A talented, soulful child actress who segued into teen and
adult roles beginning in the late 1990s, dark-haired, brown-eyed
siren in the making Eliza Dushku displayed a refreshing edginess
as a young performer that transcended the typical girl-next-door
sweetness and moved on to her sultry and downright scary portrayal
of the villainous Faith on The WB's "Buffy, the Vampire
Slayer" (from 1998 to 2000).
Raised in Massachusetts, Dushku appeared at the Watertown
Children's Theater beginning in the first grade, performing
in productions and also serving as a sign-language interpreter
for hearing-impaired audience members. In 1991, Dushku was
discovered in a casting search for the small coming-of-age
romance "That Night" and tapped to co-star as the
young, awestruck neighbor of a troubled sixteen-year-old (Juliette
Lewis), who helps the older girl navigate her forbidden romance
with bad boy Rick (C Thomas Howell). Dushku made an impressive
screen debut, evincing all of the dreamy idealism of her character's
youth without resorting to unrealistic sentimentality. The
film was released in 1993, the same year that she was featured
in her follow-up role as the daughter of Robert De Niro's
sadistic character in the critically acclaimed biopic "This
Boy's Life". 1994 saw her call Jamie Lee Curtis and Arnold
Schwarzenegger Mom and Dad in James Cameron's humorous actioner
Dushku made her TV debut at age 14 in the CBS "Hallmark
Hall of Fame" presentation "Journey" (1995).
After this, she returned to the big screen with featured turns
as rebellious teens in the divorce-themed comedy-drama "Bye
Bye, Love" (1995) and the Hawaii-set teen film "Race
the Sun" (1996). Television beckoned again in the late
1990s, and Dushku made an auspicious comeback with a recurring
role on The WB supernatural series "Buffy, the Vampire
Slayer", playing the eponymous heroine's nemesis Faith,
a fellow slayer with nefarious motives. Dushku's portrayal
of the striking, black leather-clad villain was appropriately
chilling, and won the actress legions of fans while paving
the way for a post-adolescent career.
A surprise guest turn on a 2000 two-episode arc of the spin-off
series "Angel" (The WB) reprised the role of Faith,
and Dushku lightened up some that same year with a featured
role in the sharp cheerleading comedy "Bring it On".
In "Soul Survivors" (2001), she was alongside other
young Hollywood favorites like Casey Affleck and Wes Bentley.
2002, though, proved a banner year in the actress' career,
proving her ability and rising star status in two high profile
features, "The New Guy", which marked her return
to teen comedy, and the crime drama "City By the Sea",
in which the spunky ingenue was reteamed with Robert De Niro.
Was legally emancipated from her parents because of strict
laws on the hours that a minor is allowed to work.
Has 3 older brothers named Aaron, Ben and Nate.
Voted the 9th Sexist Female Movie Star in the Australian Empire
Magazine September 2002.
Mother is a university administrator/professor at Suffolk
University. Father is an administrator/teacher in the Boston