' Carol, playing opposite Cate Blanchett; Mara nabbed her second Oscar nomination for her work in the film.

Movie Highlights

See Full Filmography


  • Two of her great-grandfathers are NFL team founders. Art Rooney, founder of the Pittsburgh Steelers, is her mother's grandfather, and Tim Mara, founder of the New York Giants, is her father's grandfather.
  • Spent four months studying abroad in Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru after high school.
  • Made her professional acting debut in a bit part in the 2005 slasher flick Urban Legends: Bloody Mary, which starred her older sister, Kate.
  • Got several real piercings and bleached her eyebrows to play Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011).
  • Cast in Her (2013) when Carey Mulligan had to drop out of the film.
  • Founder of Faces of Kibera, a nonprofit organization that provides aid to orphans living in an overpopulated village outside of Nairobi, Kenya.