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Eliza Dushku

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 "True Lies".

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 Public Schools.

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