Must-have nerd actresses

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1.
Eliza Dushku
Actress, True Lies
Eliza Dushku was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to Judith (Rasmussen), a political science professor, and Philip R. Dushku, a teacher and administrator. Her father is Albanian and her mother is American (of Danish, Irish, English, and German descent). She was discovered at the end of a five-month search...
 
2.
Summer Glau
Actress, Serenity
Summer is a native of San Antonio, Texas. She's been a ballerina most of her life. Her debut was in various commercials and a guest appearance on the WB's Angel. She has gone on to star on the TV series Firefly as well as its follow-up movie Serenity and the TV series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
 
3.
Jewel Staite
Actress, Serenity
Born in White Rock, BC, Canada. Spent first three years of life in Maui. Started out modeling, was recommened to act at age 6. Won best actor in "Meeting Dad", a Vancouver Film School short.
 
5.
Dichen Lachman
Actress, Dollhouse
Dichen Lachman was born in Kathmandu, Nepal, to a Tibetan mother and Australian father. Until the age of seven, she lived in Kathmandu with her parents and extended family. Following that, she moved to Adelaide, Australia, with her parents. After dropping out of university, Dichen took up acting and then moved to Sydney to pursue her career...
 
6.
Grace Park
Actress, Hawaii Five-0
Grace Park (born March 14, 1974) is an American-Canadian actress. She gained recognition as Sharon "Boomer" Valerii and Sharon "Athena" Agathon on Battlestar Galactica, as well as Shannon Ng in the Canadian television series teen soap Edgemont. Park stars as Officer Kono Kalakaua in the CBS television series Hawaii Five-0...
 
7.
Olivia Wilde
Actress, Rush
Actress and activist Olivia Wilde is a modern-day renaissance woman. Starring in films and popular television shows, Wilde shares the screen with renowned actors while simultaneously giving back to the community. Olivia Wilde was born Olivia Jane Cockburn in New York City, to journalists Leslie Cockburn (née Leslie Corkill Redlich) and Andrew Cockburn...
 
8.
Amy Acker
Born and raised in Dallas, Texas where she graduated Lake Highlands High School, Amy Acker is the oldest of four children; she has two sisters and one brother. An acting major at Southern Methodist University, Amy acted in several college theater productions. She appeared in various roles during the fantasy segments for the popular award-winning children's TV series Wishbone...
 
10.
Felicia Day
Felicia Day was born on June 28, 1979 in Huntsville, Alabama, USA as Kathryn Felicia Day. She is an actress and producer, known for her work on TV and the web video world. She has appeared in mainstream television shows and films, including "Supernatural", and a two-season arc on the SyFy series "Eureka"...
 
11.
Morena Baccarin
Actress, Homeland
Morena Baccarin was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to actress Vera Setta and journalist Fernando Baccarin. Her uncle was actor Ivan Setta. Morena has Italian and Brazilian Portuguese ancestry. She moved to New York at the age of 10, when her father was transferred there. She attended the LaGuardia High School of Music and Performing Arts and then the Juilliard School...
 
12.
Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman is the first person born in the 1980s to have won the Academy Award for Best Actress (for Black Swan). Natalie was born Natalie Hershlag on June 9, 1981, in Jerusalem, Israel. She is the only child of Avner Hershlag, an Israeli-born doctor, and Shelley Stevens, an American-born artist (from Cincinnati...
 
13.
Carrie-Anne Moss
Actress, The Matrix
Carrie-Anne Moss was born on August 21, 1967, in Vancouver, British Columbia, the youngest of two children of Barbara and Melvyn Moss. At age 20, she moved to Europe to pursue a career in modeling; in Spain she was cast in a regular role in the TV show Dark Justice, which was produced in Barcelona for its first season...
 
