Rachael Leigh Cook

Active - 1971 - 2020  |   Born - Oct 4, 1979 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States  |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Comedy Drama, Mystery

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Biography by Rebecca Flint Marx

Born October 4, 1979 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the doe-eyed, fine-boned Rachael Leigh Cook has invited frequent comparisons with the young Audrey Hepburn. The actress began her career at the age of ten as a model, and then broke into acting in 1995 with her role as Mary-Ann Spier in The Baby-Sitters Club. Her next memorable appearance was in The House of Yes (1997), where she played the young Parker Posey. Coincidentally, Freddie Prinze Jr., with whom she would later co-star in She's All That, was also in the film, although they had no scenes together.

After The House of Yes, Cook acted in a few forgettable films, the exception being Living Out Loud (1998), in which she played the young Holly Hunter. It was her next film, 1999's She's All That, that garnered her significant attention. As Laney Boggs, Cook went from geek to chic under the tutelage of the most popular boy in school (Prinze Jr.). As the film was essentially billed as an update of My Fair Lady (1964), the comparisons between Cook and Audrey Hepburn seemed particularly apt. Only time will tell if these comparisons extend beyond physical appearance to career trajectory. Taking to the stage (on the screen at least) with her turn in the live adaptation of Josie and the Pussycats, audiences would soon find the attractive actress travelling back in time to the old west in Texas Rangers. An attempt to revive the western from celluloid oblivion, the film documented the true story of the founding of the Texas Rangers and found Cook cast alongside popular actors James Van Der Beek and Oded Fehr.

Cook continued to work steadily through the early 2000s, including a recurring role on the show Las Vegas in 2005 and a supporting role in the film Nancy Drew (2007). She also did a stint on prime time drama Psych, in which she played Abigail Lytar, elementary school teacher and ex-girlfriend of the leading character Shawn Spencer (James Roday). In 2012, Cook took on a starring role, opposite Eric McCormack, in the TNT crime drama Perception, playing FBI agent Kate Moretti, which ran for three seasons.

Movie Highlights

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  • Decided to become a model at an early age---while in the second grade.
  • Appeared in a diverse mix of print ads as a model, including ads for Target and Milk-Bone.
  • Starred in a memorable 1998 "This Is Your Brain on Drugs" public-service announcement, smashing an apartment with a frying pan.
  • Appeared in the 1999 music video for Sixpence None the Richer's "Kiss Me"; the song was featured in She's All That, which she starred in.
  • Formed her own production company, Ben's Sister Productions.