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Jessica Biel

Jessica Biel rose to fame as the wholesome preacher's daughter on the WB television show 7th Heaven, then gained greater notoriety for trying to get herself kicked off the show via a risqué photo spread in the men's magazine Gear. Making such statements as, "Mary Camden is dead," the 17-year-old Biel indeed got out of her contract to pursue a movie career; when that floundered, she found herself reconsidering her haste and returned for guest spots on the program.

Biel was born on March 7, 1982, in Ely, MN, then raised in Boulder, CO. She was first discovered at the 1994 IMTA Los Angeles Convention, which earned her a scholarship to Diane Hardin's Young Actors Space in Los Angeles. Teen print modeling followed, and in 1996, Biel began her run as Mary Camden on the Aaron Spelling-produced 7th Heaven. Shortly thereafter, she was cast as Peter Fonda's granddaughter in Victor Nunez's rich character study, Ulee's Gold (1997), and as Jonathan Taylor Thomas' love interest in I'll Be Home for Christmas (1998).

But Biel grew tired of playing a good girl on television and tried to force the producers to fire her from 7th Heaven, claiming her pristine image was a factor that kept her from landing the role that went to Thora Birch in American Beauty (1999). When the producers would not release her from her contract, she posed on the cover of the March 2000 Gear under the headline "Fallen Angel." The images inside featured her sprawled topless on a bed and against a bathroom mirror, her hands providing insufficient cover in a manner that pushed even Gear's lax standards for showing skin. The issue became one of Gear's most popular ever, with terrific resale value on Ebay, and got Biel canned from the show.

However, the controversy and exposure did not immediately improve her film career. Biel's first post-Gear role was as a bikini-wearing babe in the Freddie Prinze Jr. baseball movie Summer Catch (2001), but the film barely made a flicker at the box office after being bumped from its initial release date. Biel has since been making guest appearances in her initial Mary Camden role and has been cast in director Roger Avary's The Rules of Attraction (2002).








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