14.
Mila Kunis
Actress, Black Swan
The talented Milena "Mila" Markovna Kunis was born to a Jewish family in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, USSR (now independent Ukraine). Her mother, Elvira, is a physics teacher, her father, Mark Kunis, is a mechanical engineer, and she has an older brother named Michael. After attending one semester of college between gigs...
 
15.
Rosamund Pike
Actress, Gone Girl
Born on January 27, 1979 in London, England, actress Rosamund Mary Elizabeth Pike is the only child of a classical violinist mother, Caroline (Friend), and an opera singer father, Julian Pike. Due to her parents' work, she spent her early childhood traveling around Europe. Pike attended Badminton School in Bristol...
 
16.
Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Ingrid Johansson was born in New York City. Her mother, Melanie Sloan, is from a Jewish family from the Bronx, and her father, Karsten Johansson, is a Danish-born architect, from Copenhagen. She has a sister, Vanessa Johansson, who is also an actress, a brother, Adrian, a twin brother, Hunter Johansson...
 
17.
Michelle Rodriguez
Actress, Avatar
Known for tough-chick roles, Michelle Rodriguez is proof that there is a cross between beauty and brawn. She was born Mayte Michelle Rodriguez on July 12, 1978, in Bexar County, Texas, to Carmen Milady Pared Espinal, from the Dominican Republic, and Rafael Rodríguez Santiago, who served in the U.S. Army and was originally from Puerto Rico...
 
18.
Anne Hathaway
Anne Jacqueline Hathaway was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Kate McCauley Hathaway, an actress, and Gerald T. Hathaway, a lawyer, both originally from Philadelphia. She is of mostly Irish descent, along with English, German, and French. Her first major role came in the short-lived television series Get Real...
 
19.
Uma Thurman
Actress, Pulp Fiction
Uma Karuna Thurman was born in Boston, Massachusetts, into a highly unorthodox and Eurocentric family. She is the daughter of Nena Thurman (née Birgitte Caroline von Schlebrügge), a fashion model and socialite who now runs a mountain retreat, and of Robert Thurman (Robert Alexander Farrar Thurman)...
 
20.
Eva Mendes
Actress, Hitch
Eva Mendes was born in Miami, Florida but raised in Los Angeles, California of Cuban-American heritage. In college, she began acting, studying underneath acting coach Ivana Chubbuck. This led to her desire to appear in feature films. Though taking many smaller roles in movies, she was little known until playing the girlfriend of Denzel Washington's character in Training Day...
 
21.
Jennifer Lawrence
America's Sweetheart and star of the wildly popular Hunger Games series, Jennifer Lawrence is the first, and thus far only, person born in the 1990s to have received an acting Oscar (for Silver Linings Playbook). Lawrence was born Jennifer Shrader Lawrence on August 15, 1990 in Louisville, Kentucky, to Karen (Koch)...
 
22.
Gwyneth Paltrow
Actress, Se7en
A tall, wafer thin, delicate beauty, Gwyneth Kate Paltrow was born in Los Angeles, the daughter of noted producer and director Bruce Paltrow and Tony award-winning actress Blythe Danner. Her father was from a Jewish family, while her mother has German, and some English and Irish, ancestry. When Gwyneth was eleven...
 
23.
Monica Raymund
Actress, Chicago Fire
Monica Raymund stars as Gabriela Dawson in NBC's drama "Chicago Fire." A graduate of The Juilliard School, she is the recipient of the John Houseman Award for her commitment and dedication. Immediately following her graduation, she went on to star opposite Tim Roth for three seasons in "Lie to Me." During this time...
 
24.
Kate Beckinsale
Actress, Underworld
Kate Beckinsale was born on 26 July 1973 in England, and has resided in London for most of her life. Her mother is Judy Loe, who has appeared in a number of British dramas and sitcoms and continues to work as an actress, predominantly in British television productions. Her father was Richard Beckinsale...
 
25.
Jami Gertz
Actress, Twister
 
26.
Milla Jovovich
Milla Jovovich is an Ukrainian-born actress, supermodel, fashion designer, singer and public figure, who was on the cover of more than a hundred magazines, and starred in such films as The Fifth Element, Ultraviolet, and the Resident Evil franchise. Milica Bogdanovna Jovovich was born on December 17...
 
27.
Anna Paquin
Actress, The Piano
Anna Paquin is the first millennial to have received an Academy Award nomination for acting, and the first to win. She was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, in 1982, to Mary (Brophy), an English teacher from Wellington, New Zealand, and Brian Paquin, a Canadian phys-ed teacher. Anna moved to her mother's native country when she was four years old...
 
28.
Jennifer Garner
Jennifer Garner, who catapulted into stardom with her lead role on the television series Alias, has come a long way from her birthplace of Houston, Texas. Raised in Charleston, West Virginia by her mother, Patricia Ann (née English), a retired teacher of English, and her father, William John Garner...
 
29.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Mary Elizabeth Winstead is a gifted actress, known for her versatile work in a variety of film and television projects. Possibly most known for her role as Ramona Flowers in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, she has also starred in critically acclaimed independent films such as Smashed, for which she received an Independent Spirit Award nomination...
 
30.
Famke Janssen
Actress, X-Men
Famke Janssen was born on November 5, 1964 in Amstelveen, Netherlands, and has two siblings, director Antoinette Beumer and actress Marjolein Beumer. She studied economics for a year at the University of Amsterdam. Moving to America in 1984, Famke modeled for Chanel in New York City. Later, taking a break from modeling...
 
31.
Mélanie Laurent
Mélanie Laurent was born in Paris, France. She is the daughter of Annick, a ballet teacher, and Pierre, a voice actor, who is most recognized for the French version of The Simpsons. She has a younger brother, Mathieu, and has both Sephardi Jewish (from Tunisia) and Ashkenazi Jewish (from Poland) ancestry...
 
32.
Deborah Ann Woll
Actress, Daredevil
Deborah was born in 1985, in Brooklyn, New York, from Irish and German heritage. She took acting, piano and dance classes. She went to high school at Packer Collegiate Institute and graduated from the BFA program at the USC School of Theatre at the University of Southern California. Deborah started to work as an actress on television and her breakout was in the highly-acclaimed HBO vampire drama...
 
33.
Courtney Ford
Actress, Dexter
As an actress on the rise, Courtney Ford shines equally bright in both comedic and dramatic roles. Her ability to take on diverse projects has set her career in motion. Currently appearing in one of television's most critically acclaimed dramas, True Blood, Ford has been named one of the "Top Ten Faces to Watch on Television" by Variety...
 
34.
Anna Kendrick
Actress, Up in the Air
Anna Kendrick was born in Portland, Maine, to Janice (Cooke), an accountant, and William Kendrick, a teacher. She has an older brother, Michael Cooke Kendrick, who has also acted. She is of English, Irish, and Scottish descent. For her role as "Dinah" in "High Society" on Broadway, Anna Kendrick was nominated for a Tony Award (second youngest ever)...
 
35.
Lizzy Caplan
Actress, Cloverfield
Actress Elizabeth Anne "Lizzy" Caplan was born in Los Angeles, California, to Barbara (Bragman), a political aide, and Richard Caplan, a lawyer. She has two older siblings, Julie and Benjamin, and was raised in a Jewish household. Her mother was a cousin of publicist Howard Bragman. Caplan was educated at Alexander Hamilton High School...
 
36.
Zooey Deschanel
Actress, Elf
Zooey Deschanel was born in 1980 into a showbiz family. Her father, Caleb Deschanel, is an Academy Award-nominated cinematographer (perhaps most notably for The Passion of the Christ) and her mother, Mary Jo Deschanel (née Weir), is an actress who appeared in Twin Peaks. Her paternal grandfather was French, and her other roots include English, German, Scottish, Irish, and Dutch...